Helenback Race Series

Helen, GA

Date

29-Apr-2017

-

29-Apr-2017

Time

7:00am - -:--

Marathon begins at 7AM, Half-Marathon begins at 9:30AM, 5K begins at 10:30AM

Location

Helen and other locations (see description)

Helen, GA 30545
(GPS is not accurate for this address - call for directions)

Cost

description

Full Marathon

The race begins at the staging area and heads north with 400 feet of vertical climb up a gravel service road into Unicoi State Park. Follow the rolling hills down into Unicoi and turn right onto the Bottoms Loop Trail. From here, you will climb up to GA HWY 356 at mile 3 and will turn left to cross over the Smith Creek Dam. Get a nice view of the water as you run along the Lake Trail making your way to your first aid station at mile 4.5. Refuel here whether you need it or not: the next, fully-stocked aid station is uphill 8 miles away at the 12.5 mile mark (though there is also a smaller aid station with water only at the 9.5 mile mark). From the first aid station, you will road run up Anna Ruby Falls Road toward the the falls and the Anna Ruby Falls Visitor Center. The Visitor Center and this road section will be closed to cars due to park hours. Get a good view of the falls and drop back onto the trail system by taking the Smith Creek Trail to the next trail intersection and our very limited aid station (water only) at mile mark 9.5. Push up the climb on FS 690 toward our second complete aid station at mile mark 12.5. From this aid station. you will make the final push to the turnaround at the intersection of Tray Mountain Road and the Appalachian Trail. You’re at mile 15 and you're done climbing! Make you way back through the forest toward the last aid station you came from less than 3 miles away. Continue downhill on FS 690 into Unicoi State Park. You will have two more aid stations before making the final 3-mile push to the finish to enjoy a victory beer and soak your feet in the Chattahoochee River.

Half Marathon

The race begins at the staging area and heads north with 400 feet of vertical climb up a gravel service road and into Unicoi State Park. Take these rolling hills down into Unicoi and turn right onto the Bottoms Loop Trail. From here you will climb up to GA HWY 356 at mile 3 and turn left to cross over the Smith Creek Dam. Get a nice view of the water as you run along the Lake Trail making your way to your first aid station at mile 4. From here you will continue clockwise around the lake towards the visitors center. Once here you will turn left and head uphill towards the second aid station. Make sure you stock up here!! You will not have a full aid station until returning to this one after the next 3 miles. From this second aid station you will be following the Smith Creek Trail climbing to the top of Hickory Nut Ridge. Enjoy running beside the creek and taking in the rhododendron and hardwood forest. Having reached the upper terminus you will have climbed over 1,000 vertical feet. Take water here only if you need it. This is our most difficult aid station to access so it is limited to what our sweepers can hike in. At this point you leave Smith Creek Trail and cross over to old Forest Service Road 690 and take this trail back downhill into Unicoi State Park and a fully stocked aid station 1.5 miles away. You will now run downhill back towards the visitor center. Friends and family can park at the visitor’s center and see the runners come through. The trail leads around the lake and crosses back over GA-356 and down to the large open field that contains parking for the trout stream and mountain bike trails. This is the best location for crew to set up and cheer on runners as they come through. From here runners have a 4 mile push to the end but the running will continue on a downward slope. The trails are well maintained and parallel the lower part of Smith Creek. Enjoy a victory beer and soak your feet in the Chattahoochee River.

5K

The race begins at the staging area and heads north with 400 feet of vertical climb up a gravel service road into Unicoi State Park. From the top you’ll see a panoramic views of Helen, the Sautee Valley and Yonah Mountain. Follow the Unicoi trail system as it winds its way through the pine, rhododendron and hardwood forest. Parallel the lower section of Smith Creek and get a glimpse of fishermen fly fishing for trout. Continue back down into the valley to the finish for a victory beer and cheer on the marathoners and half marathoners.

For more information visit www.helenbackraceseries.com

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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It’s the charm of Bavaria, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.