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 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. Although the weather was not optimal last year the Guhati Ring-of-Power Challenge is still planned.
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. You should not get off course if you follow the orange flags.
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. The trailhead is poor at Bushy Head Gap so the course turn-around is located a small distance up FS Rd 739. There is not much space at the turn around, so crew parking is further down Bushy Head Gap Rd near Fightingtown Creek. The 100M race starts at 3 am on Saturday morning.
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 are enforced upcourse (at Double Top AS and Cohutta Overlook AS) and not just at the finish (20 hrs). The 100k race starts at 6 am Saturday morning.
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 ($40) will be accumulated in a cash purse. This race will start at 8:00 AM, rain or shine.
CHANGES IN 2014
Both the 100M and 100k course will change slightly in length. The Three Forks Conasauga AS is back again at its old location where the Pinhoti Trail exits onto FS Rd 18 (Mulberry Gap Rd). The 100k course may turn around at the Top of the Pinhoti AS or continue passed from 1/2 mile. The 100M course will turn around near the end of FS Rd 739.
INCLEMENT WEATHER: We will implement an inclement weather plan if the weather looks like it will make roads impassable. The section of the course along FS Rd 64/68 requires 4x4 vehicles to climb or descend when icy, so it is not a practical route of travel for volunteer or crew vehicles under those conditions. Therefore, an alternate inclement weather course will be used, that will turn around at the Double Top AS and return to Ft Mtn State Park. The aid points further out on the course will be relocated inside the Park and the difference in mileage will be completed inside the Ft Mtn State Park. We are starting the race later in the month of March (because of restriction on the opening of the gates to the high road section) so the weather should be milder. That said, some rumor mongers are predicting a harsh winter so the weather still could be interesting (:D). (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.
Crew vehicles: Please consider the terrain and maneuver areas when choosing your crew vehicle(s). Do not use an RV or pull a trailer. The course has limited parking. Most locations are accessible by car - provided that the roads are not soaked or icy.
Local time: 10:36 PM