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 October 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.
American Runner Blog’s Top Picks for running in October are the Atlanta Track Club’s Atlanta 10 Miler, Under the Oaks Run Half Marathon on Jekyll Island, AthHalf Half Marathon in Athens, and the Mystery Mountain Marathon and 12-mile Trail Races near Chatsworth.
All in all that’s a Full Marathon, 2 Half’s, a 12 mile trail run, a 10 mile road race, a 10k and 2 5k options from our 2022 Georgia Race Calendar.
- A (Atlanta) — Atlanta 10 Miler
Rating: Hill Run 10m
- B (Best) — Under The Oakes Run Half Marathon
Rating: Island Run 13.1 10k 5k
- C (Complete) — AthHalf Athens Half Marathon
Rating: Party Town 13.1 5k
- D (Difficult) — Mystery Mountain Marathon
Rating: Insane 26.2 12M Trail Runs
A (Atlanta) — Atlanta 10 Miler
Our Top Pick for Atlanta is part of the Atlanta Track Club’s Triple Peach Race Series
True to form the Atlanta Track Club has yet to respond to a single request for event photos or information, and the Atlanta 10 Miler is no exception. It’s part of their Triple Peach Race Series, and for the cost of that 1962 Rambler Classic I bought after 4 ½ years at UGA, you can be part of a special group of runners with VIP privileges on Thanksgiving Day!
This is the same town that gave you Coca Cola, Delta, and Home Depot, so they know a thing or two about marketing. And their events are well done. It just the crappy age group awards that gets my goat. Take a look on Face Book at the award I got at the little Independence Day 5k up in Sandusky, Ohio, and compare it to whatever you got. It used to not be this way, and I’ve got a couple of ATC awards that I’m proud of. But I’ve also got a set of generic drink coasters and a pie server that I could have picked up at Walmart before this President for around $3.95.
If you’re from Abbeville this will be the most urban experience of your life. Atlantic Station is a futuristic city just off the Downtown Connector complete with a Batman Building, a petite Arc de Triomphe, and 2 Microsoft Office Buildings that look like somebody’s regional insurance company’s headquarters.
By hosting this event at Atlantic Station, the ATC has solved a host of participant problems including Where to Stay, Where to Eat, and Where to Park.
The Atlanta 10 Miler Course starts out at Atlantic Station and runs on 17th Street over the interstate up to Peachtree. You’ll head north for a couple of miles going down that same hill you went up on the Peachtree Road Race before turning left onto Peachtree Hills Avenue. Please note the name Peachtree Hills as in hills. I counted four on my run thru that neighborhood that were problematic, and you’re just getting started.
Peachtree Hills runs into Lindbergh then up to Piedmont. Here you’ll head south to Montgomery Ferry Road to Monroe and past Ansley Mall, but it’s too early in the morning to trade in those shoes you picked up at The Dollar Tree for something worth wearing at Phidippides. Turning back onto Piedmont you’ll run up the hill and into Piedmont Park. There are at least 4 bathrooms in the park, so check out this link to a map of Piedmont Park if you might need to schedule a pit stop an hour into the race.
Leaving the park You’ll go up 12th Street to Juniper, down to 6th, over to West Peachtree and up to 17th where you’ll go roaring back over the Expressway on your way to the Atlanta 10 Miler Finish Line.
The Course Maps are good if you can find them. Try the laptop if you don’t see it on your smart phone. One shows you where to pick up your packet before the race and where the Hospital Tent is located near the Finish Line. The other map shows the route. It’s a great run, but take a look at the elevation chart at the bottom of the map. And get comfortable running up hills. I’ve beaten better men on Thanksgiving Day who didn’t respect this October race!
Where to Stay? Atlantic Station’s got it all if your American Express Card ain’t maxed out yet. There’s a boutique Marriott, an Embassy Suites, a Springhill Suites and a Tapestry Hotel by Hilton. I did a Google Search and found a couple of places near Georgia Tech that weren’t bad. For the rest of us its somebody you know in Atlanta.
