The Oak Barrel Half course includes a very memorable hill that starts between 3.5 miles and 4 miles into the run. This hill has been lovingly dubbed ‘Whiskey Hill’. Whiskey Hill is not for the faint of heart.
Whiskey Hill is our path up to the top of a ridge line that the course follows for several miles. The hill is about 1 mile long and starts out fairly gradual. About half way up Whiskey Hill it begins to get a little steeper but still pretty manageable. At this point you begin to see the top of the ridge that you are running towards. Once you get within striking distance of the top and to the last switchback on the hill the incline kicks up pretty dramatically. It’s as if Whiskey Hill has taken on its own personality and is laughing and providing that last little challenge.
The really nice things about Whiskey Hill
- It gets the bulk of the courses climbing over relatively early in the race
- It doesn’t start until you are good and warmed up
- It provides the altitude to allow some nice views a you run across the ridge
- It also provides the elevation that allows the course to turn downhill about mile 9 until mile 12 where you can really use a bit of relief
- You feel good about yourself once you make it to the top
Whiskey Hill has its own Facebook page.
Whiskey Hill Preview Runs
For those of you who live relatively close or will be in the area in the next few months, we will be hosting ‘Whiskey Hill’ preview runs. These runs will allow you to meet ‘Whiskey Hill’ before race day. These runs are a 7 mile loop that take in about 5 miles of the half marathon course that include ‘Whiskey Hill’. The ‘Whiskey Hill’ preview runs will start at Woodard’s Market and Deli in Lynchburg (1415 Fayetteville Highway, Lynchburg, TN). The start time for the runs will be 10AM. These will be group runs with self serve water stops and the course will be marked.
NOTE for 2018: The Whiskey Hill Preview runs will be an out and back course this year. There is a bridge that is under construction on the last part of our traditional Whiskey Hill loop that we will not be able to cross – so we will alter the course a bit so that we run an out and back course that incorporates Whiskey Hill.
The Whiskey Hill Preview Runs for 2018 will be:
January 21 (Sunday) 10AM
February 4(Sunday) 10AM
February 11 (Sunday) 10AM
March 4 (Sunday) 10AM
March 18(Sunday) 10AM
The Sunday runs start at 10AM Woodard’s Deli (1415 Fayetteville Highway, Lynchburg, TN).
A Bit of Oak Barrel History
When we were trying to decide on a half marathon course out of Lynchburg, we looked at 7 or 8 different routes. All of them included hills. You cannot run 13.1 miles out of Lynchburg without running hills (unless you just run loops around the courthouse). Some of the other courses included hills of similar challenge to Whiskey Hill. Of all other courses we looked at were culled because of the hills – they were either relentless and there were constant hills throughout the course or the downhill portion was so steep that it would have likely caused serious injury problems. So the current course actually minimized hills, as hard as that may be to believe.