Cumberland Plateau Stage Race


The Cumberland Plateau Stage Race (aka Summer camp for runners) was a three-day stage trail race in Jamestown, TN .  It took place on the East Fork Stables property, and the event was hosted by Hardwin Adventures.  I cannot say enough kind words about the organizers, John Hardin and Cody Goodwin.  They are the nicest guys, put in a lot of hard work, and made this a great event!

Day 1- 13 miles

Day 2- 22 miles

Day 3- 15 miles

You could run all three days as a solo runner, or register as a team of three where each member runs one day.  I chose to join a team with some of my favorite people and we called ourselves “Naughty By Nature!”  We’re all training for fall races and used our stage of the race as a training run (not a race).


Friday, Day 1

I met my team and the other runners for registration at the start line around 3:00.  It was a HOT afternoon and I knew it would be a tough 4:00 start.


This is just a small portion of the group of runners that drove from Nashville.

Each race day was started with “The Runner’s Oath” and it was one of my favorite parts of this event. (Click on the pic to play)

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Just look at how beautiful this property is!


We cheered on the runners as they finished the first stage.  My teammate, Corrie, ran an awesome first leg!  All of the runners said that this was the hardest 13 miles that they’ve ever run.  Cue my fear for my stage on Sunday.

We met up for a pasta dinner at the mess hall.



There were a lot of course recaps, laughter, dance music, and beer drinking.

Saturday, Day 2

We met back up for breakfast at the Pavillion.  There was a nice light rain and even a rainbow over the Mess Hall.



The food at the race was country cookin’ at it’s finest.  Definitely the best race food I’ve ever had.  Check out the mountain of biscuits and table of fruit!



We all took the Oath and my teammate Roy was off for his 22 mile leg of the race.




I actually joined Roy for the first 5 miles until we reached an aid station.  I turned around and ran back while he continued on to run a strong second leg.

The top picture was a before.  The bottom picture was an after.  You can’t even tell that he just ran an uber difficult 22 miler!


Yet again, the runners were saying that this was one of the toughest races they’ve ever run.  A few of the three day runners said that they were finished and wouldn’t be running the third stage.  Again, terror set in for my upcoming run.

Just like summer camp, the race organizers had a list of activities for us to choose from during our down time:




Wine Tasting


After the race, we met up for a sushi lesson from James Suh.  Sushi…at a trail race?  It was incredible!  He had all of the ingredients prepped, gave us a demo, and we were rolling away…sushi shenanigans!!


We got a little carried away and made a lot more rolls than we could actually eat.


Because we’re runners with crazy appetites, we headed over to the mess hall for dinner!  I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Hardwin for accommodating the vegetarians!!!



Sunday, Day 3

I had an 8am start time.  The group met for breakfast beforehand and then walked over to the start line for the Oath.

We realized that we share a mutual love for the Nike Terra Kiger.  (I am loving my new Kiger 2’s and ran in them this weekend.)



I was blessed with clouds for my entire run!  It was humid and muggy, but much better than the previous two days.  We ran on this gravel road for 2.5 miles and then hit the top of the plateau.  I was amazed by the amount of sand.  It had rained overnight and it felt like we were running in a mud/quicksand combo.  My legs were burning early…definitely not used to sand running.  We then had a steep and slippery rock decline into the valley.  After 3 miles, we headed back up the bluff line for 1.25 miles.  The 11% incline was no joke and my buns were burning!  I was running with one of my favorite people in the whole world, Christi Beth (amazing person, runner, and she owns Fleet Feet Nashville) for my entire run and I was so thankful for her company.  We met my husband and friends at the third aid station and he decided to run with us to the finish line.  If you can’t tell, we were so excited to see our friends at this aid station!IMG_5270


With only 2.5 miles to go…we got lost…doh!  Our “detour” tacked on another 2 miles, but we stayed in good spirits, got back on course, and finished the race!



“Naughty By Nature” ended up getting third place!  I’m a hot mess after running…just ignore that!




This pretty much sums up the following video clip…


This is what my teammates do while waiting for runners at the aid station.  These weirdos are definitely my tribe! (Click on the pic to play)

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If you can’t tell, I had a blast.  If you want a challenging trail race…come out next year.  An even better reason to run next year…the people.  From the organizers, volunteers, to the runners…this was the nicest group!



Have you ever run a stage race? Did you run solo or with a team?

Did you race this weekend? Tell me all about it!


Join the Conversation

  • Bonnie

    I loved your entry today! Looked like an awesome race and event! I love following you because even though I will never be at your level, it makes me want to move on and do more! A 10k is in my sights and you are really helping me to chase this dream! Thanks for sharing!

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you SO much! This was such a great race! Good luck on your first 10k:)

  • Marilyn

    Congratulations! What a cool plaque award. I love any race that makes running feel a little more like a team sport because it can seem lonely sometimes. I did my first RAGNAR relay race this summer and loved it.

    • jenchoosesjoy

      I still haven’t run a Ragnar race. I definitely need to! This was a great weekend:)

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