The course for the Great Smoky Mountains Half is a beautiful run through the woods just outside the majestic Smoky Mountains. The course begins at the high school in Maryville and ends in Townsend, just under a mile from the National Park boundary. The finish line is in a field with a beautiful view of the mountains.
We originally planned a course that went along E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, occasionally going off the road into the woods for some scenic stretches. After talking with some locals and going over the course, we have decided to have the majority of the course be off the main road and through the beautiful back woods areas along the Old Walland Hwy. This is a gorgeous course. We will be running through the woods, past old cemeteries and churches, and along the river.
Miles 9 – 12 will be even further away from the main road, and this is where some of the hills come in. There is a 364 foot elevation gain on this course. It is a subtle and steady gain. Along these last few miles you have a few ups and downs, but nothing too bad.