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We’ll send you an email each month letting you know our newest post is up and informing you about special events like the Run for the Park 5K. Run for the Park is part of the annual Summer Shade Festival in Atlanta’s Grant Park. Design Credit: Atlanta Artist Jeremy Ray
Last year we talked about the Allatoona Creek Trail Race, H9 Ultra and several of these same events. You can read about ‘em if you wish in our August 2022 post. We’re not just about Atlanta, cause once again we’ve managed to find interesting running events in 34 different Georgia communities for our 2023 Georgia Running Events Calendar.
Each month we feature running events of varying distances and difficulties under headings of A Running in Atlanta, B Best Race in Georgia, C something to Complete your options, plus a race we just deem D as in Difficult: like this month’s Paynes Creek Trail Race. This month we’ve added a Double D for those looking for something a little bit more…
This is a Blog about running in Georgia. And this Post is about Best Georgia Running Events August 2023.
- A (Atlanta) —Decatur 4 Miler
Rating: Fast Company 4m
- B (Best) — The Vinings Down Hill 5K
Rating: Rotary Special 5k
- C (Complete) Area 13.1 Half Marathon in Roswell
Rating: Night Race 13.1 10k. 5k
- D (Difficult) —Paynes Creek Trail Race near Hartwell
Rating: Trail Run 15k 5k ish
A (Atlanta) — The Decatur 4 Miler
I Searched Google for the Decatur 4 Miler and got 187,000 Results!!! The first 10 listings were Run Guides, ATC post from 2013, ATC post from 2021, Race Entry, Haku Sorts, Road Runners Club, Running in the USA, Get Run, Race Tread, Strava, 20 others, our American Runner Blog.com 2022 Georgia Race Calendar and our Best Georgia Running Events Calendar 2023.
That said, I highly recommend you go the Atlanta Track Club website and scroll down on the Events Tab so you avoid getting some Top of the Page 10 year old information.
Like the Peachtree Road Race in July, the Decatur 4-Miler is another running event by the Atlanta Track Club. And it’s Big. Not Huge: Big. We found the 2022 results online and marveled at how many age groups had 40-50-60 participants.
My friend Colin competes in this series and it’s FAST. George won it last year with a time of 20:54, and he had lots of company from other Atlanta Track Club runners putting up 5+minute mile times. Virnaliz came in at 25, Emily at 26, and in my (new) septuagenarian age group Steven bested 6 others with a 37:46 run!
This is another event in the Track Club’s Grand Prix Series, and it’s Free to members. Not a member? You can join today and then you too can run the Decatur 4 Miler for FREE. Photo Credit: Atlanta Track Club Dan McCauley
Don’t miss out on using your hometown advantage: You slept in your own bed. You ate your own food. And you know the course! We found this map on the Decatur 4 Miler event page.
Where to Park: The Decatur 4 Miler info page notes that Paid parking is available in the public parking decks and that the one at the County Courthouse along W. Trinity Place is the closest.
The Atlanta Track Club encourages you to carpool or utilize MARTA. The Event address is Decatur High School at 310 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA 30030, and the closest train stations are the Decatur station (closest) or the East Lake Station.
Where to stay: Where to stay? The race starts and finishes at Decatur High School. Last year a website we’ve never heard of called Hotels4Teams showed us 3 options within walking distance of the school including a 3-Star Courtyard with Egyptian cotton sheets!
What to do: Explore Georgia notes that Decatur has something like 200 restaurants, boutiques, galleries, salons and services, so you aren’t going to have any problem finding a place to hang out after the race. I ride my bike thru this area, and I can tell you that people really turn out for the local eateries and taverns.
Registration costs always go up as you get closer to the event. So be sure to check out our 2023 Georgia Race Calendar for the Best Georgia Running Events and plan ahead.
B (Best) — Best Race in Georgia: The Vinings Down Hill 5K
The Vinings Down Hill 5K claims to be the Fastest 5k in Atlanta. Photo Credit: Event Website
I have absolutely no idea of why we picked this as the Best Race in Georgia…cept when you see alerts on an event website letting you know that they’ll be some 2,000 runners… well you know this little Saturday morning 5k race is special.
