Lookout Mountain 50 Mile - December 20, 2014

7:30 EST - 50 Mile start

8:00 EST - 10K start

ALL participants must carry some form of hydration: hydration pack, hand-held water bottle, waist belt, or a water bottle from the local gas station duct taped to your hand.

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50 Miler Information

Registration Dates & Race Fees 

Registration Facts

Race Schedule

Driving Directions


Runner Premiums

Award Categories

50 Mile Aid Stations

Course Map & Course Description

Crew/Safety Runner Information

Cutoff Times


Drop Bags



50-Miler Information

Registration Dates & Race Fees

Registration Dates

Online race registration will close December 9, at midnight EST or once the maximum field is reached, regardless of the date. No refunds or transfers to another race or bib transfers to another runner. If you are caught running under someone else’s bib, you will be disqualified.

Race Fees

Until 11/14/14

50 Mile - $120

50 Mile (no shirt option) - $110

After 11/14/14

50 Mile - $130

50 Mile (no shirt option) - $120


Registration Facts

Race Schedule

Friday, December 19

4pm-7pm - Packet Pick-up @ Rock/Creek Riverside:


1530 Riverside Drive

Chattanooga, TN 37406

Saturday, December 20

6:00-7:00am - Runner check-in and packet pick-up for late arrivals
(We will have Race Day registration)

7:10am - Last minute pre-race announcements

7:30am - 50 Mile start

8:00am - 10K start

8:30pm - 50-Mile runners must be finished.  Course closed!

Driving Directions

1. From I-24 WESTbound – Exit 178 Downtown / Lookout Mountain / Broad Street South.

2. Stay in the right exit lane and merge onto S MARKET ST/TN-58 S.

3.Turn RIGHT onto W 25TH ST.

4.Turn LEFT onto BROAD ST/US-11/US-41/US-72. (Follow the Rock City signs). Continue to follow US-11/US-41/US-72/TN-2 for just over a mile.

5.Continue to follow US-11/US-41/US-72/TN-2 and then turn LEFT onto TENNESSEE AVE/ TN-17 and pass several banks, a Walgreens, a Bi-Lo and so on. After you pass Mr. T's and the giant ice cream cone you will reach a stop light.

6.You will turn RIGHT here onto OCHS HWY/ TN-58 and head up Lookout Mountain (Follow the Rock City signs). OCHS HWY/ TN-58 becomes GA-157. (Don't go to Rock City). Stay on road to T-intersection with Lula Lake Road.

7. Turn right and then take an immediate left onto McFarland Rd.  Drive 0.6 miles to a T-intersection with GA 157 - Scenic Hwy.  Turn left and go 0.8 miles.  You will see Covenant College on your right.  Keep driving past the first, second, and third entrances on the right.  Immediately following the third entrance there will be a gravel entrance to your left.  Turn left here to enter start/finish area.

1. From I-24 EASTbound – Exit Lookout Mountain / Broad Street South.

2.Stay in the left exit lane. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto WILLIAMS ST.

3.Turn RIGHT onto W 25TH ST.

4.Turn LEFT onto BROAD ST/US-11/US-41/US-72/TN-2. (Follow the Rock City signs).

5.Continue to follow US-11/US-41/US-72/TN-2 and then turn LEFT onto TENNESSEE AVE/ TN-17 and pass several banks, a Walgreens, a Bi-lo and so on. After you pass Mr. T's and the giant ice cream cone you will reach a stop light.

6.You will turn RIGHT here onto OCHS HWY/ TN-58T and head up Lookout Mountain (Follow the Rock City signs). OCHS HWY/TN-58 becomes GA-157. Stay on road to the T-intersection with Lula Lake Road. (Don't go to Rock City).

7. Turn right and then take an immediate left onto McFarland Rd. Drive 0.6 miles to a T-intersection with GA 157 - Scenic Hwy. Turn left and go 0.8 miles. You will see Covenant College on your right. Keep driving past the first, second, and third entrances on the right. Immediately following the third entrance there will be a gravel entrance to your left. Turn left here to enter start/finish area.

In case you care to add the GPS coordinates, they are 34.95783,-85.379827


For those unfamiliar with the Chattanooga area, Rock/Creek has assembled a quick reference to area hotels:  Click here to view this document.

