Inaugural Mystery Mountain Marathon, November 2, 2008
The Georgia Ultrarunning & Trailrunning Society (GUTS) has announced the inaugural running of the Mystery Mountain Marathon on the challenging trails of the Fort Mountain State Park just outside of Dalton, Georgia. A full marathon and a 12-mile race will be held on Sunday, November 2, 2008.
According to the Georgia DNR, this will be the first ever foot race on the park trails. “We’re very excited about the event,” says park manager Brian Ensley. Race Director Janice Anderson says that the new event will be very challenging, especially in comparison to trails in metro Atlanta. “I think this is a very tough course, and has more technical footing than anything in Atlanta. I think everyone will be surprised at how hard the trails are up here.”
The name of the race comes from the mysterious ancient stone wall located at the top of the mountain. Theories abound, but the most compelling is based on a Cherokee legend that the wall was built by “Moon Eyes”, a race of light-skinned people who could see in the dark because of their large pale eyes. Both races will ascend the mountain and run directly past the wall, then circling the top of the mountain to enjoy some of the 80-mile views available. “The course is very scenic and will provide runners some great views along the way” notes Anderson, “although difficult, it will be a beautiful run”.