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The Cades Cove Loop Lope is the only organized footrace held inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, to benefit Friends of the Smokies. All funds raised benefit park projects and programs such as historic preservation, wildlife conservation, native plant and grassland restoration, and much more.
There are two course options, a 5K or a USATF Certified 10-Mile Loop. Participation is limited to 750 total runners. The 2019 in-person Cades Cove Loop Lope sold out in just a few weeks, so don't wait to register!
If you can't make it to Cades Cove on Sunday, November 14 or the race is already sold out, but you still want to support the park, sign up for the Virtual Race! A virtual race can be run (or walked!) anytime, anywhere, even indoors or on a treadmill. Virtual runners will receive a race t-shirt and finisher's medallion via mail, however, they will not be eligible for awards.
Carpooling is essential to maximizing participation in this race. A limited number of vehicle passes will be available for purchase for an additional fee. Please note: Parking passes always sell out on the first day of registration, which is Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Registrants who do not purchase a vehicle pass must either carpool with a passholder they know or utilize the group transportation option from the Townsend Visitors Center.
The health and safety of our Friends is paramount. We will be following CDC Guidelines and taking precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Rolling Start Lines: The Start Lines for both the 5K and the 10-Mile will be open from 7:00 – 7:30 a.m. (Please note time change from our initial communication!!) Runners may start at any time during that period. There will be no Start Line announcements to avoid gathering in large groups. Due to the Start Line setups and lack of wireless communication, results for either race will not be available until 8:00 a.m., regardless of your start time. Please be patient with us! Please note: The 10-Mile Start is located at the official Start Line Truss. For the 5K Start, walk about 100 feet in the Loop Road and find the 5K Start Banners.
No vehicle without a parking pass will be admitted past the Townsend Wye on race day until after 11:00 a.m. All passholders must show their parking pass at the checkpoint at the Townsend Wye in order to enter Cades Cove on race day. This means there are no drop-offs and pick-ups allowed for participants.
PARKING PASSES SOLD OUT ON APRIL 14, 2021. Parking passes are an additional charge during registration until sold out.
1) Meet at the designated parking field adjacent to the Townsend Visitors Center (located at 7906 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882)
2) Buses will arrive at 6:00 a.m. The first bus will leave when it is full. The last bus will leave at 6:30 a.m. Do not arrive at the Townsend Visitors Center prior to 5:30 a.m. as our volunteers will not be ready to receive you.
3) Watch for volunteers to direct you. As you approach the Townsend Visitors Center, you will turn on to Myers Road next to the Visitors Center. You will be directed to turn again just past the Visitors Center into a field (this is uneven terrain!)
4) It will be dark so please bring a flashlight or headlamp for your walk from the field to the bus loading area.
5) Each bus will make one trip in and one trip out. We cannot guarantee any certain departure time from Cades Cove after you finish.
6) It is unlikely you will ride in and out on the same bus so please do not leave personal items on the bus. There is a coat/bag check at the Cades Cove Amphitheater.
1) If you purchased a parking pass, you will pick it up with your packet at Packet Pick Up. Please have it handy when you approach the Townsend Wye intersection so that you can show it to the Park Ranger who will be at the checkpoint.
2) Do not arrive before 6:15 a.m., as volunteers and Park Rangers may not be in place to assist you before that time.
3) When you get to the entrance of Cades Cove there will be a park employee or park volunteer to direct you to the parking area. Please be courteous to them; we could not do this race without them.
4) You may be asked to park on uneven terrain. If your vehicle has low clearance, be aware of your surroundings.
5) It will be dark so please bring a flashlight or headlamp for your walk from the parking area to Coat Check (Cades Cove Amphitheater) or the Start Line.
6) There is approximately a 0.5 mile walk from the parking area to the coat check station. There is approximately a 0.5 mile walk from the parking area to the start line. They are in opposite directions from one another.
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.
Additional race information can be found at https://friendsofthesmokies.org/looplope/.
Live Phone Tracking, GPS Progress Alerts and Cheers!
We are providing you with RaceJoy as part of the official race experience for the Cades Cove Loop Lope.
Download the RaceJoy mobile app in advance to ensure proper phone setup. Invite your friends and family to track you and send you cheers!
Some key RaceJoy features include:
Cades Cove Loop Road (10 Mile Course) and Cades Cove Loop Road/Sparks Lane/Loop Road Exit (5K Course) in Great Smoky Mountains National ParkOpen in External Application
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