Runner Premiums

Tech Tee

Finisher awards

Post-race snacks and refreshments

Runner Goodie Bag

An amazing race experience

Award Categories

1st - 3rd Male & Female Overall

1st only in every 5 year age group, 0-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60+

If top finishers are not able to stay for the awards ceremony awards may be mailed at participant's expense.  Race packets will not be mailed.

50 Mile Aid Stations (and gps coordinates)

Mile 6.3 - Craven's House (35.01383, -85.38003) - No Crew or spectators please

Mile 14.8 - Nature Center (35.00104, -85.36989) - No Crew access

Mile 22.5 - Covenant College (34.95743, -85.38003) - Start/Finish

Mile 29.9 - Lula Lake Land Trust (34.93133, -85.37333) - No Crew access

Mile 34 - Long Branch (34.89855, -85.39128) - Crew access, please carpool

Mile 38.2 - Long Branch (34.89855, -85.39128) - Crew access, please carpool

Mile 42.5 - Lula Lake Land Trust (34.93133, -85.37333) - No Crew access

Aid stations will be well equipped with HEED*, Hammer Gels, Oranges, Bananas, various snack foods.  Hot soup and hot chocolate will be available at aid stations from mile 22.5 and beyond.

*While we do respect the wide range of training and fuel preferences that will likely be represented at this race, we believe in Hammer Nutrition's products (HEED, Hammer Gels, Endurolytes, etc.) and encourage you to read up on their benefits in contrast to the many sugar based counterparts.  Check out the following articles:

"Proper Caloric Intake During Endurance Exercise"

"Simple Sugars and Complex Carbohydrates - An Incompatible Combination"

ALL 50 Mile Participants must carry some form of hydration. Hydration pack, handheld water bottle, waist belt, or a water bottle from the local gas station duct taped to your hand.  NOTE:  You will perform better if you drink liquids consistently (every 10-15 minutes) along the course.

Reasons for this policy:

1 - Help our efforts to be better stewards of the environment and produce less paper waste in cups at aid stations.

2 - Runners should be consuming liquids more frequently than the frequency of our aid stations.


-Do not rely solely on aid stations to provide your nutrition!!  You should be eating and drinking throughout the course.  This will help keep you healthy and we promise it will improve your performance.  

We recommend that you carry the following on your person-

1 Nutrition Bar

2-3 Energy Gels

Salt replacement tablets

At least 1 water bottle (REQUIRED)

There will be limited paper cups at aid stations.  You must carry some form of hydration with you at all times!

Course Map & Course Description

50 Mile Course Map

Covenant College Aid Station to Craven’s House Aid Station (6.3 miles / 6.3 total)

The race begins at Covenant College Baseball/Softball Complex off of Lookout Mountain Scenic Highway. Runners cross the gravel lot and enter a short trail leading to the Scenic Hwy crossing they then take a right onto the crushed gravel trail heading towards campus. Turn left just after the tennis courts at the campus south entrance and follow the road behind Barnes Center and across campus. When the road turns right uphill runners will continue straight ahead onto a gravel path. Almost immediately there is a sharp left going downhill onto single track at Covenant Trail. After a road crossing you are on Ochs Gateway and in the National Park. Ochs Gateway is a steep and runnable descent ending at the Bluff Trail. Turn right onto Bluff and traverse Lookout Mountain heading towards Chattanooga for 3.5 miles above Lookout Valley This is part of what makes this course great. There are fantastic view of Lookout Valley below and awesome rock formations above. However, care must be taken here this trail is technical (rocky) single track with some exposure. The “Point” of the mountain is at 5.4 miles. This spot is not only noticable by the change in view. The Chattanooga valley is visible for the first time, but also if you look up to the right there is a large Civil War memorial fixed to the rick. In 0.3 miles at the bend in a switchback you will take the trail to the left. This is the Mountain Beautiful trail. You will begin your descent down to Craven’s House.  At Craven’s House take a left at the driveway and go uphill into the parking lot and Aid Station 1.

