The FAQ – Raccoon Mountain Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay

Is the course certified? Can I qualify for Boston on this course?
The course is NOT certified and WILL NOT be certified. You cannot qualify for Boston or Peachtree or any other certified-course-qualifying-time-necessary at this race. The half marathon measures at least 13.1 miles and the marathon measures at least 26.2 miles. GPS watch distances will vary widely on the mountain, for a number of reasons, including tree cover, getting confused when you go from one time zone to another, etc. Some people come up short, some people come up long, but we’ve measured the distance from the ground dozens of times and know that it is correct.

If you get to the finish and your Garmin says the course is short, feel free to keep running. If you get to the finish and your Garmin says the mileage is over, then you got more than you paid for! The race is timed, but it isn’t chip timed. You will receive an official time and results will be posted online. If your time is incorrect, all it takes is a quick email to us and we’ll get it fixed for you.

Where is the race?
The race is at the Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Facility, just outside downtown Chattanooga. You do not run UP the mountain or DOWN the mountain, you drive to the top where there is a reservoir and we run around the upper rim. This property is owned by Tennessee Valley Authority. Please see our Travel Information page for directions.

Will there be aid stations?
We hesitate to call them just aid stations, because they are so much more than that. They are party zones, fueling stops, and will have the supplies and the encouragement you need to get to the finish line. Don’t expect to just breeze through and grab a cup from a human along the way; our aid stations were designed for stopping and perusing what’s available!

This is not a typical road race, so we ask that you make sure all of your trash ends up in a trash can or trash bag!

Runners taking on the new all-trail course, you will not visit aid stations as often as the original course runners. You may want to carry a hydration system or handheld bottle to keep hydrated between aid stations, as you may go up to 5 miles between aid stations.

What will be at the aid stations?

Besides the rocking-est volunteers you’ve ever met?
Water, Gatorade, and Coke
Energy gels in assorted flavors
FOOD – We don’t want to hear about anyone not finishing because they are underfed. Each aid station will have, at minimum:  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pretzels, chips, cheese crackers, Chex Mix, fruit (bananas, oranges), candy (M&Ms, gummy bears, jelly beans, chocolate candy galore, and a plethora of other things), cookies, and whatever else we feel like putting out on the table. If you gain weight, it’s not our fault.

Gluten-free runners: we will also have gluten-free pretzels and cookies available, though you might have to ask for them because we keep them separated to avoid cross-contamination. There are gluten-free buns and gluten-free sweets (cookies and Rice Krispies treats) at the finish line too!

ALL aid stations will also have non-food items that you may need as the race goes on – band-aids, petroleum jelly, medical tape, tissues, ibuprofen, Tylenol, Tums, salt tablets, feminine products, foam rollers, and more.

What if I have to pee? Or worse?!
Port-o-potties will be available throughout the course at each of the aid stations. Please use them and not the trees!

What is the time limit?
The “official” time limit is 9 hours for the marathon and morning half marathons. As long as security has not asked us to leave, if you are still out on the course after 9 hours, but moving forward, we will start breaking down the finish line, but we will still be waiting for you and all of the post-race food and drink will be there too.

For double half participants, you must finish the AM half marathon in 3 hours and 55 minutes. The PM half marathon begins at 12:30pm and has a 5 hour and 30 minute time limit. Don’t freak out if you find yourself slower than the time limit. We don’t DNF unless we absolutely have to. We want to see you finish!

We are a walker friendly race! We DO NOT run out of finish line food, ever. The last finisher gets the same treatment as the first finisher!

What is the post-race food like?
We’ll have burgers (vegan option available!) and hot dogs (vegan option there as well!) with all kinds of toppings. Gluten-free runners, we also have gluten-free buns available. You’ll also find chips, cookies, cupcakes, sodas, water, and Gatorade. TVA does not allow alcohol on the Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage premises.

I got injured/have a scheduling conflict/didn’t bother to train/my dog ate my homework. Can I have a refund? Can I transfer my bib to someone else?
There are no refunds for any reason whatsoever. We reserve the right to cancel the race if weather conditions are unsafe for runners and/or volunteers.

You are welcome to transfer your bib to someone else for the SAME race distance or shorter for a $20 transfer fee. Please contact us at run.nooga@gmail.com to obtain a transfer form.  You can also defer to next year’s race for a $20 fee; use that same email address for a deferral request. Deferrals and transfers must be requested no later than March 11, 2017.

Requests for deferral or transfer after that date will be denied. Please understand that most races do not offer transfers or deferrals at all. We have already ordered swag for this year and someone has handmade your medal and burned your name into it, so it can’t be used for next year. Please don’t argue if you miss the transfer or deferral window.

Can I pick up someone else’s packet?
Yes, with a copy of their identification.

Can I run with headphones?
We will not restrict headphone use. It is up to you to follow directions while wearing headphones. If you do choose to wear headphones please keep the volume level down and/or only wear one earbud so you are able to hear and follow the directions of staff and volunteers. If you go off course because you could not hear instructions from a volunteer, that’s on you.

Are strollers allowed in the race? Are pets allowed?
Due to insurance restrictions, we cannot allow strollers or pets into the race.

When you say the medals are personalized, what does that mean?
It means that your name will be on your medal when you receive it at the finish line! If you’d like a nickname, Maniac/Fanatic number, or something else written on your medal, please email us by March 1st to let us know!

Got a question that we haven’t answered here? Give us a shout at run.nooga@gmail.com so we can help you out!

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