Raccoon Mountain Marathon
Marathon #30 / Overall #44 / State #11 (Tennessee)
This race saved my trip plans to Atlanta/Augusta, GA, when I got the chance to visit my buddy Alex who was stationed in Augusta. I originally had looked into the Publix Georgia Marathon on 3/19/17, but did not realize that the race was already full by the time I booked my flight (which was EXPENSIVE – a reason why I hate air travel). Fortunately, I found that there was another race just 2 hours away from Atlanta in Chattanooga, TN called the Raccoon Mountain Marathon. It seemed like a fun one, but of course anything with the word “mountain” in it… lol
This is NOT a USATF-certified course with a stated time limit of 9 hours. The weather was mostly cloudy with a slight drizzle at times and temperature ranges from the 40’s to the 60’s. And it was a rather small event. But there were a couple of things that made it a really unique event that knit the (mostly local) running community together.
- The race had a marathon, and three variations of half marathons. The morning half went in one direction, while an afternoon half went in the opposite direction. And there was also a trail-only half marathon which shared part of the course with the main course. The marathon course is an out-and-back loop course, ran in a washer-style fashion (reverse direction the second loop). That’s probably why I got LOST the first loop… SMH -__- lol. Fortunately, it was only by 0.2 miles short so I was easily able to make that up on my own by running around back and forth for a bit ha.
- Most races are purely (or >95%) road or trail. This one is a true hybrid. For the most part, the trails were well marked with either blue or pink-ish markers. There were bright yellow and orange markers on the road so it was hard to miss a turn (there weren’t that many turns to begin with haha). As expected, there were a bunch of hills, some of which are steep and sharp and others are more gradual and manageable. Besides the dam portion, there ain’t no thing as a “flat” part of the course…
- For such a low-key race like this one, the signage were absolutely hilarious!!
- They hung puppets and puppet-like characters on the trail portions… they were so random!!
That’s right… There’s magic in misery, and marathon is indeed Greek for “terrible decision making”!! LOL…
So while I didn’t get a chance to talk too much on the race, I did get a chance to meet some of the locals. One of the locals named Alan was nice enough to let me use his car outlet to charge my phone before I made that 4 hour drive to Augusta, GA. His wife was part of a relay team called “DANG”… The letters DANG actually stood for each of the 4 women’s names… ha!!
Interestingly… this was their medal. A custom-made block of wood with each finisher’s name on it. And the duct tape on my ghetto-lookin’ watch had fallen off after all that humidity and sweat… lol. Overall a small but pretty awesome race!