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Springtime Bearhoti Trail Fest

2 Days of Beautiful Springtime Trail Running

New Trails for Spring 2022!


This 2-day event is meant to challenge and reward you. There are multiple distance options across two days, pick one or make a weekend of it! Friday is a KOM/QOM evening race, and Saturday is the big race day. You’ll do some solid mountain climbing, fantastic downhill shredding, see incredible views, play in creeks, and see Georgia’s largest tulip poplar tree!

The Cohuttas offer some of the most beautifully rugged terrain in the Lower Appalachians, and you'll be in the perfect spot to launch an adventure in the mountains!

I encourage you to take your time on the trails and enjoy everything these mountains have to offer. Run the weekend for the full experience!

When? Friday, April 15, 2022 & Saturday, April 16, 2022

Where? Varies depending on day, but both are within several miles of each other.

The routes/schedule:
Friday evening @ 7pm (check-in 30 min before, at the trailhead) - Pinhoti 3 (singletrack)

Location: 34.79504,-84.6054
8 miles total. This is a mostly uphill 4 miles with nearly 1200ft gain to watch the sunset (8:15pm) from Cohutta Overlook. Yes, you could drive to this, but it’s way more fun to run/hike up with good company! Plus the return is mostly downhill, which is fun as can be, especially as daylight fades away! Yep, you’ll want to bring a headlamp.

 

As a fun challenge, this run is a KOM/QOM!  There are no general awards, but the KOM and QOM get a little something to commemorate their achievements!

Course Records:

Men: Jeb Buffington - 50:01 (2021)

Women: Sloan Beard - 50:52 (2021)

SATURDAY's 36-Miler has MORE SINGLETRACK for 2022 (Stand by for more detail!)
Saturday @ 8am (check-in 7am) - The Bearhoti 36-Miler

Location: End of FS 90B (34.80488,-84.58606)

Total distance 36 Miles - 6700 ft of climbing - mostly single track with some double track and about 3 (not connected) miles of gravel forest road.  You'll traverse the pristine Mountaintown Creek Trail, pass the Northern Terminus of the Pinhoti Trail, see an incredible view off the Bear Creek Overlook, and have an overall climby, descendy, creek-stompin good time.

Inclement Weather Route:

Our Plan B route in case of weather is just as pretty!  
Total distance 36 Miles - 6300 ft of climbing - about 8 miles of gravel, the rest singletrack with some doubletrack
You will visit TWO overlooks and be able to see where you ran/will run from both of them! This is a complete loop of Bear Creek and three segments of the Pinhoti Trail. You will get your feet wet, and you definitely want to take pause at the overlooks to take in the views!

Course Records:

Men: Jared Burris - 6:09:31 (2021 - Inclement Weather Route)

Women: Wendy Mader - 8:37:01 (2021 - Inclement Weather Route)

Saturday @ 8am (check-in 7am) - The Bearhoti 19-Miler

Location: End of FS 90B (34.80488,-84.58606)
Total distance 19 Miles - 3500 ft of climbing - mostly singletrack/doubletrack - about 1.5 of gravel road
This is perfect for folks that really don't want to go all that far! You'll do a complete loop of Bear Creek and 1.5 segments of the Pinhoti Trail. You'll definitely get your feet wet, and you'll get a great view from the top of the Bear Creek system

Course Records:

Men: Beau Beard - 3:14:37 (2021)

Women: Debbie Boyett - 3:45:09 (2021)

Course maps/Cues
All routes will be on AllTrails. I highly recommend downloading the GPX files to your device so you can stay on course for each day. Especially for Saturday. Signage and flagging will be at trail or road intersections only.

Friday evening: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/pinhoti-3-d6d2317?u=i
Saturday’s Bearhoti 36 Miler Race: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/bearhoti-marathon-3d017ba?u=i
Saturday’s Bearhoti 19 Miler Race: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/mini-bearhoti-eaae339?u=i

 

Aid stops
Saturday only - the following mileages are approximate

Aid Station 1 / 3(4) - MM 4.5 / MM 14.5 (MM 31.5 for 36 Milers) - Lower Bear Creek Trailhead
Aid Station 2 (36 Milers only) – MM 18.5 – Buddy Cove Gap (Pinhoti parking area)
Aid Station 2 / 3 - MM 9.7 / MM 10.6 (MM 26.6 for 36 Milers) - Upper Bear Creek Access (before overlook)

 

Inclement weather aid stops:
Aid Station 1 / 3 - MM 4.5 / MM 14.5 - Lower Bear Creek Trailhead
Aid Station 2 - MM 9.7 / MM 10.6 - Upper Bear Creek Access (before Potatopatch)
Aid Station 4 (36 Milers only) - MM 19 - Start/Finish Line
Aid Station 5 (36 Milers only) - MM 27.5 - Cohutta Overlook


If we enact the weather route, there will also be a water drop at the bottom of P2/Conasauga Rd that 36 Milers will visit twice.

At this time, it will be basic hydration (water, gatorade, coke) and some ultrarunner snacky stuff. Participants should bring preferred nutrition.

