Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon & 5K

September 10-11, 2021

Townsend, TN

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


5K & 5K Fun Run (untimed)

Friday, September 10
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Course Type: Lollipop loop 
Stroller friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? No

Early: $45 Nov. 20 – Mar. 21, 2021
Regular:  $50 Mar. 22 – Jun. 20, 2021
Late: $55 Jun. 21 – Sep. 10, 2021

Half Marathon

Saturday, September 11
7:00 am – 11:00 am

Course Type: Point-to-point 
Stroller friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? No

Early: $109 Nov. 20 – Mar. 21, 2021
Regular:  $129 Mar. 22 – Jun. 20, 2021
Late: $149 Jun. 21 – Sep. 10, 2021

Black Bear Double

5K + Half Marathon
September 10 & 11

Register for the Black Bear Double to run both the 5K and Half Marathon and earn special swag. 

Early: $170 Nov. 20 – Mar. 21, 2021
Regular:  $200 Mar. 22 – Jun. 20, 2021
Late: $225 Jun. 21 – Sep. 10, 2021

*Entries are limited and this race may sell out. If the race sells out, registration will close regardless of registration period.

Race Overview

The Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon & 5K is a stunning race 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"! 

There will be plenty of parking near the finish for runners and spectators. The 5K starts and finishes in front of the Talley Ho Inn on Friday (Sep. 10th). Half marathon runners will be shuttled to the start on Saturday (Sep. 11th) and will finish at the Talley Ho Inn. 

Expand to view Course Map and Elevation Profile

Travel Overview

Race HQ (including bib pickup, the 5K, and the finish line) will be at the Talley Ho Inn in Townsend, TN.

If you're flying in, look for flights into McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) in Knoxville (40 min. drive).

We recommend staying in Townsend, TN. but Gatlinburg (45 min. drive) has lots of options as well. Other good sources for planning your stay include Explore TownsendPeaceful Smokies, and the NPS website

Experience Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Video courtesy of Rudy Wilms

Free Custom Training Program for this Race!

No matter your skill level, when you're pushing your limits it's nice to have a little guidance. We're excited to offer FREE training programs for all skill levels.
Check it out ≫

Registration Periods

Early: November 20 – March 21
Regular: March 22 – June 20
Late: June 21 – September 10

*There is a limited number of entries to each race, and this event may sell out. If the event is sold out, registration will close regardless of registration period.

Rocky mountain and Joshua Tree were the two hardest races I've done, but they were completely worth it! Grand Canyon has so far been my favorite! Beautiful course, spirited people, and amazing staff. Not to mention the race shirts always have great designs! My goal is to complete all NP half marathons. I will be doing Zion, Yosemite, and hopefully Lake Powell next year 2018! Thank you Vaction Races for the fun times and everlasting memories.

Shayna Buffalow
Rocky Mountain, Grand Canyon, and Joshua Tree Runner
Black Bear Double logo

Need to upgrade to the Black Bear Double?

Upgrading an existing registration to a Double or Quad package is treated as a transfer and can be completed via Run Signup

It's easy!
>> Log into your Run Signup Account                                              >> Go to "Profile"                                                      >> Click "Manage Registration"
>> Click "Transfer Event" on the top menu bar

>> Click "Start Transfer"
>> Choose your Event  
>> Continue and complete your registration!

*if you deferred into this race or transferred from another race your race credit will be $0 and we will need to help you upgrade your event. Contact us at

Charity Bibs

Want to run for a great cause? Fundraise for your chosen race and your registration fee could be waived. All funds go to Wander Project to support efforts in and around the communities that host our events. We primarily fund three project areas including: preservation and conservation of public lands; education around local ecology and stewardship; and the promotion of health and well-being. Learn more about Charity Bibs here!

Race Deferment & Credit

You can manage your deferred credit by logging in to RunSignup, clicking Deferrals, and Complete Deferment. From there you can transfer into another race.

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