Review our Georgia Race Calendar for the Best Running Events and Races in Georgia
Hey Georgia. Here’s our Top Picks for running in August 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.
Sooner or later it was bound to happen, and in the Dog Days of August: It Did! Three of our Tops picks for running in August on our 2022 Georgia Race Calendar are the first weekend of the month: The Atlanta Track Club’s Decatur 4-Miler, the Allatoona Creek Trail run near Acworth, and the H9 Dragon Trail Club Ultra up in Blairsville. Need a little more time to get ready? The Area 13.1 Nighttime Half Marathon in Roswell is a big time crowd pleaser!
- A (Atlanta) — Area 13.1 Half Marathon
Rating: Nighttime Run 13.1 10k 5k
- B (Best) — Decatur 4 Miler
Rating: Fast 4m
- C (Complete) — Allatoona Creek Park Trail Run
Rating: Trail Run 15k 5k
- D (Difficult) — H9 Dragon Trail Run Marathon and Ultra
Rating: Club Event 50m 26.2
A (Atlanta) — Area 13.1 Half Marathon
Our Top Pick for Running in Atlanta is a nighttime race that runs along the Chattahoochee River
If you missed the Yeti Nightmare back in February, 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 thousands of folks glowing in the dark.
The course is Flat and Fast. I’ve not run it, but I’ve kayaked and rafted this portion of the Chattahoochee River in Roswell many times. It’s Flat.
Starting out at 7PM, you’ll run along a shaded course that takes you away from Roswell’s Riverside Park to trails that parallel the Chattahoochee 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 run another out and back this time on Azalea Road which appears on the map to also run along the River.
The organizers plan to hand out glow in the dark bracelets, specially made (glow in the dark?) race shirts, and an awesome alien head race metal. Plus there’s a Free Beer if you make it back to the finish line in the dark, and can prove you’re really over 21.
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.
Lots going on at this event: There’s a Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, and a Kids Dash as well as a Live Band, DJ, Food Truck, Vendors, and Gate City Brewing. There’s even a virtual option for those of you who want to tell their friends they’re doing a Virtual Alien Half!
Big listing of sponsors for this race, so be sure to ask for the Discount if you need a new roof or plastic surgery!
Where to Stay? Your cousin’s house in Roswell or look it up on Trip Advisor.
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) — The Decatur 4-Miler
Like the Peachtree Road Race in July, the Decatur 4-Miler is another running event put on by the Atlanta Track Club. And it’s Big. Not Huge: Big. We found the 2013 results online and marveled at how many age groups had 40-50-60 participants. 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 save that $20 registration fee the rest of us will be paying.
The Sign-up for this race resembles the form used by the US Census Bureau with pertinent questions like ‘what racial and ethnic group(s) do you identify with” and “how many children under 14 do you have”? But ATC people are really smart about how they do business, and while you’re filling out the registration form they’re offering you the chance to sign-up for another 6 of their events including a couple that we picked for the 2022 Georgia Race Calendar: the Atlanta 10-milers in October and the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon in November.
ATC likes to list their race results Ladies first, so in the race we looked over Nancy crossed the line in just under 26 minutes. And that ain’t exactly shabby, But you’ll have to keep on reading before you realize that Spencer finished almost 3 ½ minutes faster. At the other end of the spectrum, however, 88 year old Betty from Atlanta smoked 86 year old Joe by over 10 minutes! So if you’re over 70 you better get laced up and start training now.
Search around for a course map. The one we found online gives you a pretty good understanding of the route. And 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!
Where to stay. If you’re signing up for this race, I assume you’re local. But if you’re coming in from out of town, the race starts and finishes at Decatur High School. A website we’ve never heard of called Hotels4Teams showed us 3 options within walking distance including a 3-Star Courtyard with Egyptian cotton sheets!
C (Complete) —Allatoona Creek Park Trail Run
C Completes our 2022 Georgia Run Calendar for folks who want to do something more, well interesting… like the Off the Grid Trail Run at Allatoona Creek Park..
This is another great trail race from the Folks at Dirty Spokes and it is part of their 2022 Trail Run Series.
The Allatoona Creek Park is so popular that it has its own Face Book Page with 3,000 followers, and a quick review shows you just how special this place is with the mountain bike community. I couldn’t find a single You Tube Video of folks running thru the woods, but they’re enough footage of folks tearing down single back trails to explain why there are so many hospitals on the north side of town.
The Park is a 1,450 acre track leased by Cobb County from the U S Army Corp of Engineers. It starts out in open fields that lead into forests that go all the way over to Lake Allatoona. It’s open to the public year-round except during deer hunting season, which is another good reason why this race is being held in August and not September else you and Bambi both be running for your life.
The website says the Park has some 7 different hiking trails rated from Beginner all the way up to Expert. And I’ll bet the folks at Dirty Spokes have picked the best ones just for you. This is their 9th edition of this event, so sign up now before you’ve missed out on a great 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.
