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Last year we talked about running, well, the same four events if you can believe it. You can read about ‘em if you wish in our June 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 Rabun Half Marathon Trail Run. This year we’ve added an E for Extra with race(s) just across the State Line.
This is a Blog about running in Georgia. And this Post is about Best Georgia Running Events June 2023.
- A (Atlanta) —Possum Trot 10k
Rating: Family Favorite 10k 1m
- B (Best) — Hotlanta Half Marathon
Rating: Cool 13.1k Relay 5k
- C (Complete) Papa’s Peach Classic 5k
Rating: Sweet 5k 1m
- D (Difficult) — Rabun Half Marathon Trail Run
Rating: Beautiful 11.5
A (Atlanta) — Possum Trot 10k in Roswell
Our Top Pick for Running in Atlanta is a short drive up GA 400 to Roswell. The Chattahoochee Nature Center is a family favorite for folks living on the north side of Atlanta, and the Possum Trout 10k is now in its 45th year for a reason: people like it.
Last year I honestly thought this was a trail run, but the photos I found on the website show runners lining up on the asphalt on a street next to the Chattahoochee River. Yahoo Sports picked up a story from the Marietta Daily Journal that’ll give you a little more information about this event…just note the dating is for last year’s race.
The website notes the Possum Trot 10k is a Peachtree Road Race Qualifier. Seriously, run a 10k race and make a few notes of what you need to do to get ready for July 4th. That’s what I did at Madison in May and a bunch more of you at the Memorial Day Race in Marietta.
Race Mob says it’s flat and fast. Nathan from Atlanta won it last year in 35 minutes and change, and Jessica from Peachtree City ran it at a 6:19 mile pace. That is Fast.
First old guy in my age group was listed as an Anonymous Participant. But his 8:16 pace ain’t exactly shabby. Most folks needed more than an hour. Still that’s an impressive finishing time assuming they were herding a bunch of preschoolers. And don’t forget about the 1 mile Fun Run option if that’s what you need.
If you’re looking for a family activity near Atlanta: This is it. And like Papa’s Peach Classic 5k down near Macon, there’s a big treat at the end. In addition to a free race photo, the Nature Center’s entire 127-acre site will be open for you to explore from the Wildlife Walk to the new River Boardwalk Trail.
Where to Park: Get there early and parking is free at the Nature Center’s lot. Ride with me and we’ll be leaving the car at the St. Francis Day School on Willeo Road and hoofing it the 1-mile to the Start Line.
Lots of sponsors of the Possum Trot 10k event including Northside Hospital, Big Peach, Rotary, GoGo and Pit Stop which I found kind of funny.
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: Hotlanta Half Marathon
Last year I wrote: The Hotlanta Half Marathon is Back and even better with a 13.1, 5k, and a new 2-person relay!
The Peachtree Road Race is fun, but this is the race you really want to r-u-n. Big enough to be big. Small enough to be fast.
Hotlanta Half Marathon Runners. Photo Credit SIM Photography
William beat Brenda by a time of 10 seconds. Oh wait, that’s Brendan as in Capital M. OK, the boys were fast. Real Fast. But Oliva cracked the Top 20 with a 7:16 mile pace followed by Alissa, Hali, and Abby minutes later.
It was close at the front, but it was almost a photo finish at the end as Sue narrowly edged out Teressa, Charlene, Linda, Cindi, Megan, Amy, Mary, Pam and Keneesha for the privilege of finishing LAST. Been there: San Francisco 2005. But Finish you did and congratulations to YOU.
Check out the details, you’ll see that Peak Racing has put together one great event.
There are ICONs for Event Details, Race Day info as in Where to Park, FAQ, Results, Contact, Register, Donate to Camp Dream….
This is a 7AM Start Time. So if you’re fast, you can beat the heat.
Me: I started last and once again found myself listed as an Anonymous Participant. I mean I’m a little ashamed of my 2:10 finishing time. But it’s my own damn fault for laying down on that last hill after a pretty good run…it was warming up…everybody was walking… and mentally I just… added minutes to my finishing time.
