Must-Do Chattanooga Races in 2018!

You've set your new year's resolutions: get fit, stay in shape, eat healthier. What better accountability than a tangible goal you have to train for, like a race! Races provide an end goal to work towards, whether that's to run a fast a 5k or to run your first half marathon. A registration fee and date on the calendar are excellent accountability partners that will all keep you motivated to train and push yourself!

Whether you're just starting out or need a bigger, badder challenge, here are eleven races to put on your calendar for 2018.

1. Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon, Half Marathon, 5k, and Kids Race: March 2-4, 2018

This race will not disappoint you. Although a young race, over the past 3 years the city of Chattanooga has come out strong with cheering and support throughout the race. It is a blast running through the various neighborhoods of Chattanooga, and seeing everyone out cheering. There is a large expo the day before at the First Tennessee Pavilion, and there's always great race swag for participants. There is still plenty of time to sign up and start training, don't delay! Click here for more info or to register!

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2. Rock/Creek River Gorge 10.2m Trail Race: March 24, 2018

If you've always wanted to try a trail race, the R/C River Gorge is a fantastic chance to dip your toes into the trail world. The course has beautiful scenery with challenging a single track course through Mullens Cove loop at Prentice Cooper State Forest. For more info or to register, click here!

3. 65 Roses 5k: March 24, 2018

In it's 16th year, the 65 Roses 5k has raised about $1 million for Cystic Fibrosis. This year they are having a special guest, Olympian marathon runner Meb Keflezghi! You can sign up for the VIP ticket and have a chance to meet him in person, and it's all for a great cause! For more info or to register, click here!

4. Chickamauga Chase 15k, 8M, Walk, Kiddie K: April 21, 2018

This year will be the 50th running of the Chickamauga Chase, solidifying it as a Chattanooga classic, and must-do race for locals! This event has something for everyone, and we mean EVERYONE. From a road 15k race to a 8m trail race to the Kiddie K, this race is perfect for the running family. Road runners, trail runners, walkers, and kids will all enjoy a beautiful day of racing at the Battlefield. Not to mention the awards for the top finishers are Civil War bayonets!  For more information or to register, click here!

5. Chattanooga Chase 8k and 1 mile: May 28, 2018

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 Photo by Varina Shaughnessy

Photo by Varina Shaughnessy

In its 51st running, this challenging and hilly road course shows no mercy until the fast, flowing, downhill finish. But let's be real, this race is all about the after party! In recent years, the Chattanooga Chase has been sponsored by local restaurants who have up'd the heigh of the post-race festivities, providing food and drinks to all participants and families. Join us for a fun race kicking off your Memorial Day. For more information or to register, click here!

6. Waterfront Triathlon: June 24, 2018

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Chattanooga is known for being a triathlon city with the Ironman 70.3, full Ironman, and in 2017, we hosted the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. If you've been inspired by all the men and women in space helmets on bikes, before you sign up for the full 140.6 miles, start with this competitive but friendly Chattanooga tri. The Waterfront Triathlon offers both sprint and olympic distances, perfect for a beginner triathlete, yet challenging enough for advanced racers. For more information or to register, click here!

7. Missionary Ridge 4.7 Mile Road Race: August 11, 2018

Another classic Chattanooga race in its 45th year running! This rolling course on top of the ridge has breathtaking scenery the entire route. In August, the weather is sure to be hot and humid, so stay hydrated, and challenge yourself to take on the ridge! For more info or to register, click here!

8. Cam Bean Memorial 5k and Kids race: August 25, 2018

 Photo by Emily Lester

Photo by Emily Lester

In its 3rd year, the Cam Run 5k and 1mile is very dear to our hearts. Cameron Bean, a former Fast Break employee, was tragically killed while running on Moccasin Bend Road which is the location of the race. The 5k in the morning is open to everyone! The top 25 male and female winners from the 5k will have the chance to compete in the 1 mile event that evening as a part of the River Gorge Omnium bike race. Click here for more information or to register! 

9. Battlefield Marathon, Half Marathon, Kids Run: November 10, 2018

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A race through history! This rolling course takes your through beautiful Civil War battlefields and around historical moments, memorials, and canons. It's a great race to go after that elusive Boston Qualifier! Everyone can participate with distances from the full and half marathon to the Jr. Marathon. For the Jr. Marathon, kids log 25.2 miles throughout the year, and run their final momentous mile on race day. For more info or to register click here!