Food and Lodging
This is SUPER important…..Mulberry Gap Adventure Basecamp is right up the road, but this event does NOT Start/Finish there as it has in the past. If you wish to stay and eat there, you need to work with them directly. They have campsites and cabins and do breakfast (8:30am), bagged lunches (for post-race - you collect), and dinner (6pm). Go to https://www.mulberrygap.com/ for details and reservations. Plus they're offering runners and volunteers a discount for staying with them!  Give them a call or email and drop the code "COHUTTARUN10" for 10% off your stay.  706-698-2865 or email at reservations@mulberrygap.com.

There are other lodging options in the area. Fort Mountain State Park is right up the road. There is primitive walk-in camping at the Bear Creek Campground. The National Forest has dispersed camping as you drive up. I don't mind folks camping at the Start/Finish, but you'll need to have your stuff all packed away by 6am and your car parked to the side so we can put on a race.

PARKING at the Start/Finish for Saturday is gonna be super-tight. Make sure y'all squeeze in like sardines so I can let more people participate. Carpooling is HIGHLY recommended. Please follow the directions of the kind volunteers.

 

Mulberry Gap Shuttle to and from the Start/Finish

Mulberry Gap is generously offering (for a fee) to shuttle folks to the Start and collect y'all after you finish.  YOU MUST ARRANGE THIS DIRECTLY WITH MULBERRY GAP. ​  I highly recommend you use this service because parking will be tight, and the Start/Finish is up a skinny forest road.

If you shuttle with Mulberry Gap, you MUST have a drop bag (size doesn't matter to me but Mulberry might care - so ask) containing a full set of dry/warm clothes to change into after your race.  There may be a delay between your finish time and pick-up time, and you don't want to get cold.  Add rain gear if the forecast has rain.

Cut-offs
On Saturday, you’ll have 12 hours to complete the Bearhoti 36-Miler course. Basically, come home by dark. BRING A HEADLAMP if you think you'll be riding the cutoff.

IMPORTANT: 36 Milers will have 1 hr to reach AND LEAVE the first aid station at Lower Bear Creek (4.5 miles) if they wish to continue on the 36 Mile course. If you miss the cut-off, you'll be advised to follow the 19-Miler course markings.  This isn't as aggressive as it sounds, and I've based this cut-off on previous executions of this event.  Having said that, the Mountaintown Creek Trail is significantly more difficult than other parts of the course, and for safety reasons, it should not be underestimated.

Drop Bags

Not at this time

Runner tracking

Only manual for safety reasons. The Bearhoti Trail Fest is meant to be a weekend of grassroots trail running.  Although parts of the course have great cell reception, it's a hassle to have volunteers work with hotspots and timing devices when they really need to be helping runners. 

Here's what you get along with fine mountain racing and running:
*Swag: T-shirt
*Finisher award for all Saturday racers
*Top 3 M/F awards for Saturday top performers
*Basic hydration: water, Gatorade, coke
*Basic nutrition
*Access to first aid
*Craft beer (likely from Oskar Blues Brewing)
*Friday and Saturday events are timed


Hilary Kelley (https://www.hilarykart.com/shop) has done our art for the last few years, and it's wonderful!

Here is a link to all Event Communications in case participants did not receive emails: To be established as we draw closer to the event...

 

Volunteers are needed for this event!
Please email me if you’re interested in supporting, especially on Saturday! Available jobs include parking, aid manning, and safety sweeping (for each day). As thank you, volunteer gifts include runner swag and a comp entry to the 2021 Rabun Half Marathon in June or other 2021 Run The Cohuttas events. Volunteers get free entry into any event I put on within a year of volunteering. Please join the volunteering group on Facebook to get updates and interact with other volunteers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/runthecohuttas

Covid Considerations:

Please give this link a look to see what we're doing to reduce the possible transmission of Covid-19: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14ktSyyO-86nTPyU0cFhs711QxfKnPmrK60OSE99-NAk/edit?usp=sharing This applies to all Run the Cohuttas events as well as the Rabun Half Marathon, so if you read something that doesn't quite make sense for this race, that's why.

Miscellaneous:

USFS permit is in progress and this event will be insured.

Although this event will be held rain or shine, if the weather truly works against us (eg. severe winter weather alerts, USFS directives), I will either cancel or attempt to reschedule.

Run the Cohuttas is a local grassroots organization and cannot offer refunds, transfers, or deferments. This includes if the event is cancelled due to last minute inclement weather. Every registration fee goes toward the betterment of this and other Run the Cohuttas events as well as the on-going trail maintenance efforts on and off the Bearhoti courses. Your understanding is appreciated!

Cost 

Friday's KOM/QOM 8-Miler - $35

Saturday Bearhoti 19-Miler - $65 then $75 after February 1 and $85 after March 15

Saturday Bearhoti 36-Miler - $75 then $85 after February 1 and $95 after March 15

Day-of registration is allowed - EXACT CASH-ONLY.

Have questions? Email me at runthecohuttas@gmail.com

The deadline to register and be GUARANTEED a T-shirt and other swaggy items is March 28.