Members Only
Cancelled
Helenback
Helenback

Helenback

TBD
Saturday, April 23, 2022
5K
Half Marathon
Marathon

Race Details

REGISTER

Come run the beautiful and challenging trails surrounding Helen GA.

All races start and finish on the field adjoining the Chattahoochee River. See the Race Details section for directions to the start and parking info.

ALL RACES HAVE A MANDATORY PRE RACE MEETING 20 MINUTES BEFORE THE START. THE MEETING WILL GO OVER THE COURSE AND MAKE SURE YOU DONT' GET LOST.

There will be port-o-johns at the start/finish area.

Pricing

5K

  • $26 until 1/1
  • $31 until 3/1
  • $35 until race day

Half Marathon

  • $65 until 1/1
  • $70 until 3/1
  • $80 until race day

Marathon

  • $85 until 1/1/2021
  • $90 until 3/1/2021
  • $100 until race day

Parking Directions

Enter Helen on Hwy 17/75/Main Street. You will turn on Brucken Strasse. (There is a Circle K Gas station at the corner.) The address of the Circle K gas station is 7934 S Main St, Helen, GA 30545, so if you put that into your GPS you will get to the intersection of Brucken Strasse and Hwy 17/75/Main Street.

Once at this intersection, drive down Brucken Strasse about 300 meters. You will cross the Chattahoochee River. IMMEDIATELY after the bridge, there is a private drive on your left. Turn left into the private drive (there will be a Helenback sign to direct you). At the fork, keep left to continue along the river.

Drive about 200 meters to get to the start/finish field and the parking area. We will have parking for about 150 cars.

When the start/finish field is full, cars will need to park across the river at the outlet mall (we will have signs/parking attendants directing you).

If you park across the river, simply walk back to Brucken Strasse, cross the bridge over the river, and walk down the path to the start/finish field (it's about a .25 mile walk from the overflow parking to the start/finish field).

Course Map

Helenback

Course Details

Marathon

The race begins at the staging area and heads north with 400 feet of vertical climb up a gravel service road into Unicoi State Park. Follow the rolling hills down into Unicoi and turn right onto the Bottoms Loop Trail. From here, you will climb up to GA HWY 356 at mile 3 and will turn left to cross over the Smith Creek Dam.

Get a nice view of the water as you run along the Lake Trail making your way to your first aid station at mile 4. Refuel here b/c the next water station is at the 9.5 mile mark (First Blood aid station)

From the beach, you will split with the 1/2 marathon course and run up Anna Ruby Falls Road toward the the falls and the Anna Ruby Falls Visitor Center. The Visitor Center and this road section will be closed to cars due to park hours. Get a good view of the falls and drop back onto the trail system by taking the Smith Creek Trail to the next trail intersection and our very limited aid station (water only) at mile mark 9.5.

Push up the climb on FS 690 toward Tray Mountain Road and the Appalachian Trail. When you reach the top, you’re at mile 15 and you're done climbing!

Make you way back to First Blood aid station and continue downhill to Bear Trap aid station. Continue into Unicoi State Park. Get your last water stop at the Field Aid Station and continue about 3 miles to the finish! Enjoy a victory beer and soak your feet in the Chattahoochee River. You've earned it!

Half-marathon

Start to Beach Aid Station:
The race begins at the staging area and heads north with 400 feet of vertical climb up a gravel service road and into Unicoi State Park. Take these rolling hills down into Unicoi and turn right onto the Bottoms Loop Trail. From here you will climb up to GA HWY 356 at mile 3 and turn left to cross over the Smith Creek Dam. Get a nice view of the water as you run along the Lake Trail making your way to your first aid station at mile 4.

Beach Aid Station to Bear trap Aid Station:
From here you will continue clockwise around the lake towards the visitors center. Once here you will turn left and head uphill towards the second aid station. Make sure you stock up here!! You will not have a full aid station until returning to this one after the next 3 miles.

