Saturday, Jul 25, 2020 @ 7:00 AM
This Event Took Place Sat. Jul 25, 2020

Three Sisters is Back!

🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️We're on for May 29th, 2021!

2020 was a challenging year for everyone, so we're hoping to get back to "normal" (whatever that is!) for 2021 -- and that includes the Three Sisters Ultra Festival. We liked some of the things about 2020, including the later start date. We wouldn't go as late as 2020 again (it got HOT in the afternoon, though it was nice at night), but one of the things that really made things easier for everybody was the fact that school was out. So, for 2021 we're going for the weekend after graduation, which we hope hits the sweet spot on weather and yet still keeps things comfortable for everybody. Also, moving it to May should give us a better chance to avoid those April showers (which can become downright unpleasant at night!).


The sixth running of The Three Sisters Ultra Festival is once again a 24 hour, 12 hour, or 6 hour timed event that will be run on the trails in the beautiful Maryville College Woods. A few years ago we added in the 6 and 12 hour night options for both solo runners and teams -- run under the stars in the cool night air! There's an extra question for day vs. night on the 6 and 12 hour, so if you want to run at night, that's your pick. We want more people in the woods at night!

The course is a 3.125 mile loop that will start and end at the McArthur Pavilion at the edge of the woods. You'll be able to access aid (and enjoy the warm fireplace!) every loop, as well as have the opportunity to set up your own personal aid area underneath and in the large yard around the pavilion.

This your first ultra? We think this will be a great one:

  10 loops = 50K
  20 loops = 100K
  32 loops = 100 Miles!

Also, there are relay options: For the 6 hour race, you can have up to 4 people on your relay team, and for the 12 and 24 hour races you can have up to a 6 person team. No restriction on how many laps each team member runs, so theoretically you could have a team with one runner and a bunch of people who just sit around and chill the whole time. And hopefully cheer the runner on! Hehe so if you don't feel like running the whole time (or just want to sit around and chill out for 24 hours) here's your option!

Once again we'll have live music, as well as other activities in case you want to take a break from all the running. For instance, when have you ever played a quick nine holes of disc golf in the middle of an ultra?


REGISTER EARLY! We had so many late registrants last year (as in after the cutoff, you naughty runners!) that some of you didn't get the super nice soft t-shirt and other swag. So register early! We'll be allowing registration all the way through Thursday, May 27th, but we'll be ordering shirts and other goodies on May 20th (the printers need a little time to get the shirts and other things in & printed). After May 20th at midnight, you're not guaranteed a t-shirt and other swag.

AGAIN: If you register after May 20th at midnight, you're not guaranteed the shirt and goodies. So register early! We're cheap - there's no reason not to.

AID STATION & PACERS: We learned a few lessons in years past -- most importantly we had a hard time keeping food available for runners because all the non-running folk kept getting to it first. (For instance, the bacon was gone almost as soon as we put it out -- if you were a runner out on a loop you were just out of luck. It was even worse when pizza showed up!) In order to take care of our beloved runners, this year we'll require you to be a runner or a pacer to access the aid station amenities. If you plan to use a pacer, you can pick up her bib at packet pickup -- tell her to wear it while she's pacing you and she'll be good to go. And tell her to save you some bacon! 🥓 (We're looking forward to being able to have a more normal aid station for 2021 - fingers crossed!)


Two details about timing:

RACE START TIMES: The 24 hour races (solo and relay) and the rest of the day races will start in waves, starting at 7:00 AM. The night races (6hr, 12hr, relays) will start in waves starting at 7:00 PM. Sunset is at 8:45 PM, so you'll have time to get in a lap or two in the daytime / twilight before the scary night sets in, and you start hallucinating beady eyes looking hungrily back at you in the dark. 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀

CHIP TIMING: We'll be chip timing the race once again this year. Please don't fold your bib (especially around the chip), and please wear your bib on your shirt, pinned to your shorts, or somehow attached to your vest, and on the FRONT of your person. We'll be positioning the readers (square white antennas) so they'll best read your chip if it's near your midline.

The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters, pictured above, are a close-set group of peaks on Chilhowee Mountain south of Maryville in Walland. They can be seen from the higher parts of the Maryville College campus. The highest peak is 2,843 feet - it's a bit of a trick of the eye, but that peak is the far left one in the picture. There's an old lookout tower (which Blackberry has since turned into a fancy restaurant) on that peak, and a radio relay tower (now another Blackberry building, The Library) on the middle one. The right hand peak is reachable by a trail after about a 4 mile run up Chilhowee mountain.

Local time: 5:09 AM


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