CGG 100 and 155 Mile Ultra Race Ending

This is the official notice that the Coastal Georgia Greenway 100 and 155 mile ultras will come to an end at the completion of the 2024 October 11th race.  Ending this race has not been easy for me as this has been my baby for almost a decade now.

Managing a point to point 100 and, 155 mile race is not easy. Managing a long race like this one that is 80% on open roads and the remaining on sidewalks and trails is very challenging. From the beginning, what we envisioned with the CGG 155 was to bring awareness to the Coastal Georgia Greenway which has evolved now to be called part of the East Coast Greenway.  We had hoped that this race would flip the aforementioned percentages to 80% sidewalk and trail and the remaining 20% on open road. That was back in 2015. It is now mid-2023 and sadly, not one bit of change has occurred on the Georgia Greenway since the inception of this event.

Creating a race that was challenging, beautiful, epic and, safe has always been our focus for this race.  In eight years of holding this event we have succeeded in meeting that criteria. There have been a few scary moments along the way but thankfully, no one has ever been hurt during the eight year run of the CGG 155.  Scared, – yes! Hurt, – no!

In 2019, we introduced the shorter sister of the CGG 155 by adding a 100 mile distance. The 100 is challenging in it’s own right. Again, point to point races are tough.  And, there is no such thing as an easy 100. Running 100 miles in a weekend is always difficult. Some runners make it look easy but you that have run 100 miles in one shot know that is not an easy feat.

It’s been said that if you want to have your faith in humanity restored go watch a marathon. I will not disagree with that but I will expand upon that. If you truly want to see the human spirit at it’s very finest and it’s most raw, come volunteer at the CGG 100 and 155 mile ultra! 

In all of the events that Run 4 a Reason’s Rough Runners has held I’ve never been more inspired, more moved, than by witnessing the incredible drive of the human spirit as I have watching the CGG 100 and 155 mile runners at this event.  The CGG 100 and 155 mile ultra will make you a believer that the human spirit cannot be broken. It may get bruised but never broken. I’ve never experienced the depths of where runners will dig deep to find the strength to claw back up and go on to complete such a momentous goal as I have with this race.  

This is a race that I have personally attempted three times and all three times have failed at it. My failing at this race has simply been for not having my head in the game.  You really need to be focused on this race and not forgetting why you’re doing this. This is a very long run over a lot of geography. I call it an expedition run.  When running the CGG 155 one should focus on the long game.

The CGG 100 and 155 has never been a big race. For the last eight years, there have been 58 runners tee the start line of the CGG 155. Thirty-eight of those runners have completed the race. That’s a 65% completion rate. I believe that for such a long, difficult race, 65% completion is actually not bad. What that rate of completion tells me is that the 65% that complete this race are a very rare, determined bunch of runners. 

The CGG 100 has had 20 runners tee the start with 18 finishers. That’s a 90% completion rate. That is a pretty spectacular finish rate. I am curious to learn what the completion rates are for most 100 mile distance races.  90% is pretty darn high.  I attribute the high completion rate of the CGG 100 to the individual drive of the runners that attempt it. I’ve become convinced that the CGG 100 and 155 mile ultra attracts a very different breed of humans, – a very driven, very disciplined, over achieving type of human. These runners don’t accept defeat easily.

The CGG 155 is the only race that we require runners to have completed a prior 100 mile race before attempting the 155.  Point to point races are exciting but difficult.  Add in narrow to non-existing road shoulders, incredibly long dark country roads, intense traffic in parts.  Completing the CGG 155 is a harrowing experience.

Every runner that has completed the CGG 100 and 155 has left an indelible impression on me.  These folks have something in them that most of us do not have or, we do not know how to tap into that thing and, draw strength from it and move forward.

Ending the CGG 100 155 mile ultra is very difficult for me. I confess, as I write this blog, I am having second thoughts. A big part of me doesn’t want to let go of this race.  The other part of me, fully understands that this race has reached it’s end. I have these two voices in my head telling me why I should I continue with this race and why I shouldn’t.  

The CGG 100 and 155 has taken it’s toll on me. It’s a 60 hour event that does not allow any of us – Kerry, Jason and I much time for rest.  The financial return on our investment has always been very little too.  Honestly, in eight years of holding this race we’ve only been profitable one year.  In 2021, we made $125 profit on this race.  Obviously, this event has never been about making money. This race has always been about bringing awareness and improvement for a green corridor that safely allows runners, hikers, cyclist to go up and down the Georgia coast. We are still a business, though.  A return on our investment of time and money should be an deserved expectation.  

The CGG has a 155 mile course that we have to manage during a 60 hour window.  Runners are scattered up and down that 155 mile course, most times, with dozens of miles in between each runner.

There are mandatory checkpoints that we manage, stamp a runners guide booklet before they can continue their journey. It is very, very seldom that Kerry, Jason and I are able to be together at the finish line to celebrate the triumph of each runner because we are so spread apart, trying to ensure the safety and well-being of every runner on this very long course.

Being a race that is sixty hours long on a point to point start to finish is not an easy sell.  Eight years has shown me that.  

2024 will be the last year of the CGG 100 and 155 mile ultra.  It is going to be a spectacular race! There are runners already signed up for this race that I cannot wait to see how they execute their plan for success.  Each runner that has finished either of the distances that the CGG ultra holds is a hero to me. They have inspired me in ways that has made me believe in the tough, strong spirit of humanity, the triumph of grit and determination. They each have something in them that I still dare to pursue and hope to attain.

I am so very grateful for what the CGG ultra has brought into my life, the connections I’ve made with runners that come from every walk of life. The inspiration these runners instilled in me I will carry for the duration of my life. And, I am and will always be grateful for how they’ve changed my outlook and perspective on life.

Thank you all that have been a part of the CGG 100 155 mile ultra family! We’ve had a very special run so far.  I am both sad and happy that 2024 will be the end of an epic experience.

Take care, be well.

much love…