The inaugural Phoenix Trail Fest was a huge success. We were amazed to see so many runners and so many PR's! Over 60% of those who ran with us were able to run their longest distance or their fastest time of their chosen distance. We had a 10 year old win the 4 mile women's division, and an 80 year old woman finish the 50 miler! It far exceeded our expectations and we can't wait to do it again and make it even better. This race is put on by Panorama Ultra Running. Our goal is to help people increase in strength, resilience, and perspective through outdoor endurance adventures. We are bound and determined to create the most runner-friendly trail races on the planet.
This promises to be a unique trail running experience. Think about it; what other trail race on the planet can offer you:
• A ton of well-groomed single track winding around a beautiful lake
• Such a wide variety of distances
• Such reasonable entry fees
• No cut-offs (we will stay at the park until you finish or quit)
• Impossible to DNF! If you run 50 feet and quit, we will record that
• The freedom to bump up or down distances at any point in the race with no penalty
• Unlimited pacers with muling allowed
• The opportunity to strike a GONG in the middle of the woods along the course
• Camping, swimming, hiking, kayaking, paddle boating available before and after the race
• Aid stations every 4 miles
• Hot showers available after the race
• Awards for any Personal Record (fastest time or longest distance)
• A race team that is committed to helping you get that PR
• Smiling, happy people hanging out and having fun and helping you finish
• The chance to contribute to such a worthy cause
We want this to be a fun, laid-back event where people can spend some time in this beautiful park and accomplish some serious PR’s. We want you to run far and have fun. While you're at it, please enjoy good food, good music, and good people. See Runner’s Manual below for additional details.
Lake Lurleen State Park is a hidden gem in central Alabama. The park offers 24 miles of single track trails, hiking, fishing, swimming, kayaking, etc. We HIGHLY encourage you to camp here the night before or after the run. Call the park directly for a Phoenix Trail Fest discount. We would love to see people enjoying the park before or after the event. Those who really want a fun challenge will run the same distance of their race the day before or the day after. This is a great training exercise for longer ultras. Participants will be required to pay the $5 per person entrance fee. Boats are for rent and all other activities are free.
All proceeds will go to benefit a local 501c3 non-profit called “The Phoenix House,” which is a transitional residential substance abuse treatment center. Their slogan typifies our event, "From the Ashes we Rise."
The name "Phoenix" is a tribute to the Phoenix House, but it also symbolizes the death and re-birth that often happens on a really long run. We run, we fall apart, we come back to life again.
This year all distances will start at the beach area. All runners will head South on the park road. Just before the bridge, 4-milers will go straight, then left up onto the Ridge trail, do most of the Ridge Loop and come down and finish at the Beach. All other runners will turn right, go over the bridge and wind around to the South trailhead, then follow the Tashka loop around the lake in a clockwise direction. The only variation this year will be adding the Lightning Loop to get the mileage dead on. The 12.5 mile runners will finish at the beach. Every other distance will just be repeats of the same loop. The course consists of 92% single track trails, 8% paved park roads. The trail is well maintained, but does have the standard roots and rocks and hills - it's a trail race, for crying out loud. The course will be well marked. All you have to do is stay on the Tashka main trail and don't take any side loops, except for the Lightning Loop. You would have to try pretty hard to get off course. The elevation gain for one Tashka loop is 1,060 feet. You can do the math for the other distances. The 62 mile, or 100k, for example, will be five loops so it will have 5,300 feet of gain. The max elevation is 435 ft.
The Nuts and Bolts
To be garuanteed a shirt you must register by April 1.
Packet pick up will be on Friday, April 19 at Fleet Feet of Tuscaloosa, or race morning at the park.
You can easily set up your own personal aid station at the start / finish by staging your gear in the beach area. You can also stage gear in your car, which you will pass each loop just before entering the single track at the South trailhead.
For anyone doing more than the 12.5 distance, we recommend that you carry your essential water and nutrition, using aid stations as a back up
Any runners headed out on a loop after 4 pm will need a headlamp
First, Second, and Third place awards will be given for each distance, male and female divisions. There will be no age group awards. We will have an award for everyone who achieves a time or distance PR.
Run the main loop in under 2 hours and get the coolest sticker in town (see CW2 sticker picture above) .
Unless we have severe, severe weather the race will go on. If we have to cancel because of crazy weather or something beyond our control, we will still hold the race the following Saturday if conditions allow.
This race is sponsored by the great folks at Fleet Feet of Tuscaloosa. They are doing an amazing job of promoting all things running in our community and we're very grateful they have stepped in to fully sponsor this trail running cornucopia.
We thought we were joking when we added this section, then last year we had so many people sign up at the last minute that we had to cap registration. Moral to the story: don't wait to sign up; it might fill up!
The Runner's Manual
Event's current local time: 5:16 PM CT
"I wrote it myself," - Ron Swanson