Check out AmericanRunnerBlog.com’s 2022 Race Calendar for the Best Running Events and Races in Georgia!
Hey Georgia. Here’s our Top Picks for the Best Georgia Running Events November 2022 listed under our A, B, C, D headings: Running in Atlanta (A), Best Race in Georgia (B), 2022 Georgia Race Calendar Options (C), Difficult Race in Georgia (D). Included is our commentary about these races, links to the events and a few items of suggested running apparel and gear, especially those that are Made in USA.
- A (Atlanta) — Romp & Stomp 5k
Rating: Intown Favorite 5k
- B (Best) — Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon
Rating: Mayor Cancelled: Party No More 26.2 13.1 5k
- C (Complete) — Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon
Rating: Pancake Flat 26.2 13.1
- D (Difficult) — Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon
Rating: Big 13.1 5k
A (Atlanta) — Romp & Stomp 5k
Our Top Pick for Atlanta is an Intown Favorite
Years ago I met a Preacher Man named Larry who had grown up in Cabbagetown. Said he never felt afraid of where he was so long as he could look up and see that smokestack of the Fulton Cotton Bag Mill. The Mill dates back to 1868 when Jacob Elsas, an immigrant of German Jewish descent who had recently arrived in Atlanta from Cincinnati, began work in the city in the rag, paper, and hide business. By the time I arrived in Atlanta, it was a remnant of a mill town community on its way down.
Today Cabbagetown is a cool Intown Atlanta Neighborhood with its own running club appropriately named the Cabbagetown Running Club. For years I showed up most Thursday nights at the Milltown Arms Tavern on Carroll Street for the weekly group run. And for years we ran this course the week before the race.
One year I even earned a free admission to the next Romp & Stomp 5k race by volunteering to help out. Before timing chips became commonplace, a fella like me stood a few feet back of the Finish Line with a long nail attached to a string. As the runners crossed the finishing line they recorded their times on a little slip of paper and handed it to you to insert on the string. This allowed the race director to determine who finished the race in what order.
But the year I volunteered was a disaster! The motorcycle cop up front took a wrong turn and the entire field came flying behind the lead runner to the finish line in about 12 minutes. Total chaos ensued and although it wasn’t my fault, I never felt right about asking for my Free registration.
The neighborhood festival that day is called the Chomp & Stomp. The race is called the Romp & Stomp 5k. And some places call it the Chomp and Stomp 5K. I live here and even I’m confused!
But the race is great! Check out the Chomp & Stomp website and read the course description of the Romp 5k, but understand that that guy ain’t going to heaven either. Flat and Fast? Fast yet, Flat well maybe not so flat. It all starts out at Milltown Arms and goes flying up the street and around the hood. But before you get to the Finish Line, you’ll run up and down and up again to the end. That said, it ain’t Hogpen, but there is a little elevation going on here and you better be ready.
Me, I decided that this would be the year that I actually ran the race. And with the Rock n Roll Savannah Marathon going all to Hell why not. Then Active decided my password wasn’t good enough for them and I ain’t registered for the Romp & Stomp 5k. I sent Active an email. My Network Support Case is #07890275 with a 26-character password! That was October 6. “Due to an usually high volume, there may be a delayed response to you inquiry’, so apparently I ain’t the only one they’ve pissed off. Just bothers me that the local race folks aren’t getting my registration money.
Where to Stay? This is an Intown favorite that fills up early, and I assume you either live here within walking distance or you’re staying over with a friend. That said, check our AirBnB for a rental near Cabbagetown, Grant Park, or Inman Park. Lots of parks here but not much parking, so keep that in mind and have a strategy if you’re driving to this race.
Registration costs always go up as you get closer to the event. So be sure to check out our 2022 Georgia Race Calendar and plan ahead.
B (Best) — Best Race in Georgia: Rock n Roll Savannah Marathon
Biggest Run Story of 2022: Mayor Cancels Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon
While I was running the inaugural Vidalia Onion Run Half Marathon back in April, the young woman at the Bed & Breakfast informed the guests around the table that “the mayor had cancelled the marathon in Savannah.”
Returning to Atlanta and opening up the Sunday Atlanta Journal Constitution. April 24 Page B8 The article picked up from the Savannah Morning News was titled: “When marathon will return remains unclear.” Here are the main points:
20,000 attended last year’s event.
runners attended from all 50 states and 20 foreign countries.
4,000 had already pre-registered for 2022
the event brings in $15-20,000,000
I ran the 2021 Rock n Roll Savannah Marathon. Well, technically we all ran the Half due to the gail force winds and all the flooding, but that’s another story! Like my experience at the Boston Marathon, I was surrounded by runners from all over the country, and according to the AJC, all over the World. Like the guy near me who flew down on Air Canada.
Stacy endorsed this guy, just don’t understand why you’d take $15-20,000,000 out of your local economy and hurt the folks whose taxes pay your bills.
