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533 Cyclists Tackle The 47th Annual Assaults on Mt. Mitchell & Marion

The 47th annual Assaults on Mt. Mitchell & Marion on Monday, May 20  saw the ascent of approximately 436 cyclists on Mt. Michell and 97 on Marion

Gibson and Patterson fastest at the 47th Annual Assault on Mount Mitchell

The cyclists began in downtown Spartanburg, S. C., and rode to either Marion, N.C. (74.2 miles) or the Mt. Mitchell summit (102.7 miles).

The 102.7-mile journey to Mount Mitchell is one of the most intense, premier cycling experiences in the Southeast, known as “The Beast of the East.” Its sister ride to Marion covers 74.2 miles and ends at the Tom Johnson Campground in Marion, N.C.

"After 47 years of hosting this event, we are thrilled to be able to close out another successful Assaults year," Karl Johnson, Freewheelers Association President, said. "We understand the role we play in the community, and we are honored to be able to promote healthy, active lifestyles while also supporting some of the organizations that keep our communities in the Upstate and Western North Carolina strong. Thank you to our incredible sponsors, partners and volunteers who made the 2024 Assaults possible."

The Assault on Mt. Mitchell, aka “Beast of the East,” is a 102.7-mile ride with over 10,000 feet of climbing

Some special noted achievements are as follows:

For Mt. Mitchell, Duncan, S.C.’s Jonathan Patterson was the fastest rider this year, with a time of 5:20:58. Hannah Gibson of Valrico, Fla., was the fastest female rider with a time of 6:16:42.

For Marion, Colin Mathern of Greenville, S.C. was the fastest finisher, with a time of 3:10:12. Catherine Burton of Raleigh, N.C. followed closely behind with a finishing time of 4:44:54 for the fastest female finisher.

The youngest registered cyclist was 15 years old, and finished at Mt. Mitchell with a time of 07:09:25. The oldest cyclist attempted Mt. Mitchell at 83 years old.

Organizations supported by this year’s ride include FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Palmetto Cycling Coalition, Partners for Active Living, Episcopal Church of the Advent Outreach Commission, and the Spartanburg City Baptist Network. Sponsors of the event include ONE Spartanburg, Piedmont Natural Gas, Spartanburg Regional Health System, Walker Higgins & Associates, Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurological Associates, Carolina Heating and Air, and ProMotion Rehab and Sports Medicine.

All ride results for the 2024 Assaults can be found here.

About The Assaults

A bucket list ride for serious cyclists, The Assaults is one of the most intense, premier cycling experiences in the Southeast, and draws a full field of cyclists from across the world each spring to ride from Spartanburg, S.C. to either Marion, N.C. (74.2 miles) or the top of Mount Mitchell (102.7 miles). To learn more, register, sponsor or volunteer, visit

About The Freewheelers

The organization behind The Assaults, The Freewheelers Cycling Association, is a Spartanburg, S.C.-based, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit community service organization founded in 1973. The Freewheelers’ mission is to provide education and promotion of bicycle safety and a forum for amateur sports competition and touring. To learn more about The Freewheelers, visit their website at