Both races begin at 8:00 a.m. at the Main Group Shelter; follow signs in the park to the beach.
Saturday, September 23, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Main Group Shelter in Fort Mountain State Park.
Race day at Main Group Shelter starting at 6:30 a.m.
Saturday September 23, 5:00 - 7:00 pm, Main Group Shelter. $10.00 per person. Sign up when you register or email the RD by September 18 to reserve your space. (Volunteers eat free!)
Directions to Fort Mountain State Park
Address: 181 Fort Mountain State Park Road, Chatsworth, GA, 30705
From I75 Northbound from Atlanta: Exit #293, GA 411 to Chatsworth; travel approximately 39 miles to Chatsworth and turn right onto GA 52; park gate is on left in approximately 8 miles
From I75 Southbound from Chattanooga: Exit #336, US 41 to Dalton; travel approximately 16 miles to Chatsworth and turn left onto GA 52; park gate is on left in approximately 8 miles
Marathon: 8-hour time limit.
Cutoffs along the course are as follows:
• 3.5 hours at Power Line Aid Station (approx. 11 miles)
• 6.0 hours at Far Out Aid Station (approx. 18.9 miles)
Please do not harass the aid station volunteers to let you continue after the cutoff. The cutoffs are for your safety. We need you off the mountain trails before dark. Furthermore, it will be the discretion of the race director and EMT supervisors to pull a runner from the race if it is determined unsafe for the runner to continue.
Three (3) aid stations with variety of food, drink and support; one (1) additional “fluids only” aid station.
Six (6) aid stations with variety of food, drink and support; two (2) additional “fluids only“ aid stations.
For the marathon it is highly recommended that you carry a water bottle. The distance between Bunker Hill and Far Out, and Far Out and Last Gasp, will take some runners over one hour. Please plan accordingly.
The approximate aid station mileage is as follows:
• Stone Tower – Mile 3.5
• Park Entrance – Mile 8.0
• Water Cooler (Fluids Only) – Mile 9.8
• Power Line – Mile 11.0
• [12-mile finish line – Mile 12.0]
• Bunker Hill - 15.5
• Far Out – 18.9
• Last Gasp – 22.3
• Water Cooler (Fluids Only) – 24.6
• [Marathon Finish -- 26.2]
There is a $5 State Park parking fee at FMSP. This fee is NOT included in your entry. Fee will be collected upon your arrival into the park, so please have $5 or your annual park pass handy. Georgia Annual State Park passes are a great way to support our parks, and may be purchased at the park headquarters or online.
Postrace food and beverage will be served to celebrate your finish.
What’s in a name?
Mystery Mountain Marathon derives its name from a mysterious stone wall found at the top of Fort Mountain. Measuring 855 feet in length, the wall varies in height from two to six feet but was most likely considerably higher in the past. Remains of large circular depressions made of various sized stones are scattered at regular intervals along its length. The wall has intrigued researchers for decades. Why was the wall built? Who built it? When was it built?
Most researchers believe Fort Mountain’s wall was constructed around 500 AD. Many believe that the wall was constructed by Native Americans as fortification against other more aggressive tribes, or for ancient religious or ceremonial purposes. Although the wall predates the Cherokees, the Cherokee people referred to the wall-builders as “moon-eyed people” because they could see better at night than by day. Another myth claims that the Welsh prince Madoc arrived in Mobile Bay around 1400 AD, and was pushed northward by aggressive native tribes, building the wall for protection. Some geologists (unromantically) believe that the wall might be the result of natural weathering processes. Regardless, with no definitive proof to date and none likely to be found, the low rock wall continues to be shrouded in mystery and intrigue.
Fort Mountain State Park – cabins, campsites (w/power&cable, walk-in, or platform);http://gastateparks.org/net/go/GaStateReg.aspx?s=0.0.1.5; 1-800-864-7275
Cohutta Lodge & Conference Center (3 miles from park); http://www.cohuttalodge.com/;
Super 8 (downtown Chatsworth, 8 miles from the park);http://www.super8.com/hotels/georgia/chatsworth/super-8-chatsworthdalton/rooms-rates;
613 3rd Ave, Chatsworth GA 30705; (706) 695-0850.
Key West Inn (downtown Chatsworth, 8 miles from park); 501 GI Maddox Pkwy Chatsworth GA 30705; 706-517-1155
Cohutta Springs Conference Center (17 miles from park);http://www.cohuttasprings.com/contents/Accommodations; 706-695-9093
Elijay, Georgia has several hotels as well, and is approximately 18 miles from Fort Mountain State Park. Dalton, Georgia is approximately 21 miles from the park.
All runners should be aware of changing weather. Conditions can change quickly in the mountains so be prepared. Fort Mountain: October Avg High: 74, Avg Low: 49