Welcome to Thunderbird Races!
Cedar City Thunderbird Trail Races
October 7, 2023 - 8:00 AM
50K | 25K | 15K | Virtual
Thunderbird Gardens & Iron Hills Trails
Cedar City, UT
Experience the beauty of Cedar City, Utah in its full fall-colored glory as you take on the challenging trails of Thunderbird Gardens and Iron Hills Trail systems. You’ll enjoy rolling hills, epic climbs and thrilling descents as you navigate these breathtaking trails overlooking the city. Cedar City Thunderbird trail races offer something for everyone, from the punch-packing 50k, to its junior 25k distance, to the shorter but still-so-sweet 15k distance. Run, hike or crawl (if you must) as you find your distance at the Thunderbird Trail Races. New this year is a Virtual race option allowing those that can’t join in-person on race day to run their own Thunderbird challenge and still be part of this exciting event.
This event is not-for-profit and is being brought to you by Trails & Tribulation Endurance Hiking Foundation in conjunction with Doomsday Racing, serving the mission of getting individuals outdoors and on trails while benefiting the good work of local charities. A portion of proceeds will go to local Cedar City non-profit organizations.
Packet pickup/Onsite Registration
Friday, October 6, 2023, 4:00pm-8:00pm at Ann J Gardner West Canyon Park
Saturday, October 7, 2023, 6:00am-8:00am at Veterans Memorial Park (start line)
Veterans Memorial Park
200 N 200 E Cedar City, UT 84720
Start Time (Updated)
Virtual- anytime between 9/23-10/8
The race start line is at a different location from the finish line though just a short walk or ride away from the finish area. Although there's plenty of parking availability at the start we encourage you to arrange rides or drop off.
Ann J Gardner West Canyon Park
151 E 400 S
Cedar City, UT 84720
The finish line features one of Cedar City's favorite parks which boasts green-grassy hills, large shade trees, flowing streams and fun play areas. Plan to stay a while and cheer on the finishers. Parking is limited however there is additional parking just a short walk away at the Veterans Memorial Park (start line).
This event offers a generous 12-hour time period to finish your race enabling all speeds to participate and finish! Official cutoff time is 8:00 PM.
* Thunderbird Races t-shirt
* Timed race results
* On-course aid stations
* Thunderbird Races finisher award
* Awards for overall top 3 men and women of each distance
*Post-race burgers (and plant-based burgers) and hot dogs
*A generous 12-hour cutoff time
*A challenging & rewarding experience in a beautiful setting surrounded by awesome people
*Shirts are only guaranteed for those registered by end of day on September 15. Those registered after 9/15 will receive shirts upon availability and in order of registration.
You’ll start by heading into the foothills through narrow braided washes and up the sharp ridges heading into the Thunderbird Gardens. Here, continue on single track trail and take on the first of two challenging climbs, then loop down the ridge and into the red rock canyons. Exit the canyons and connect with the Coal Creek bike bath. 15k’rs will roll to the finish line while 25 & 50k’rs will continue on the bike path connecting with more single track trail to the prize climb! They'll make their way up Lone Tree Mountain and take in stunning views. This climb marks the grand finale for 25k’rs as they turn around at the Highlands connector and make their way back to the finish the same way they came while 50k’rs advance even higher to the C-Trail overlook! 50k'rs will then head back down onto the Highland trails and move across the mountain flats through valleys and past beautiful cliffs out toward the far end of the course. They’ll be greeted by one final challenging loop before heading back to the finish for celebration!
***THIS IS A CHALLENGING COURSE INCLUDING TECHNICAL TERRAIN, STEEP ASCENTS AND DESCENTS ALL AT ELEVATION***
Course Maps & Profiles*
50K Route - Click on map to view details and download GPX
25K Route - Click on map to view details and download GPX
15K Route - Click on map to view details and download GPX
Forecast as of 9/22 calls for clear skies with a low of 43 and a high of 74. Perfect running conditions!
Course routes will be marked with fluorescent green ribbons and flags with signage at critical turns. Red flags will indicate 'wrong way'. We do our best to mark the course adequately, but sometimes things happen and markers disappear. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each runner to know the course. We encourage each runner to download the GPX route and have it loaded on their GPS watch or other GPS-tracking device.
Runners have until 8:00 PM to complete their race (12 hours). In the event that a runner fails to make it to ANY aid station on-schedule for a 12-hour race finish, they may be deemed a victim of the DNF-reaper and be pulled from the course. Should the runner refuse a transport to the finish they may be unsupported by race officials in their efforts to finish.
Mile 3: Thunderbird Gardens Trailhead
Mile 8: Red Hollow Trailhead
Mile 9: Ann J. Gardner West Canyon Park (finish area)
Mile 10: East Bench/C-Trail connector ***Fluids Only***
Mile 15: East Bench/C-Trail connector ***Fluids Only*** ***25k return***
Mile 15: C-overlook
Mile 17.5: Highlands/Green Hollow connector
Mile 22: Southview Trailhead
Mile 26.5: Highlands/Green Hollow connector
Mile 31: East Bench/C-Trail connector
Aid stations will be stocked with water, Gatorade, Chicken taquitos, bean/rice burritos, fruit and sweet & salty snacks.
Crew & Pacing
Crews are welcome to cheer-on and support their runners at any aid station. Please be mindful when parking and be sure to follow all laws. Pacers are permitted for 15k and 50k runners only, beginning at mile 9 (Ann J. Gardner West Canyon Park). Pacers are welcome to join their runners at any aid station beginning at mile 9 (Ann J. Gardner West Canyon Park). Pacers must be pre-registered at Friday evening packet pickup OR onsite registration on race morning.
Drop bag services are available for 50k runners only. There are two drop-bag locations:
1. Mile 14: C-overlook
2. Mile 22: Southview Trailhead
Drop bags should be left at designated transport area before the race start.
Start Line: Veterans Memorial Park
Mile 3: Thunderbird Gardens Trailhead
Mile 9: Ann J. Gardner West Canyon Park
Mile 14: C-overlook
Mile 22: Southview Trailhead
This is a mountainous trail event with limited bathroom availability so plan accordingly. Proper procedure for pooping in nature: 1. Step off trail at least 200 feet and 200 feet away from any water source. Dig a hole a minimum of 6-inches. Use hole and re-cover with dirt and debris following usage.
Timing and Tracking
This event is timed, however it is not chip-timing. The start will be a gun start, and runners will be given rubberband bracelets at different points to ensure course accuracy and completion. Live tracking will be available using the Life360 app IF the runner sets it up on their device and runs with the device.
One of the nice things about this course is that cell phone services is available most, if not the entire time. We encourage runners to have a mobile device along with a form of GPS tracking. Please save Race Director Mike Greer's 623-512-2671 number in your phone and notify him immediately of any emergency or change in status (DNF'ing).
All runners and crew should have Race Director Mike Greer's number saved to their phone: 623-512-2671 and report any emergency situations immediately so that help can be provided.
If you have family or friends that are interested in volunteering for part of the race then please have them reach out to Mike at 623-512-2671
Frequently Asked Questions
Please reach out to Mike@R5running.com if you have any questions.
Event's current local time: 2:35 AM MT