Runner: Jeff N
Race Date: 3/02/2018
Location: Sweetwater Creek State Park – Atlanta GA
Results: 1:04:53, 6 mile race
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1433318273
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
It felt like more of a party than a race! It was at night. It was well-organized.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
Overall the course was marked very well but there were a couple places where I had to stop running and hunt around a bit to pick the course back up.
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
That it’s mostly a party. There was a DJ playing music while dressed as a yeti at the finish line and a Michael Jackson impersonator who performed a couple songs for each wave of runners to pump them up before the start of each race.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
I was happy with my speed given my short time in running, and the fact that it was at night with a lot of tree roots and rocks. There were some awesome views of the full moon above the city skyline which you could see at one point in the race. The people were all really friendly.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Make sure you have a bright headlamp and bring a friend to run with you for fun. Also bring a designated driver since the finish line party is so awesome.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
There was one long steep hill at about the one mile mark and I need to do more hill work. It gassed me and I wasn’t as fast on the rest of the course as I wanted to be after getting to the top of that hill.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
It changes every year, and they have three different courses for three different races. Friday is a 6 mile race, and Saturday features a 5 mile and a 10 mile course.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
It is but of course, it is at night so you can’t see much. You are running along the side of a lake for the last mile or so and can see the brightly lit club-house where the finish line is across the lake which was cool to see.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
For me it was because I have not spent much time training on hills. I think total elevation gain was 811 feet. That’s laughable for ultra runners used to climbing 30k feet but for a new runner who doesn’t run a lot of hills, it’s a fair amount. I tripped a number of times on roots and rocks but never fell – plenty of people did fall though but no serious injuries.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
It was very well-run and there were more volunteers there than positions to volunteer in!
Competition – Is there a strong field?
That was a great part of this race. There were some really fast runners there, and there were a lot of low-key runners who used this race as their first trail-running experience. In the 10-mile race, the fastest finisher finished in 1:13 and the slowest finished in a little over three hours. So you have a really good spread.
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
Very convenient from Atlanta and the Atlanta Airport. No secret handshake but it sells out very quickly each year. I would advise taking a taxi, uber, or having a designated driver so you can partake in the party at the end.
Only the 10-mile run had an aid station and it was around mile 6 or 7 I believe.
Weather and typical race conditions
March is very unpredictable in GA. In past years, it has snowed, rained, and been warm. This year, we were treated to 48 degrees and clear skies. Perfect weather for running.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Trail running shoes of course! And a really bright, reliable head-lamp.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Not on the course, but at the start/finish absolutely. Lots of friendly people, dogs, drinks and snacks.
How’s the Swag?
Nice t-shirt is provided with entry, and they usually have a small Yeti swag table too. Trophies looked awesome too.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
5 stars and I’d recommend to anyone who loves a fun party-style trail run, and for people who also want an introduction intro trail running.