The course for this race is beautiful with a great variety of terrain and views. As you might expect from a trail race there are many roots, rocks, rolling hills, and the potential for mud, rain, snow, ice. Despite this the race has a forgiving surface and is considered to be less intense and technical than some other trail races in our region. For this reason we think that this course is ideal for an experienced marathoner who wishes to go for a fast time or for a 10K or half marathon runner who seeks to set a new personal record for their longest run ever, in a setting that will allow them to enjoy their experience. This race also might serve as an outstanding “training race” for the Playin’ Possum 50K which will be held on many of these same trails on May 17! Because of the generous time allowances it is also a good event for someone seeking to fast-hike the distance.
Local time: 1:29 AM
The course starts at the Dam area and runs north along the top of the levy wall for approximately one mile prior to entering an area of rough single track trail for approximately another ½ mile. This brief section of unimproved trail has a river crossing…expect to get wet. The course then travels along the wide smooth grass shoulder of paved park roads for approximately one mile, through the beach area, and through a series of picnic areas and along a disc golf course before picking up the Mink Run Trail. Runners will then proceed on single track trail along the Mink Run, Briar Patch, and Lakeview Trails before accessing the Bigfoot Trail, which will take them to the turnaround at the 9.3 mile mark. Runners will return along this same route to the start/finish area. Most of the race is run through beautiful single-track trail through a deep woods with frequent views of Delaware Reservoir. The trail is rolling and potentially muddy but it is non-technical enough to allow a runner to appreciate their surroundings as they move through an area that was a farming community 30 years ago before the land was restored. An astute runner will be able to see signs of old hedgerows, bases of buildings, barb-wire fencing posts and abandoned farm roads…but only if you look closely. The northernmost part of the course travels through a nationally known bird sanctuary before the runners turn and head for home.
PLEASE NOTE: The race directors reserve the right to adjust this course if asked to do so by ODNR or State Park officials, or to otherwise enhance runner safety in the event of severe flooding or very inclement weather….but please expect SOME mud, ice, and other nastiness we all LOVE about trail races!