Saturday, Apr 27, 2024
Registration closes: Wed, Apr 24 @ 11:59PM ET


Big Turtle Trail Runs is a Spring ultramarathon party in eastern Kentucky! Held in the trail running hotspot of Morehead, Kentucky, the event offers three race distances for ultra and trail runners of all abilities.

The racecourse follows the beautiful Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail through Appalachian foothills and offers springtime views, blooms, and perfect Spring temperatures.

The City of Morehead offers all necessary amenities, and a spectator-friendly Start/Finish Line on the Morehead State University campus provides quick and easy parking, real bathrooms, and even showers!

All registrations include an awesome custom tee shirt, swag, and special offers from our partners! Professional photographers will be photographing before, during, and after the event and all images will be available for free download and personal use shortly after the event!

Read more below and visit the Big Turtle Trail Runs Website for full event details!

New for 2024

The 2024 Big Turtle Trail Runs will include an improved Packet-Pickup and Expo on Friday, a new Start/Finish Line experience, and more post-race food!

Major changes to Crew availability have also been announced! Crew will now be permitted at both Big Perry and Terminus Aid-Stations for 50M runners. Those running the 50K will now be permitted a Crew at Dry Branch Aid-Station.

Organized and supported group training runs will be held in the weeks leading up to Race Day to give Athletes the opportunity to preview the racecourse. A Virtual Training Group with semi-personalized coaching will also be introduced, more details will be announced in the future.

Tee shirts are now included in every registration and no longer need to be purchased separately! There will be opportunities for individual Pre-Race photos on Friday at Packet-Pickup. More resources will be committed for trail work to make the racecourse even better on Race Day! Other additions and enhancements are expected to be announced in the future!


The racecourse will be an out and back on the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail. All three races will start in front of the Laughlin Health Building on the beautiful Morehead State University campus. After just a half-mile, the racecourse will join the trail at Eagle Lake and follow the Sheltowee Trace all the way to the terminus in northern Rowan County. The 50M race will turnaround at the terminus, the 50K race at Dry Branch Aid-Station, and the 10M race at Forestry Ridge Aid-Station. Both the 50M and 50K races will cross the short swinging bridge depicted on the Big Turtle Trail Runs emblem!

The racecourse surface includes a little bit of everything - flowy dirt singletrack with a few technical sections, cruiser doubletrack, and fast gravel forest roads! The racecourse will also include a small amount of pavement when departing and returning to campus, crossing over the interstate, and at two road crossings. Depending on recent rainfall, a few minor stream crossings are possible.

The racecourse terrain includes rolling sections, fast ridges, and steep, but short, climbs. The 50M race offers approximately +8,000’ feet of elevation gain and equal loss. The 50K race offers approximately +3,800’ feet of elevation gain and equal loss. The 10M race offers approximately +1,600’ feet of elevation gain and equal loss.

There will be nine Aid-Stations for the 50M race (mile 5, 10, 15, 17, 25, 33, 35, 40, and 45), five for the 50K race (mile 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25) and one for the 10M race (mile 5). Aid-Stations will be manned by event staff and fully stocked with fluids and nutrition. Big Turtle Trail Runs is a cupless event, a fluid vessel is required gear for all race distances.

The racecourse will be superbly marked with flags, ribbons, and signs, and will also include marshals at key locations as needed.

For the 50M race, there will be a 3:00 pm Cutoff at the Terminus Aid-Station (mile 25). There will be a 7:00 pm Cutoff at Big Perry Aid-Station for both 50M and 50K Athletes (mile 40 for 50M, and mile 20 for 50K). The final Finish Line Cutoff for all races is 10:00 pm.

A complete description, including maps and elevation profiles, can be viewed by visiting the Big Turtle Trail Runs Website.

Awards, Trophies, and Prizes

All finishers will receive a custom finisher medal! The top three finishers in both the female and male divisions for each race will receive a unique handmade trophy and prizes from our partners! Athletes setting race records will receive a special trophy! First-place finishers will receive free entry for a future Rad Ultras event, while second-place and third-place finishers will receive discounted entry! All champions and podium finishers will also receive a special invitation to return to the next Big Turtle Trail Runs to defend their title or top finish!

Trail Sisters Approved

Big Turtle Trail Runs is a Trail Sisters Approved event! The event is committed to equal podium positions, equal trophies and prizes, female specific apparel and swag, menstrual products at Aid-Stations, and equal opportunity for females at the Start Line.