Take a look at those Vining Down Hill 5K videos on You Tube and you just smell: Money. They got Presenting Sponsors, Legacy Sponsors, Platinum Sponsors, Marquis Sponsors, and even Gold Sponsors. I mean I once worked for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and I know who Harry Norman Realty is…. So if you’re looking for a nice little cottage near the Governor’s Mansion on West Paces…
You can tell from all those West Stride runners in that event photo that this ain’t another ATC event. The Vinings Down Hill 5K is sponsored by the good folks at the local Cumberland Rotary Club. And last year they donated over $100,000 to charities like the Calvary Children’s Home, Good Samaritan Health Center and a host of others.
Course description: you start at the top of Mt. Wilkinson, wind around the Cumberland Mall area, and end at the Lovett School (280-foot net drop).
My old boss Mike Bowen used to say “The Large Print Giveth. The Fine Print Taketh Away.” So sure enough if you read through all that the course description, there’s a little line that lets you know IT AIN’T ALL DOWN HILL.
You can run it. You can walk it. You can bring the kids out for a 1K Fun Run.
They even got a Doggie Dash that’ll earn you a Vinings Down Hill 5K Tee Shirt plus a Race Bandana for Woofie. Just be warned: No dogs on the shuttle buses.
Ethan won it last year in 15 minutes and change, which is another reason why I try to avoid running 5k’s. Hell, there were a pair of 70 year olds battling it out with 29 minute finishing times… this must be a Fun Race.
Where to Park: They got parking for the Vinings Down Hill 5K. They’ve got parking for the 1K Kids Run. They got buses taking you to and from the parking decks at the Overlook 1 and 111 Buildings over to The Vinings Jubilee, the party site and Lovett School, the finish line. Just not sure how you and Woofie get to the Start Line.
Where to stay: In your Frat Brother’s Guest House. Seriously, you live here if you’re running this race. But here’s a link to Explore Georgia for a Hotel Indigo plus a Trip Advisor link to Spas, Taverns, Restaurants with mostly 4-Star $$-$$$ ratings.
C (Complete) —The Area 13.1 Half Marathon in Roswell
C Completes our 2023 Georgia Run Calendar for folks who want to do something more, well interesting… like the Alien Half.
The Area 13.1 (Alien Half) is a nighttime Half Marathon that runs along the Chattahoochee River in Roswell. Photo Credit: Junction 311 Endurance Sports
If you missed the Yeti Nightmare back in March, this is your next best chance to try out that new headlamp you got for Christmas. Known locally as the Alien Half, the Area 13.1 Half Marathon promoters promise you an Out of this World Experience as you fly to the finish line surrounded by folks glowing in the dark.
The Area 13.1 Half Marathon course is Flat and Fast. I’ve kayaked and rafted this portion of the Chattahoochee River in Roswell many times. It’s Flat. And last year I ran it. Even won my Age Group! It was SERIOUSLY COOL.
The Half Marathon starts at 7PM when it’s still light outside. You run along a paved course that takes you away from the Park onto a gravel dust trail that parallels the Chattahoochee River and brings you back to where you started. Leaving the Park again you’ll run run run like forever before you turn on that headlamp and start glowing in the dark along a gang plank a few feet above the River.
Another way of saying this is that you’ll be running part of this race in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Somewhere between miles 3 and 4 you’ll turn around and run back to the Park. Then you’ll continue your run on Azalea Road before turning back on a miles long walkway along the River….in the Dark…as in Really Really Dark.
Headlamps are recommended assuming you’ll need more than an hour and a half to run a half marathon and are fearful of things that crawl on the ground at night near the river.
I didn’t see anybody handing out glow in the dark bracelets last year, but that image of hundreds of headlamps glowing in the woods will stay with me forever.
Me, I reminded Beverly that new race light I wanted was a fraction of the cost of my last trip to ER. You really want (need) a light for the last half of this race.
The Finish was cool: You run thru the dark right up to the event stage on your way to the Finish Line, get your medal, grab a drink, and sit down on the grass to enjoy the show.
Lots going on at this event: There’s a Area 13.1 Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, and a Kids Dash as well as a Live Band, DJ, Food Trucks, Vendors, Crazy Awards Guy, and Gate City Brewing.