Craven’s House Aid Station to the Nature Center Aid Station (8.5 miles / 14.8miles total)

Runners leave the aid station on the trail behind Craven’s House. There are a couple of intersecting trails on the left continue straight ahead onto Rifle Pits as you run back around the mountain. Rifle Pits is about .8 miles long and ends at the Guild Trail, another gravel road on old the C&LM medium gauge railroad. Take a left onto the Guild and continue downward. This is a flat and fast section of the course. After .7 miles the Guild Trail meets Upper Truck Trail, which comes in from the left. Continue on the Guild staying right and making a 180 degree turn to the right. After .8 miles there is a trail on the left, Jura, make a hard left onto the single track Jura Trail (rolling hills and mildly technical). Runners then take a series of short connector trails to enter the Nature Center. Runners work their way on these fast double track pedestrian only trails down to the bottom of the valley and the open beauty of the Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center. The runners will jump onto a short section of pavement to wind around the lake and greenhouse facility to join a short section of dirt road to a fantastic section of single track trail right on Lookout Creek to Aid Station 2.

Nature Center Aid Station to Covenant College Aid Station (7.7 miles / 22.5 total)

From the aid station, runners head out for nearly .5 miles on jeep road before turning left onto Blue Beaver Trail. After a .7 mile climb, runners turn right onto a rolling single track of the Skyuka Trail for 2.5 miles. The trail ends at Skyuka Springs and now the fun begins as runners make the 2 mile climb on John Smartt Trail back to the Bluff Trail. At the top runners turn right up the Jackson Springs Trail and continue climbing for another mile passing Jackson Springs and Lake. Climb a short trail to join the road on the back side of campus and run down the gravel path and cross back over Scenic Hwy and into the sports complex parking gravel lot home to Aid Station 3 and your first drop bags.

Covenant College Aid Station to Lula Lake Aid Station (7.4 miles / 29.9 total)

Runners leave the Aid Station 3 on a new trail behind the sports complex and enter the Covenant Cross Country Park, which has rolling hills and good footing throughout. The course meanders through the woods across Lookout Mountain heading southeast. You will love these trails on the way out and hate them on the way back in the dark. The trail crosses under power lines and re-enters the woods on ATV trails with some single track crossing a gravel road and a creek. Runners arrive at a gate at Lula Lake Road. Please proceed with caution aiming for the end of the guardrail to the left across the road. Once past the guardrail turn hard right and downhill. The descent into Lula Lake Land Trust begins steeply and is a very narrow trail. Runners pop out the woods onto a gravel road and a clearing. Bear left crossing the road and the go right downhill following the washout towards Rock Creek. Cross the creek on the wooden footbridge, take a right and then follow a series of well-maintained trails across the property to the falls and lake. The trails drops you onto a gravel road near the bridge, take a right and Aid Station 4 is just ahead at the base of a cliff overlooking Lula Lake. This is a must-see spot on the course!

Lula Lake Land Trust to Long Branch Aid Station (4 miles / 34 total)

From the Lula Lake Aid Station, runners continue on the gravel road going downstream. Lula Falls will be on the left. Runners should not miss it due to the rather loud sound it makes. They then take a sharp right and climb up the High Adventure trail to Eagle Cliff arriving on the opposite side of Lookout Mountain overlooking Chattanooga Valley. After a run along this cliff line runners take a right and descend back to Rock Creek. After a short run along the creek runners enter the F4 trail, an area named for a violent tornado which devastated the area in 2011. The tornado cut a swath across the mountain and buried this section of the course in a path of debris. The course re-enters the woods and after a short climb emerges on Nickajack Road. Please stay on the right side of the road, proceed with extreme care running along the edge of the road for .25 miles to the designated crossing at the Cloudland Canyon Connector Trail / Nickajack Trailhead sign on the left side of the road. Cross the paved road and run up the gravel road into the parking lot and Aid Station 5. This is also the safety runner access point and another drop bag location. Your safety runner may accompany you on this leg if it is after 2:00pm.

Long  Branch Loop (Long  Branch Aid Station to Long  Branch Aid Station) (4.2 miles / 38.2)

**This part of the course is private property. Do not enter except on race day. The course leaves the aid station up the hill to the left of the pavilion and meanders through the property on a trail system passing a lake, some homes and a nice creekside run. This section is very runnable with rolling hills and miles of woods. The loop ends back at the aid station you just left and now it is time for your return trip to Covenant. If it is after 3:00 you can now have a safety runner to help you get home. This is a good spot to have a headlamp.

