If you’re looking for a little motivation to keep those New Year’s resolutions of losing weight and getting fit, then consider signing up for an upcoming race in the Smoky Mountains. You’ll be able to feel the exhilaration of your feet pounding against the pavement—all while taking in the gorgeous grandeur of the Great Smoky Mountains. Racing is one the best ways to get your body moving, burn tons of calories, and have miles of fun in the process!
Two Smoky Mountain races are right around the corner. Be sure to register as soon as possible so you can get your chance at great prizes and the ultimate reward of looking good and feeling great!
- Mountain Man Memorial March – April 10-11, 2015, Gatlinburg, TN.
- Earth Day 5K — April 24, 2015, Gatlinburg, TN.
This year, the Mountain Man Memorial March, which honors Gold Star Families and their loved ones, will be celebrating its 8th year in the Smoky Mountains. The event consists of two main categories. You can either march or run. The running portion of the race consists of three distances: the full marathon (26.2 miles), the half marathon (13.1 miles), and a 10K (6.2 miles). The marching portion of the event is divided into the full marathon and the half marathon. You can compete in this race as an individual or as part of a five-person team. However, competitors will be divided into categories based on their gender and age as well as whether they are military or civilians. The march is further divided into heavy and light categories. (For more information on this and for official rules regarding uniform requirements, see the race’s website.)
The Mountain Man Memorial March begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning across the street from the Hard Rock Café in Gatlinburg. You’ll be running into the Smoky Mountains with a route that consists of paved roads, gravel roads, and uneven terrain. Prizes will be awarded at the Gold Star Family Ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday night. For information on pricing and to register for the race, click here.
Beginning racers might opt instead for the 4th-annual Earth Day 5K in Gatlinburg, which covers a little less ground than the Mountain Man Memorial March. This walk/run, which caps out at 3.1 miles, weaves through the beautiful streets of downtown Gatlinburg. And the race is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m., so you get to avoid the hottest part of the day. Athletes of all ages are welcome to participate in this USA Track and Field sanctioned event, which takes place during the Earth Week celebration in the Smoky Mountains. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce’s initiatives in education and green programs.
Early registration for the Earth Day 5K is encouraged so you can be sure to get your shirt size. If you want to register the night of race, you’ll need to go to the Nantahala Outdoor Center at 8 p.m. For information on pricing and to pre-register, simply click here.
Of course, these aren’t the only races in the Smoky Mountains. Coming up in the fall is the Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon on September 12, and in the winter, join hundreds of runners for the Santa Hustle Smokies 5K and Half Marathon on December 14. For help booking your stay when you come to the Smokies for any or all of these exciting races, call our reservation specialists today. We have cabins all around the Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville area to provide you with convenient and comfortable lodgings, so all you need to worry about is getting across the finish line!