Atlanta Peachtree Road Race Pledge 2022
We picked Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race as the Best Race in Georgia. Photo Credit joaquinlara

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We’ll let you know our new post is up… and inform you about special events like the Walk the Line 5K in McCaysville on the Georgia Tennessee border. You probably remember this area from the kayaking events during the 96 Atlanta Olympic Games. But in this race, you’ll be lining up at night and running across that bridge into Copperhill, Tennessee before heading back for some post race fun!

Last year we talked about the Big Dog Heat Wave 5M in Columbus and a number of other events. You can read about ‘em if you wish in our July 2023 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 2024 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 Red Top Roaster Trail Race..

This month we couldn’t find a DD, so we dropped in something that just seemed interesting … 

This is a Blog about running in Georgia. And this Post is about Best Georgia Running Events July 2024.

A (Atlanta) — Great Bend in the Hooch Trail Run

Chattahoochee Bend State Park.

The Great Bend in the Hooch Trail Run takes place at the Chattahoochee Bend State Park.

The state park movement grew out of President Theodore (Teddy) Rosevelt’s National Park System. The land for the Great Bend on the Hooch State Park was once owned by timber companies that had planted hundreds of acres of pines on the property.

In the late 1990’s, a concerted effort by concerned citizens in Coweta County and their elected officials provided funds for the acquisition and development of this property. Today, they’re inviting you to drive over and check out one of Georgia’s newest state parks: the 2,910 acre Great Bend in the Hooch.

The geography of the Southern Singletrack Series begins just over an hour south of Atlanta and extends into east Alabama. The organizers use these events to promote trail running and to introduce participants to the beauty of our local state park trails.

The Series is a collection of 6 trail races designed to challenge and thrill runners on awesome singletrack trails:

FEB     The West Point Break

MAR   The Widow Maker and Whiskey Still 5K

APR    Bucky’s Boot Top Prohibition Run

JUL     Great Bend in the Hooch

SEP     Chewacla Cha Cha

DEC    Holiday Hootie Hoo

One of the things that I like about this event is the option for longer and shorter runs.

The 12-mile Great Bend in the Hooch event is a loop race starting at the boat ramp on the west side of the Chattahoochee Bend State Park along the rolling hills of the 5 mile Wild Turkey trail. The run continues up to Trailhead 1 and then down the Access Road leading you to the flat and fast 5 miles on the Riverside Trail back to the Finish! 

The 5-mile Great Bend in the Hooch option heads east on the rolling hills of the Wild Turkey Trail up to Trailhead 2, down to the Tower Trail near the Observation Tower, and back to the finish line!


Both options of this race promise an epic mix of rolling, non-technical yet super-fast singletrack trails along the Wild Turkey Trail and end on the flat and fast Riverside Trail. 

Chattahoochee Bend State Park trail photo credit Claires2525

The organizers suggest you ease up on your pace and take in the beauty of the trails and the wildlife along the low-lying waterways.

I can’t do that. I’m in it to win it. But you really should consider rounding up family and friends and checking out one of the newest state parks in Georgia. It’s big, with miles of trails, shoals, rapids, and some five miles of river frontage.  

Photo Credit Claires2525 

Newnan is 39 miles from Atlanta , 72 from Columbus on 1-85. Drive around this area, you just might think about living here. Known as the City of Homes, Coweta County boasts six National Register Historic Districts with some of Georgia’s most beautiful homes.

Weather: You’re running at 8 o’clock in the morning. I know its July, but you’re going to be alright. Just remember to bring your water bottle!

Need to Know: Bring some cash. Georgia State Parks have a $5 entry fee. Carpool if you can.   

The Chattahoochee Bend State Park has 3 Cottages (they are currently building more), 37 Tent, Trailer & RV Campsites, 12 Tent Walk-In Campsites, 8 Platform Campsites, and 8 Backcountry/Paddle-In Campsites. Explore Georgia says you have RV options and 14 motels in and around Newnan

What to do: personally, I’d check out Mainstreet Newnan and drive thru some of the beautiful historic areas. 

Looking for somebody to run with? Look for Dragonfly Running Company down on LaGrange Street. 