10. Sports Barn Turkey Trot

There is no other Turkey Trot in Chattanooga like this one. For years, this race has brought out before the devouring, football and food coma's start. Burn the calories before you eat them! Proceeds go to the Kidney Foundation of Chattanooga. Click here for more info or to register! 

11. Wuahatchie Trail Race

 Photo by Kari Vradenberg

Photo by Kari Vradenberg

It's not just about how fast your are, but how old you are! Experience a different type of race with an age graded start. Each age group has a different start time that levels the playing field for a chance to win the Golden Antlers! The course is at  Reflection Riding Arboretum. Participant are encouraged to bring a white elephant gift for the prize table! For more info or to register, click here!

Honorable Mentions

There are SO MANY great races in Chattanooga that we've run out of room! These honorable mentions are more that the Fast Break crew loves and runs. Click on each one for more info or to register.

Good luck with your fitness goals this year! 

Fast Break's Favorite Fun and Friendly Trails!

The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing, and the trails are calling!

Chattanooga is establishing itself as a trail running mecca. Competitive, well-marked and organized races through groups like Wild Trails and RockCreek Race Series draw people from all over the country to climb the mountains and witness the incredible beauty of the South.

The trail running community is huge and spread out in Chattanooga. Facebook groups like Scenic City Trail Runners, Cumberland Trail Runners, and Chattanooga Trail Runners as well as several groups on MeetUp are a great way to connect with local trail runners. At Fast Break, we offer a Tuesday night run up to Stringers Ridge from the store (Join Eric at 6pm!).

Some of the best resources for trails are found at your local running store (that’s us!) and outdoors store. However, a local and online resource is RootsRated which provides in-depth reviews on trails (and climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, and food/drink) not only in Chattanooga, but all over the country. Apps like AllTrails, MapMyRun, and Strava are also helpful for finding runs that people have logged in the past, or for logging your own or keeping stats on your fast friends (we NEVER do that!). 

Our Staff Favorites 

To give you a jump start on exploring our city’s beauty, we asked some of our staff members what their favorite trails to run are around Chattanooga. (Disclaimer... These trails might not be fun, or friendly...)

Annette: Stringers Ridge because of proximity. It’s close to downtown and only a few miles from my house. But hold onto your hat because these whirly, roller coaster runs will give you whiplash. Great for a 3-8 mile run. Raccoon Mountain is also a favorite because of varying distances and smoother terrain. The east overlook to the visitor center and back is about 9 miles. 

Michael: The Guild Hardy Trail because you can hammer it out from Ruby Falls to the end and then run back. As a truck trail, it’s wide and less technical than other trails on Lookout Mountain. If you start at the Ochs Highway parking lot and go to the end of Guild and come back, it’s about 13 miles.

Katie: Lookout Mountain is one of my favorite places to find trails. Start at the Ruby Falls parking lot and go down the Guild Hardy trail till you see the Jura trail on the right. Take the Jura trail out to Skyuka Springs then climb up the mountain on the John Smart trail. At the top, hop onto the Bluff trail, one of the most beautiful trails in Chattanooga, continue all the way to Cravens House and take Guild back to Ruby Falls. I think that’s around 11-12 miles. It’s basically the Big Daddy Loop. I also love all the trails out at the Nature Center for an easy semi-flat/rolling hills recovery run. 

Joey: One of my favorites is the Fiery Gizzard trail. It’s beautiful and you have Foster Falls at the end, a great climbing spot for rock climbers. Located in South Cumberland State Park, the trail, 12.7 miles one-way, is great for a long run or an extra long run if you go out and back. The run takes you into a beautiful forest with hemlocks, rock gardens, waterfalls, and the “mini-gorge” called Black Canyon.

Varina: A quick run with a beautiful view is a morning jog down St. Elmo Avenue and up the trail at the base of the mountain to Glen Falls. However on long runs, I love exploring the Cumberland Trail: parts of the Upchuck course and Edwards Point are always good choices. 

Eric: I guess I’ll pick Mullens Cove (because that’s the only one that’s left!). It’s a good fitness gauge, especially with that climb up Haley Road. The views are awesome. Just being able to sit on Snoopers Rock a third of the way through the trail is amazing. And no matter how many times I’ve done it, I always take a wrong turn in the Rock Garden. 

Now grab a friend, water bottle, and possibly a map, and EXPLORE!