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Local time: 7:39 PM
Ohio's most challenging ultra marathon.
54 Miles | 11,000 Feet of Climbing
50K | 6,500 Feet of Climbing
13.1 Mile | 2,600 Feet of Climbing
The Shawnee 50 Mile and 50K Trail Run course will feature some of the most rugged terrain in Ohio and put runners in the most secluded wilderness areas in the region. And yes, the 50 Mile course has four bonus miles giving you 54 miles total.
The 54 mile route starts by running the 7 mile "Opening Loop" but will then head out on a continuous 47 mile loop before finishing in the same location as the start.
The 54 mile course will cover the majority of the 40 mile Shawnee State Forest Backpack Trail in a clockwise direction. The main deviation from the Backpack Trail will be when runners reach "Campsite 6" at mile 36 and turn left onto the Wilderness Area Side Trail. The Wilderness Area is a unique 8,000 acre area of land that has limited forest activity, including no motorized tools or equipment being allowed; that means all trail maintenance is done by hand in this area. This 9 mile portion of the course is known as "The Dark Side" because not only is it miles 36-46 but you will also be in the most remote area of the forest seeing very little sign of civilization. Once 54 Mile runners complete The Dark Side they will rejoin the Backpack Trail until the finish line 8 miles later.
The 50K course will bypass the Opening Loop and head straight to the start of the Shawnee State Forest Backpack Trail. After starting an hour after the 54 mile runners, 50K runners will likely join up with them as they begin the Backpack Trail. From here the 50K runs with the 50 Mile course on the Backpack Trail until around mile 20; the 50K course turns right onto the Mackletree Bridle Trail to separate from the 50 Mile course. After 2.3 miles on Mackletree BT the course turns right onto Service Road #2, for 2 miles of smooth ridge top gravel road, before turning right again to rejoin the Backpack Trail. Where the 50K rejoins the Backpack Trail runners are once again on the 50 Mile course (mile 46), with 8 more miles on the Backpack Trail until the finish line.
And new this year, Shawnee includes a 13.1 mile race option to make this event more accessible to runners who don't quite want to bite off the ultra marathon distances. the 13.1 mile course still includes some notable hill, and gives runner a dose of the two longer distances, but provides the smoother and more runnable trails that will invite runners of all abilities to take part in the Shawnee Trail Runs! You'll be challenged both physically and mentally by the rugged terrain and remoteness, and we think that's exactly how trail and ultra marathon running should be.