will consist of open grass fields, wide trails/fireroads, and about half will be
tight single track. The grass looks and feels like grass. The wide
trails/fireroads are wide and easy, well mostly. The single track is, well...
tough. This is a trail national championship, not a run through another park
trail race. Those races are great, but sometimes you want to push yourself on
tougher endeavors. Most of the descents are fairly gradual but have a lot of
turns, like on a trail going down a mountain. Some descents are a bit steep.
The climbs are steep; the race starts on top of a mountain. You may need hike
briefly on some of the climbs but are free to run up if you like, some do.
There are plenty of rocks and roots to enjoy. So are you ready for a
more course details:
One section of the course
picked up it's own nickname, The Rock Climb. It is not actually a rock climb,
but you may end up using your hands as you work up this part, plus it is only 20
yards. The footing ranges from relatively smooth to highly technical. There is
just a small amount of relatively flat running, so you are either running up or
down most of the time. Most descents are 9-15% with one 150 meter section of
28.5%. What goes down must go up, so if you are going to go up, I figured that
it should be real climb. Most climbs are in the 10% range with two bigger
climbs. The first big climb comes just before halfway with a 14 mile climb at
18.5%. The second big one comes with just under a 12 mile to go. This climb is
again 14 mile, but at over 22%, it's a grind. It includes The Rock Climb
section. Now before you say this race is too tough, we had several 70+ runners
participate who said that they loved the course and plan on returning. But
maybe they are tougher than most folks nowadays.