Runner’s Manual:
Event Course Description/Maps

March 13-14, 2021

Course Maps

NOTE: We have a new course for 2021. The out-n-back north of the Alcoa High School has been removed. The distance has been added back via a short out-n-back on the return loop at the north east end of the Greenbelt Lake. Also, the near-world-famous Woody aid station has been moved southwest 0.4 miles to the pavilion at the southern end of the course.  Check out the maps and descriptions below for all the details. 

Start/Finish Area: Alcoa High School, 1205 Lodge St, Alcoa, TN 37701

Pistol Ultra 2019 Start/Finish Area

Parking Map (download here)

Course Overview

Course Description

All distances are USATF certified (see maps below) and are also internationally certified by IAAF/AIMS. Tennessean winners in all distances will be submitted for inclusion in the Tennessee State ultra records here. (A big shout out to the Tennessee record keeper, Buck Jones, for all his work to post and keep up with these!) Will you set a Tennessee record? Maybe even a regional, national, or possibly an international record? Come find out!

We’ll have a large, detailed course map posted in the Pistol Corral at the school. You can also download it here (file size 33MB). The course is a fairly flat, paved, generally eight foot wide greenway that is lit at nighttime. It meanders along the Pistol Creek (hence the name for the event), through Alcoa, by several small bodies of water, and to Maryville’s Jack Greene Park. It is a linear route approximately 5 miles long with a keyhole configuration at the southern end. All distances start at Alcoa High School and run south for about 4.5 miles, then return to the start to complete the loop. There is a short side spur on the return route to provide the exact distance for the imperial and metric loops. (More details below.) As described above, runners will pass an aid station every 1-2.5 miles on each loop.

There is just over 200’ of elevation change per loop. EASY!

There are numerous side trails on this trail system. We will have the official Pistol routes marked with signage, distance-specific colored markings/duct tape/arrows on the pavement (green for the metric course, orange for the imperial course), and possibly cones and/or orange flags on wires stuck in the ground. Cutting corners or otherwise not running the entire route is not allowed and may result in disqualification.

This is NOT a closed course. There will be people walking dogs, runners, bikers, baby strollers, etc (depending on the weather and time of day/night). Many wear personal music devices and may be completely oblivious to you approaching. However, they have an equal right to be there too. Let’s show them how courteous ultra runners are!

There are a few minor road crossings. Other than the police escort at the start, no one will stop traffic for you. Use common sense (stop, look both ways, etc.). Do not attempt traffic control at intersections. Wait until traffic has cleared before crossing. To avoid misunderstandings and/or other issues, please do not wave “thank you” at traffic crossings inside Maryville city limits.

For the relay runners, the exchange point will be just past the start/finish area. All relay legs will be 10.36 miles long (one complete metric loop out of the three needed for the 50K distance). Three-member teams will have each runner complete one leg. On a two-member team, one runner will run two legs, and the other just one (in any order).

From the start/finish line, all runners will proceed to follow the main Greenway Trail south past the the Lucky Leprechaun water stop aid station and counterclockwise around the loop in front of the Maryville Greenbelt Amphitheater. They will pass by the Woody Full service aid station at the furtherest point (new location for 2020) and start returning towards the start/finish line. New for 2020, they will turn right above the upper end of the Greenbelt Lake onto a spur trail, passing the Back of the Pack Elite water stop aid station and their respective imperial or metric turn around points (there will be signs). Then return to the Greenbelt Lake and continue past back past the Lucky Leprechaun water stop aid station to the full service Main Aid Station and the Start/Finish for the completion of one lap. Those running the 50K will do the metric (green) loop 3 times; the 100K runners will do it 6 times. The 50 milers will complete the imperial (orange) loop 5 times; and the hundo runners 10 times.

The half and full marathon are brand new this year! The courses for them run in conjunction with the other events. The half marathoners will follow the metric (green) course. After returning to the Start/Finish, they will continue back along the course for 1.55 miles to the turn around sign, then return to the Start Finish for a final time. The full marathon will repeat the half marathon course twice.



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