The 4th annual Savannah Rails to Trails with Ledesma Sports Medicine as the Title Sponsor is just around the corner! Since 2013, we have held this race the second Saturday of January. In 2016, that second Saturday of January falls on the 9th.
Holding this race has been a great and exciting experience to me. This is the race that started the momentum for the restoration of the McQueen’s Island Historical Trail. This is the race that brought the first ultra running event to Savannah. This is the race that many of our local ultra runners chose as their first ultra to run!
In recent years, the McQueen’s Island Trail (RTT) has been impacted quite severely by the elements. Some voices in the community have stated that nature should be allowed to claim the trail. And, there are other voices that have clearly stated that the trail should be saved and restored as it constitutes a remnant of our past along with a unique glimpse of our natural coastal beauty. This narrow strip of land which is almost six miles long and in sections only ten feet across offers not only a glimmer of the history of the Lowcountry but also offers an oasis that is teeming with wildlife for the runner, cyclist, hiker, fisherman and naturalist that ventures upon the trail.
This trail was originally a railroad bed linking Savannah to Tybee Island. In the 1990s it became the very first Rails to Trails project in the state of Georgia.
The plight of this trail brought a community of runners together from all parts of the country – Georgia, of course but also, North and South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Virginia and as far away as Washington and California, Texas, Illinois and New York. For the 2015 race, we had a runner come from the Netherlands to run the Savannah R2T 50k.
The Savannah Rails to Trails Ultra has generated $10,000.00 for the McQueen’s Island trail restorative efforts. We are currently in the process of using the proceeds from the 2015 and 2016 races to purchase the signs for the trail. The signs have been designed by Christine Powell and nicely share the history of the trail, the wildlife that call the trail home and mile markers from start to end.
Please consider joining us on January 9th. There is a distance for everyone. The Savannah Rails to Trails offers a 50k, 25k, 12k and a 50k relay. Every finisher gets a pretty sweet medal and a race shirt. Awards will be given out to the top 3 male and female runners of each distance race. The course is a beautiful 7.75 mile loop that takes you around Fort Pulaski across a bridge spanning the southern channel of the Savannah River and an out and back on the McQueen’s island trail. Running this loop you are running through approximately 175 years of Savannah history including the old fortress which was severely pounded by the Union in 1862 with their new technology of rifled canons.
The Savannah Rails to Trails is a unique race where southern charm, history and natural beauty converge seamlessly. So, come down and make a weekend of Savannah, crank out some miles, explore Fort Pulaski after your run and then hit downtown Savannah Saturday evening for some good food and beer or, wine. You’ll totally dig this run and exploring Savannah. I promise you that!
If interested in being a sponsor, please know that R4R offers a pretty diverse set of sponsor packages and will gladly customize it to meet your organization’s needs.
Thanks for stopping by.