You’ve got a Marta option as well. Just give yourself enough time to get there.
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) — Under the Oaks Run Half Marathon at Jekyll Island
I’ve kept a low profile around Jekyll ever since Uncle Richard stole that glass door knob off of Mr. Rockefeller’s house back when he was in some fraternity in college. But they tell me it’s real nice.
The rich folks from up North used to winter in Augusta, but as the railroads crept south: so did the money. In the late 1800s, this little island named for one of General Oglethorpe’s friends became an exclusive hunting club for families with names like Rockefeller, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Pulitzer, and Baker.
The race is sponsored by the Saint Simons Christian School, so you’ll have to watch that potty mouth of yours especially if you’re planning on cashing in those Chick-fil-A coupons you’re likely to get at the packet pick-up.
Jekyll Island ain’t that damn big, so I was curious how they were going to put on a half marathon without somebody falling into the marsh. Then I saw those 56 little numbers on the Course Map and wondered if this was somebody’s sick idea for an Ultra. Stay on the course. I’ve hiked in the Marshes of Glen. The first thing you’ll lose is your shoes, the second thing is your mind.
Here’s the official version of the Under the Oaks Run Half Marathon “participants will take a route along a beautiful stretch of the Atlantic Ocean, under the majestic Live Oak trees in the historic Millionaires Village, and then along the marsh and riverfront of the beautiful Golden Isles.” Now here’s my version: find the X on the course map. That’s the parking lot at the Water Park. You’ll run to the southernmost part of the Island before turning north to run along the beaches. Then you’ll turn west to run on the intercoastal side of the Island next to an endless marsh.
What to pack? I ran the inaugural Ft Lauderdale Marathon, and I can tell you that whatever advantage “flat and fast” gives you “sun and wind” can take away. You’ll want to pack for the good weather you’re expecting and the bad weather you’re not. I’d start with sunglasses and a visor, but I’d also pack a light wind breaker and rain gear just in case. With a light sea breeze and some shade from the oak trees, this Under the Oaks Run Half Marathon could be a really nice race.
Where to stay. Best to take away any unnecessary drama and stay on the Island if you can. There’s an $8 toll to get onto Jekyll and a long line at the toll booths on Saturday morning. The Event Website shows 5 places to stay, and we counted 10 more on the course map. Looking for something more interesting? Last time we were in the area Beverly and I booked a room on AirBnB in near-by Brunswick in a 100 year old mansion.
C (Complete) —AthHalf Half Marathon in Athens
C Completes our 2022 Georgia Run Calendar for folks who want to do something more, well interesting… like the the AthHalf: Athens Half Marathon in Athens, Georgia.
Athens may have a great run club, but the town is far better known as a college football party town with a vibrant music scene. And while Tradition rules, there are some fun local events like the Milledge Mile and Coach Mike’s Run in the Woods!
I thought this was the old Chick-fil-A half marathon under a different sponsor. But it’s not. The official name of this race is the AthHaff, and the sponsor: AthFest Educates uses the proceeds to support their mission of funding high-quality music and arts education programming for local youth. So you can feel good about hitting that link to Sign-up knowing the good folks at Wicked Weed Brewing sponsored their last event!
Just don’t try to ask them a question because there is absolutely no way to contact these people!
There are (2) races here: one on Saturday and the other on Sunday.
The 5k takes place on Saturday at 2:30 pm and winds into Happy Hour. And you’re going to be there because Saturday is when You’ll be stopping by The Health and Fitness Expo to pick-up your race bib and shirt. I personally think running a competitive 5k the day before a half marathon is a bad idea, but you’re probably OK if you want to jog on by and enjoy the energy.
Speaking of energy, scroll down the event website to watch one of the better event videos that I’ve seen. It’s all there: the music, the excitement, the energy.
The AthHalf marathon takes place on Sunday at 7:30 am. You’ll start in downtown Athens and run through downtown, beautiful historic neighborhoods, and the University of Georgia campus. You’ll finish this race inside UGA’s Sanford Stadium. How cool is that?