Long Branch Aid Station to Lula Lake Aid Station (4.3 miles / 42.5 total)

Runners head out of the gravel parking lot, down the hill, and across Nickajack Road. Take a right and run for .25 miles past the house and the mailbox. After the house turn left almost immediately and get back into the woods and along Rock Creek. For many runners it may start getting dark around this time and in the past we have marked the course using reflectors on the trees. A headlamp or other light is a must. The good news is that once you clear the creek and enter Lula Lake Land Trust the odds of tripping and falling decrease significantly. The trails are usually in excellent shape with minimal obstacles. Back up on Eagle Cliff and then descend back to your final aid station.

Lula Lake Aid Station to Finish at Covenant College Aid Station (7.5 miles / 50 total)

Runners leave the Lula Lake Aid Station heading upstream towards the bridge, take a sharp left up the hill just before the bridge and traverse the property before arriving back at the footbridge across the creek. Run uphill across the field in the washout and then head left across the gravel road and back on single track climbing to Lula Lake Road. Cross the road heading left and looking for the gate on your right. Then follow the ATV trails and single track crossing the creek, gravel road and power lines before re-entering Covenant College Cross Country Park. Runners finally take a lap around the complex and emerge at the gravel parking lot and the finish. Have a burger, get your finisher's award and bask in that glow of accomplishment!

Crew/Safety Runner Information:

Handlers/Crews - Crews and spectators are allowed at mile 22.5 (Start/Finish 34.95743, -85.38003) and at 34&38.2 (Long Branch 34.89855, -85.39128). There just is not enough parking to accommodate enough vehicles at the other aid stations. You are welcome to bring a handler(s) or crew but please be sure that they abide by the rules and assist only in designated aid station locations.  Their failure to do so may result in your disqualification.  Directions to designated aid stations will be available at packet pickup and at the start.

Safety Runners - We will allow safety runners at mile 34 (after 2:00) and 38.2 (after 3:00) and they are meant to assist runners and help ensure runner safety mainly during the night.  PACERS NOT ALLOWED!!

Mile 34 and 38.2 at the Long Branch Aid Station

So you’re a safety runner at the Lookout Mountain 50 Mile and you’re not sure what your responsibilities are…Hopefully this guide will help you.  Feel free to contact us if have additional questions or concerns.  First, pacer is actually a misnomer. Pacer suggests you are setting the pace for your runner. In fact, you are a companion, caretaker, moral support person, friend, drill sergeant, and psychiatrist. Safety runner is actually a more accurate way of describing your role.  Your runner may get tired, crabby (see #5 below), disillusioned, suicidal, or way too manic, and it is your job to either talk them off the cliff or move them past the cliff. Here’s how you do it:                


1.  Your runner should go first so that he or she can set the appropriate pace.  Sometimes your runner will need a mental break and will need you to lead.  Should this happen, your pace must be the pace the runner needs. Remember that he or she will have run at least 22 miles when you meet up and while you may have fresh legs, your runner will not. Do not set a pace that drives your runner into the ground.  Your job is to get him or her to the finish line in one piece.


2.  Encourage your runner to eat at the aid stations but not too much. We’ll have hot soup and cocoa and it would be good to get the soup, especially, in their system. They will benefit from the sodium and the warm liquid. Take advantage of coffee or soda for the caffeine boost.  While your runner is grazing at the aid station, get his or her water bottles filled or get their drop bag if applicable. You may actually wish to take them before the aid station and run ahead to get them filled. Your goal is to get your runner in and out of the aid station as quickly as possible.  Keep them moving (and unless they are in really bad shape, don’t let them sit down).


3.  Talk to your runner.  Don’t expect an answer but check in often as the mind can play tricks on a tired runner and you don’t want him or her thinking about quitting.


4.  Listen to your runner’s breathing.  Shallow or labored breathing, especially on inclines, suggests that it is time to walk a bit. If your runner needs to walk, walk and after a bit, suggest that it might be time to run. Encourage and push but let your runner decide. Be positive and realistic – don’t tell them they are almost done if they still have 15 miles to go. Instead, praise what they’ve accomplished and frame what lies ahead in attainable goals. “You’ve gone 47 miles and you look / are doing great! The finish is only 2.71 miles so let’s make it happen!”


