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, going from one time zone to another, etc. Every year, some people come up short and some people come up long, and we’ve checked their GPS to confirm that they’ve run the correct course. 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 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. There will be two unmanned aid stops on the all trail course with bottles of Gatorade, water, energy gels, and granola bars. Please carry your trash from this aid station to the next aid station; do not litter on the trail.
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: 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.
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, Tums, salt tablets, feminine products, foam rollers, and more. We do NOT have painkillers; please bring your own if you think you will need them. An EMT is on call on the mountain all day.
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 59 minutes. The PM half marathon begins precisely 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. Y’all, a human volunteer takes a wood burner and burns your name into a medal as soon as you register. We purchase insurance based on the number of runners registered. We get a permit based on the number of runners registered. We order swag months in advance. Your money has already been spent and we can’t recoup it.
Deferrals are available for $25 through the end of February. As soon as the calendar flips over to March, deferrals and transfers are no longer available. You CAN switch race distances, but please understand that if you change distances after February 28th, your medal will have the distance that you originally signed up for.
We reserve the right to cancel the race if weather conditions are unsafe for runners and/or volunteers. If the race is cancelled, there are no refunds, for the reasons listed above. We reserve the right to DELAY the race (we’re looking at you, lightning in 2018) due to dangerous weather conditions.
You are welcome to transfer your bib to someone else for the SAME race distance or shorter for a $25 transfer fee. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a transfer form. You can also defer to next year’s race for a $25 fee; click here to access that form. Deferrals and transfers must be requested no later than February 28, 2019.
Requests for deferral or transfer after that date will be denied. Please understand that most races do not offer transfers or deferrals at all and we know we have a very generous policy. Please don’t argue if you miss the transfer or deferral window. It gives us the sads and makes us not want to have a transfer or deferral option at all.
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 and we will not have any sympathy for you. In particular, at road crossings, PULL OUT YOUR HEADPHONES, LOOK AT THE DIRECTIONAL SIGNS, AND LISTEN TO THE VOLUNTEERS.
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! We ask about this when you register, so if you’d prefer a nickname, just include that in your registration. The medal design changes from year to year, but they are always hand burned and personalized!
Got a question that we haven’t answered here? Give us a shout at email@example.com so we can help you out!