Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon and 5K returns to Townsend


Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon and 5K medals. Photo: Blount Partnership

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon and 5K returns to Townsend in September, offering runners and outdoor enthusiasts unique rewards for taking in the natural beauty of America’s most visited national park.

Both races will take place on September 10 and 11. Runners of the 13.1-mile half marathon will climb 700 feet to a max elevation of 1,156, offering scenic views of the Appalachian mountains along the way.

The 5K “Fun Run” follows the Townsend Historical Trail. It will occur the evening before the half marathon on Friday, September 10 at 6:15 p.m. at Talley Ho Inn.

Those who complete both races will receive additional double medals and one special item at registration.

Runners who also complete certain ‘club hikes’ within three days of their race will receive a special medal. Those who complete the ‘trifecta’ of the race, club hike and a visit to places like Cades Cove or Clingman’s Dome will receive an exclusive pin.

The race attracts runners from more than 30 states according to Blount Partnership Director of Tourism Kim Mitchell.

“The Townsend area of the Smoky Mountains is serene and remote, yet it still has the necessary easy access and transportation,” said Mitchell. “We’re excited to host visitors for the race once again, and we hope they have an incredible time surrounded by nature in the one-of-a-kind national park while enjoying our diverse selection of restaurants and accommodations.”

Registration, details and rules for the clubs and trifecta can be found at

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