There’s a Free Beer if you make it back to the finish line and can prove you’re really over 21. Generally I avoid beverages like this after a race, but their Citrus Ale was nice.
Lots of sponsors for this race, so be sure to ask for the Discount if you need a new roof or physical therapy!
Need to know: Early Packet Pick-up is mandatory, but if you live outside the Roswell area you can contact the event organizers like Beverly and I did last year and make arrangements…
Roswell’s Riverside Park is located at 575 Riverside Rd, Roswell GA 30075. Parking at the Event site is limited, but there are lots of other options within walking distance. My advice is to get there early, set up the folding chairs, and just hang out in the shade.
Where to Stay: Your cousin’s house in Roswell or look it up on Trip Advisor.
But be warned: Trip Advisor can’t find Roswell, Georgia. Asked for it and I got Roswell, New Mexico with a big green alien lighting up my screen. I thought it was funny the first time, so I tried it again, and again, and I finally called that Contact Number for Trip Advisor. Maybe I got some AI Chat bot, but it was dumb as a rock and unable to understand that THEY HAD A PROBLEM.
So here’s a link to Explore Georgia instead.
D (Difficult) — Paynes Creek Trail Race
The Paynes Creek Trail Race is another trail running event from the folks at Dirty Spokes, and it’s part of the Black Widow Trail Run Series. If you read our July Post, we noted they have a series of trail races that run from July thru December.
The course description for the Paynes Creek Trail Race invites you to “Ditch the City” and join them on a great run along a series of well-groomed single and double back trails. Read along and you’ll take note of phrases like gentle slopes, minimal rocks, and beautiful scenery.
This ain’t the H9 Dragon. You’re probably going to enjoy this race and nobody’s going to die. So grab your ‘I’ve always wanted to do a trail run friends’ and SIGN UP.
Paynes Creek Trail Race Photo Credit: Dirty Spokes
The Paynes Creek Trail Race has two options: The 9.65 mile course is essentially a 15k run, and the shorter 3.2 mile run a 5k. I prefer the 15k distance because it’s long enough to justify the drive, and I just like being out in the woods.
Need to know: Paynes Creek Campground is a county owned facility in Hart County with 399 acres bordering Lake Hartwell. Existing facilities include 44 public use camp sites with full water and electric hookups, 3 comfort stations (2 with showers), playgrounds, designated swim areas/ beaches, nine mile multi-purpose trail, and parking areas throughout.
Where to Stay: You don’t have to camp in the Park, but I like being near the event site. Explore Georgia says You got Farm Stays, B&B’s, Cabins, Resorts, Campgrounds, a Hampton Inn and the Hartwell Suites!
Hartwell’s got more choices to eat than the DQ and Tasty Freeze options we had when I lived in Forsyth. They’ve got a mix of coffee shops and restaurants that range from Little Japan to the Farmer’s Daughter!
Where’s Hartwell? Hartwell is a small Georgia town in the NE corner of the State. Lake Hartwell is the border of Georgia and South Carolina It’s a Big lake with 962 miles of shoreline. Rhode Island is 1500 Sq miles. Lake Hartwell is 56,000 acres.
How to get there: From Atlanta you’re about a 2 hour drive… most of it on I-85
Be careful when you go Searching for directions cause there’s a Hartwell, SOUTH CAROLINA too, and a Paynes Creek State Park in FLORIDA….and a Paynes Creek Trail in COLORADO!
How to Train: I once met Kenyan runner Henry Rono who told me “hills make you stronger.” He wrote a book called Olympic Dreams. It’s a good read. My advice is to look around, find some hills, and practice running up and down….
Gear Tip: From the course description on the website I don’t think you’ll need to go looking into a new pair of trail running shoes. But here are a couple of Made in USA options. Carson Footwear makes trail running shoes. Hersey has added a trail shoe to their line of custom made shoes. SoftStar makes a minimal zero drop shoe. SOM has a new Trailhead shoe. Keen makes hiking boots. Earth Runners, Luna and possibly others make sandals you can run in.
