Hey Georgia! Here’s our recommended Georgia running events for March 2022, listed under our A, B, C, D headings: Running in Atlanta (A), Best Race in Georgia (B), 2022 Georgia Race Calendar (C), Most Difficult Race in Georgia (D). As always, 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 the USA.
This month we picked three of the most beautiful events you might run plus one that’s just plain fast. Take your choice of the beautiful Berry College Campus in Rome, Skidaway Island near Savannah, or Providence Canyon trail race down in Lumpkin. And Fast: Little Albany’s got pace groups ready to get you into Boston.
- A (Atlanta) — Berry Half
Rating: Beautiful 13.1, 10K and 5K
- B (Best) — Albany Marathon
Rating: Fast 26.2 and 13.1
- C (Complete) — Skidaway Marathon
Rating: Island Run 26.2, 13.1 and 5K
- D (Difficult) — Canyon Crash Trail Run
Rating: Wow! 50K, 13.1, 10K and 5K
A (Atlanta) — Berry Half
Rome is just up the road from Atlanta’s northern suburbs, and this is absolutely the best race within a short drive. I know a young man who attended Berry College, and the photos he posted on FaceBook were beautiful. The Berry Half has been on my radar for some time, and with the Atlanta Marathon moving to February I may actually run it this year. The College describes itself as the world’s largest campus, and you’ll see it up close and personal on this 13.1 mile Half Marathon course.
FYI, there’s a Where to Stay listing on the Berry Half website with lots of options 3-5 miles from the campus.
B (Best) — Albany Marathon
The Albany Marathon. If you’re finishing a few minutes short of a Boston Qualifying time, this is the marathon you’ve been waiting for. Down in Albany they like to let you know that their little race is a really BIG DEAL: it’s a Top 10 Boston Qualifier. You want to get on the track and practice keeping that steady pace. Why? Because this is a really flat course. It might bore you to death, but the hills won’t kill you because there aren’t any.
The Race is sponsored by Snickers. And the Bling is good IF you’re fast enough to place in your age group. The better class stay at the Albany Hilton Garden Inn across the street from the Start/Finish. Me, I slept in the van at the Walmart SuperCenter across town. Colby Mehmen has a Chevy. Big Blue was our GMC. It really wasn’t that bad after the local boys drove their 5-liter Camaros and Mustangs home around midnight. 24-hour Walmart ‘s got everything you need: clean bathrooms, fresh fruit, Gatorade and snacks.
C (Complete) — Skidaway Marathon
Skidaway Island Marathon calls itself Savannah’s Marathon. I have two problems with that. (1) It ain’t in Savannah. It’s on Skidaway Island. And (2) Rock n Roll is… The Skidaway event is sponsored by Urgent Care, which is kind of like having Piedmont Hospital across the street on that big hill in Atlanta’s July 4th race. But you probably won’t need it if you’ll just keep your eyes on the road. “The Island boosts over 40 miles of trails, parks and walking paths winding through marshlands, alongside tidal creeks, golf courses and 151 lagoons with warm sea breezes that blow over the tidal marshes.”
Like the Berry Half in Rome, this course is beautiful. Like the Albany Marathon, it’s flat out flat. I think Albany has something like 12 feet of elevation. Skidaway pushes 25.
Last year Eddie finished the Skidaway full in 2:45 and Gabriella in 2:57, so you’ll have some fast company on this race. The website says they have a full, half, 30K, 10K, and a 5K. I’ve done the Savannah Sultry Swamp Run. The Skidaway Island Marathon looks a whole lot safer.
Where to stay? … Take your choice in Savannah. But lesser options are closer to this event. FYI Lots to do on Skidaway Island, Savannah Riverfront, River Cruises, Tybee Island, etc.
D (Difficult) — Canyon Crash Trail Run
The sign on the trail down near Lumpkin, GA warns you that the Canyon Crash is not recommended for people with heart problems or in poor physical condition. I also like the photo of the man running 3-feet from that 100-foot drop. But what’s funny is that this trail race is not up in the North Georgia Mountains, it’s down in Providence Canyon in SW Georgia, not far from the Alabama line. If you grew up here, we called it the Little Grand Canyon. It supposedly all started years ago as run-off from some homesteader’s roof. But it’s beautiful. And happily, they’ve added a 50K for all of y’all that poo-pooed their little 13.1 mile half marathon trail course.
I called the State Park to get some advice on where to stay. But they don’t answer the phone. And be advised that those Where to Stay listings online may be 30 miles away. Except for those good folks on AirBNB who will move out and give you the whole damn house for $175 a night.
Take a look at our 2022 Calendar of the Best Running Events and Races in Georgia
Gear Tip: You really need to pack your race bag with three sets of options. What will I wear if its colder than expected, hotter, or wet? So I guess that’s four sets of options since you were planning to run that race in 60 degrees and cloudy.
I’m a visor guy, and these Made in USA Halo products are the real thing. It was the initial ING-sponsored Marathon in Atlanta when it turned warmer than expected. The water truck driver couldn’t make it thru all of the closed streets, so we ran flat out for seven miles wondering how we could have missed it. By the end of the race, I had sweat pouring down into my eyes all but blinding me. I thank God for the nice lady handing out ice cubes in Piedmont Park. Thanks to her I made it to the finish line. The next week I bought my first Halo Race Visor. I’ve run in 90-degree heat. They work.
Oh, and I wear blister free Wright Socks Made in USA. There’s still a couple of Made in USA sock options, so I’ll comment on those later.
Check out our Gear Page for more Made in USA products.