The Color Run in coming to Asheville North Carolina once again! 2016 just got better as our City joins the World for this famous happy run. And AskAsheville has a discount code just for you. See the Asheville Color Run Event Page for more information.
My name is Manteo Mitchell. I was born in Shelby, North Carolina; raised in Mooresboro, North Carolina. I am a Professional Athlete. My sport is Track & Field, although it is often referred to Athletics. I am also an Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Model, and my most favorite job — a full-time family man and father.
Being that I grew up only an hour or so from Asheville, and that I am a Western Carolina University alum, I have always been through or visited here. Even in high school, I remember making the trek up the mountain on a few occasions. I first heard of Asheville though in middle school. We were scheduled to visit the Biltmore Estate, however, I believe the weather caused that to be cancelled. PS— I have yet to actually see and visit the Biltmore Estate. Only when I fly over it landing at the Asheville Regional Airport (ALL THE TIME) have I actually witnessed the property “live”.
I was an undergraduate student at WCU from 2005-2009, then I stayed there to train post-collegiately with my college coach and also received a Master’s Degree in the process (2009-2012). After the London Olympic Games in 2012 my son was born and I knew then that I wanted to go elsewhere for training. I wanted a real city, but not a huge place. I wanted lot of options for food (I LOVE TO EAT), and Asheville provides me with ample healthy options all around. Asheville is about halfway to Johnson City, TN where I train when I’m not here in the heart of Asheville training. So the move just made sense all around. We LOVE it here! Also most importantly, I wanted to move to a place that would be behind me in my quest to make my 2nd consecutive Olympic Team. A place where I could possibly be the face and uplift everyone. Asheville seems like that place. I hope that the city will embrace me as now everywhere I go, Asheville goes with me.
I can be found training at UNC-Asheville most Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I love home cooked meals that contain healthy options and love meeting new folks so, if ANYONE wants to cook a nice meal for me I AM GAME! To the kids, if you see me out I PROMISE I DO NOT BITE. Don’t be afraid to say hello. Oh… and the one I get the most… To answer all of your questions, YES I am the guy on all the billboards, pictures, posters— at Under Armour. No more “is that the guy”—his name; my name is MANTEO MITCHELL!
This time, he is keeping it closer to home. Dustin is not just doing this for fun or a feeling of achievement. He is on a mission: to show the world how much those with Cerebral Palsy can do. There is a prevalent acceptance that someone with a debilitating condition is just that: debilitated. Many CP sufferers do not have supportive family, coaches, and teammates that Dustin was fortunate enough to have. They are taught early on that they can’t, so many never try. If one man can show them that he can… that they can, it’s Dustin Scoggins.
He is in the early stages of setting up the CPStrong foundation to educate, encourage, and train Cerebral Palsy sufferers for sports and other physical events that have been out of reach for so many. For kids, he looks to open the door to a whole new world of sports they may grow up without experiencing. For adults, it is never too late to get out and do what they have missed out on so far.
This is how we feel about waking up before 6 on a Saturday.
Last Saturday the UNC Asheville Cross Country team competed in the Pre-Conference meet at Gardner-Webb (which is in Boiling Springs, aka the middle of nowhere.) We upperclassmen were taking a rest weekend doing a workout instead of the race, but of course we wanted to go cheer our teammates on. Our only problem: there were 6 of us and only 5-person cars. Luckily, I have a [great, wonderful, fantastic] boss who lets me borrow his car, if I’ll blog about the trip, of course.
I began the morning at 5 a.m., which I forgot existed, but apparently it does. I picked up Gary’s car – after getting lost – and was well on my way back to the school when I got a call from Gary saying his brain had been a little scrambled because of the early hour and he forgot to grab the car seat. Way to go, Gary! Luckily, the red light gods had my back and I somehow made it to the school on time to meet for our “shake-out,” or shuffle/jog before breakfast.
The team van passing us at “high speed.”
We hit the road around 7 a.m. with only a few surprises – I couldn’t figure out how to turn the windshield wipers completely off. Oh, and I learned that driving over 75 mph in a larger car (I drive a tiny Honda Civic, so I’m not used to anything taller than a couple feet off the ground) produces a noise that sounds like the car is about to explode. You don’t test that. So I was stuck at 75.
