The course is a 100% TRAIL run on the Uwharrie Trail in the Uwharrie National Forest. The 8-mile and 20-mile courses are point to point. The 40-mile course is out and back, with a turnaround at the 20-mile finish.
Running the Uwharrie Trail is a true adventure that requires intense concentration. The national forest terrain is hilly and the trail is treacherous. Fallen leaves conceal rocks, roots, sticks, and holes. Expect to trip and fall at least once during the day. If you turn an ankle, keep moving. Dutchman’s Creek flows along part of the trail and runners will enjoy numerous stream crossings, which may mean wet feet if you aren’t careful. The creek water is not safe to drink.
The trail is well marked with white blazes painted on trees at frequent intervals. Two blazes indicate an approaching sharp turn. Disregard yellow and red blazes. IF YOU STOP SEEING WHITE BLAZES YOU ARE OFF THE TRAIL. Retrace your steps to the last white blaze then circle around until you find the trail. If you find yourself in a part of the forest posted with hunting signs YOU ARE OFF THE TRAIL. Don’t follow other runners into unblazed territory. Don’t become discouraged if you get lost. Even experienced trail runners occasionally lose their way.
For the safety of participants and volunteers, 40M runners will be stopped at the 32-mile point after 5:00 pm, at the 35-mile point after 6:00 pm, and at the 38-mile point after 7:00 pm. To continue past the 32-mile point after 4:00 pm, runners must have a light. The 40-mile time limit is 12.5 hours. The 20-mile time limit is 8 hours.