The DoubleTop[DoubleTap] 100 is a 100 mile, 100 km, and 50 km trail race in the Cohutta Mountains in northern Georgia. The course is new this year. The event will be held inside the Fort Mountain State Park. While the upper Pinhoti and Blue Ridge section of the BMT of previous years has offered unique challenges, the Fort Mountain trails offer equal and greater elevation gains and are more crew friendly. The park is large and supports a roughly 20 mile loop course as the basis for completing each of the distances. The elevation gain per loop will be significant. Five aid points will be setup, so runners will have access to an abundance of aid. The longest stretch without aid is less than 4.5 miles. The start/finish of each loop will be lakeside in the Ft Mountain State Park. Crew access will be allow at three main aid points (Lakeside, Cool Springs Overlook, and the Park Entrance). Weather considerations are minimized. It is *almost* possible to walk between aid stations so restricted road travel will not stop the race.
The Fort Mountain trails are a bit more technical than the upper Pinhoti. Cutoff times will be strictly enforced at the loop start/finish for runner safety. This is a late winter race so the weather is variable from the high 70s to drenching thunderstorms to freezing temps with a bitter cold wind. Because of the relatively fickle March weather in Georgia, heavy rains and blow downs may mean last minute trail changes. If we have to bypass a trail, the distance will be made up by shorter loops near and around the lake. The first two loops will also include running down and up the Pinhoti Connector. This provides a metaphorical "Double Tap" on the Pinhoti Trail -- and any zombies or turkeys nearby.
The DoubleTop 100 is also called the DoubleTap 100. (1. Train hard. 2. DoubleTap [the Pinhoti]). The main events are the 100 mile and 100 km race, however the use of Fort Mountain State Park trails offers the possibility of a 50 distance ultra for those looking for only a small taste of North Georgia trails. The timed 4-hour hill challenge, with a cash purse will run Saturday morning. Packet pickup will start at 4pm on Friday evening.
The Loop: The loop course will have a moderate amount of elevation gain/loss (5k+ ft). The course is low to moderately technical with some rocks and roots. It will use mostly the 301 and 401 trails inside the park. The 100M race will entail running 5 loops, with a double tap down the Pinhoti Connector Trail. The 100k race will entail running 3 loops, with a single journey down the Pinhoti Connector Trail. The [tentative] 50k race will run roughly a loop and a half. The 50k course will short-cut the 2nd loop and come back to the start/finish by alternate trails. 100M runners will be able to pick up (and drop off) a pacer at any of three locations after finishing the 2nd loop (~40 miles). 100k runners will be able to pick up a pacer after 1 1/2 loops. The locations for pacer pick up/drop off will be at the start/finish, the Overlook AS and the Park entrance AS. Dropping pacers is permissible though-out the course, but runners must let aid station personnel know that their pacer has been abandoned on the last trail section. The 100M race starts at 5 am on Saturday morning. The 100k and 50k races start at 7:30am to provide a daybreak start for those races (no headlamps).
Gahuti Ring-of-Power Challenge: This is a timed event up and down the Power-Line track as many times possible in a 4 hour period. Participants will be given a bracelet (“ring") each time when arriving at the top to be carried down. A portion of the entry fee ($40) will be accumulated in a cash purse. This race will start at 8:00 AM, rain or shine.
CHANGES IN 2014
NEW:The course is inside the Fort Mountain State Park.
INCLEMENT WEATHER: Snow and ice may close some roads. This will not directly affect runners because snow on the trails will not stop the race and aid stations will be open. However, travel may be restricted for crew support. For safety reasons, we will pause the race in the case of high winds and lightning. Otherwise, the race will run; rain or shine.
Runners Manual:The runners manual is being updated to reflect the Ft Mountain course changes. Note that the waiver includes a requirement that runners read the runners manual. That is not meant as a test of your reading skill, but to ensure the race changes are disseminated out to all runners. What is stated in the runners manual is how the race will be run.
Packet pickup will start at 4pm on Friday evening.
Crew vehicles: Please consider the terrain and maneuver areas when choosing your crew vehicle(s). Do not use an RV or pull a trailer. For moving between aid stations, use smaller vehicles or share rides. If the roads become icy, then the Park Manager may close the upper road and crew will have to walk to the Cool Springs Overlook AS.
NOTE: The elevation change on this course is large! The GPS tracks taken so far have varied quite a bit, but it would be best to prepare for a total elevation gain on the 100M of about 30k ft. In that regard...
1) A 2-hour early start option is available and recommended for slower runners.
2) For those interested in testing course but are not ready for the large amount of climbing, a 100M relay option is available. You can run as a 2 to 5 person relay team, with a runner changeover at the start/finish of the loop. One individual for each relay team will need to register for the 100M and then send the RD (me) an email declaring your team and listing your runners.
Base Loop Description.
Local time: 2:28 AM
The base loop uses several Ft Mtn trail in a folded figure eight pattern that makes an inner and outer loop (with a crossover point at Cool Springs). There will be 5 aid stations on the course that give 6 aid points per loop. Three of the ASs are crew accessible and easy to reach. The inner loop has 500 ft of raw elevation gain. The outer loop has 2900 ft of raw elevation gain. There are many small hills along the course giving an elevation gain per loop of roughly 6000 ft.
The course starts on the park road near the main parking lot. It follows the 303 trail in the direction of the TV towers until reaching the 301 trail. The course turns right on the 301 and follows the 301 around the base of the mountain until reaching the 302 trail. The course turns right onto the 302, switchbacks until reaching the Cool Springs AS (and crossover pt) and then continues on the 302 until the 301 trailhead (mtn bike wash). At the 301 trailhead, the course goes onto the 303 Trail down to the main campground/parking lot. Once reaching the park road, the course turns right and follows the park road (303) until reaching the Big Rock Trail. The course turns right onto the Big Rock Trail and follows that until reaching the Gahuti Trail. The course turn right onto the Gahuti and follows the Gahuti back up the ridge until Cool Springs. At the Cool Springs AS, the course takes the 302 back down the switchbacks until reaching the 301 trail. At the 301, the course turns right and follows the 301 until reaching the 410 trail. At the 410 trail, the course turns left and follows the 410 for a short distance until reaching the 401 trail (on right). The course turns right onto the 401 trail and follows the 401 trail around the base of the ridge (this is also the low point of the course). The 401 intersects again with the 301 trail and the course takes a left turn onto the 301 trail. The course follows the 301 until joining the Gahuti trail near the Visitor Center. The course follows the Gahuti Trail to the left until it finally reaches the Park entrance. At the Park entrance, the course will doubletap the Pinhoti by going down and up the Pinhoti Connnector on loops 1 and 2. From the Park entrance, the course will continue on the Gahuti Trail until reaching the 2nd connector to the Goldmine Trail. The course will turn right onto the Goldmine Trail and take that down to the Lake trail. At the Lake trail, the course with take a right and go counter clockwise around the lake until reaching the Start/Finish.
The crew accessible aid stations will be at Lakeside, Cool Springs Overlook, and the Park Entrance.