The DoubleTop 100 is a 100 mile and 100 km trail race across the Cohutta Mountains in northern Georgia. This is a beautiful course with amazing scenery and unique flora. You will run by the inspirational Cohutta Overlook, skirt the cliffs of Turkey Mountain, pass two or more beautiful overlooks (e.g., Holly Springs). The course leaves Ft Mountain State Park and follows the northern section of the Pinhoti Trail until FS Road 90, where it makes a detour around the Bear Creek and Mountaintown Creek valleys. The course re-joins the Pinhoti Trail at its highest point and continues until it joins the Benton Mackaye Trail. Runners opting for the shorter run (100k) will turn around at the high point and will retrace their route back to Ft Mountain State Park. The 100 mile runners will be treated to the vistas of Flat Top Mountain, Fowler Mountain, and Bear Den Mountains before turning around near Bushy Head Gap to return to Ft Mountain. Runners will be given
34 36 hours to complete the course.
The start and finish is at Ft Mountain State Park. Ft Mountain State Park has a considerable number of day-use and overnighting services such as cottages, campgrounds, and shelters. It also has some beautiful trails that circumnavigate the park and provides many excellent day hiking opportunities. Additional activities are planned at Ft Mountain State Park during the day, such as a kid’s fun run and The Guhati Ring-of-Power Challenge.
Note that although this course is relatively non-technical, it is challenging because of the significant amount of elevation gain. Cutoff times are strictly enforced for runner safety. This is a late winter race (early spring to some) so the weather is variable from the high 70s to drenching thunderstorms to freezing temps with a bitter cold wind.
Ultrarunning lore for the Cohutta Mountains has it that the Cohutta Mountains easily entice runners away from their routes and groups. The native Cherokee who lived in northern Georgia centuries ago referred to this area as the Enchanted Lands. If you get off course, we will not be surprised.
There are 3 concurrent events on race day. A 100 mile race, a 100 km race, and a timed hill challenge. Packet pickup will start at 4pm on Friday evening.
100M: The 100M course has a moderate amount of elevation gain/loss (19,000 – 21,000 ft). The course is not particularly technical (by Appalachian standards). It uses the trails in Ft Mountain State Park, the Pinhoti Connector Trail, 5 sections of northern part of the Pinhoti Trail, FS Road 64, and connects to the Benton Mackaye Trail to traverse over to Bushy Head Gap. The Benton Mackaye Trail (BMT) is lightly used so runners should pay close attention to course markings. The section of the BMT between Dyer Gap and Bushy Head Gap has no crew access because of a lack of connector trails and trailheads, but there will be two additional water stations along this section. There is no trailhead at Bushy Head Gap so the course turn-around will be located near Fightingtown creek (Walosi-Unulisdi'yi AS).
100k: The 100k course has a moderate amount of elevation gain/loss (10,500 – 11,500 ft). It uses trails in Ft Mountain State Park, the Pinhoti Connector Trail, 5 sections of northern part of the Pinhoti Trail, and FS Road 64 that the 100M course also uses. The 100k course will turn around at the high point of the Pinhoti Trail (a.k.a., Top of the Pinhoti) and re-trace its route back to Ft Mountain State Park. Note: 100k course cutoffs will be enforced further upcourse this year (at Double Top AS and Cohutta Overlook AS) and not just at the finish (20 hrs).
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 will be accumulated in a cash purse. This race will start at 8:00 AM, rain or shine.
CHANGES IN 2013
Both the 100M and 100k course will change slightly in length. The Three Forks Conasauga AS will move to the Mulberry Inn, which is approximately 1/2 mile west on FS Rd 18 (over the hill and down around the road switchback). There is indoor plumbing at this location so this should be much appreciated. In response to this change in aid station location, the 100k course will turn around exactly at the Top of the Pinhoti AS. The 100M course, which was slightly over 100 miles will likely have the rocky/rooty technical parts of the Ft Mountain Gahuti and 301 trails removed from the 100M course, so the 100k and 100M courses will follow the same routes inside Ft Mountain State Park.
The 100k course cutoffs will be enforced further upcourse at the Double Top AS (~13 hrs - 42 miles) and Cohutta Overlook AS (~17 hrs - 53 miles) instead of just at the finish (20 hrs).
Packet pickup will start at 4pm on Friday evening. And the waiver will include a requirement that runners read the runners manual because that will be the definitive source for changes and updates to the race. The race is advertised in multiple venues that are difficult to update in a timely manner. What is stated in the runners manual is how the race will be run.
Race starts: The 100M event will start at 3am. The earlier start time will accomodate 2 additional hours that have been added to the final cutoff time of the 100M course (now 36 hrs). The 100k start time will also be moved up to 6am so that most 100k runners finish earlier at night. Cutoff times will be adjusted accordingly.