Welcome to the return of the Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon in beautiful Waynesville, North Carolina. We are excited to bring this race back as part of the great tradition of road racing in Haywood County. This race will be run in conjunction with the inaugural Mighty 4 Miler to Benefit the Riley Howell Foundation Fun.
Race Date: Saturday, April 3, 2021
The race will start on a rolling basis from 7:30-8:05 AM.
February 15-March 14 – $60
March 15 – Race Day – $70
Friday, April 3 – 4:00-6:00 PM – Wells Event Center (33 Wells Events Way, Waynesville) – This will be a drive-through process where you can safely stay in your cars to receive your packets. Please wear a face covering when you reach the pickup zone.
Saturday, April 4 – 6:00-7:30 AM – Wells Event Center – This will be in-person with socially distant COVID-19 mitigations in place.
The races will begin on Main Street at the alley next to The Mountaineer. Racer will assemble at the Wells Event Center.
From there, the course will remain the same from the 2017 route and include parts of Waynesville, Hazelwood and the Plott Creek area of Haywood County.
To minimize personal contact, we will not have aid stations on the course this year. Please plan on being self sufficient.
All half marathon runners have 3 hours to complete the course in order to be provided full police protection and aid station support. Those still on the course at this time will be asked to stay to sidewalks and follow traffic rules. Race officials will stay with all runners on the course to make sure they arrive to the finish line safely.
Everyone who registered for the 2020 event, plus anyone who cancelled, was deferred to the 2021 race. There is no need for further action.
In order to comply with current North Carolina guidelines, groups of 20 or fewer runners will start every 5 minutes between 7:30 and 8:05 AM. Members of each start group may start anytime they are ready two minutes before through two minutes after their assigned start time.
For those who are registered from the 2020 race, start times will be assigned based on the date of registration. The earlier the registration date, the earlier the start time. Those registering on or after February 1, may choose from available start times during registration. Official start times will be posted and emailed on Sunday, March 28.
Start groups will gather in the area between the Wells Event Center. We ask you not to arrive to the start area earlier than 30 minutes before your assigned start time.
All runners registered by March 23 are guaranteed to receive a long-sleeve race shirt. Any registrations after this date will be based on availability.
All finishers will receive a commemorative finisher medal.
In order to provide a racing opportunity for as many people as possible, spectators or guests will not be permitted at this time.
- All participants. volunteers and staff will be instructed to stay home if they are exhibiting any systems or have been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive within the CDC guidelines
- Face coverings required from time they leave their vehicle to the time they start the race. During the race it must be on anytime they are within 10’ of a person not living in their household. After the race, it is put back on the finish line to the time they return to their vehicles
- No spectators at Start and Finish Area
- Face coverings required of all volunteers and staff
- Face coverings required of driver picking up on Friday
- Hand sanitizers at Saturday Packet Pickup and in all portajohns
- Hand washing station near portajohns
Upon finishing, runners will be provided a bottle of water and snacks then directed back to their cars.
Special awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers for Overall finishers and First place Masters (40 & Over) in each race.
Age group awards will go to the first, second and third male and female in the following age groups: 15 & Under, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 & Over. No double dipping!
There will not be an awards ceremony this year. All award winners will receive their awards by mail.
The race will utilize chip timing. A timing chip will be on the back of your race bib, which should be worn on your front and visible at all times during the race.
We love dogs but due to the current circumstances, they will not be allowed at this year’s event.
All racers and spectators are encourage to park in the Haywood County Courthouse parking deck on Branner Avenue.
Any pre-registered runner who is not comfortable with running in the current environment or under our new format has the option to opt out of the 2021 event by February 1, 2021 and receive a deferral into the 2022 event. Click HERE for Opt Out Form. After February 1, our normal Cancellation/Transfer policy will apply.
Glory Hound Events has a NO REFUND policy. However, we do offer partial discounts for those canceling during our cancellation periods.
If the event is NOT sold out, a discount code for 50% of your race registration fee will be offered until 7 days prior to the race date. No discounts codes will be given within 7 days before the event, if the event is not sold out.
If the event IS sold out, a discount code for 100% of your race registration fee will be offered until 7 days prior to the race date. No discounts codes will be given within 7 days before the event, if the event is sold out.
Partial discount codes are only available for cancellations of completed registrations. A registration is considered incomplete if payment was mailed in and has not yet been received. Discount codes can be used to register for the 2021 event.
To cancel or update your registration, go to www.IMAthlete.com, log in, My Races, select this event and make your changes.
Transfers of entries between participants will be accepted through March 29 by completing and submitting this Transfer Form. This is the only way transfers or the selling of bibs between participants will be allowed. Anyone who is discovered to have purchased or accepted another person’s bib without submitting this form will be disqualified and banned from future races.
We will not post results at the finish area. We will have live results at HERE, which you can access with a smart phone at the finish line or see on the race page by Saturday afternoon.
Would you still like to be part of this great event but don’t want to run? Volunteering is the perfect way to do that. We have spots available as course marshals and at the course aid stations. Please email email@example.com if you are interested in volunteering.