Registration costs always go up as you get closer to the event. So be sure to check out our new 2024 Georgia Race Calendar for the Best Georgia Running Events and plan ahead. Please send us an email and let us know if there is an interesting event we should be aware of..

B (Best) — Best Race in Georgia is Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race

Atlanta Peachtree 2016 Credit Steve Eberhardt
Atlanta Peachtree Road Race 2016 Photo Credit Steve Eberhardt.

The Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta is the World’s Largest 10K. But it wasn’t that big 54 years ago when 110 runners showed up that July 4th morning in 1970. That’s right, no need to register. Tim said to just show up. 

Tim Singleton was the main race director for the new Atlanta Track Club, and with a little help from his friend Jeff Galloway and the good folks at the Carling Brewery who paid for the winner’s trophy: the first Peachtree Road Race was on! 

Jeff Galloway won the first Peachtree Road Race back in 1970. You can check out some of his Peachtree Road Race memorabilia at his Phidippides Running Store in Ansley Mall. Read More.

They’ve learned a few things over the years. Like that 10 o’clock start time was a bad idea. Kinda warm this time of year. But the Tee shirt they announced for the race in 1971: now that was a great idea! You looking for a vintage Peachtree Road Race shirt? Try this link.

Need to Know: The Peachtree Health & Fitness Expo presented by Publix will take place July 2-3 at the Georgia World Congress Center Hall C4. All participants must pick up their number at the expo unless they purchase UPS number mailing. 

Bring your ID. Parking is Expensive!

Unless I’m missing the obvious, there is nothing on the Peachtree Road Race website about how to get to the race! But we found this information on their Hotel Travel page.

1          Book a room in a million dollar a night Hotel across the street from Lenox Square

2          Purchase Premium Start Line Parking 300 meters from the start line!

3          It’s Smarta to ride Marta! 

Last year I decided to take my own advice and do a test run the week before the race. Everything went swimmingly. I purchased a Breeze Card at the MLK train station. Caught the train up to the Lenox Station. Walked up the hill to the Start Line. Ran the course.

Did you know those son-of-a-…. Do not have bathrooms in their train stations!!!

Race day everything went straight to Hell. I walked over to the train station and not a single one of their damn machines would sell me a Breeze Card. I heard the train coming. I crawled under the turnstile and ran up the stairs to catch the train!

Good luck getting any useful information off the Marta website. I asked them re: train stations near Lenox Square and got a Search Results Not Found reply!!!!!

Below from Yelp.

MARTA Red Line will take you to Lenox Station. Walk up the hill to the Corrals

Gold Line will take you to the Buckhead Station just south of the Start Line.

FYI You’re OK either way. 

I’ve now run the Peachtree Road Race on (3) occasions.

In 2012? I started at the back of Coral A. I was a marathoner. I got in on my Atlanta Marathon time. There was road construction at Piedmont and Peachtree. It took 10 minutes and 30 seconds to get past this obstacle. After that the pace flew down to Piedmont Park.

In 2020 I signed up cause I was jealous of all those folks in the choir at church who would show up the Wednesday night after the race in their Peachtree Road Race tee-shirts. They took our registration money. Cancelled the race. Mailed us a tee shirt. Instructed us to run it virtually. I did but didn’t take it seriously. Discovered later I would have been Top 10 in my Age Group.

2023 I signed up because Ruth and Chris were running it. A month or so before the race I checked the Peachtree Road Race 2022’s finishing results and realized I had a shot at the age group awards. I came in 2nd!

Here’s what I’ve learned. Take it easy the first two miles. Do not let that gentle downhill suck you forward into running hard. And look out for the walkers.

At mile three you are going up. Keep your pace steady, reduce the length of your stride, and float up the hill. It’s not really one hill. It’s three hills over a one mile incline.

Once you top the third incline at Pershing Point, walk a few paces if you need to, then go with the flow to the finish line. And look out for the walkers.

How to Train:  You live here? Do a test run. Buy a Breeze card. Figure out how to use it. Catch the train over to the Lenox Square or Buckhead stations. Jog the course.

