Here’s our recommended Georgia running events for May 2022 listed under our A, B, C, D headings: Running in Atlanta (A), Best Race in Georgia (B), 2022 Georgia Race Calendar Options (C), Most 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 the USA.
It was May Day once again as another legendary Atlanta event just disappeared! But when the Morningside Mile dropped off our 2022 Georgia Race Calendar, the Madison in May races started looking even better. We moved the Atlanta Outdoor Club’s Hooch Half trail running event up to fill the missing Atlanta slot, kept the Heroes of America Marathon in Columbus as our Top Pick, and added Madison in May to Complete your race options. Looking for a great Trail Run? Garland Mountain’s just north of the Big City for those of you looking for something a little more Difficult.
- A (Atlanta) — Atlanta Hooch Half Marathon
Rating: River Run 13.1
- B (Best) — Heroes Of America Marathon
Rating: Army 26.2 and 13.1
- C (Complete) — Madison in May
Rating: Fast n Flat 10k and 5k
- D (Difficult) — Garland Mountain Trail Run
Rating: Trail Run 13.1 10k
A (Atlanta) — Cochran Shoals Half Marathon
It’s officially called the Atlanta Hooch Half Marathon @ Cochran Shoals It’s a member’s only trail run sponsored by the Atlanta Outdoor Club, but registration’s Free and you might just want to consider joining ‘em. I’ve not run the Atlanta Hooch Half, but I’ve walked this riverside course numerous times and I like it. Check the website. You’ll see that familiar Chattahoochee River National Park area you catch glimpses of off the I-285 access road of folks walking along a shady path on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. In addition to the club membership, you’ll need to tuck away $5 for parking assuming you don’t already have an annual parking pass.
The website describes the course as a lollipop which means you go out, you go around, and you head back in to where you started out. You can walk, power walk, slow jog, or run. FYI No T-shirts, no bling, no expensive event fees…
Where to Stay? Anywhere along I-285 from Cumberland Mall to Roswell Road should be minutes away.
B (Best) — Heroes Of America
I ran this race back in November of 2010 when it was called the Soldiers Marathon. It’s now the Heroes Of America Marathon and Half Marathon.
The website says “It starts and finishes at the National Infantry Museum, runs through parts of Ft Benning and on the beautiful Columbus River Walk.” It wasn’t beautiful back when I ran it. But assuming they follow the same course, you’ll run most of this race alongside the Chattahoochee River, cross several little bridges (slippery when wet), thru a century old district of brick warehouses and mills before turning it around and heading back home.
I loved the course. It’s flat, shady, and the little bridges were cool. I just didn’t like that little sign that said to watch out for alligators nesting. Local joke? Don’t know. Jest didn’t like it. But you’ll love the Red White Blue finish to this race and the new Columbus River Walk where you’ll want to go after the race and hang out with your 500 newest Face Book friends.
Live in the area, check out the local Columbus Road Runner Club
Where to stay. You’ve got lots of options from 2 to 10 miles out, but Trip Advisor says the Hampton Inn is within walking distance to the Start / Finish line at the Museum of Infantry. Visitors rate the Hampton South as #1 out of 51 places to stay in Columbus, so whoever runs this hotel isn’t the same little man from I— that owns the place we stay at in Savannah. You probably don’t even need to check to make sure the lights work or the toilet flushes as The Hampton South near Ft Benning is rated Excellent for Cleanliness, Service, Location, and Value!
C (Complete) — Madison in May
Madison in May was on our radar long before the Midtown Mile disappeared in the Coronavirus Apocalypse. It’s a place I like to slow down and just drive around looking at the all the beautiful old houses whenever I’m in the area,
I’ve never heard of this publication, but Budget Travel Magazine rates “Madison, GA as one of the 16 Most Beautiful Towns in The World.” It’s the kind of place I envision rich old folks in Buckhead moving to after they’ve had enough of Atlanta’s high taxes, crime, and corruption. Besides, you’re only about an hour East on I-20 whenever you feel the need to sit down with the Governor to discuss your concerns about the new $5B Rivian plant down the road.
Where to stay? Assuming you’re not sleeping in the parking lot of the First Methodist Church, you’re probably not walking to the Start line to this one. You can drive there in an hour or so from Atlanta, but you just might just want to stay a bit longer once you take a look at all the options from VisitMadison.com including “quaint B&B’s and cozy inns, farm stays, and brand name lodging.”
D (Difficult) — Garland Mountain Trail Run
If you Google Garland Mountain, the first thing that comes up is Horse and Hiking Trails.
Apple Maps says it’s a 57-minute drive from the State Capital. I live here, that’s assuming the roads are clear and the damn interstate’s moving. Lots of things going on in the area including Sporting Clays, so if you hear shotguns in the distance, it’s not the Russians killing old women and children.
The Friends of Garland Mountain have their own FaceBook Page with 1,000 members! They say “Garland Mountain Horse and Hiking Trails is a Cherokee County green space park that offers quality trails for equestrian and hiking activities. The original park space was 540 acres of forested hilly terrain. In 2014 an additional 400 acres was added to the park. Currently 19.7 miles of trail are open for horseback riding and hiking, and we expect to have about 26 miles of loop trails when development is finished.”
This is another trail race in the Mountain Goat Adventure trail run series. They do a good job describing the course, even show you some pics of the trail. But you’ll want to read the details carefully. Especially that part about Horse Etiquette. Like my friend Sinclair down in Spalding County who can show you what happens to teeth if you come up on the wrong side of a horse unexpectantly.
Where to stay? is detailed on the website from area hotels to camping at Lake Allatoona.
Gear Tip: They say to Dress for the Finish line. So keep a close look at the weather.
May should be perfect. But if it’s chilly first thing in the morning, pack a “throw shirt” or wear a long sleeve. Your ‘throw shirt’ is that $2.47 yellow tag special you picked up at Goodwill the week before. You’ll want to wear it to the start line and throw it at the Mile 1 marker after you’ve warmed up on the run. If you plan on wearing something a little longer, put a long sleeve on top of your short sleeve race shirt. You want long over short, big over small so you can peel it off, tie it around your waist, and keep moving. I recommend you practice this on your training runs until you’re comfortable doing it. Bad things happen when You Try something for the first time during a race!
I’ve admired their products for years. Just never been able to afford ‘em. But I’m seriously thinking about trying out one of their Merino blend Harrier Tees for those cool morning runs that heat up with the rising sun. Most of my running Tee’s are garishly bright. You know, so the driver with the cell phone in one hand and a Starbucks in the other might actually look up and see you. Tracksmith’s Tees are understated by design.
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.
Click here to see more Made in USA Running Gear