- 12 miles, 50 miles, Relay
- Trail Race
It's the 2nd year that RunBum tours has done this race and I've been there both years. I'll be back next year! It's a great, very 'runnable' course with average elevation change for a trail race. Some minor climbs in the first45 miles. The last bit is when you have to go to the bottom of the canyon and then climb out 1000ish stairs. I actually got cut just before the last bit into the canyon, which is one of the reasons I'll definitely be back next year. There are a couple awesome waterfalls at the bottom that make the climb back out worth it (I've climbed down there in the past). January weather in north Georgia is very variable (15 degrees last year, 45 this year), but the people, terrain, views, make it a must-do event.
-Easy drive from Atlanta, and just 30 minutes from downtown Chattanooga. We stopped in Chatt for dinner the night before the race, and stopped there again for brunch on the way home on Sunday
-Group bunk lodge right at the start line. There's room for about 50 people in the group lodge at the start finish area. It's a basic bunk house with heat, bathrooms, hot water. For $50 for the whole weekend it's so worth it! We met awesome people, rolled out of bed at 4 am for a 5am start right outside the door. No driving up dark park roads at 0'dark thirty necessary. Showered and chilled after the race, and left at our leisure on Sunday morning.
People. The best volunteers and aid stations. As soon as you arrive at an aid station at least one, and usually several, volunteers immediately ask you what you need, help you fill water, hand you food. So motivating.
Course. You start in the dark and it stays that way for nearly 3 hours. There's something so amazing about seeing the line of headlamps bob up the trail. Once day breaks, even this year with clouds and fog, the course is still beautiful and we still had views into the canyon. Nice terrain and not too technical.
Swag. Cool tshirt, and a pint glass with plenty of beer and awesome BBQ the finish
-I still haven't finished all 50 (my problem alone and something I plan to remedy next year)
-If you're looking for a race with exact mileage this (and pretty much any trail race) is not for you. All posted mileages and aid station locations are approximate. I can hardly count this as a con. It's more of a warning to any newbs. Your garmin data won't be exact (mine was as much as 2-3 miles off). Deal with it.