Gear Tip: Assume that it will be warm. I’’m packing a visor and some sunglasses.

Where to stay: Across the street in one of those $$$ hotels next to Lenox Square.

What to do: Make a plan re: what to do after you finish the race. Where to meet. How to get back to your car…to your hotel room…to the airport etc. I carry a phone. Solves a lot of problems. Called WIFE 911. She came and picked me up.…. 

C (Complete) —The Savannah Sultry Swamp Run

C  Completes our 2024 Georgia Run Calendar for folks who want to do something more, well interesting… like Savannah Sultry Swamp Run.

The Savannah Sultry Swamp Run is Hot! 

If you read our post back in March 2024, we talked about the 3 Bridge Run in the Augusta Canal District. In the era before the arrival of the railroads, Savannah, Augusta, and possibly other Georgia communities built these canals as a way to transport bulk items to market.

The Georgia Historical Society Year erected a marker back in 2003. Here’s what it says: “Chartered in 1842, the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal was constructed between 1826 and 1830 by African and Irish laborers who moved thousands of cubic yards of earth.

“A boon to Georgia’s economy, the canal moved cotton, rice, bricks, and natural fertilizer. The lumber industry revived canal usage following a Civil War-era lull, but a yellow fever epidemic, blamed on the canal, caused a further decline. The canal closed in the early 1890s as the Central of Georgia Railroad served transportation needs.

“Beginning at the Savannah River, the canal comprises six locks and 16.5 miles, ending at the Ogeechee River.”

The Savannah Sultry Swamp Run in July is another event by The Rough Runners in Savannah. Take a look at their website and you’ll see some of the most interesting events in the State (and just across the line) like the Daufuskie Island Marathon in January, the Stone Stairs of Death (cancelled) Did somebody die?, and the 155 mile Coastal Georgia Greenway Ultra in October.

The development of a new arena and the surrounding canal district is one of the largest projects undertaken by the City of Savannah according to a notice on SavannahGaGov.

I love the beauty of the canal district trails, but building an arena for an ice hockey team here kinda blows my mind.

Here’s a link to the Canal District site, assuming the “suits” don’t “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.”

I love this event. I ran well. Finished. Sat down in a chair and didn’t move for an hour! “The Savannah Sultry Swamp Run is exactly what you would expect on coastal Georgia at the end of July, -sultry! The air is so thick with moisture you can cut it with a knife and wear it like a shawl, a long heavy, soggy shawl.”

Another thing that I like about the Savannah Sultry Swamp Run is the option to run:

1 loop              5K                   Your chance to try out a unique trail run

2 looks            10K                 To Hell with Peachtree. This is real

4 loops            20K                 This is so cool, I mean Hot!

Same price. Run the 20K and get more bang for your buck!

Gear Tip: You notice the Howe2Run singlets in the photo. They’re one of the Top 50 Running Shoe Stores in America! You might want to stop by and pick up a good pair of running shoes. 

How to Train: Shift that early morning run to a warmer time of day. Learn to pace yourself when it’s hot. Take advantage of the shaded parts of the course to refresh. Seriously, slow down if you need to and don’t blow up.

Where to stay: We did a google search for the Canal District’s address: Motel close to 681 Fort Argyle Rd, Savannah, GA 31419 and got listings for the Red Roof Inn, Country Inn & Suites, and the Quality Inn Savannah for $59 to $74 a night. I’ve stayed at the Quality Inn near the Mall. If it’s not raining, the cable-tv works just fine!

This area is re-developing. Expect more options and Higher Prices in the future.

Check the links below if you’re looking for something with a chocolate mint on your pillow over in the River Street area. Visit Savannah, River Street, Explore Georgia, Trip Advisor.

What to do: Are you serious? This is Savannah!

D (Difficult) — The Red Top Roaster

BEST Georgia Running Events July 2024 include the Red Top Roaster. We pulled this screenshot off a video on the website.
BEST Georgia Running Events July 2024 include the Red Top Roaster. We pulled this screenshot off a video on the website.

A picture’s worth a thousand words, so take a look at the video on the website, and you’ll see why this is such a popular event.