I ran the old Cherry Blossom Marathon where the only living beings that weren’t handing out little cups of water were an older couple in lawn chairs, 2 horses, and some kids. Look for Athens to turn out in force to cheer you on Dawg.
Where to stay? They say there are 53 motels in Athens, but the only one I spotted within walking distance to Sunday’s Start Line was the Springhill Suites. And don’t you go searching on your own, cause there’s an Athens, Tennessee and Lord knows how many others. Trip Advisor says you’ve got 10 motels close by, but one’s a tenth of a mile and the rest are four tenths or longer. If the idea of a $200 a night hotel room is a little much, then check out the Holiday Inn Express a half mile away for about half the price.
What to do? I was there the night the truck driver servicing the gas station threw down his cigarette butt and blew half the town away, but Explore Georgia says you’ll got lots to do.
D (Difficult) — Mystery Mountain Marathon and 12 mile Trail Races
The organizers will allow race day registration, but you better get there early!
Years ago I ran the Kings Mountain Marathon on the South Carolina side of Charlotte where I discovered that anytime you combine the words marathon with mountain you were in for a tough run. The folks at this race take things one step further by dropping in phrases like “difficult, sometimes technical” in the same sentence with “panoramic views of fall foliage displayed on the surrounding mountains.”
Hell I did Clark Kent twice at the Savannah Sultry Swamp Run a couple of years back Supermanning forward off those nearly invisible little tree roots they have on the trails down by the coast. Lord knows what I could break on something like this trail run?
I’ve done two hikes up Stone Mountain this year, and Strava recorded 661 feet elevation gain on the last one. The elevation gain for the Mystery Mountain Marathon trail race is about 5,500 feet. That’s like 8 times and change Stone Mountain. The baddest race I regularly run is the Hogpen Hill Climb in January where Strava recorded 2,000 feet elevation gain on those last 7 miles. You better be ready for this race.
Here’s the official description of the Mystery Mountain Marathon: “Runners will enjoy single track, rugged mountain bike, and smooth horse trails while running over and around Fort Mountain, passing the mysterious rock wall built at the top of the mountain over 1,000 years ago. But the highlight of the weekend, as always, will be hanging out by the lake with friends old and new after the race at our fun, low-key celebration. Join us!”
The event is located at gorgeous Fort Mountain State Park, approximately 90 miles north of Atlanta and 50 miles southeast of Chattanooga.
FYI 1 Parking in Georgia’s State Parks is $5 and visitors can buy a $50 annual ParkPass that helps fund renovations, trail work, dock replacements and more.
FYI 2 If you’re a member of GUTS: Georgia Ultra Trail Society, there’s a little discount for you at registration. If not, look for the invitation to check ‘em out at the bottom of the event website.
Where to stay? The Park has cabins with fireplaces, coffee makers, refrigerators and microwaves, plus campsites, and one group shelter for your closest 80 friends. Trip Advisor says you’ve got motel options but they’re lying. Everything they’re showing you is either in Dalton or Calhoun. Ronn Harris once had a Chevy Store in Chatsworth, and I can tell you those 14 miles are a long slow drive off the interstate from Dalton. But they’re right on about where to eat: Edna’s Restaurant is your Grand Mama in the kitchen!
How to Train: Start early to build endurance in running hills. Period.
Gear Tip: Talk to others who’ve done this type of trail run. You’re going to be out there long enough to experience things warming up after the start but cooling off as you climb higher. I wear a hydration belt when I run, but the serious long distance trail runners out west like the hydration packs that can hold rain gear and a few other things you might need.
Regarding shoes: I blew up my favorite pair of Newton running shoes at the Savannah Sultry Swamp Run, so my advice is to look into getting a pair of trail shoes. A company out west called Carson makes trail running shoes, but what they make looks more like Sarah Lynn’s ballerina shoes than my Carolina work boots. A good pair of trail shoes cost something, but here’s the bottom line: they’re tougher so you can go flying over rocks and roots…
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 in October, 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 were expanding 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 email@example.com
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