Start date: 10/06/2023

Registration: opens 11/25/2022
Activity tags attached to this sportie.

Activities: Gravel grinder, Gran fondo, 6 miles, 150 miles, 75 miles, 45 miles

GID: 58160

Race Notes and Information
The Hellhole Gravel Grind Prologue, 2-Day Stage Race and 1-Day Gravel Fondo 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”.

Event Schedule:
Friday, October 6, 2023

The Friday evening Prologue will be an optional, time bonus event on an all gravel 7 mile loop around the Witherbee Ranger Station. The time trial style event will begin at just before sunset (6:30 PM) so headlights and tail lights will be required. Riders will go off at 30 second intervals.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Number pickup and rider check-in begins at 7:00 AM.  MANDATORY all-rider meeting at 8:45 AM.  Start Time 9:00 AM (all distances, groups will be staggered).  Podiums will be presented approximately 20 minutes after each race.  Post-event food from Backdraft BBQ will be available for purchase.

6:30 PM - Mid-race gathering at Commonhouse Aleworks!

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Stage 2 start time 9:00 AM.  Podiums will be presented approximately 20 minutes after the race.  Post-event food from Backdraft BBQ will be available for purchase.

All events start and end at the Witherbee Ranger Station

2-Day Stage Race

The 2-Day Stage Race will be approximately 75 miles each day (course reversed on second day with slight variations to keep you guessing). The courses will ~ 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 sooner than 14 days prior to the event

1-Day 75-mile and 42-mile Gravel Fondo
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 portion of the 75 mile course before splitting off and returning to the start/finish area. 

Course information and routes will be published no sooner than 14 days prior to the event

A mininum of one stocked aid station will be available on each day’s course and limited support will be provided along the courses. If the course allows for an additional aid station, an additional aid station will be provided. 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.

Cutoff Times:
Stage Race  - Riders must reach the mid-point aid station within 3.5 hours and must complete each day’s stage within 7 hours.
75 Mile Ride - Riders must reach the mid-point aid station within 3.5 hours and must complete the course within 7 hours.
42 Mile Ride  - Riders must complete the 45 miles within 5 hours from the start of the race.

Start Location:
Witherbee Ranger Station; 2421 Witherbee Rd.; Cordesville, SC, 29434-9604
Latitude 33.16209, Longitude -79.82983

Categories: (for all events)
Men Open                     Men Open 40+               Women Open              Womens 40+ (Stage Race only)          Men Open 50+ 

Online Registration ends Friday, September 30, 2023 at 7:00pm or when capped. 
There will be a $10.00 day of registration late fee for all races.  If capped, there will be no day-of registration.

Natures Adventures Outfitters (preferred location - 21 miles from start)
Full Details and Online Booking (camping and cabins)

Primitive Camping in the Francis Marion National Forest
Halfway Creek, Honey Hill Campground, or Wambaw Cycle Trailhead
Contact the Francis Marion Noational Forest
PH: 843.352.5100

Wyndham Garden Inn Mount Pleasant
1330 Stuart Engals Blvd.
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
PH: 843.336.2200

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 the stage race. Additionally, finishers of each category will recieve a Hellhole Gravel Grind Finishers Award.

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 but the racers/rider should not soley rely on these markings.
  • Cyclocross, Gravel, Mountain and Road can be used. A minimum of 28c wide tires with tread is recommended. Gravel can be very hard on tires and pot holes are numerous. 
  • 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.

Mount Pleasant Velo Events, LLC Event Refund/Credit Policy:

Mount Pleasant Velo Events, LLC does not provide refunds for event entry fees or extras ordered during the registration process (ie: hats, shirts, tickets, etc.).

Event credits, valid toward other Mount Pleasant Velo events, may be issued up to two (2) weeks prior to the registered event in cases of unforeseen circumstances where event insurance is not available.  In these cases, the participant must notify Mount Pleasant Velo Events, LLC.

NO refunds or credits will be issued for event registrations or other extras within two (2) weeks of the event or post event.

Questions:        E-mail:
Facebook:        Hellhole Gravel Grind Stage Race

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

Hellhole Gravel Grind is a registered trademark of Mt. Pleasant Velo Events, LLC.


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