Red Top Mountain is about an hour north of Atlanta, an hour and a half from Chattanooga. You see the mountain from 1-75 as you approach the Cartersville exit.

The State has a popular park there that includes hiking trails, picnic areas, cottages, campsites, and a 12,000 acre lake!

Photo Credit @bcahill48.jpg

You thinking about running the Red Top Roaster? You need to sign up now!

There are two reasons why the folks at Dirty Spokes are encouraging you to do this. First there’s the obvious limitation of parking for trail race type events. The second is the organizer’s intent to limit the number of runners to ensure that you have an enjoyable time in the woods.

The Red Top Roaster starts behind the Red Top Mountain State Park Lodge Parking Lot. The course has a little bit of everything: rolling hills, double track, minimal roots and rocks. 

What I like about this event is the option to run a 5K or 15K ish distance. You know, a chance to try out those new trail running shoes you got for Christmas. You’ll be running on the Sweet Gum Trail, Homestead Trail, Campground Trail, Iron Hill Trail and Visitor Center Loop Trail. 

Need to know: I’m constantly amazed at how many running events do not provide you with the address of the start line. We did a Google Search for The Lodge at Red Top Mountain. Here’s the address: 50 Lodge Rd SE, Acworth, GA 30102

Bring some cash. Georgia State Parks have a $5 entry fee. Carpool if you can.

DiPrima has a store in Cartersville in case you showed up and your trail running shoes didn’t.

Where to Stay: The Red Top Mountain Lodge closed in June 2010, but the $$$ Lake Allatoona Inn is just around the corner. You running in the Park? I’d stay in the Park. Red Top Mountain State Park has hundreds of campsites and a dozen or so cottages. Trip Advisor lists the usual interstate exit chain motels, but you’re 5-6 miles away.

What to Do: Trip Advisor wants to send you down the road to Acworth, but I say take a look around Cartersville if you’re looking for something more than another interstate exit type experience.

Cartersville has the Savoy Automobile MuseumThe Booth MuseumTellus Science Museum, Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site, $$$$ Barnsley ResortBartow History Museum and Historic Downtown Cartersville, where you will find coffee shops, tea rooms, cafes, restaurants and shops.

Double D (Difficult) — The Stroller Roll in Austell????? 

The Stroller Roll

I couldn’t find a single running event in the State worthy of a Double D, but the Stroller Roll 5K looked interesting enough to give it a shout out! 

The Viking Half Marathon in Columbus didn’t seem like a remotely credible event. Vikings in Columbus, GA? Seriously. Besides, you’re just running round in circles in some park. But what if you’ve got a screaming baby and you still got 2 more miles to go?

You Ready? Head on over to the Six Flags area in Austell for the Stroller Roll 5K.

I know that there are pretenders, but this is like their 8th year of “Doing the Roll”.

How to Train: Get married. Have a baby. Buy a minivan. Buy a car seat. Buy a stroller. Buy a faster stroller you can run with. Drive over to the Silver Comet Trail and push that little one…FAST FAST FASTER.

Additional race information can be found at http://www.itstartswithme2.org.

E (Extra) — Races just across the Line

The marathon season moves north each month, which is why you’ll be hard pressed to find any race of any distance this month that’s not hugging the Canadian border. And Yes, the San Francisco Marathon is July 28, but as Mark Twain once observed: The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco!

Juneau Marathon in Alaska

You looking for a cool run in July, the Juneau Marathon is the right race for you…  

Juneau Marathon Last month we talked about the Pirate Half Marathon down in Mobile and a couple of other driveable? events. But if it’s going to take you 5-6-7-8 hours to get there, why not just call Delta…or in this case Alaska Airlines cause you is 3,745 miles from Atlanta.

J. A. from Yardley, PA Gave it a 5 Star and said “Fantastic Alaskan Marathon Scenery

“From the cruise ships in Gastineau Channel, to the mountains on both sides, to friendly organizers and aid station volunteers, this small town marathon was a beautiful way to see Douglas Island / Juneau, Alaska for an ‘east-coaster’ like me.”

In The News

I briefly worked for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. 

