Registration open date change
Why did the registration date change? We have talked to the Jefferson National Forest people in December for our permit to race on the mountain and was told there was nothing scheduled that day and they would get back to us the first of the year and we thought everything would be finalized by now. Due to the government shutdown we have to wait until the Rangers come back to work in order to get this permit. I want to wait to open registration just in case there would be an issue for some reason. We are working on a t-shirt design and have someone scheduled to certify the course in February so we are just waiting on the park right now. If you are reading this that means you are interested in our race and we hope you understand and willing to check back with us at a later date.
What to expect on Race Day
Come enjoy us for a very scenic race down the mountain. This course is well known to bikers, hikers, runners, and walkers. If you love the mountains you will love this course. It is mostly gravel and travels along an old railroad bed. It winds through the mountains along a creek and through through several little towns.
Timing will be through uptrasignup.com
The trail is well used during the spring, summer, and fall months so we will be sharing the trail with other outdoor lovers. Most people share the trail very well and with the race beginning at 7:45 am traffic on the trail should be a minimum most of the way.
At the finish line you can expect to be greeted with a smile and potentially a fast time. There will be drinks, and food for all participates at the finish. The awards will also be handed out at the finish line within a few minutes of finishing.
This is a certified marathon course!
The course will start at Whitetop station mile marker 33.4 and finish near Alvarado mile marker 9.3. Runners will begin at Whitetop station and run down the mountain though Damascus and continue about a half mile miles past Alvarado to the turn-around point and back to the finish line near Alvarado. Alvarado is around 25.2 miles from the starting line at Whitetop. The trail is an old railroad bed that has been converted from a "rails to trails" with a gravel surface and starts at an elevation of 3500 feet and descends to 1755 ft in Alvarado.
Green Cove- mile marker 30.6 (2-3 volunteers)
Camp Creek Junction- mile marker 27.1
*Taylor’s Valley- mile marker 22.9
Straight Branch- mile marker 20.3
*Damascus- mile marker 16
Side of the trail- mile marker 12.5
*Alvarado- mile marker 9.3
* Stations have water, Gatorade, some snacks
Whitetop station, Green Cove, Taylor's Valley, Straight Branch, Damascus, and Alvarado all have outdoor toilets.
Packet pickup will be Friday April 19th 5:00 pm-7:00 pm
Packet Pickup will take place in Damascus. Location will be determined soon. Packets not picked up Friday may be picked up Saturday morning at the finish line area in Alvarado. If you are delayed to the start due to packet pickup the morning of the race just be aware that the start will not wait for you.
In your packet you will find your bib, pins, t-shirt and other goodies.
Start and Finish line
The start and finish line are in two different locations completely.
Start: Whitetop startion- Whitetop Gap Road, Whitetop, VA 24292 (note this is note Whitetop Mountain but the community of Whitetop, VA)
Finish: Alvarado Station-21198 Avarado Road, Abingdon, VA 24211
Because of the unique nature of this race we will be checking with the local shuttle companies to see if they may give a discounted rate to shuttle runners to the start. If this happens I will post that here with contact information so that you have that option. If you choice to drive to the start you will need someone to drop you off and meet you at the finish.
Elevation at Whitetop Station is about 3500 ft
Elevation at Alvarado is 1755 ft
Awards will be given to the top 3 overall finishers for both male and female. Awards will also be given to each of the following age groups 29-under, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 and up for both male and females.
Where is my entry fee going?
Your entry fee will first be used to get insurance, t-shirts, awards, snacks and everything else needed for a great race day. All profit from this event will go to a local high school CC team for summer camp. So this is sort of a fundraiser for a local team. Summer camps are really expensive and sometimes exclusive to those that can't afford to go. The money raised from this race will be donated so everyone on this high school team has a chance to attend summer camp.
With the cost associated with hosting an event such as this we will not be giving refunds. If you have to withdrawn due to an injury or some other reason and you let us know within two weeks of the start we can give you a voucher for the next years Down the Mountain race (hoping we are a hit and return)
Great lodging is different for everyone. Some people like nice places to stay, others like being close to the start or finish and others like cheaper rooms. Myself, I prefer all of the above. Since I live here I can't give you much insight on the list below. I do hope you find something that makes you happy. Damascus is between the start and finish line but there is a limited amount of lodging and food. Abingdon is a little further but has more to offer in the way of both lodging and food.
Local time: 9:45 PM
Here is a list of what I can find with phone numbers. These are in no specific order.
Lodging in Damascus:
A Humble Abode https://ahumbleabode.webs.com/ (276) 475-5472
Laurel Creek RV Park
Creeper Trail Cottages
Lodging in Abingdon: (10.4 miles from finishline in Alvarado)
Country Inn and Suites by Radisson, Abingdon
The Martha Washington Inn and Spa
Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Abingdon
Hampton Inn Abingdon
Quality Inn & Suites