That said, what event should we pick at the Best of November? Answer: Don’t know. But here’s a couple of alternatives north and south of the Big City that come packaged with 5k, 10k, and 13.1 Half Marathon distance options:
C (Complete) —Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon in Ft Oglethorpe
C Completes our 2022 Georgia Run Calendar for folks who want to do something more, well interesting… like the the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon in Ft Oglethorpe, Georgia.
I ran this race back in 2005 after my first to worst experience in San Francisco. I began training on August 10th and 10 weeks later I was standing at the start line next to that little Baptist church. Always had a good feeling about races out in the countryside that start next to little Baptist churches: Indoor plumbing, smiling faces, and a wind break from the morning chill.
This was my fourth marathon, and I still remember the things that made this one special. Before the Start we had a color guard from the local high school with American Flags flying, a bugle playing, and maybe even a prayer. That said we ran 1-mile down a little 2-lane to the Battlefield and the race was on.
I rate the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon as one of the most family friendly / spectator friendly running events this side of the Augusta 70.3 Ironman. Here’s why:
The racecourse is shaped something like a figure 8. Beverly drove by while we were jogging over to the Battlefield, parked the car in one of the little parks, and waited for me to run by. How cool is that. She saw me 3 or 4 times during the race, and I got a cold Gatorade each time I passed.
The course may be up near the mountains, but this Civil War battlefield site is pancake flat.
Chickamauga was part of Mr. Lincoln’s campaign to shorten the War by taking Chattanooga and its railroads away from the Rebels. “In 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought for control of Chattanooga, known as the ‘Gateway to the Deep South.’ The Confederates were victorious at nearby Chickamauga in September. However, renewed fighting in Chattanooga that November provided Union troops victory and control of the city.” National Park Service
I enjoyed the laid-back nature of this race. But it was a sobering experience as you ran past giant monuments that burst out of the ground with names like Georgia Regiment, 125th Ohio, and Seventh Pennsylvania Calvary. This was a huge battle. The number of soldiers killed at Chickamauga exceeded the 1862 population of Chattanooga. The number killed or wounded was greater than the number of people who live today in any of Georgia’s 100 smallest counties!
Where to stay? Beverly and I stayed in one of the Presidential themed suites at a little motel just off the interstate in Lafayette that was so tacky I’ve always wanted to go back. The John Adams suite has a big jacuzzi tub right there in the corner of the room complete with mirrors on both walls. John Adams was a New England prude. This room was pure Elvis.
I couldn’t find our little motel online. Maybe it was sold and remolded by a new owner? Explore Georgia says you’ve got 2 crappy motels and 1 Bed and Breakfast in LaFayette, but I couldn’t get the website of the B&B to work. You’ve got lots of options as you head north towards Chattanooga, but I’d stay close by and try to locate the Start line before it got dark the day before. Bad things happen when you take the wrong 2-lane on the way to the race in the dark!
What to do? Trip Advisor says most of the things to do in Ft Oglethorpe revolve around military history. Explore Georgia reminds you that Lafayette is next door with the Marsh House and Keown Falls, but Chattanooga’s just minutes away if you’re looking for more to do that just eat, sleep, and run.
D (Difficult) — The Atlanta Track Club’s Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon
Before touting the big race in Atlanta, I want to talk about Your Local Thanksgiving Day race. According to Run Georgia, there are Thanksgiving Day races scheduled for Cummings, Johns Creek, Marietta, Leesburg, Dacula, Cummings, Augusta, Jefferson, Gainesville, Duluth, Brunswick, Richmond Hill, Roswell, Savannah, Carrollton, Valdosta, Blue Ridge, and Blairsville. Most of them have silly turkey theme names, but the folks in Clarksville got it right when they named their event the We Give Thanks 5k.
The Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon in Atlanta is the crown of the Atlanta Track Club’s new Triple Peach Race Series. The Series consists of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution Peachtree Road Race, the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler, and the Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon. If you signed up for this race series, you will have access to VIP amenities (as a part of the special celebration area) on Thanksgiving Day after finishing the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon.
For the rest of us there is a bottle of cold water and a seat inside the Georgia State football stadium where you can sit and wait for your friends to cross the finish line.
I live in the Grant Park neighborhood, so on race day I would jog the 1-mile over to the Start line next to the old Turner Field. Be sure to read over the instruction on the website re: where to park. In the past there has been lots of parking in this area, but it’s getting crowded as more and more residencies and retail is built up on the old Atlanta Braves parking lots.
The Atlanta Track Club will assign you to a coral so you can enjoy your run alongside others who run a similar pace. Me, I was just fast enough to slide into the back of Coral A or B, but the last time I ran this race I was placed in the very last coral because nobody at the ATC believed a 70+ guy could run an under 2-hour half marathon. I never even knew there were Corals C, D, and E out of sight around the corner!