Where to stay? We found options ranging from the Lake Allatoona Inn to the Hampton Inn.The folks at Allatoona Org say you have 10 places to camp, but the map we checked showed that they were well north of Acworth and closer to Emerson and Cartersville. Trip Adviser showed the usual listing of stuff you see next to the interstate with prices ranging from $80 to $180 a night with lots of offerings around 5 miles from the Park
D (Difficult) — H9 Dragon Trail Race Marathon and Ultra
The organizers promise you a Hard Time on the Dragon’s Spine
Once I saw Vogel State Park on the directions, I went back into memory lane: playing in the little creek next to the campsite, swimming for 37 seconds in the ice-cold lake, climbing up those steep hiking trails with kids from the other campsites, and the rain. You say Vogel and I say RAIN!
This is an H9 club event, so you need to join up to sign up. That said, we’re getting closer and closer to the event date and some of you need to fish or cut bait if for no other reason than the fabricator at the local metal shop needs a little window of time to make your metal special like all the rest.
One of the things I like about this club is their sign-up form. You not only give them your name, age, sex, residence, but also your expected finishing time. Dallas thinks he can knock out 50 miles in 13 ½ hours while Tony’s more the pessimist at 21 plus. They’ve got a little marathon too. The fellow from Woodstock is thinking 6 ½ while the guy from Florida expects he’ll need from sun up to sun down to find the finish line.
Search: Duncan Ridge Trail and you’ll get a whole page of maps, photos, and listings. Wikipedia says the Duncan Ridge Trail is 35+ miles long and “starts at an intersection with the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Appalachian Trail at Long Creek and crosses the Toccoa River on a 260-foot (79 m) swinging bridge. The eastern end of the trail combines with the Coosa Backcountry Trail and ultimately ends in the Blood Mountain Wilderness, where it reconnects with the Appalachian Trail.”
Where to stay? The website shows you a couple of options, but my memory is that there’s camping and cabins at Vogel State Park. And I won’t be surprised if there aren’t a host of Airbnb in the area as well. Just make sure you know how far away you are from the park.
How to Train: You’re dealing with 2 and possibly 3 issues here. The first is to be able to do the distance. The second is to be able handle the multiple elevation changes that go up and down from a low of around 2,000 feet to a high of over 4,000. And the third is time. Do you have the endurance to stay out on the course for 6-12-20 hours?
In short: run up and down Stone Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, or the biggest hill in your neighborhood…for hours
Gear Tip: My suggestion is to talk with people who have run this or similar events. Our recent review of hydration belts and backpacks at REI included a couple that had ample space to carry fluids, rain gear and snacks, things you’ll need on a race of this distance. My experience is that YOU need to see how it fits on YOU. So check around to see what’s in stock at your local run store or outfitters
Regarding shoes: We found a post by minimal-list.org of Made in USA trail running shoes. Deliberate Life Designs, Earth Runner, and Luna all make products that I would describe as sport sandals. Not shoes. But all of them showed pics on their websites of folks running somewhere out West.. We also found a barefoot running sandal from another US company called Shamma.
Carson was also on the minimal-list with their barefoot running shoes but Hersey was not. Hersey now offers a custom trail running shoe that you can order now and maybe have by Christmas. Check the list on our Gear Page for links to Carson, Hersey and others.
Runners’ Gear: Click on our Gear Page for the Big List of Made in USA products
Everybody was dressed out in their red white and blue at the July 4th Independence Day race, but just how much of that red white and blue was Made in USA.
The folks who keep up with this say its very little. So if you’d like to join the elite 1% who do, then here’s a pair of running shorts made in just about every color in the rainbow. I still have a pair of their Black Elite Shorts, and I’m planning on ordering some more. https://www.boausa.com
Tracksmith designed this singlet for the 2020 Olympic Trials in Atlanta.
“These racing singlets performed so well over 26.2 miles in Atlanta, we’re introducing them to our permanent collection in classic colorways.” Pictured above the Tracksmith Strata Singlet Atlanta
SOM Sense of Motion HIGH-PERFORMANCE TRAINERS
SOM encourages you to “Attack your workouts in a barefoot-feel trainer that breathes as it flexes for precise performance during the hardest activities.“
I bought a pair of SOM Nutrail Aire shoes back in April and took ‘em out on a handful of 5-milers along the Atlanta Beltline before looking for a chance to do something different. In May I ran the Atlanta Outdoor Club’s Hooch Half Marathon Trail Run on a gravel dust trail, then we drove down to Musella, Georgia near Macon in June to run the Papa’s Peach Classic 5K at Dickey Farms. Even won the old guy age group!
SOM doesn’t describe their shoes as running shoes, but you can!
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’m getting ready to order a new Halo Sport Visor, and I’m really looking forward to testing out the new Grip Technology which I believe is the one improvement I’ve been wanting over my current visor.
I’ve run in 90-degree heat. They work.
I’ve run in Wright Socks for years, but I buy a mixture of socks that range from thicker to thin. I like the thicker socks for days when I want a little more cushion, and the Ultra Thins for running fast on race day. REI’s got a zillion choices for you trail runners, but I like to run in the lighter tab pull socks when I’m putting in miles on the asphalt.
I suggested to Beverly that she get a pair of their flip flops before our trip to the beach, and she’s still wearing them 3 weeks later.
“They’re so comfortable’ she says. Running Shoes no. Comfort shoes Yah. I’m wondering if these Okabaski flip flops might just be your next best friend after that long run…
We like to talk about a couple of items each month. Some 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, and we’re keeping it up in again August in order to test a few tweaks for SEO.
The Plan is to expand this list in October 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