Frequently Asked Questions
When does race registration open and how do I register?
Race registration opens June 30, 2020. Register on our Run Sign Up page.
When is the race?
The Cades Cove Loop Lope will take place on Sunday, November 8, 2020. The 10-mi race begins at 7:30AM and the 5k race begins at 7:35AM.
How do I participate in the Virtual Race?
The Virtual Race option is for those who want to support Friends of the Smokies, but aren’t able to attend on Race Day. If you sign up for the Virtual Race, you can run either the 5K or 10-mile distance at any time or place of your choosing. You will still receive a t-shirt and an undated finisher’s medallion, mailed the week of November 9, 2020.
What is Friends of the Smokies doing to keep runners safe in 2020?
Safety is one of our top priorities for the Cades Cove Loop Lope, and that involves continually reviewing the CDC’s Situation Summary regarding COVID-19. To read more about what we will be doing to keep runners, volunteers, staff, and park rangers safe on race day, click here.
How long is the race?
A 5-kilometer route and 10-mile route will be available. The 5k route will be swept after 1.5 hours. The 10-mile route will be swept after 2.5 hours. The 10-mile course sweep will be done by a vehicle this year. If the course sweep vehicle approaches you while you are on the course, you are REQUIRED to get in the vehicle and exit the course. Due to time limitations, we must close the race and reopen the Loop Road in a timely manner. In order to ensure our participants’ safety, you must get in and ride the vehicle out.
Will Cades Cove be closed during the event?
Yes. Cades Cove Loop Road will be closed until 11AM on Sunday, November 8. Personal vehicles without a vehicle pass will not be permitted past the Townsend Wye until 11AM on race day.
What about the Cades Cove campground?
The National Park Service offers camping in Cades Cove year-round. During the race weekend, camping is only available on a first-come first-served basis. For questions about camping, please contact the Cades Cove Campground Kiosk at 865-448-4103.
Does every participant need a vehicle pass?
Vehicles passes are extremely limited, so we highly recommend carpooling or taking the provided group transportation. If you are planning to participate with your family/friends/team/coworkers, only one of you needs to buy a vehicle pass at the time you register, not every individual. The more people you can safely & legally fit in your vehicle, the better. For information on the group transportation option, click here.
What if I don’t get a vehicle pass? What if they sell out?
If you registered for the race but did not get a vehicle pass, group transportation will be available to and from the Townsend Visitor Center. If you do not have a vehicle pass or are not riding with someone who does, you must take the provided group transportation. Personal vehicles without a pass will not be permitted past the Townsend Wye.
Can I volunteer?
Yes! We love to have volunteers for our events. You can see position descriptions and register as a volunteer here when registration opens. We will need volunteers for aid stations, course monitoring, and check-in.
Can I walk? What about strollers? Can I bring my pet?
Walkers and joggers with strollers will line-up at the back of the starting group for both the 5k and 10-mile courses. Keep in mind there is a low water crossing on the 5K course near the beginning of Sparks Lane where a creek crosses the road.
Can I bring my pet?
Pets are not allowed on either course.
Will there be aid stations?
Yes. Aid stations will be available throughout both courses to offer water. We encourage you to bring a reusable water bottle to start the race.
Is this course certified?
Yes, both courses are officially measured. The 10-mile course is certified by USATF.