Lake Olmstead/Julian Smith Park
The Augusta University Half Marathon is USATF Certified at 13.1 miles and will start and finish at Lake Olmstead/Julian Smith Park. The 13.1-mile course give runners a tour of Augusta's historic downtown, Summerville areas and the newly revitalized Harrisburg neighborhood. Runners will pass many Augusta landmarks, including the statue of our native son James Brown, the historic Partridge Inn, Augusta University, the world-famous Augusta National Golf Club (home of The Masters Tournament) and finish along the banks of Lake Olmstead.
Runners start the out-and-back course for the race along the shore of Lake Olmstead, just a stone’s throw from the nearby baseball stadium where the Class-A Augusta GreenJackets minor league baseball team plays. From there, the course heads first along two of downtown Augusta’s main streets, along a roughly two-mile out-and-back stretch along Broad and Green Streets.
The course then brings runners back toward the mill and then onto St. Sebastian Way, which they’ll follow for a little less than half a mile before turning right onto Walton Way, which leads runners through commercial districts and into the part of the city known as Summerville, giving way to beautiful, large residential homes — many of which are many decades old — lining the street. This section also features a long, steady, gradual uphill however, so it’s a blessing to have plenty of postcard-perfect scenery to distract during the long, gradual climb.
The stretch along Walton Way lasts for about three miles before turning runners right onto Highland Avenue, which shows off much of what Augusta is known for to anyone who’s visited the city for the Masters — majestic homes that sit at the end of large, lush green lawns dotted with magnolia and Georgia pine trees reaching toward the sky.
The stretch along Highland leads to Berckmans Road and some significant hills — first a long, steady downhill followed by a fairly steep uphill along Berckmans, which leads right up to the fences and parking lot areas of Augusta National Golf Club.
If you’re a golf fan, it’s likely that you may (almost) forget you’re running a 13.1-mile race on the stretch through this area, though it will help that you’re roughly three-fourths of the way through the course at this point, which is followed by a run through the neighborhoods around Lake Olmstead, where you can also see the baseball stadium before cross the finish line back along the trails that wind alongside the lake.
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