I still remember sitting in the conference room listening as our bosses’ boss proudly announced that we had just hit (almost) 800,000 circulation the previous Sunday!

In 1976, the Atlanta Journal Constitution was a statewide media.

READY FOR RACE DAY was a big 24 page insert in the Sunday paper.

Sunday  May 26, 2024            Atlanta Journal Constitution   Health & Wellness

In this Sunday insert you’ll see articles like: “It’s never a sprint to a marathon.”

Or product mentions “Gear up to be on the move” I say Smartwool is a dumb item to wear in a July running event in Atlanta. Bucket up to carry personal items. Great idea unless it wiggles loose and trips you. Lightweight trekking poles… for the Peachtree Road Race. Seriously?

This is an example of what’s happening in the newspaper industry. A few of these articles are penned by writers who work for the AJC. The rest are syndicated pieces picked up from Blue State favorites like the New York Times and The Washington Post.

But some of the articles are interesting, like how to run Peachtree with your kids…

Use this link if you’d like to read more. 

We checked a number of race calendars, and we found July 4th running events all over the State.

Yankee Doodle Dash 5K/10K, Augusta, Peachtree Road Race 10K, Atlanta, Run White & Blue 5K/10K, Alpharetta, Blue Ridge Freedom 5K, Blue Ridge, Great American 5K, Dacula, Firecracker 5K and Fun Run, Dahlonega, Run for Glory 5K, Demorest, Freedom of Religion 5K, Marietta, Independence Day Festival 5K/10K, Saint Marys, Sunshine Festival of Races, St. Simons Island, Valdosta 5k, no 2024 date, Vogel State Park 5k, no 2024 date, Woodstock Freedom Run 5K/1M, Woodstock.

You Ready to run in some Red White & Blue? Why not run in some Made in USA. Hello Peachtree!

BOA You ready for Independence Day? Your friends at BOA like to be the life of the party. BOA’s got you covered with everything from that USA singlet you’ve always wanted, to USA elite split shorts, printed fit running pants, stretch trainers, to their Red White and Blue Women’s Performance Sports Bra. FYI the Elite Running Shorts are short!

We’ve just updated our Big listing Made in USA running gear on our Gear Page.

BOATHOUSE Our yachtie friends make some seriously nice Trous that you can ride, row, or run in. Search for Stars and Stripes when you check out this Made in USA collection of shorts, unisuits, Team USA Tees and swimwear.

SOARK American Made Running Clothes – Since 1986. I have a number of Soark products, and they make exactly what they claim: quality affordable running clothes. Check out this old school website and you’ll see flag theme supples and microfiber running shorts, stars and stripes singlets for warmer weather, and tights for cooler weather.  

Soffe The Soffe Freedom Running Shorts are the updated version of the iconic Ranger Panty. They are cut like Soffe’s authentic Silkie, with an elastic waistband, pocket for keys or card, and the American flag print with stars to the left of each side. These ranger panties have a 2.5-inch inseam length and are proudly Made in the USA. FYI other Soffe products are not Made in USA

ULTRAS SPORTSWEAR Ultras is now a proud USA manufacturer of custom sublimated print, cut and sewn athletic wear made in Lomita, CA USA. Search this website for running and you get 8,918 results. Ultras has running hats, performance shirts, shorts, singlets, and tees. Photo 1936 USA Singlet like the one worn by Jessie Owens on the US Olympic Team. Want to look like a Dalmation? They got that too!

LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE Here’s a partial list of companies who post patriotic flag theme items online that are NOT MADE IN USA: Amazon, Born Primitive, Chicken Legs, ETSY most of their stuff is Made in China…in a factory, Flag Shirt, Gone for a Run, Ranger Joe’s, Red Shirt, And you too: Runners World

We note a number of Made in USA options at the end of each post and we’ve just compile these listings onto our Gear Page of Made in USA Running Gear including shoes, socks, shorts, singlets and shirts, caps, visors, running skirts and bras!

Got a favorite Made in USA product that you don’t see on this list, shoot us an email and we’ll look into it. Our address is contactus@americanrunnerblog.com

Follow us on FaceBook and Instagram. We generally post 2-3 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.  

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