Training Runs and Training Groups

Three organized and supported group training runs will be held in the weeks leading up to Race Day to give Athletes who are registered or thinking of registering the opportunity to preview the racecourse. These training runs will offer multiple distances and include a sampling of Aid-Station hydration and nutrition. The training run schedule will be announced in the future.

A one-of-a-kind Virtual Training Group with the sole focus of helping Athletes accomplish objectives will also be offered! Administered by a professional ultrarunning coach, the training group will include multiple private conversations with the group coach, semi-personalized training based on your unique circumstances, and weekly group Zoom meetings! This training group will commence on January 8, 2024 and continue for the next 16 weeks. All training and content will be specific to Big Turtle Trail Runs. Space is limited and additional information will be published soon. In the meantime, contact us to express your interest in joining the group or for answers to your questions.

Expo, Packet-Pickup, and Pre-Race Briefing

An Expo will take place on Friday from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm local time at the Laughlin Health Building Gymnasium at Morehead State University. Packet-Pickup will be available throughout and a Pre-Race Briefing will take place at 6:00 pm local time. Event photographers will be present to take pre-race photos. Drop Bags will also be accepted during the Expo. The Expo will include giveaways, prizes, and special offers from our Partners. Event swag will include apparel and other goodies! Free parking will be available at the Laughlin Health Building. Additional Packet-Pickup will be available on Race Day, but to save time, Athletes are encouraged to attend the Expo for packet and bib collection.

Race Day

The event will open at 6:00 am local time on Race Day. Free parking will be available just a two minute walk from the Start/Finish Line in the Morehead State University Overflow Parking Lot. Packet-Pickup will be available in the Laughlin Health Building Gymnasium and Drop Bags will also be accepted. A Gear Check will be available in the morning and throughout the day. There will be a quick and mandatory Race Day Check-In. A brief announcement will occur at the Start Line 10:00 minutes before each race.

The 50M race will start at 7:00 am, the 50K race at 8:00 am, and the 10M race at 9:00 am.

Crew, Pacers, and Drop Bags

Athletes running the 50M and 50K race may have a Crew. Those running the 10M races may not. Crew for 50M may support Athletes at Big Perry and Terminus Aid-Stations at mile 10, 25, and 40. Crew for 50K may support Athletes at Dry Branch Aid-Station at mile 15.5 only. Athletes running the 50M race may have a single Pacer. Pacers are permitted to join their Athlete on the inbound race leg at Big Perry Aid-Station (mile 40) only and must remain with their Athlete to the Finish Line. All Pacers must sign a waiver and wear a Pacer bib.

Athletes running the 50M and 50K races may have Drop Bags. Those running the 10M race may not. Drop Bags will be permitted at three Aid-Stations for the 50M race (mile 10, 15, 25, 35, and 40) and two for the 50K race (mile 10, 15, and 20). Visit the Big Turtle Trail Runs Website to view the Event Guide for Drop Bag locations and additional Drop Bag requirements.


Big Turtle Trail Runs is a perfect event for spectating, it is welcome and encouraged! Friends and family may cheer on Athletes at the Start/Finish Line at Laughlin Health Building on the Morehead University campus. Parking is close and restrooms are located at the Start/Finish line. Bring a chair and enjoy the races while the oncourse action and Finish line excitement is called by our live announcer! Food and beverages will be available for spectators and crew to purchase. Please note, pets are not permitted at Big Turtle Trail Runs.


The 2024 Big Turtle Trail Runs will be part the 2024 Rad Epic Competition Series, more information will be announced in the Fall of 2024!

Deferrals, Transfers, and Changes

When you register for Big Turtle Trail Runs, you will always be able to defer your registration, transfer to a different Rad Ultras event, or change your race distance, you can even assign your registration to a friend - your registration will never be wasted! All registration modifications for the 2024 Big Turtle Trail Runs must be requested and processed by April 22. Please contact us to make modifications to your registration.

Connect With Us

If you are not already a member, we invite you to join the Rad Ultras Community on Facebook. This is a great place to ask questions about our awesome ultramarathon events and discuss all things ultra and trail running!

Join the Rad Ultras Strava Club to connect with other Athletes and see how they may be training for this event. We even share special offers from time to time!

Event's current local time: 11:24 AM ET


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