Double D (Difficult) — The Battle of Resaca
I really thought hard about making the 6 Hour Battle of Resaca our D for Difficult offering for August. Jest couldn’t make myself pull the trigger on an event hosted by Will and Amanda on a Face Book page. But I like this event.
You register. You show up. You provision yourself. You lap the course. And the runner with the most laps after 6 hours wins.
Hell, I’ve done 6 hour marathons before, so I know what 6 hours feels like!
Battle of Resaca Civil War Reenactment Photo Credit: Chattanooga Time Free-Press
The legendary American marathoner Bill Rogers once looked over from that tent they put up near the Finish Line for the elite athletes and realized there were still runners out there on the course hours after he had finished, and in amazement he asked…’How do they do it?’
How bout you….You ready?
E (Extra) — Races just across the Line
This is a new entry for 2023 that we will try and give some attention best we can.
We focus on running in Georgia, but I worked in advertising and one of the Facts about buying ads in this State is that half your money goes somewhere else. Run ads in Savannah or Augusta and you’re getting South Carolina, Columbus gets you into Alabama, and the big TV station in Thomasville is part of the Tallahassee market. Same principle also applies in reverse to Greenville, Chattanooga, and Jacksonville.
We went surfing online to see what we could find. So here’s a couple of drivable events if you are looking to do a longer distance and not that interested in running something just south of the Canadian border.
Blister in the Sun Marathon This marathon is in Cookville, TN. A Y from Sunny SW Florida writes in addition to the heat and all, there are hills! Seriously, there is not a whole lot of flat; you’re either up or down. And I am a flatlander these days, so by the 5th time ’round, they were the Rockies. So much fun, really: I was smiling through it all.
The Blue Grass Reaper Challenge is a twist on the backyard Ultra. This last man standing event in Berea, Kentucky is at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains some 5+ Hours from Atlanta…you practically in Cincinnati.
Falls Creek Half Marathon. Falls Creek is just north of Chattanooga some 2 hours 45 minutes from Atlanta. The Race Location is at the Fall Creek Falls State Park, in Pikeville, TN. The website notes that this is rural area but well worth the trip!
Asheville Half Marathon. Most of the races we found within driving distance in August were in West Virginia. Asheville is very drivable from the top half of the state and is a little over 3 hours from Atlanta.
Best Georgia Running Events August 2023 include the Callaway Gardens Olympic Triathlon
Photo: Calloway Gardens Beach
SWIM BIKE RUN With the weather getting warmer, some of you may be wondering about a little swim-bike-run in the sun. The Olympic Distance race at Callaway Gardens was laid back and fun when I did it. I couldn’t find my Results from 2009, but I remember I came in first in my Age Group on the run and Dead Last in Transition. The Fun Part: you can hang out on the beach after the race was over.
In The News
I took this photo back in October. I was so stunned I was speechless. I’d run in Wright Socks for 15+ years and as you can see in the photo: the no show socks I’d just gone for a run in were half on and half off…
Wall Street Journal Style & Fashion May 6,2023 Writer: John Ortved
These No-Show socks also caught the attention of Style and Fashion Writer John Ortved, whose May 6 article in the Wall Street Journal noted ‘Invisible, ankle-baring men’s socks come into their own in summer. They’re often infuriating to wear….’
His focus was on dress socks, not athletic, but the issue appears to be the same.
“I’ve uttered the F-word, cursing out no-show-but-lots-of-slip socks that proved less reliable than the F train. Sturdier designs, meanwhile, have seen me through wedding dances, soccer games with nephews and arduous boxing classes.” You can use this link if you’d like to read more.
Runners’ Gear: Click on our Gear Page for the Big List of Made in USA products
Headbands and Sweatbands for Runners Made in USA
I ran the ING Atlanta Marathon in 2007. It had warmed up that day, and I was so blinded by sweat that I could hardly keep going. A kind lady handing out ice cubes in Piedmont Park kept me (and others) in the race. Next week I bought my first Halo Race Visor.
We did a Search for Runners Headbands Made in USA. Listed below are the brands that make headbands and sweatbands for runners and other athletic activities. We’ll note Skida, Blackstrap, Finish it Gear, and others later in the year when we talk again about Running Gear for Colder weather.
