Last year I concocted a new challenge for myself and managed to recruit a few friends to join in the mayhem. I called it the Coastal Georgia Greenway 155 Ultra. I scheduled this challenge for the weekend of April 19th, 2015. When that date finally rolled around three friends and I embarked on a running journey from St. Mary’s, Georgia (which is on the southern coastal border of our green state) to Savannah, Ga (which is on our northeastern coastal border of Georgia). We decided that completing this task in 48 hours was doable.
To make a long story short, of the four of us that started in St. Mary’s on Friday, April 17th; only two finished. The two finishers’ were Karl Joseph and John Durant. I did not finish it.
Spring of 2016, I’m giving it another shot with a bigger (well, leaner), better and much improved me. In the mean time, I have taken a moment to acknowledge the amazing accomplishment made by John Durant and Karl Joseph.
These two gentlemen showed what strength and honor are all about. They endured tremendous hardship as they ran their way up the CGG. Forty-four hours after starting this challenge both of these men completed this journey on Hutchinson Island, just across the Savannah River overlooking River Street. To my knowledge, these two gentlemen are the very first to run the 155 mile Coastal Georgia Greenway from St. Mary’s to Savannah!
This journey was not a race but simply a challenge. At the end of the run there was no elaborate finish line, loud music, nor cheering spectators. The run ended on a lonely, chilly, rainy Sunday morning at the steps leading to the Savannah River front and the International Trade Center. We (the crew) congratulated these gentlemen and took some pictures. We all then headed our way back to our worlds.
The CGG is the brain child of Jo Claire Hickson who’s working on uniting existing trail systems with new trail systems up the entire coast of Georgia. This is a huge work in progress but Ms. Hickson is the type of visionary that can see this project through. So, at the time of this writing about 80% of the CGG is on highway 17 and state road 99. The remaining 20% is on paved and unpaved trails off the highways and traversing small quaint southern towns. The course takes you through nine towns and 15 jurisdictions. The nine towns are: St. Mary’s, Woodbine, Kingsland, Brunswick, Darien, Riceboro, Midway, Richmond Hill and Savannah.
I would like to make the CGGU 155 a race but trying to securely manage a 155 mile run where 80% of it is on highways is more than I want to take on. Some of the roads and shoulders you have to run on are pretty hairy. It is definitely a worthwhile, doable venture but you have to be very mindful and careful running on highway 17 and route 99 especially, at night. Managing the logistics for such an event to ensure first and foremost the safety of runners would be so very challenging, to say the least. Perhaps, when the CGG is 80% off the highways that may be the time to make it into a race.
For now, I’m proposing to make the CGGU 155 a challenge for anyone up for it to run the CGG from St. Mary’s to Hutchinson Island, Savannah, Ga. You do it on your own, at your own pace, for your own reason(s), – assuming all responsibilities for your own safety and that of those crewing you.
After you complete the 155 mile journey I will give you a plaque and certificate of completion…that is, if you want something like that.
If that sounds cool to you and you would like acknowledgement from Run 4 a Reason for having run and completed the CGG 155 Ultra Run you must do the following…
- $25 money order or payment through paypal payable to Run 4 a Reason (firstname.lastname@example.org). This money will be used for one of two things, to make your plaque and certificate if you complete the challenge & to mail it to you. If you don’t complete the challenge the entire $25 will be donated to the Coastal Georgia Greenway 501c3 organization headed by Ms. Jo Claire Hickson. If you complete the full 155 mile run you will get your plaque and certificate within 4 weeks of the completion of your run.
- You assume all risks of running the CGG. There are long stretches of highway that have to be spanned during the day and night. You may encounter a variety of critters along the way that may want to cause you harm – among those, snakes, wasps, mosquitoes, alligators, crazy people, drunks, black bears, ill-tempered deer. Of course, there are lots of cars and trucks on the roads of the CGG. R4R will not be responsible for anything that may befall you during this challenge. If you are still cool with this then please continue to #3…
- You must prove that you ran the entire CGG. That means, you must produce pictures (should have gps enable tracking), videos, call and leave voice mails when you reach certain milestones along the way. Your voice mail should state your name, location, date, time you reached that location.
- You shall start in St. Mary’s, Ga. at the Howard Gilmore Waterfront Memorial Park and you conclude your run on Hutchinson Island, Ga after having run one loop around the race track on that island and finishing up on the steps leading to the Savannah River and the International trade center.
- Thirty days from when you finish your CGGU journey you are kindly asked to submit an essay on what this experience was like and meant to you. I’m not looking for a formal essay with proper grammar and spelling – (you’re not being graded). I’m just looking for a short write up on what this experience was like to you. It will be posted on this website!
Again, these five steps are only necessary if you want recognition from Run 4 a Reason for having run the CGGU 155. If you do not care to have recognition from R4R that is totally cool and, I hope you have an excellent adventure and experience!
Regardless of how you choose to run the CGGU 155 (with recognition from R4R or not) you may find this detailed course beneficial for your journey: cggu155-mapStuff
I broke down the course into county sections. It’s easier for me to wrap my head around this distance that way. Look it over and do not hesitate to contact me for clarification on any part of it.
Again, the Coastal Georgia Greenway is a cool and ambitious project and if you decide to run it I wish you much success and safety along the way. And, if you want recognition from R4R then follow the instructions aforementioned.
May you have a great experience!
Enjoy the journey!