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Third annual Mountain Madness Trail Run draws record participation
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The Mountain Madness Trail Run drew more than a hundred runners from ten different states to take part in the challenging trail run on March 20, 2021. - photo by Erica Schmidt

Despite chilly temperatures, the third annual Mountain Madness Trail Run drew over 100 runners from ten different states to Fausett Farms in Dawson County on March 20 to run the challenging 9.3 mile course.

Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Tourism and Events Director Dustin Heard said that this year saw about 145 entries for the trail run, more than any other past year. 

“We’ve got more people this year than we’ve had in years past; we topped out at about 145 runners this year and last year we had about 90,” Heard said. “And we’ve got about ten different states represented which is more than we’ve ever had.” 

Heard said that the process of organizing the race was a little easier than last year, which was postponed to June 2020 due to COVID-19. With COVID-19 cases on the downward trajectory, this year’s race was more normal than last year, according to Heard. 

“We’re still taking some precautions like encouraging social distancing, but with it being an outdoor event it’s getting more to normal,” Heard said. “which made it a lot easier to plan.” 

The Mountain Madness course is a 15K and consists of about 9.3 miles of trail winding over several obstacles, including two creek crossings. Heard said that the difficulty of the course is one of the biggest things that draws runners to the event, with nearly half of the participants returning for their second or third time entering. 


The Mountain Madness course is a 15K and consists of about 9.3 miles of trail winding over several obstacles, including two creek crossings. Heard said that the difficulty of the course is one of the biggest things that draws runners to the event, with nearly half of the participants returning for their second or third time entering. 

“The entire course is nearly up or down; everyone that’s ran it says that it’s the most challenging 15K they’ve ever done,” Heard said. “We do have a lot of returning runners that want to come back and run it again.” 

Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Mandy Power said that this was her first year helping to organize the run and that she and the rest of the chamber were pleased with the participation. 

“I think we had a great turnout which was fabulous so that we could showcase this part of Dawson County and the Fausetts which was great,” Power said. “And I think it was perfect running weather too.” 

The race was sponsored by several local businesses, including Northside Hospital Forsyth, Northeast Georgia Health System, Troncalli Subaru, Hammer Nutrition, Because Coffee, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Fausett Farms Horse Trails, Len Foote Hike Inn, Modern Woodmen, Northstar Bicycle and the Chamber of Commerce. 

Power said that, while a lot of work went into preparing for the race, the turnout made it worth it.

“Eric and Dustin were out here all day yesterday trying to get the trail all marked off and everything and we were all out here early this morning,” Power said. “It’s a lot of work, but the rewarding part is when you have a good turnout and a lot of people that can come and enjoy it.” 

The chamber plans to host another shorter trail run at Fausett Farms in the fall, when the sunflowers are blooming.

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