Don’t do this. Mentally you’ve got to talk yourself in…
How to train: Just get comfortable running hills.
What to do? Ride that giant Ferris Wheel, let your kids bare footie in the splash pad, watch giant fish at the Georgia Aquarium, spend lots of money at some fancy restaurant, stay in a Five Star hotel…Trip Advisor, Explore Georgia, and Discover Atlanta all say lots to do walking distance to the Park. Plan B stay in a lesser place and ride Marta in on race day.
Where to stay: Anywhere Downtown is good, but the hotels around Centennial Olympic Park are all walking distance to the start line. Grab a room near the Park and you’ll have eating options that run the gauntlet from Waffle House to Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
C (Complete) —Papa’s Peach Classic 5k
C Completes our 2023 Georgia Run Calendar for folks who want to do something more, well interesting… like Papa’s Peach Classic 5k in Musella.
Papa’s Peach Classic 5k down near Macon was on our radar as it was being held on my birthday last year. Nobody packs up the car to drive across the State to run a 5k, but this little 5k’s got the something extra at the end of the race that makes it our choice for something to complete your June race options…
If you’re in Macon, Warner Robins, Griffin or anywhere in Middle Georgia, head out to Dickey Farms in Musella. The Musella Baptist Church is close by if you need a landmark, and you’re probably driving there on Highway 341.
Dickey Farms is located on Musella Road which is the Old Highway 431.
The Macon Tracks Club website describes the event as a 5k with a 1-mile Fun Run.
The course map shows you leaving the Farm and running a down and back. I remember this race cause at the mile 2 marker I passed somebody’s Grandmom pushing a stroller and I was running a pretty good pace. Worst yet at the 3 mile mark I passed a 10 and 12 year old.
Last thing I wanted was a finisher’s pic of me crossing the line with some 3 foot tall kid. So I sprinted the last 100 yards. Besides I was testing out my new pair of SOM Nutrail Shoes, and I ran this race just to show you can run in them. Even won my age group!
But the best thing about this race is what happens after you cross over that Finish Line. You cross the street and head over to the packing shed and treat yourself to some of Dickey Farms Peach Ice Cream!
Funny thing about that store over at the packing shed. They sell fresh peaches there. Victor bought a case, then bought Beverly and I a case for giving him and Mama a ride home. Totally worth it though he talked the whole way back to Macon…
How to Train: Practice keeping a full charge on that cell phone and making sure your GPS can find Musella. If it can’t, ask for Dickey Farms. They’re kind of famous.
Where to Stay: I don’t know, and neither do they.
D (Difficult) — Rabun Half Marathon Trail Run
Rabun Gap View. Photo Credit James Frazier of Nspired Eye Photography
The Rabun Half Marathon folks have a new website presentation and IF this view don’t motivate you to head over to REI or your local run store and buy a new pair of trail shoes, I don’t know what will move you….
This is quite possibly the most race for the least money of any event I’ve ever considered.
So how do they do it? Answer: This is grassroots trail racing at it best with No T-Shirt, No Swag, No Awards.
The event website says “The Rabun Half Marathon showcases some of the prettiest wilderness in North Georgia.”
That breathtaking photo you see in our heading is by a professional photographer named James Frazier, and you can see more of his work on his website or his Instagram account. And like the promoter of this race advises you: Bring your camera.
The 11.5ish mile course takes you on 4 miles of pristine single track, crossing 14 footbridges over creeks and small waterfalls. You will summit Rabun Bald, the 2nd highest point in Georgia, and enjoy the 360 degree views overlooking 3 states. You will tackle some killer downhill vert and then visit two, with an option to see a third, beautiful waterfall before finishing.
If you love trail running in the mountains, this is your race. Want to see just how pretty it is in this wilderness area? Click on the website and get ready to sign up. But read the details and look over the course map. This is an Ultra Sign-up event for a reason: 6,000 feet of elevation change and 2,700 feet of elevation gain.
