Turkey Mountain is an "Urban Wilderness Area". You will find beautiful lush surroundings that run alongside the Arkansas River. As you approach from the north, you will be able to see it's peak that juts 300 feet above the Arkansas River. Elevation is between 600-900 ft. above sea level. Ninety percent of the course is on narrow single-track trails.
Local time: 5:14 AM
Most of the trails are under a a canopy of deciduous tress and amidst a thick layer of vegetation The trails have the sand /gravel /rock surface common to this area and can easily be run on after hard rains.The course has varying degrees of difficulty. There are easy-going non-technical areas, mostly flat and thoroughly negotiable, and there are intense, highly difficult technical areas with short, hard and very rocky climbs.
We will cut back some areas of the trail that have vegetation growing close to the path but beware that you will be brushing up against all types of flora. Trail shoes are not required, but if you have a pair it would be wise to bring them. There are no long hills and unless we have an extraordinary amount of rain there should be no stream crossings. The course will be marked with fluorescent pink flagging tape.
Turkey mountain has literally hundreds of trails that branch off into a spider-web of secondary and tertiary trails. The course will be heavily marked, but as in any trail race you need to pay attention to the different trail markers, (flagging tape, spray paint, flour etc.) One of the best ways to get lost is to follow another runner who is going the wrong way. If you do not see the a trail marker within 50ft. you are most likely off course and simply racking up bonus miles. If you do get off course you must back track and re-enter the course from the spot that you left. Anyone spotted cutting across adjacent trails will be disqualified. If you are breaking spider webs on this course, congratulations, you are in first place or you are off-course.
This race will be heavily marked with pink ribbon. There will be at least one pink ribbon in view at all times while you are on the course. If you do not see a pink ribbon you need to backtrack and retrace your steps. We will spend about an extra six hours marking this course in pink ribbon so that there is NO WAY that you can get lost. The only way to get lost on this course is to keep going when you lose sight of the pink ribbons. DO NOT follow other people who are not following the pink ribbons. There may be other ribbons, but if they are not pink, do not follow them!!
It is our goal at this race that nobody gets off course at all.!!! This is almost an impossible task given the huge amount of trails at Turkey Mtn, however we think if you pay attention to the pink ribbons, you will stay on course. This is a 25K loop course (except for the 10Kers) There are no out and backs and if you are doing the 10K or 25K you will never set foot on the same trail twice.
Turkey Mountain is not only a trail runners paradise but it also is a mountain biker's dream. This is all public land and you will encounter many mountain bikers, hikers, and maybe even a few horses. Please give all of them the right of way. It is much easier and for a runner to step off to the side of the trail than it is for a biker or horseback rider. There will be sections of the course that will be very rocky and/or steep. It is highly recommended to walk these areas. The seconds that you may lose is certainly less than the time it takes to wrap a twisted ankle.