The last annual Heart of the South Road Race (326 miles)
The HOTS is a journey run across time and space. Following the old Lee Highway, the first transcontinental route in the southern US, it will begin in Arkansas, crossing the Mississippi River on the Harahan Bridge, the same bridge as the first travelers on the Lee Highway used in 1919.
Local time: 5:36 AM
Along the route between the Arkansas start and the finish at Castle Rock, Georgia, high atop Sand Mountain, the course will travel across rural Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, passing thru numerous small sleepy southern towns. The participant will walk in the footsteps of history, walking everything from old Indian trails to stagecoach roads; from the Natchez Trace to the Trail of Tears. They will walk the ground trod by the soldiers who fought in campaigns of the Civil War and the Indian wars. They will pass through Huntsville’s Tech Town, where man’s first walk on the moon was planned using slide rules, and today’s trips across, and beyond, the solar system are accomplished with the most modern computer equipment. The runners can have lunch at a real soda fountain, in the oldest drugstore in Mississippi (opened by a confederate veteran after the war) and eat at lunch counters with men who plan trips into space.
For the lovers of Geology, the trip will cover a fascinating range of features, from the alluvial plain of the Mississippi to the top of Sand Mountain, crossing features like the Cumberland Plateau and the Sequatchie Valley.
Every journey run is an adventure, and this one has been laid out to provide a surprise around every corner. But the biggest surprise is what the runners find in themselves along the way.
Runners will park at the finish and be transported by tour buses to the start in Arkansas. After an overnight stay in a hotel, the field will be bused to the start the following morning. Daily tracking will be maintained, and runners wishing to drop will be transported back to their vehicles. Finishers will be shuttled with their vehicles to motels near the finish for a safe sleep before getting behind the wheel.
There is no greater freedom, than being totally self sufficient on the open road. Come experience it for yourself.