Where to stay: AirBnB lists mountain cabins, tree houses, and other lodging in Sky Valley and Dillard, but keep a close eye on how far away you’ll be from the Start Line when those other websites offer you a room across the State line up in North Carolina! Mark says I’m wrong about NC. He trains at Rabun and says his cabin near Highlands is only 10 minutes away…
How to Train: If you live down by the coast in Savannah or Brunswick, I suggest you do bridge runs. In Atlanta, practice up and overs at Stone Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, or Beverly Drive in the Prado. If you live near Blue Ridge, you’re good, but for the rest of the State you need to find the biggest, baddest hill in the neighborhood and do repeats, for hours!
Gear Tip: Use the link on the event website to Watch the weather and pack accordingly.
My experience at the Hogpen Hill Climb back in January is that things cooled off as you went up. And don’t think things can’t change on a moment’s notice up in the mountains. I know it’s June, but I’d plan to layer up, pack a poncho, and then wear what makes sense on race day.
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 on marathonguide.com 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.
The Boogie Run. Many a time I said that we were going to drive up to the mountains and run this race in Boone, North Carolina. The course descriptions back then advised runners to bring a flashlight and a stick. The race starts as the sun is going down, so the flashlight is so you can see the road. The stick is to scoot the snakes off the road!
Like the old Make it by Midnight Marathon down in Macon, this is a laid-back event. Park your vehicle along the route. Put the cooler on the tailgate or trunk and provision yourself every time you lap past.
DL in Charlotte writes “Everything has been written regarding the organization, perfect, and the conditions: heat, humidity, snakes, dark, repeating loops, HILLS 🙂 so don’t worry about that. If you are into no-nonsense running and camaraderie, do it! 4th for me this year, and I will run the Boogie again. Hats up for this organization and volunteers.”
Hatfield McCoy Marathon. I wanted to run Hatfield McCoy last year and Beverly said NO. I had read up on the race, studied the course map, even interviewed some 500+ marathon guy after completing the Chasing Jefferson Davis Marathon down in Abbeville. He didn’t think it was all that hard.
BS. Runner’s World rates it as one of the 10 Hardest Marathons in the US. And that course map says you run 2 miles easy, 8 miles up, then 1 mile down as in the same elevation drop that you took 8 miles to go up. Still alive. Congratulations. You’ve only got 15 more miles to go.
What I love about this event are all of the ways to run it:
You can run the first 13.1
You can run the second half
You can run the first half and then run the second half.
You can run the whole damn thing.
And you can take as long as you need. No time limit here.
Folks up in the mountains of West Virginia and Kentucky are just happy that you’re there spending time with them. KT from Kentucky writes “Course is hilly, but organizers set up plenty of water stops throughout the race. Keep in mind the race is scheduled in June so weather is humid with scorching heat later through the day. Volunteers were supportive and encouraging. Few crowds and a small community, but I still had fun completing this race. Overall wonderful course and beautiful scenery, a must run course.”
Check out AmericanRunnerBlog.com’s 2023 Race Calendar for some of the Best Running Events in Georgia!
Training Tip: The Peachtree Road Race is filling up, and if you’re one of the 40-50-60,000 runners in this year’s race, you need to have a plan beginning with how to get to the Start Line. The first two miles of this 10k race are a gentle downhill that will tempt you into pushing harder. Don’t do that. The key to this race is holding it steady until you’ve reached the top of that hill next to Piedmont Hospital. At Pershing Point you’re about 3 miles to go on a gentle rolling course. Now’s the time to let it go and see how fast you can run.
Add a hill run to your weekly schedule. The Elites may start at 7AM, but your coral will start later in the morning. My advice is to go out for a one hour run from 8 til 9 on Saturday morning. You’ve got to get comfortable with the hills, the heat, and the humidity.
Photo: Peachtree Road Race. Photo Credit WABE Atlanta
Tri The Parks
Photo: John Tanner State Park
SWIM BIKE RUN With the weather getting warmer, some of you may be wondering about a little swim-bike-run in the sun. Georgia has a series of triathlons and duathlons appropriately named Tri The Parks. The one I did years ago at John Tanner State Park in Carrollton has already passed, but the rest are scheduled June thru September. Tri The Parks is a great (low cost) way to get introduced to a new sport before you go plopping down some serious money to go compete with the Big Boys at Ironman Augusta in September.
