While the Greasy-Gooney 10K is quite scenic (go to the course photos page to see for yourself!), it is also somewhat challenging. The "U"-shaped course starts on Bentonville-Browntown Road (Route 613) and quickly turns onto a quiet little road called the Gooney Manor Loop. This road heads south up the Greasy Run valley for around three miles, gaining about 480 feet in elevation. Then the Gooney Manor Loop curves back around to the northeast and comes down the Gooney Run valley all the way to Browntown, losing about 500 feet in elevation. So in other words, it's uphill for the first half and downhill for the second half!
Certification & measurement
The Greasy-Gooney 10K course was certified for USA Track & Field by Neal Riemenschneider on 11 August 1999. The cerification number is VA99025RT. (Due to new USATF rules, technically our course's certification has "expired", but our route is completely unchanged from our first running in 1999. We just don't feel like paying more pointless USATF fees just to submit a renewal form.)
After running the first quarter mile on pavement, you'll turn left onto the Gooney Manor Loop, which is unpaved for the next 3.7 miles. You'll be running on gravel, with some occasional smooth dirt showing. The footing on this gravel section varies from year to year, depending on how recently the road has been graded. (This year parts of the road are in good shape, but it's particularly rutted from mile 2½ to 3½.) Just before the four mile mark, the road changes over to pavement, and you'll be on pavement for the remainder of the race.
It is nearly impossible to get lost on the Greasy-Gooney 10K course, as there is only one turn. This turn (a left) comes a mere quarter mile into the race, so after that, just keep going straight all the way back to Browntown!
Due to the temperate weather forecast and low volunteer availability, we will only have one water stop this year, at the high point on the course near the halfway mark. If you take water, try and toss your cup somewhere in plain view so that our volunteers will see 'em to pick 'em up. (In other words, don't throw your cups off in the woods.)
Miles 1 through 6 will be marked with our usual blue & yellow signs stuck into the tops of traffic cones. Each intermediate half-mile will be marked with a little orange surveyor's flag or two.
As mentioned above and as illustrated below, the course is basically 3.1 miles up and 3.1 miles down. But don't
Note to GPS users:
If you wear a GPS watch during the race, it may tell you that the course is long. If it does, your GPS watch is incorrect. Particularly when worn on the wrist, when used at faster paces, and when used under tree cover, GPS watches have a tendency to record inaccurate data points, and they invariably end up measuring long. Companies like Garmin do not sufficiently explain the limitations of GPS devices to consumers, and many GPS users place too much faith in the numbers their watches give them, as if the watches work by magic. As a result, race directors have been hearing a lot of unjustified complaints about allegedly long courses over the past few years.
Any measurement by a Garmin GPS watch should be considered nothing more than a ballpark estimate with a large margin of error, unless you can verify the recorded data points through some other means. Please be assured that despite whatever your GPS watch winds up saying on race day, our 10K course has been measured to USA Track & Field's exacting standards and is as close to 6 miles 1128 feet 4.787 inches as we can get it! And our mile marks have been carefully measured as well.
(That said, the race director has run the course with a Garmin 205 on a number of occasions and has consistently gotten readings of 6.21-6.22 miles. Go figure! Those of you with older, less accurate models like the 201 may lose your GPS signals entirely under our course's occasionally heavy tree cover.)
Satellite visibility is not expected to be very good from around 8 to 10 AM on race day this year, so your GPS's accuracy could be a little lower than usual.
Simulated 3D overhead views
Below are a couple computer-generated three-dimensional overhead views of the course, created many many years ago with a flight simulation computer game. We've highlighted the 10K course in yellow on the two images:
(These images were created in the days before Google Earth made 3D mapping easy. We may eventually update these images with some Google Earth stuff.)
|The Greasy-Gooney 10K Web pages are maintained by Karsten Brown.|