Once your coral crosses the Start line you’ll run up Capitol Avenue towards the State Capitol before turning left to run thru the bottom of downtown. Turning right you’ll head north past Centennial Olympic Park and Georgia Tech before making a right at Ikea to run thru Atlantic Station. You’ll cross over the Downtown Connector (I-75 I-85) on the 17th Street Bridge, head south on Spring, and then up 14th Street and towards Piedmont Park. At Juniper you’ll turn south again as you go flying back towards downtown, but on Irwin Street between miles 9 and 10 you’ll go up “that hill” towards the King Center that seems to end some runners dream of a big finish.
Pace yourself. Passing the King Center you’ll make your way down to MLK and back to Downtown. You should be picking up speed on these long mostly flat runs. You’ll go down and up the hill past the Fulton County Courthouse and then down and up the hill by the State Capitol that the Olympians named Capitol Punishment!
You’re now a little over 1-mile from the finish line. Take advantage of the little uphill over I-20 to go roaring under th Olympic Rings downhill towards the Stadium. You’ll run past Georgia Avenue and into Georgia State’s Center Parc Stadium where friends and family can watch your big finish on the big video screen!
Where to Park? This is a Big Race with lots of runners and you need to get your parking strategy right. Don’t count on MARTA on Thanksgiving morning before you confirm this option on their website. Retail and mid-rise apartments are now sitting where you have parked in the past.
Where to Stay? Explore Georgia says there are thousands of hotel rooms, places to eat, and things to do Downtown, but you are 1-2 miles away.
How to Train: If you’re local, take a Saturday morning off from your regular routine and go out and jog the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon route. Here’s link to a map. Your Hometown Advantage is that you know the course. For everyone else, start early to build a 2-hour endurance in running hills.
Gear Tip: Pack for cool, warm, and wet options. I generally layer up and tie the long sleeve around my waist if things warm up. You want to dress for the finish line, but it might be cool at 7:00AM while you’re waiting in the coral for the race to start. My advice is to head over to Goodwill and invest in a $5 hoodie that you can easily discard once you cross the start line.
Runners’ Gear: Click on our Gear Page for the Big List of Made in USA products
Earlier in the year we said that we’d start mixing in some cold weather gear, so here we are. I’ve owned a couple of these products, but a lot of these are new to me.
I thought these Sheep to Shelf merino wool products were a little on the warm side for runners, but there it was on their website: the Runner’s World logo. Duckworth is a big line of Made in USA products with everything from women’s racerback tanks to whatever you might need to complete your Seven Continent Marathon run down in Antarctica. Take note of the lightweight, midweight, or heavyweight options, or you’ll be like me walking around Boy Scout camp years ago wearing something my uncle brought back from Germany. ie a little warm for this part of the world!
I’m a visor guy. I run with my sunglasses on top and grab ‘em when I need ‘em. These Halo Headbands are the real thing. The folks at Halo say they are “technology advanced sweatbands that redirect sweat away from your eyes.” Me, I ordered the new Halo Sport Visor with the Grip Technology. I like their Made in USA visors better, but I’m saving this one for a rainy day when I need the extra grip to keep the visor in place.
I’ve run in 90-degree heat. They work.
Can’t wait to try on a pair this winter. Their tights are half as much as what I’m used to paying. These snug fitting midweight SupplexLycra running tights are great for cool weather running and are wind/water resistant and soft. http://www.soark.com
My favorite sock brand has some new offerings, and I’m probably going to try out a couple of pairs this winter. Look for this photo on the Wright Socks Merino Wool Page of 3 pairs of socks hanging on a clothes’ line. You need to air dry running socks.
I discovered a little company online up in Vermont called Skida. As in skiing. I like warm, and my Skida Nordic Headband is light, warm, snug, and holds my sunglasses nice and tight. I chose black, but you’re going to be amazed at the selection of colors in their line. And Make sure you understand the difference between Nordic and Alpine. Nordic is warm. Alpine is warmer
Skida continues to expand their offerings and now has beanies, headbands, hats, bataclavas and a whole lot more. Like hats for Kids. And it’s all locally Made in Vermont.
We like Track Smith for all the right reasons: serious Made in USA running apparel. But we were surprised when their name came up on a search for a wool running skirt Made in USA. We never did find the running skirt, but we did find socks, hoodies, crews, and something called The Down Easter made with merino wool…. Track Smith describes it as a high-performance mid-layer that protects from biting winds.
WSI makes Cold weather clothing for runners and outdoor training which heats up when you wear it. Stuff regular folks like you and I and the Minnesota Vikings might wear. Go browsing thru their website, and you’ll see products with names like Heater Tundra Base Layer Pants that keep you warm in 0-75 degrees. The WSI line includes socks, compression shorts, glove liners, hoods, long sleeve shirts, pants, and a performance running bra.
We like to talk about a couple of items each month. A couple are affiliate relationships. Most are Made in USA.
In July we put together a Big List of Made in USA running products on our Gear Page, so check it out to see what we’ve found thus far.
In October we expanded this list to include cold weather gear and other products for you to put on your Christmas List. Got a favorite Made in USA products that you don’t see on this list? Shoot us an email or a link and we’ll look into it. Our address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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