Runners’ Gear: Click on our Gear Page for the Big List of Made in USA products
We like to showcase running apparel and gear with an emphasis on Made in USA products. In January and February we listed products for cooler weather, in March Running Socks, Shorts in April, and Shirts in May. This month we’re listing Running Flag Shorts and Shirts…
The Memorial Day Race up in Marietta is over and everyone is getting their Red White and Blue ready for the BIG Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta. Searching for Running Flag Shirts on Google, I discovered pages and pages of listings. On Amazon alone there were hundreds of offerings from brands like: The Patriotic American, Fansidea, Rabbit, USA Women’s Running Track & Field, Red Shirt Running… Runner’s World even had an piece with affiliate links to big name shoe brands, plus there were organic and sponsored listings from Mizuno, Brooks, Under Armor and more….And None of them were Made in USA!
FlagShirt.com wants you to know they are a family owned / veteran owned business….cept their Best Seller Men’s Patriotic USA Quick Dry Flag Shirts are imported!
Why even Ranger Joe’s down in Columbus has ‘em, but they don’t want to talk about where their stuff is made either.
BOA is so into this Red White and Blue that they have an entire page of Flag inspired singlets and shorts on their website. Actually it is 2 pages since one is for men and the second page for women includes an awesome Red White and Blue Performance Sports Bra…
Me, I wear the boring solid black Elite Running Shorts. But BOA is known for unique prints that help you stand out and not just blend in. So whether you want folks to think you’re running in a pair of cut off blue jeans or a set of lightning shorts BOA is ready for you to join in the Fun!
Soark Before the global brands making stuff in China took over, the folks at Soark made running apparel for New York City and other marathons. Their website has a Flag Line Collection that includes Tights, Singlets, and Shorts.
I bought a pair of Soark tights and a pair of running shorts, black of course, but the singlet is interesting to me. AmericanRunnerBlog.com might look good in this on July 4th.
Soffee Here’s a brand that I have never heard of…but you’re going to love their low price. Problem is, most of their stuff ain’t made here.
“Soffe’s legacy began in 1946, when it first hit the scene as a distributor to military exchanges and college bookstores. In the ensuing decades, we expanded our focus to include activewear for all types of athletes and exercise. In 2003, Soffe was acquired by Delta Apparel Inc. (NYSE MKT: DLA), and this partnership helped further our growth.“
That’s double talk for some poor Deep South textile firm being bought out by a big rich New York Stock Exchange listed company. We found 13 Soffee brand products Made in USA and most of them are Tee Shirts. But here are two Made in USA items that you might just want to own for your next Red White and Blue event: Old Glory Printed Panty Ranger and Freedom Short Ultras.
Ultra specializes in Active Lifestyle Apparel & Custom Team Sportswear. I’ve been thinking about ordering that Jessie Ovens 1936 tribute singlet …But are they legit or just a facade for some dark concern? Don’t know.
The BBB in NY lists them as an online gaming concern not accredited by them. What? When I type in the ultra.com’s web address, I get a message that says this Domain IS available and to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
But when I search for Ultra running singlet, I get a whole page of offerings including top of the page photo listings from internet retailers like Tribe Lacrosse, Billy Hoyle, and Ultras Sportwear. All three websites appear to have the same product listings.
Billy Hoyle is Copywrite 2023 as is Tribe Lacrosse, but the Ultra Sportwear pages lets you know that they were “Founded in 2008 by Matt Lengkeek in his mission to make clothing he and his friends enjoyed wearing.”
Like I said, I’d really like to order that 1936 Tribute Singlet, but BBB has a whole page of complaints that you might want to check em out before you give them your charge card information…
Watch our Reel: Patriot’s Day is a legal holiday in a number of states, and in the Boston area there are reenactments of Revolutionary War Battles, a Red Sox game, and the Boston Marathon. This year we posted a reel on why you might want to visit your local thrift store. We posted it on April 17th, and you can check it out on our AmericanRunnerBlog.com Face Book page.
We like to talk about a couple of items each month. A couple are affiliate relationships. Most are Made in USA.
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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