This event has been postponed from Apr 18, 2020 to Sep 26, 2020
100-Kilometer (3-loop) course.
40-Mile (2-loop) course.
26.2-Mile (2-loop) course.
13.1-Mile (1-loop) course.
On the beautiful Perry Lake MTB trails, near Lawrence & Topeka, Kansas.
Start / Finish at Branded B Ranch, Meriden, Kansas. (West side of Lake Perry). Map to Location
THERE IS NO STATE PARK FEE, SINCE THIS LOCATION IS ON PRIVATE LAND.
The address to load into your GPS to get there is:
7481 74th St, Meriden, KS 66512
When you get near, just follow the big yellow “Trail Race” signs to parking at the start of the event.
8:00 a.m. for the 100K & 40-Miler.
9:00 a.m. for the Marathon and Half-Marathon.
Chip timing will be used for all event distances.
The course is run completely on 100% single-track trails in a hardwood forest, with not much elevation gain or loss. This trail is rocky and technical! There are occasional views of Lake Perry, during the race.
The Half is one 13.1-mile loop. The marathon is two 13.1-mile loops. Each of those loops has 1300 ft of elevation gain/loss. The 40-mile course consists of two 20+ mile loops. The 100-Km course is three 20+ mile loops. Each of those loops has 2100 ft of elevation.
Todd Chandler’s 2019 video race recap, with drone footage by Dustin Hornor, and stills by Mile 90 Photography.
Coffee mug, Gender specific short sleeve T-shirt for all participants registered before September 15.
All finishers receive distance-specific large medals and stickers. Distance-specific finisher caps for 40 mile and 100 Km finishers.
Grilled food and craft beer included.
Packet Pickup is on the day of the race at the race location, starting at 7 AM, (as well as late registration).
Registration Fees on Race Day:
Staffed aid stations will be stocked with gels, HEED sports-drink and real food.
There are also un-staffed water-only aid stations (without cups) for each distance. Entrants in ALL DISTANCES must carry a hydration device or water bottle, since there are no cups at the unstaffed water stations.
The aid station food is for the runners (and pacers), only. Thanks in advance!
Staffed Aid Station Provisions:
The staffed stations will have the following food and drink:
-Coke, Ginger Ale, Sprite, Mountain Dew
-Pringles Potato Chips, cookies, pretzels
-Fruit, such as bananas, oranges
-Electrolytes: Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes and S-Caps.
-Hammer Nutrition Gels
They may also have coffee, potato soup, chicken noodle soup, sandwiches, candy, soup and other assorted food for runners and pacers. If you have any special food preferences or allergies, please feel free to bring your own. Minor first aid kits will also be at the staffed aid stations.
2018 Free State Aid Station locations with cumulative miles, etc.
Drop bags are only allowed for the 40-Mile and 100-K races. At the morning check-in you will be given the opportunity to leave 2 drop bags, one for the start/finish area and one which will be transported to the Kimberley Road aid station out on the course (that you hit twice at mile 10 and mile 15 of each 21-mile loop). Write your name, and bib number onto each bag. These two locations will give you access to your bags at ten mile intervals, which should be about perfect. You should have a flashlight or headlamp stashed in both locations, for your personal safety when dusk falls.
Please keep these bags down to a reasonable size, and secure or pad any "breakable" items. No ice chests larger than 6-pack size. Absolutely no styrofoam coolers. Rule of thumb: A large drop bag should be no larger than a large shoe box, and weigh no more than 6 lbs. Any bags left at the race will be discarded, or the items contained within will be given to charity.
(Human) Pacers are allowed solely as a safety consideration for runners in the 40-mile and 100K distance races in this event, and ONLY for the LAST 10 or 20-miles of the 40-mile or 100K distances for the runner that they are pacing. Only one pacer is allowed per runner, and only for the last 20 or 10-miles of the two race distances previously mentioned. No "muling" is allowed. Please refer to more detailed rules here.
Pacers need to sign up the day of the race and receive a PACER bib.
CANINE PACERS need be entered the day of the race for a $10 entry fee.
Marathon & Half:
Not to worry! You’ll have 16-hours to complete your run!
100K Cut-off Times: There will be a 6:15 p.m. cut-off for 100K runners leaving the Main Aid Station for their final 21-mile loop. The 6:15 cut-off may seem severe, but that's a 14:38 minute/mile pace, to make that cut-off. History tells us that some folks will need every bit of the next 6-hours, 45-minutes to finish the last loop. To attain the goal of making the initial cut-off, I tell people to not dilly-dally in the aid stations...that's where you will lose a LOT OF TIME. If you make the 6:15 cut-off, you could literally HIKE the last loop at a 19:17 minute/mile pace! (This may not be as easy as it seems on trashed feet and AFTER DARK, though).
40-Miler Cut-off Times: There will be a 4:15 p.m. cut-off for 40-Mile runners leaving the Main Aid Station for their 2nd (and last) 21-mile loop.
Make sure that you have adequate lighting for the trail, after
dark! If you don't have lighting, you will be pulled from the race. This includes slow marathon entrants!Here is what we mean by adequate
lighting. Cut-off Times are in the interest of your safety,
and will be strictly enforced!
Each April for the past 14 years, the Trail Nerds’ Community have welcomed the coming of spring through the personal journeys of runners attempting to conquer our Free State course. This year, when COVID-19 began to course through the populations of many countries, we were clinging to the hope that we could keep our April 18 date alive. However, ever-changing developments, especially over the past few days have made it crystal clear that it will be impossible to hold this race as planned. The state of Kansas will not allow gatherings of more than 50 people, and will not allow State Park permits for events of more than 50 people. The course for this event is held in Perry State Park, Kansas.
We are passionate about organizing this event! We cherish each and every participant and volunteer because collectively they make this event what it is, a celebration of life that connects us all to the best part of what it means to be part of the running community. We don’t want to lose that, even for a year. So, we will defer to a new date, September 26, 2020.
We want all entrants to know that your entry into Free State 2020 will carry forward to the new date of September 26. It is our fervent hope that the world will have COVID-19 well in the rear-view mirror by then and that Free State will be the same great event...just on a different Saturday. If you already registered but will be unable to join us in September, your entry will be extended to Free State 2021. Again, no action will be necessary for those who already registered and will join us on September 26.
If by chance you cannot make either the September 26 date, or the date we will have in 2021 for this event, you can get full credit to get into another Trail Nerd race (of similar fee) between now and the end of 2021.
Last minute changes are never easy. We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we try to make the process as painless as possible for everyone. Trail runners tend to adjust quickly to adverse conditions that occur on RaceDay. This is indeed much different and unexpected. We all have to adjust our entire lifestyle, at least for the near future.
Stay safe and healthy and keep training. We will get through this!
Ben Holmes & the Trail Nerds
2020 Course Maps
2019 Free State Trail Run 20-Mile Loop Map (for 40-Mile, 100K)
2019 Free State Trail Run HALF-MARATHON Loop map
1/2-marathon and marathon map data
Loop for 40-Mile and 100-Km Course.
2019 Photos by Mile 90 Photography.
2018 Photos by Mile 90 Photography.
2017 Photos by Mile 90 Photography.
Local time: 4:20 PM