April 22nd, 2017


Event Information

15K

The signature event of the Chickamauga Chase is the 15K. The Chickamauga Chase is the oldest continuously held road race in the Chattanooga area and is one of America's oldest 15Ks. The certified 15K course (USATF GA07007WC) is a circular clockwise loop around the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park.

Wilder Tower
Wilder Tower

The 15K (as well as the 5K and Scenic Walk) begins on Glenn-Viniard Road in the southeast corner of the Park. At the sound of the gun, participants will run up a slight hill behind the Wilder Brigade Monument. This imposing 85-foot tower honors Union Col. John Wilder and his brigade of mounted infantry, who occupied this part of the battlefield when Confederate General Longstreet's troops broke through the Union line on September 20th, 1863. Armed with seven-shot Spencer repeating rifles, Wilder's 2,000 man brigade poured deadly fire into Longstreet's veterans but were unable to stop them. The platform at the top of the Wilder Monument affords an excellent view of the battlefield and the surrounding area. Runners head north on Viniard-Alexander Road. As they look to their right at Mile 1, they will see a hilly field marked with a monument at the site of Union General Rosecran's Army of the Cumberland headquarters. The course turns east onto Dyer Road where Water Stop 1 is located. At the intersection ahead, the 15K, 5K and Scenic Walk separate. 15K runners turn left onto Glenn-Kelly Road. This flat stretch is very scenic, with a beautiful view of the South Carolina monument on the hilltop on the left near Mile 2.

Snodgrass Hill
Snodgrass Hill
There is a road on the left at Water Stop 2 that leads to Snodgrass Hill. When General Longstreet's attack struck the Union center some Federal troops fell back and made a stand on this hill. Here they held their ground against repeated assaults, earning Union Major General George Thomas the nickname "Rock of Chickamauga." Just before Mile 3, the course crosses Lafayette Road, an important thoroughfare at the time of the battle, and often it became a battle line of sorts during the fighting. Please use extra caution and follow the Park Rangers safety instructions when crossing the highway. Runners will head southeast on Alexander's Bridge Road for a slightly rolling stretch passing Battleline Road. Unlike other Civil War battles that were fought in open fields, Chickamauga was fought in thickly wooded terrain. Generals had trouble keeping track of their troops, much less directing them. The final day of the battle opened near this spot. That morning Confederate troops under Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk attacked Major General Thomas' federal corps lined up behind log barricades. This attack caused Union forces to shift troops to Thomas' aid. This weakened the Federal right flank and set the scene for General Longstreet's important breakthrough. At about Mile 4 on the right is the gravesite of Private John Ingraham, a local boy who died in the battle and was buried where he fell. His grave is the only marked soldier's grave at Chickamauga, although there were thousands of casualties. Runners head east turning onto Brotherton Road and Water Stop 3. The course is slightly rolling continuing through Winfrey Field, where much of the fighting took place on the first day of the battle, including a rare and confusing night battle. Near Mile 5 runners pass the entrance to the site of Confederate General Braxton Bragg's headquarters. The General was the commander of the 43,000 strong Army of Tennessee. Runners turn right and head south to Mile 6 and Water Stop 4 on Jay's Mill Road. They will continue on a brief and slightly uphill stretch on Alexander Bridge Road at the 10K mark. Please use extra caution and safety in this area. The course turns right, west again onto Viniard Alexander Road. Runners now face a series of rolling hills known to local runner as the "3 sisters". This is a heavily wooded stretch encompassing most of miles 7 and 8 with Water Stop 5 just before Mile 8.
Viniard Field
Viniard Field

Approaching the intersection of Lafayette Road, Viniard Field is on the left, where the Union right flank was massed at the beginning of the battle. Runners will turn left, south onto Lafayette Road for a short stretch. Use extra caution on this busy stretch, and please stay inside the cones on the shoulder of the right side of the road. A right turn to the west onto Glenn-Viniard Road will provide a vista of Glenn Field, the largest open stretch of land during the battle. Hans Christian Heg, who commanded a brigade of mostly Norwegians of the 15th Wisconsin, was mortally wounded during the battle, and his monumnent lies in this field. As the course curves through the woods passing Mile 9, runners will take a right turn to the finish line in the field below the Wilder Brigade Monument.

The 15K course officially closes 2 hours and 15 minutes after the gun start. This is a little over a 14 minute mile. Participants remaining on the course may finish at their own risk and may not receive an official finish time.


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©2015 Chickamauga Chase.