5.  Crabby and cranky runners might need to eat or have some sugar or caffeine.  Don’t take anything they say personally. You may think you really know your runner but at mile 30 or 40 or whatever, your runner is not the person you think you know. Be positive and encourage them regardless of what they call you or threaten to do to you if you don’t let them stop. Keep them moving toward the finish.


6.  Unless your runner has a bone sticking out, please do not carry their water bottles/pack or clothing. This is called muling and it provides an unfair advantage as runners without pacers must carry their own things.


7.  Please keep an eye on your runner’s physical well-being. After prolonged exercise, the body starts to shut down due to the physical stress. Your runner may not realize that he or she has blue lips and would benefit from putting on a hat, or waxy white hands that gloves could ease.


8.  Don’t forget to take care of yourself. You are no good to your runner if you run out of energy or hurt yourself. Although, it is good to keep in mind that the food is for them. Don’t eat like you have not seen food in a month.


9.  When you finish, do what you can to get your runner into warm clothes and then get yourself taken care of. Our aid workers will have soup and there should be a place for you to sit down by a fire so you can rest a bit before heading down the mountain.

Cutoff Times:

This is not designed as a walking event. All times are EST

Covenant College mile 22.5 - 1:10 PM (15 min/mile pace)

Lula Lake 1 mile 28.0 - 3:10 (16 min/mile pace)

Long Branch 1 mile 34.0 - 4:15

Long Branch 2 mile 38.2 - 5:30

Lula Lake 2 mile 42.5 - 6:30

Finish mile 50    - 8:30 (13 hours)

Cutoff Times will be strictly enforced.  Failure to do so could impact your safety and the safety of the race staff and volunteers. Transportation back to the start/finish will be arranged if you are pulled from the course.  Please be respectful and cooperative with race officials if you are pulled from the course.


There will be porta-potties at the start/finish but none on the course.

Drop Bags:

Runners may have drop bags delivered to any of the 2 designated aid stations on the course.  These aid stations are:

Covenant College - Mile 22.5

Long Branch - Mile 34 and Mile 38.2

Drop bags must be limited to a 1 gallon zip lock bag with the exception of extra shoes.  Drop bags should be WATERPROOF, securely closed and clearly marked with (Bib # ____) and (Aid Station Name) where the runner wants them delivered.  Runners may bring drop bags to packet pick-up on Friday, December 16th or to the Start/Finish on race morning.


We will do our best to return the drop bags to the start/finish line by 8pm.  Those bags not making it to the end before your departure will be taken to Rock/Creek and held through Sunday.  Arrangements must be made in advance by runners for the return of any bags they are unable to retrieve by Sunday night.

The Lookout Mountain 50 Mile or any of its affiliates are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged bags or belongings.

HEADPHONES: We strongly discourage the use of headphones during this race for the reason of safety.  Not only is it more challenging to hear other runners, but more difficult to communicate with our race marshals and volunteers along the course. In short, we ask all runners to be as safe and courteous as possible.


Each runner is responsible for their own actions.  It is crucial that runners are physically and mentally prepared for the stresses of the race.  We will utilize local EMS services in case of a medical emergency.  Medical expenses incurred are the responsibility of the runner receiving medical assistance/services.  The remoteness of the trail and the distance between trail/road crossings will result in a substantial amount of time before medical personnel arrive to provide assistance.  Runners should be aware of the inherent risks involved in participating in this event.

It is important for YOU, the runner, to recognize the potential physical and mental stresses that may evolve from participation in this race.  These include, but are not limited to, extreme temperatures of heat and (more likely) cold, hypothermia, dehydration, renal failure, seizures, hypoglycemia, disorientation, total mental and physical exhaustion, etc.  Each participant must continually monitor himself/herself and understand their limitations.  YOU, the runner, are responsible for your own well being during this race.

We could not make this happen without the generous support from our sponsors: Rock/Creek, Salomon, North Face, Capitol Toyota and Toyota of Cleveland, Get Out Chattanooga, Patagonia, Whole Foods Market and the High Point Climbing and Fitness. Thanks for trail running and we look forward to seeing you then.