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 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 unchanged from our first running in 1999. But we may recertify it at some point in the future, now that the course has been fully paved.)
The course is 100% paved. Prior to 2013, a large portion of the Gooney Manor Loop (from the quarter mile mark to about mile 3.9) had been gravel, but for some reason VDOT decided to pave the entire loop that summer. The improved footing makes for a slightly faster course than before, although the road is still just as narrow, winding, and hilly as it's always been.
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!
We expect to have a minimum of one water stop, located at the high point on the course near the halfway mark. (If we end up with enough volunteers on race day and/or if the weather is unusually warm or humid, we'll instead try to have two water stops, located at miles 2.1 and 4.) 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 or smartphone during the race, it may tell you that the course is long. If it does, your GPS device is incorrect. Particularly when worn on the wrist, when used at faster paces, and when used under tree cover, GPS devices 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 and smartphones 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 GPS watch or smartphone 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 device winds up saying on race day, our 10K course has been measured to USA Track & Field's 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.
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.|