We arrived, we ran, we conquered. The upperclassmen did a workout on the race course as our 5 underclassmen warmed up, then we cheered them on while they raced. I brought my camera so that I could take photos of them while racing, but of course, I was too busy yelling animatedly, so I forgot. No one looks good in running pictures anyways. Our girls looked strong though, making it an exciting beginning to the season.
The real reason we run.
After a core circuit, a quick stretch sesh, and a much-needed outfit-change, we hopped back in the car. Unfortunately, I turned the key and the gas light came on. In a middle-of-nowhere-town, finding a gas station is a real challenge! Apparently, so is finding a way to open the gas tank. I had to call Gary to figure it out, talk about an embarrassing phone call.
An Oreo-induced sugar high only lasts so long, and I was in the middle of a conversation when I realized everyone in the back was dead to the world. But when T-Swift’s “Shake It Off” came on for the third time in a row (each time on a different station, it was following us) they awakened long enough to jam out and then pass back out. Some company they were.
At last, we made it back to our beautiful home. My roommate, Erin, and I headed to Biscuit Head in West Asheville to trade out cars with Gary, intending just to grab the keys and leave, but of course we ended up staying for brunch. There’s really no way to pass up Mimosa Fried Chicken on a massive biscuit. The food mysteriously disappeared before I could get a picture.
Game Face, ya’ll.
The UNCA Bulldog Cross Country team will host our annual home meet at Asheville Christian Academy (74 Riverwood Road in Swannanoa) this Saturday, September 20. The men’s 8k goes off at 9 a.m. with the women’s 5k to follow at 9:45. Come on out to cheer on your Bulldogs!
Over the last three years I have been working on getting myself healthier. It started with dieting and exercise and eventually losing 80 pounds – so far (I have 50 more to go!). I continue to work on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Throughout the weight loss journey, I have been rewarding myself with fun “treats” – simultaneously crossing items off my “bucket list.” A few such fun treats have included Ziplining across the Nantahala as well as white water rafting down that river when I turned 50. I have never raced in my life, but heard about how much fun the Color Run is, and I really wanted to do it! It is a run where people dress up in crazy colorful costumes, with many wearing colored tutus, and it is designed for walkers and families, so I figured “How difficult can it be?” However, shortly after signing up for it, I thought about not doing it. I was fearful of making a spectacle of myself if I collapsed on the race course. I suffer with Fibromyalgia, arthritis, a huge ventral hernia, and a breathing issue that is still to be determined. But I had three goals and I resolved to do it! Here I am, dressed and ready to go!
7,000+ people participated in the run. I decided that I wanted to be there early enough so that I could be in the first “wave.” I was the very 1st person to step through the start gate!!! I even got to keep the Start tape!
At every kilometer, colored cornstarch is sprayed at runners as they pass through a matching colored balloon arch. At the end of the race, every runner looks like a swamp creature between the sweat and running colors!
I can’t believe we had THREE hills to climb, and that last hill SUCKED!!! But, we DO live in the mountains!!! The last mile was painful for me, but I knew my Angels were helping to push me through!!!
Shortly after passing the final Color Station, I could hear the party music blaring from the YMCA campus – where the race started and ended. In the near distance, I saw the multicolored balloons of the Finish Line.
OMG!!!!! I FREAKING MADE IT!!!!!?? I had met all three of my goals!!!
1) I showed up – fear didn’t win. 2) I finished the run!!! 3) I didn’t finish last!! … I was ONE PROUD WOMAN!!!
Crossing under the Finish Line balloons gave me an amazingly high feeling of exhilaration! As I passed from under the Finish line balloons on towards the after-party and stage area, I was greeted with a great cloud of many colors in celebration of our accomplishment!
Thank you God for allowing me to be testimony to what can be done when you don’t give up on yourself.
Tired, looking like a Smurf, but darn PROUD of this accomplishment! By the way, I had so much fun on the Color Run, I’ve signed up for another Run!!! The Glow in the Dark Color Rave 5k at Carrier Park. Look for that story coming soon!
Written by Rose-Marie Vieira of Event Horizons Photography