Escape to the "Peaceful Side of the Smokies" with a gorgeous course through the woods. You couldn't ask for a more beautiful half marathon!

The Course

Our Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon and 5K courses are scenic runs with gorgeous views of the Smoky Mountains and Tennessee countryside. Both events finish in front of the Talley Ho Inn in Townsend, TN - "The Peaceful Side of the Smokies"! 

We'll have plenty of parking near the finish for all of our runners and spectators. The 5K starts and finishes in front of the Talley Ho on Friday September 7th. For the half marathon on Saturday the 8th, runners will be shuttled to the start and will finish at the Talley Ho. 

>> Half marathon course details
>> 5K course details and maps
>> Black Bear Double details

Half Marathon Aid Stations

At our road half marathons our aid stations typically start at mile 3 and are every other mile after that with a bonus aid station around mile 12. They are not always right at the mile marker so check your race guide to find out where they will be exactly. Our 5K races typically have a single aid station midway through the race. 

You can find toilets, water, Go Gnarly electrolyte drink and Honey Stinger gels at every aid station. Usually around mile 7 and 11 we'll have cut fruit and bananas. 

At every aid station we'll have basic first aid supplies, and we normally station our EMT's near mile 7. 

Our road half marathons and 5Ks are cup-free. That means we will not have disposable cups available for you to use. When you register you will have the option to receive a free hydrapouch with your registration or you can use you own hydration system. 


We are pleased to share a FREE half marathon training program customized for this course to help you prepare. We've teamed up with Active at Altitude as the Official Training Partner to offer 2 levels of training: 

  • Beginner program (16 weeks)
  • Intermediate program (12 weeks)

These programs are free and are sent via e-newsletter every 4 weeks. 

Bib & Packet Pickup

Bib Pickup Β» You have 3 options for picking up your bib:

1. Pickup at the expo (recommended)
2. Pickup at the start line
3. Mailed 2 weeks before the race ($20 fee)

Bring Your Own Bag Β» In our ongoing effort to eliminate waste we encourage you to bring your own bag to hold your bib, race shirt, and any goodies you pick up at the race exp.

Race Shirts Β» If you're unhappy with the fit of your race shirt, or couldn't order the size you wanted we'll host a shirt exchange at the finish line on race day. Note that sizes and quantities will be limited.

Traveling to the Smokies

Where to Stay

Two good sources for your stay are the Peaceful Smokies website and the NPS website.

We recommend looking for lodging in Townsend, TN, but Gatlinburg has lots of options as well, though it will be about a 45 minute drive to race HQ.

The start, finish, and race expo will be at the Tally Ho Inn in Townsend, TN.

Where to Fly

If you're flying here you'll want to check for flights into McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS). Plan for a 40 minute drive from Knoxville.

Driving to the Race

Race HQ will be at the Tally Ho Inn in Townsend, TN. Find directions here.

Race Day

Race HQ will be at the Tally Ho Inn in Townsend, TN. We'll have plenty of parking near the start and finish for all of our runners and spectators. We will not have shuttles from around town, so please plan on driving to the start, or walking if you're staying at or close to the Tally Ho Inn. Here's a tentative schedule of events:

4:30 am - Finish line parking area opens
5:00 am β€“ Start line bib pickup begins
5:20 am β€“ First shuttle departs for start line
5:30 am β€“ First prize raffle (every 5 minutes)
6:30 am β€“ Last call for bib pickup / Pacers line up
6:45 am β€“ Runners line up / Last call for gear check
6:55 am β€“ National Anthem
7:00 am – RACE STARTS!
9:45 am – Awards Ceremony

When you finish the race, you'll grab a snack box, take some pictures, hang out and make friends for a while, and then we encourage you to go explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

Club Hikes & Trifecta

Race Packages & Pricing


Registration Periods

Early Bird: Dec. 8, 2017 – Mar. 4, 2018
Regular: Mar. 5 – Jun. 17, 2018
Late: Jun. 18 – Sep. 7, 2018

Black Bear


Sep. 7-8, 2018

  • Great Smoky 5K Race Entry
  • Great Smoky Half Race Entry
  • 1 Race Shirt​
  • 1 Race Bib
  • Hydrapouch (if requested)
  • 2 Finisher Medals
  • 1 Black Bear Double Medal

$214 /runner

Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon

Sep. 8, 2018

  • Great Smoky Half Race Entry
  • Race Shirt
  • Race Bib
  • Hydrapouch (if requested)
  • Finisher Medal

​$139 /runner

Great Smoky Mountains 5K & 5K Fun Run

Sep. 7, 2018

  • Great Smoky 5K Race Entry
  • Race Shirt
  • Race Bib
  • Finisher Medal

$60 /runner

Pictures & Testimonials