I am always hearing about some really interesting marathons. Many of them really pique my interest but I cannot run them all. I have begun making posts of these marathons with the disclaimer that these are not marathons that I have necessarily run but are events that really sound of interest to me. Of course I also will show you the best way to reach these marathons! If you do end up running any of the marathons I write about, please let me know what your thoughts were of the event!
Cool Marathon Alert: Chickamauga Marathon
While I have never run this particular marathon, I have run much of the course many times. Each summer, I have meetings down in the area and I always have gone to the Chickamauga Battlefield for my runs. Some of the battlefield paths are in the woods so it helps to keep the hot, Georgia sun off of me for a bit. 🙂
I know there are many, many Civil War buffs – if that is you, you know right away where the Chickamauga battlefield is located and what happened there. Can you think of a cooler marathon than to run through such a battlefield? The only bad part about doing something like this is that your marathon time for this one would be about 2 hours slower than your average time because you will want to stop and read each plaque! 🙂
This year, their finisher’s medal will feature the sesquicentennial (150 year anniversary) of the Civil War. There are many awesome monuments along the course as well as cannons and cannonball heaps that line the roadway. Chickamauga itself is a very nice little community with people that provide the usual Southern hospitality. You should have a fantastic time enjoying this little slice of the South as well as running a very cool marathon (be sure to look out for wildlife – I have had herds of deer run across the path just in front of me!).
- Chattanooga International Airport (TN) – 20 miles
- Atlanta International Airport (GA) – 120 miles
- Huntsville Airport (AL) – 125 miles
- Birmingham International Airport (AL) – 150 miles
I have flown down there about 5 times and have never flown into Chattanooga. Though it is very close and convenient, Atlanta has always been a better option since Atlanta is a hub airport for both Delta and Southwest. That meant that I could hop a direct flight down there. If I flew to Chattanooga, I would have to have a minimum of a 35 minute layover plus another flight of a minimum of 1 hour. That means, with the minimum times possible to fly to Chattanooga, it would be about the same time as driving from Atlanta. Plus, rental car rates are much better in Atlanta!
So, I would encourage anyone flying in to use Atlanta. All the major carriers fly there, though if you have Delta miles or Southwest points, they may be your best bet to avoid multiple connections and have the most flight times as options.
- Delta – requires 25,000 miles for an award ticket
- Southwest – unknown exactly how much. During sales, it is dependent on distance. So, it could be as cheap as 4,400 points or as high as 16,000 points.
As for hotels, to stay as close to the course as possible (about 1 mile), there are really only two options – Super 8 and Best Western. I have used both and while neither is a Westin, they are both fine choices and offer breakfast and a pool 🙂 The rates have always been very low for me as well – less than $50 a night.
This year’s race has already reached its participant cap – 1,500 runners. There are still some slots available through their charity program, otherwise, you will need to wait for another year.
- Marathon: Battlefield Marathon
- Date: November 9, 2013
- Time: 7:30AM
- Place: Chickamauga/Ft Oglethorpe, GA
- Races: Marathon, Half-marathon, 5K, Junior Marathon
- Cost: $90 (Marathon), $75 (half-marathon), $10 (Junior Marathon), $30 (5K)
- Website: website
This is a very beautiful area with a lot to offer (their main road not far from the battlefield is packed with restaurants and stores for miles!). Running a nice, intimate, historical race like this should be a huge bonus for the marathoner who is always looking for something different.