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Blue Ridge Mountain Adventure Race
About North Georgia

Overview

Named the best Mountain Adventure Race by Blue Ridge Outdoors in 2008, the Blue Ridge Mountain Adventure Race combines running, canoeing, and biking through in Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains. It is held on the first or second weekend in April in Blue Ridge, Georgia.

Fast Facts

Location: Blue Ridge, Georgia (starting point varies, end is in the downtown park across the street from the Blue Ridge Depot
Date: First or Second Saturday of April
Website: http://adventureracega.com
About the Race

Running on the Blue Ridge Mountain Adventure Race, near Blue Ridge, Georgia
A team of runners head south on Old Dial Road
Welcoming Spring in the North Georgia mountains, the first major event of the new year occurs the second Saturday of April in Georgia, in and around the town of Blue Ridge. This quaint town, whose name dates back to the Civil War, was organized in 1886. In 1998, private industry, the city and the state brought the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway to town and revitalized the depot and entire downtown area. That same year saw the first of the Adventure Races, a small affair with just 3 teams competing.

From that first competition the event has grown steadily. Today, the Fannin Chamber of Commerce, which runs the event, limits the competition to 80 3-man teams. The term 3-man is generic - a team must contain members of both sexes. Entrants also must be members of the United States Adventure Racing Association, which sanctions the event.

Team Names

Teams get to choose a name for their group. Among the most creative names in the past 13 years are:

Chip and Salsa
Beauty and the Beasts
I Signed Up for What?
Suches Life
Pat's Stupid Idea
Slower Than We Look
Snickers Marathon (They won in 2006)

Race Details

Floating on the Toccoa River
Transition to the water portion of the Blue Ridge Mountain Adventure Race
Team completions include a running portion, a water-based portion and a mountain biking run and mystery events throughout the race. Since the race changes from year-to-year and the route and events of the race are a closely guarded secret, here is a description of a historic race to give visitors an idea of what might occur at a race.

Teams begin assembling about 7:00am for the running section of the race at Shallowford Bridge on the Toccoa River south of Lake Blue Ridge. The teams cross the historic steel span, then follow Shallowford Bridge Road to Old Dial Road. After completing a run of 10 miles teams begin showing up at the "transition point" to the water-based portion of the race. The three members grab paddles and a "funyak," a kayak-like inflatable canoe. They begin paddling with the flow of the current on the mighty (and unforgiving) Toccoa River towards, well, the Shackleford Bridge.

Since the race is based on the time it takes the entire team to make it to the finish line, handling the transition areas can be pivotal in a solid finish. For example, the team had to grab paddles, the funyak and personal flotation devices and proceed to the single entry point to the river. Make a mistake with your equipment and you have to straighten it out which can put you at the end of the line.

Racers come up to the bend of the river, where the Toccoa rolls over rocks and makes a 90 degree turn. We saw our first mystery event here. Contestants had to ford the river and climb a rock wall. Once all three were over the wall, it was back in the funyaks and on to the next transition event. This time, east of Deep Gap parking area, teams leave the river and hop on their own mountain bikes (you have to find yours out of a total of 240), then peddle back to Downtown Blue Ridge. Its not a direct route, however, and teams have checkpoints along the way. Of course, if you reach a checkpoint with a crowd, that can eat up time on your clock as well.

Finally, in downtown Blue Ridge, the race ends with a mystery event in Blue Ridge Park across Mountain Street from the depot. The finish line, which is in the park, is the scene of celebration over and over as teams arrive exhausted from a very long day.

This description of the race is from 2008. In more recent years the event has included the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad, different parks and different routes.

More information

Blue Ridge Mountain Adventure Race
Location: Blue Ridge, Georgia
Date: Second Saturday of April
Website: http://adventureracega.com


Vendor & Sponsor Information
Jan Hackett
Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
3990 Appalachian Hwy
Blue Ridge, GA. 30513

Business: 706-632-5680

County: Fannin County

Blue Ridge Mountain Adventure Race Finish Line




Directions


From I-75, exit 268, take I-575 north to Tate. Here I-575 becomes Highway 515 and is known by a variety of names including the [[Georgia Mountain Parkway]]. Travel 37.6 miles to Old 76, also known as Highway 5 and East 1st Street. Turn right and travel 0.7 miles and turn left on Boardtown Road. Make an immediate right on Main Street. Blue Ridge Park on the left in about 0.5 miles. Watch for the "Statue of Liberty" atop a stone monument to James Oglethorpe.

North Georgia Events
Fun things to do in the Mountains of North Georgia

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Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad
Fannin Chamber of Commerce

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