Amazon presented us with a selection of Sleef Brand Headbands Made in USA. And maybe it is. But I don’t trust Amazon, so I did a little research and the Sleef website doesn’t say anything about their products being Made in USA.
Aerotech Designs is a cycle wear company, and they’re offering a Tie Sweat Band in lots of Colors that will keep the sweat out of your face. Why? “My training partner and I simply got tired of stinging, burning sweat dripping into our eyes and on our glasses while we were training, racing and working out.”
Bondiband claims to be the original no drip, no slip performance wicking headband. Bondiband uses stretchy, breathable material that allows their headbands to fit virtually every head size and shape. They can be worn indoors, in warm weather, or outdoors in colder weather. Some runners use them to keep ears warm or hair back.
Halo Headband is a high quality sweatband manufacturer located in San Diego, California. Since 2001, Halo Headband has been producing hand-crafted, high performance headwear using the best fabrics and sewing. Halo’s technologically advanced sweatbands feature their patented sweatseal which redirects sweat away from your eyes and off your glasses. To the best of my knowledge, their products are Made in USA except the Halo Sports Visor.
Junk. I’ve never heard of Junk, but according to their website: They are the Number one running headband. Junk has thousands of designs…. everything from your college alma mater to Marvel. Junk Headbands keep the sweat out of your eyes and stays in place, so there’s one less thing to worry about while performing your best in the sun. They are Non-Slip, sweat-wicking, lightweight and comfortable.
ETSY claims to the place for Hand Made, Unique, and Custom, so we went shopping for folks who were actually making them and not just hawking stuff Made in China. HomeMadebyBB has a review from Amber who ran a Half Marathon in one of hers and another reviewer who jumped in a pool to see if it would stay on. BB’s got a Bible Verse from Hebrews encouraging you to Run with Endurance, but she does custom stuff as well.. And Manelablehairco got some headbands too…
We found Sweathawg on Bing. SweatHawg Headbands keep sweat from burning eyes and smearing glasses. A single layer of ultra absorbent brow material is wrapped in an ultra wicking hygienic bamboo fabric. Together these engineered fabrics absorb, disperse, and evaporate to stop dripping perspiration. Evaporation cools. Hot sweaty people love that!
We know Thorlos as a sock company, but here they are with a Performance Wrap Running Headband sold in a convenient (2 Pack).The Experia Wrap Headband is designed with stretch fabric that offers a comfort fit to keep hair and sweat away from your face and forehead for a comfortable workout. The Experia Headband includes a reflective logo for visibility.
TrailHeads was established in 2002 by Ed and Stephanie Raftery and based in Kent, CT. TrailHeads is dedicated to designing innovative headbands, gloves, hats and related accessories that deliver performance, comfort and exceptional quality. Same old BS…We started…we grew… We added production capabilities overseas, while continuing to work with the same factory in Fall River.
Race Hat: All of the fabric is quick drying and moisture wicking and an internal sweatband provides additional wicking performance, pulling sweat away from your brow.
Veostrip is a Sweat Diverting Strip. Top professionals and amateur athletes around the country and the world are using Veo to keep sweat out of their eyes during training and competition. Most of their Veo Athletes we saw were cyclists and triathletes like Matt Fitzgerald, Dan Martin, Jana Richtrova.
Ultra Tie Headbands are Made In USA, and their selection of styles is impressive. They feature an elastic tie and are Machine Washable, Quick Drying, Moisture Wicking with 4-Way Stretch and a Never Fade Print. You’ll find this product on websites like Ultra Sportswear, Tribe Lacrosse and others, but are the legit? Don’t know? But BBB has some complaints.
Follow us on FaceBook and Instagram. We generally post 1-2 times each week. First of each month we’ll encourage you to take a look at our latest post. Other times we’ll make note of an upcoming event, training tip, video, or FYI.
Back in December we put together a Big List of Made in USA Runner Gear including shoes, socks, shorts, singlets and shirts, caps, visors, running skirts and running bras on our Gear Page.
Got a favorite Made in USA product that you don’t see on this list? Shoot us an email or a link and we’ll look into it. Our address is email@example.com
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