Bear Trap to First Blood:
From this second aid station you will be following the Smith Creek Trail climbing to the top of Hickory Nut Ridge. Enjoy running beside the creek and taking in the rhododendron and hardwood forest. Having reached the upper terminus you will have climbed over 1,000 vertical feet. Take water here only if you need it. This is our most difficult aid station to access so it is limited to what our sweepers can hike in.

First Blood to Bear Trap:
At this point you leave Smith Creek Trail and cross over to old Forest Service Road 690 and take this trail back downhill into Unicoi State Park and a fully stocked aid station 1.5 miles away.

Bear Trap to Field Station to the Finish:
You will now run downhill back towards the visitor center. Friends and family can park at the visitor’s center and see the runners come through. The trail leads around the lake and crosses back over GA-356 and down to the large open field that contains parking for the trout stream and mountain bike trails. This is the best location for crew to set up and cheer on runners as they come through. From here runners have a 4 mile push to the end but the running will continue on a downward slope. The trails are well maintained and parallel the lower part of Smith Creek. Enjoy a victory beer and soak your feet in the Chattahoochee River.

5K

The race begins at the staging area and heads north with 400 feet of vertical climb up a gravel service road into Unicoi State Park. From the top you’ll see a panoramic views of Helen, the Sautee Valley and Yonah Mountain. Follow the Unicoi trail system as it winds its way through the pine, rhododendron and hardwood forest. Parallel the lower section of Smith Creek and get a glimpse of fishermen fly fishing for trout. Continue back down into the valley to the finish for a victory beer and cheer on the marathoners and half marathoners.

Predicted Weather

Typically High of 72 F and Low of 44 F

Packet Pickup

Runners can pickup their packet either Friday night or on race day.

Packet pickup will be available from 5 pm - 7 pm at the start/finish area.

Race day packet pickup will be available starting at 6:15 am on race day- this will also be at the start/finish area.

Race Course Records

Marathon

Shannon O'Brien (2019) - 4:47:32

Evan Dare (2017) - 3:27:36

Half-marathon

Mary Whtite (2019) - 2:10:08

Karl Burkhardt (2017) - 1:53:47

5K

Details

4/24/21 10:30 am

Pricing

Wave Start Details

Awards

Race Tshirt, Victory Beer, & Post Race Food & Fun!

Register

Half Marathon

Details

4/24/21 9:00 am

Pricing

Wave Start Details

Awards

Women/Men: Overall winners and 1st place masters & grandmasters

Race Tshirt, Finisher's Medal/Prize, Victory Beer, & Post Race Food & Fun!

Register

Marathon

Details

4/24/21 7:00 am

Pricing

Wave Start Details

Awards

Women/Men: Overall winners and 1st place masters & grandmasters

Race Tshirt, Finisher's Medal/Prize, Victory Beer, & Post Race Food & Fun!

Register

Travel Information

Recommended Lodging

Our preferred lodging partner is Unicoi State Park. The have numerous lodging options available (rooms at the lodge, cabins, and campsites) and the park is only minutes from the start and finish of the race.

Unicoi State Park has offered Helenback Race Series participants a special promotional rate to stay at the park. Use rate code "09530" when you call or book online for the race weekend.  Using the "09530" code will get Helenback runners the following rates on their rooms:

Lodge: $119 (plus taxes and fees)

2 Room Cabin: $149 (plus taxes and fees)

3 Room Cabin: $189 (plus taxes and fees)

We appreciate your support of Unicoi State Park. Without the park's help, the race would not be possible. Book now!

Online: https://www.unicoilodge.com/

Call: 1-800-573-9659

PS Even if you book a campsite, please use the rate code above.  While it does not give you a discount, it allows Unicoi to track how many runners use their facilities.  We WANT the race to be worthwhile/profitable for Unicoi as they allow us access to these great trails!

Race Director

Race Photo Gallery

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Race Results

View Past Results

Race Sponsors

Betty's Country Store
Tailwind
Unicoi State Park
Nora Mill
Tantrum Brewing
Hofers of Helen
Wildewood