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Hellhole Gravel Grind Stage Race and 1-Day Race & Ride

September 15 - September 17

Race Notes and Information
The Hellhole Gravel Grind Prologue, 2-Day Stage Race, 1-Day Race, and 1-Day Ride will take place on the gravel roads in and around Hellhole Swamp in the Francis Marion National Forest just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The forest is named for the revolutionary war hero Francis Marion, who was known to the British as the Swamp Fox. He used these swamps, creeks and forest areas to ambush and hide from the British and was depicted in the movie “The Patriot”.


 * The Prologue event is open to all. Time bonuses will be awarded based on finishing time and will be subtracted from the racers total time for the event entered.
** The prologue event is optional to all racers. 

The Friday evening Prologue will be an optional, time bonus event on an all gravel 6 mile loop around the Witherbee Ranger Station. The time trial style event will begin at just before sunset so headlights and tail lights will be required. Riders will go off at 30 second intervals.
Prologue – 6.2 miles, 61 feet of elevation gain

2-Day Stage Race
The 2-Day Stage Race will be approximately 75 miles each day and will feature a different course each day. The courses will be 90%+ of unpaved roads and trails (single and double track). This is a true stage race with the lowest cumulative time over the two days determining the overall winner.
Course information  and routes will be published no more than14 days prior to the event

1-Day Race and 1-Day Ride
For those less ambitious, there will be a 1-Day 75 mile, long course and 42 mile, short course ride on the first day of the Stage Race. The 75 mile course will be the same as the first stage of the stage race. The 42 mile ride will feature approximately 35 miles of the 75 mile course before splitting off and returning to the start/finish area. The 42 mile ride will be timed.
Course information  and routes will be published no more than 14 days prior to the event

One stocked aid station will be available on each day’s course and limited support will be provided along the courses. To say this area is remote is an understatement.  Bring with you what you think you may need for before, during, and after the race.

Wyndham Garden Inn Mount Pleasant
1330 Stuart Engals Blvd.
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
PH: 843.352.5100

KOA Kampground
3157 Highway 17 North
Mount Pleasant, SC 29466
PH: 843.849.5177

Awards/ Medals/Prizes will be given to the top 3 finishers in each category of each race. Additionally, Awards/Medals/Prizes will be given to the top 3 finishers of each day’s stage of each category for the Stage Race racers. 42 mile ride participants will receive a Hellhole Gravel Grind Finishers Medal.

Rules and General Information:

  • Helmets MUST be worn and fastened at all times while on the bike.
  • The course and all roads are open to traffic. ALL racers MUST obey all rules of the road along the course, at intersections and road crossings. Racers should yield to all traffic and should stop at all road crossings where traffic is present. There will be several highway and road crossings with heavy car and truck traffic. There may be an area of the course where the racers will share the road with car and truck traffic. Please keep to the right and ride single file except where passing. Following the rules of the road is for your own safety.
  • Traffic in the National Forest includes horses. Horseback riders have the right of way on trails. Please ask the rider what to do if you encounter a horse on the trail.
  • Though there will be an aid station and limited support on the course, racers should carry with them what they need including tools, parts and nutrition.
  • Course cue sheets will be distributed to all riders at packet pickup and the course download will be available for navigation systems. Additional cue sheets will be available at the start-finish area and at the mid-point aid station. The courses will be marked with signage.
  • Cyclocross, Gravel Grind, Mountain and Road bikes will be allowed and can be used. The best choice would be a cyclocross or gravel grind bike. A minimum of 28c wide tires with tread is recommended. Gravel can be very hard on tires and pot holes are numerous. Don’t ruin your race by cutting an expensive tubular in the first mile.
  • No tri-bars or aero bars.
  • Support crews are not permitted to help racers on the course except for the aid station. No motor pacing, no pacing from a rider not in the race, no external support. Limited SAG will be available and a sweep will be made of the course according to the appropriate cutoff time.
  • Please let the race officials or staff know if you leave the race. We want to ensure everyone is safe and accounted for at the end of the day.
  • Absolutely no littering on the course. Littering on course will result in disqualification. It is vital we leave the forest as we found it.

Questions:        E-mail:  racedirector@mtpleasantvelo.org
Website:           www.mtpleasantvelo.org
Facebook:        Hellhole Gravel Grind Stage Race

Please visit www.mtpleasantvelo.org  for more information, rules and to download the Racer’s Hellhole Event Guide.

The Hellhole Gravel Grind is being held under a special use permit issued by the Francis Marion National Forest.


Mount Pleasant Velo


150 miles, 75 miles, 42 miles


Witherbee Ranger Station
2421 Witherbee Road
Cordesville, SC 29434 United States
+ Google Map
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by Riding Gravel 2014