Elevation profile for the course. 5,817 feet of elevation gain with a max elevation of 3,284 feet.
NOTE: No Aid Station at Mile 18.
There are three options:
Early packet pickup
Big Peach Kennesaw, Thursday September 28th from 4-7 PM.1625 Ridenour Boulevard
Sundance Cabin Rentals, Friday, September 29th from 4-7 PM.
Race morning at the start/finish:(Dry Branch Rd off of Aska Rd. Take Dry Branch Rd and stay to the right, eventually turning into the day use parking area on the right just before the graveyard and stop sign) at least 30 minutes prior to your wave start. If you are starting at the 6 am wave, it is strongly preferred you pick up your bib the night before. 6 am wave runners will also be required to wear a headlamp. The race is chip timed, so if you need to adjust your start time based on your training, there is nothing you need to do other than be ready to toe the line at your desired wave start time. The color of hoodie you receive at packet pickup will be based on your original wave time however.
Cutoff Times: We don't have a hard cutoff time. If you put in the training, we want to do everything in our power to see you make it across the finish line. 3 pm is the goal time, and we've allowed enough wave times to see runners of all abilities make it close to that time, but we anticipate having a few runners still on the course. 4 pm we will have awards for Top 3 Overall Male/Females and top Male/Female in 10 age groups. (We may, however, make a decision as dark approaches to pull runners off the course out of concern for their safety and out of respect for our volunteers.) Remember, unlike a traditional race, runners with the faster times still may finish later than other waves, so we must wait for them to score the race!
Although we have generous start times, this is NOT an overly-easy course, but very do-able! You will complete the toughest part of the race, the Stanley Gap climb (2500 feet in 3.5 miles) in the first 13 miles of the race.
To answer some of the questions concerning the 50K Route here is a play by play of the elevation/distance/route:
The trail/section from Deep Gap to the Stanley Gap Aid Station is the hardest climb, and then you turn around and do it again with a little less elevation. From Deep Gap to the top of Johns Mountain aka Stanley Gap is 1100 feet, the Benton MacKaye joins up with the trail, it happens on the descent with is 1000 feet to the Stanley Gap Aid Station. At the Stanley Gap Aid Station you turn around and go back up Stanley Gap for 1000 feet, again it joins up with the Benton MacKaye. Then you descend but before you hit Deep Gap you turn onto the first loop, it is between mile 10-11 where the trails first join (overlap). There is an 11- mile stretch where you need to carry your own fuel and water! Keep in mind it will most likely be humid. For all the 50K runners...YOU GOT THIS!! We highly respect you and this Feat that you are about to take on!! Thank you Aaron VanWieren for creating such a detailed map description for our 50K runners!
Aid Stations: It is VERY important that you start in the right wave relative to your ability. (If you are an elite runner starting at 6 am, you may arrive at an aid station before it has opened!) If you decide at any point you are dropping out of the race, you MUST NOTIFY the lead volunteer at that aid station. (We don't want to send out a search party for someone we mistakenly think is missing!) There are 3 aid stations however, one acts as two therefore having four aid stations for the 50K route. Also, for the 50K route there is an 11 mile stretch with no aid stations, this is from mile 12.5-23.5 so prepare accordingly.
Deep Gap Aid Station (Miles 7 and 23.5)
Stanley Gap Aid Station (Mile 12.5)
Long Branch Aid Station (Approx Mile 27)
There is NOT an unmanned water station at mile 18 as shown in the map above.
We will have the course marked with Tortoise and the Hare Signs and pink ribbon. We will not mark the entire Flat Creek Loop or Long Branch Loop, or even Stanley Gap (except where it meets another trail, Benton MacKaye), seeing that once you are on it you just need to STAY on it. We are not impervious to vandals removing signs/ribbons. Feel free to carry a course map with you for when in doubt, or download it onto your smartphone for easy access. (We've tried to make it a series of right-hand turns as much as possible.) Also, thanks to Jake Cowart the head of the Forest Service, he created an app (for those who have Smart Phones) for our runners so they can track themselves during the race! We HIGHLY recommend you download this app:
Cell coverage is unreliable in the mountains, but if you have questions we haven't answered or need additional directions, or have questions, you can reach us here as coverage allows:
Course/Directions: Jeremy 770-256-5320
Race Details/Questions: RD Toni 770-256-3844
We will have finishers medals ready for you as well as food as you cross the finish line. Bring a lawn chair, hang out and swap stories with your fellow ultra runners and take a dip in the lake! We know how great we felt completing our last 50K, and we can't wait to celebrate with you as you finish yours!