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All distances are USATF certified and are also international certification by IAAF. Tennessean winners in all distances will be submitted for inclusion in the Tennessee State ultra records here. (A big shout out to the Tennessee record keeper, Buck Jones, for all his work to post and keep up with these!) Will you qualify for the Boston Marathon? Will you set a Tennessee record? Maybe even a regional, national, or possibly an international record? Come find out!
The course is a fairly flat, paved, generally eight foot wide greenway that is lit at nighttime. It meanders along the Pistol Creek (hence the name for the event), through Alcoa, by several small bodies of water, and to Maryville’s Jack Greene Park. It is a linear route approximately 5 miles long with a keyhole configuration at the southern end and a short spur off the east side. All distances start at Springbrook Pool and run south for about 4.5 miles, then return about 5.5 miles to the start to complete the loop. There is a short side spur on the return route to provide the exact distance for the imperial and metric loops. (More details below.) As described above, runners will pass an aid station every 1-2.5 miles on each loop.
There is less than 200’ of elevation change per loop. EASY!
There are numerous side trails on this trail system. We will have the official Pistol routes marked with signage, distance-specific colored markings/duct tape/arrows on the pavement (green for the metric course, orange for the imperial course), and possibly cones and/or orange flags on wires stuck in the ground. Cutting corners or otherwise not running the entire route is not allowed and may result in disqualification.
This is NOT a closed course. There will be people walking dogs, runners, bikers, baby strollers, etc (depending on the weather and time of day/night). Many wear personal music devices and may be completely oblivious to you approaching. However, they have an equal right to be there too. Let’s show them how courteous ultra runners are!
There are a few minor road crossings. Other than the police escort at the start, no one will stop traffic for you. Use common sense (stop, look both ways, etc.). Do not attempt traffic control at intersections. Wait until traffic has cleared before crossing. To avoid misunderstandings and/or other issues, please do not wave “thank you” at traffic crossings inside Maryville city limits.
From the start/finish line, all runners will proceed to follow the main Greenway Trail south past the the Lucky Leprechaun water stop aid station into Maryville. Shortly after passing the Wild Trails full service aid station, you will continue counterclockwise around the loop in front of the Maryville Greenbelt Amphitheater. Then you will start returning back towards the start/finish. They will immediately pass by the Wild Trails full service aid station a second time. Then at the upper end of the Greenbelt Lake, you will turn right (east) onto an alternate trail, passing the TriStar Rowing water stop and on to their respective imperial or metric turn around points (there will be signs). Then return to the Greenbelt Lake, continue along the right (north) side and back past the Lucky Leprechaun water stop to the Start/Finish and The Long Run full service Aid Station. This will complete one full lap. Those running the 50K will do the metric (green) loop 3 times; the 100K runners will do it 6 times. The 50 milers will complete the imperial (orange) loop 5 times; and the hundo runners 10 times.
The half and full marathon courses run in conjunction with the other ultra distance events. The half marathoners will follow the imperial (orange) course. After returning to the Start/Finish, you will continue back along the course for 1.55 miles to the turn around sign, then return to the Start/Finish for a final time. The full marathon will repeat the half marathon course twice in the same sequence. The marathon is a Boston qualifier. Get ready to bang the BQ/PR gong and let everyone know your success!
You must correctly follow the course for the distance you are registered in. Even though all the races are on the same trail system, each distance has a specific course (differing in number and length of laps), we highly recommend you do not blindly follow the runner in front of you. Any deviation from the prescribed course may result in disqualification. There will be a very large well marked course map posted during check-in. We will NOT be going over it or the signage prerace since it is detailed very well on this website here. Also, we will not be providing staff/volunteers who will guide you at every intersection to ensure you are on the correct course and/or advise you of the number of laps you have completed. We highly recommend you utilize the free RaceJoy tracking we provide. Simply click on the RaceJoy link on the home page and step through the setup. It will automatically help you stay on the correct course and track your laps/distance and allow you to focus on your race and enjoy the Pistol party!
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