27k Course Description

The Cumberland Trail 27k is a point-to-point trail race that begins at the Norma Road Trailhead and proceeds northeast along the Cumberland Trail until arriving at Cove Lake State Park in Caryville, TN. This race will challenge even the experienced trail runner as it traverses more than 3,800 ft of gain over what is some of the wildest and most remote terrain in Tennessee. Runners will be treated to miles of technical singletrack with unique rock formations, seasonal mountain streams, scenic vistas and the chance of elk sightings. The course offers a multitude of challenging climbs, including Anderson Mountain with a climb of more than 1,250 ft and Cross mountain with a slow and steep 1,560 ft climb up to the highest point on the Cumberland Trail. The race concludes with an overall descent into a mountain valley with a relatively flat and runnable finish at picturesque Cove Lake State Park.

Race Day Details

When: Saturday September 22, 2018
Packet Pickup/Check-in/Shuttle : Cove Lake State Park (Swimming Pool) – 5:00 AM – 6:00 AM
Start: Norma Road Trailhead @ 7:00 AM
Finish: Cove Lake State Park (Pavilion #4) – Map to Finish Line

Distance: 17 miles / 27k
Ascent: 3,800+ ft
Descent: 4,183 ft

90%+ singletrack trail
9% doubletrack / old logging roads
1% paved greenway

* There is a ? hour cutoff time for the Cumberland Trail 27k

** Proceeds from the race will benefit the Friends of the Cumberland Trail, for the protection and preservation of the Cumberland Trail

Race Day Check-in and Shuttle

Check-in will be at the Cove Lake State Park pool parking lot from 5:00-6:00 a.m. Since the 27k is a point-to-point course, runners will be shuttled from the race check-in at Cove Lake State Park to the start (Norma Road Trailhead). The shuttle will leave Cove Lake at at 6:00 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. start. Runners can leave a few labeled items with a race official to be transported back to the finish.

Course Map

View Interactive Map Download GPX File

Course Markings

The course follows the Cumberland Trail for the majority of the race, which can be navigated by watching for white blazes which often turn unexpectedly . Signage and flagging will be strategically placed at locations that could be confusing to runners.

Aid Stations

There are three fully stocked aid stations located along the 27k course as well as aid provided at the start and finish. Each aid station will be supplied with water, Sword electrolyte drink, gels, snacks, and basic first aid.

Start – 0.0: Norma Road Aid Station (Cut-Off Time: 11:35 AM / 4 hrs 35 min.)
Aid #1 – 2.4: Lower Elk Meadow Aid Station (Cut-Off Time: 1:20 PM / 6 hrs. 20 min.)
Aid #2 – 7.3: Carroll Road Aid Station (Cut-Off Time: 2:11 PM / 7 hrs. 11 min.)
Aid #3 – 13.1: Tower Road Aid Station (Cut-Off Time: 4:15 PM / 9 hrs 15 min.)
Finish – 17: Cove Lake State Park (Cut-Off Time: 5:30 PM/10 hrs 30 min.)

*Note: Cut-off times reflect the deadlines for LEAVING the aid station.


We will have unique awards for the top male and female finishers. All 27k finishers will receive a finishers award.

Notable Race Policies

  • The 27k is a cup-free race. Each runner is responsible for bringing their own reusable cup or water bottle.
  • Cut-off times will be strictly enforced for the safety of the runners and the volunteers.
  • Runners must check into and out of each aid station.
  • Any runner wishing to drop from the race must inform the nearest aid station volunteer.
  • Runners must follow the marked trail at all times. Any runner departing from the official trail must return to the point of departure on foot before continuing.
  • There will be no crewing/pacing of runners permitted.

Countdown to Raceday

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