The DoubleTop[DoubleTap] 100 is a 100 mile, 100 km, and 50 km trail race in the Cohutta Mountains in northern Georgia. The event will be held inside the Fort Mountain State Park. The course consists of an inner (clockwise) loop and an outer (counter-clockwise) loop that totals a complete loop of about 20 miles with 5000 feet of elevation gain. Two taps are made on the Pinhoti trail that add 3.6 miles and roughly 1500 feet of elevation gain. The start/finish area is located at the Old Fort area of the Park. There are five aid stations, one check station (with water), and one water point on the loop. Because of the hard climbs, there is an abundance of aid on the course. The completion of each loop will be at the Cool Springs AS. Crew access will be allow at three main aid points (Lakeside, Cool Springs Overlook, and the Park Entrance). In general, the Park and course are family friendly and supporters are able to interact with their runner many times during the race. Some of the Fort Mountain trails are technical (i.e., sections of the Gahuti trail) but much of the course is rolling double-wide trails...with lite, hard, and brutal climbs. Cutoff times will be strictly enforced on the last loop for runner safety.
The first two loops will also include running down and up the Pinhoti Connector. This provides a metaphorical "Double Tap" on the Pinhoti Trail. With that the DoubleTop/DoubleTap race kicks off the Pinhoti Slam (DoubleTop, Georgia Jewel, Pinhoti 100).
The DoubleTop 100 is also called the DoubleTap 100. (1. Train hard. 2. DoubleTap [the Pinhoti]). The main events are the 100 mile, 100 km, and 50 km races. The timed 4-hour hill challenge will be 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 the 301 and 401 trails inside the park. The 100M race is composed of 5 loops. The 100k race is 3 loops. And the 50k is 1 and 1/2 loops. Each distance entails a double trip/tap down the Pinhoti Connector Trail. 50k course cuts off part of the 2nd loop. 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 any aid point where crew access is allowed. 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 official start times on Saturday morning are: 100M race - 5 am, 100k race - 7 am, 50k race - 7 am. The 7 am start is after twilight so no headlamps should be need for those start. The race starts are by clocktime to sync aid station clocks.
Early Start Option: The course has quite a bit of elevation change with a final cutoff time of 37 hours (6 pm on Sunday). Many runners expressed concern with the time constraint, so an early start option has been offered; 3 am for the 100M race and 5 am for the 100k race. An early start option is not necessary for the 50k and will likely lower your overall time...however, the RD will not fuss if you show up at 5 am. Miles 3 - 5 of the loop are technical and the running pace is very slow in this section at night. It rains - a lot - in Georgia so be prepared for a start that may be dark, windy, and rainy
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 2016
NONE from 2015:
INCLEMENT WEATHER:Thunderstorms are likely during the spring months in Georgia. The weather will be monitored closely and all aid stations will be notified if severe weather is pending. For safety reasons, we will pause the race in the case of high winds and lightning. Otherwise, the race will run; rain or shine.
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 25-27k ft.
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 contact the RD to see about a 100M relay option. You can run as a 2 to 5 person relay team, with a runner changeover at the start/finish of the loop. You will only receive a t-shirt and a high-five for finishing. So if you want a fancy buckle you have to run 100 miles.
Local time: 2:09 PM
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 elevation difference between the high and low points. The outer loop has 2900 ft of elevation difference between high and low points. There are many small hills along the course giving an elevation gain per loop of roughly 5500 ft. The first place runner in 2015 used a barometric altimeter to record slightly under 25,000 ft of elevation gain for the 100M course. Your vertical mileage may vary.
The course starts at the Old Fort area and uses about 0.25 miles of the park road for sorting out before entering the wide and fast 302 trail. This begins the inner loop. The inner loop follows the 302, intersects the 301, follows the 301 to its trailhead, transitions to the 303 to go the main parking area near the lake. The loop continues passed the park area, over the small hill to the lake, and right around the lake to the Lakeside Aid Station. At the Lakeside AS, runner go right to the Big Rock Trail that connects to the Gahuti trail, which eventually pops out at the Old Fort area and the inner loop checkpoint. After a quick jaunt down the Stone Wall trail, runners will turn right and follow the Gahuti trail to the Cool Springs Overlook Aid Station. This is the end of the inner loop. At the start of the outer loop, runners leave the Cool Springs Overlook AS and follow the 302 down the switchbacks from Hell until intersecting with the 301. The outer loop then follows the 301 around the north end of the Park and south on the west side of the Park until reaching the Power Line Climb. The Power Line Climb is about 1 mile long with 1000 ft of gain - about 0.25 miles are a steep vertical trudge. The Power Line Climb stays on the 301 and the 301 then intersects with the 303. A left turn onto the 303 and a fast run down the paved road leads to the Lakeside AS. After the Lakeside AS, runners trace the lake shoreline for 0.5 miles and make a right on a connector trail to the Gahuti. The outer loop then follows the Gahuti until the Park Entrance Aid Station. At the Park Entrance AS, runners will be take two trips down the Pinhoti Connector. After the Park Entrance AS, the outer loop follows the Gahuti until it intersects with the 301 and follows the 301 downhill along Mill Creek. When the 301 intersects with the 410, runners take right, and follow the 410 until it interests (into) the 401. The 401 goes out and around the north end of the Park to the Deep North Aid Station, which is the lowest elevation on the course. After the Deep North AS, runners follow the 401 uphill until intersection with the 410. A left on the 410, followed shortly by a right on the 301, bring runners close to the final climb of the loop. The 301 climbs a bit until it intersects with the 302. A left onto the 302 begins the switchbacks from Hell and eventually the joy of reaching the Cool Springs Overlook. The arrival at the Cool Springs Overlook AS is then the completion of one lap/loop.
The crew accessible aid stations will be at Lakeside, Cool Springs Overlook, and the Park Entrance.