It is always something Government shut downs, Tornadoes, Ice Storms, Hail storms with torrential flooding so why should this year be any different so we were given hurricane Laura and COVID 19. The question is do you lay down and complain or stand up and put on a trail race? I prefer the second. What better way to social distance than mix it up with your favorite trail friends over the best trail in Louisiana? So.. Yes, the 9th annual Wild Azalea is on for January 2, 2021 at 6:00 am in the Evangeline Ranger District of the Kisatchie National Forest, just outside of Alexandria, Louisiana. At 26 miles, this is the longest continuous trail in the entire state of Louisiana. No other trail even comes close to the beauty and topography which abounds along the Wild Azalea. We still hold to our belief that the “old school way” of running and biking trails is the only way. So don't expect a finisher's tea set, official finish photo or other various as sundries. We go for great trails, pain, suffering, trail rash, beer, gumbo and jambalaya (not necessarily in that order). Our solicitors inform us that we have to encourage to compete only folks primarily in the intermediate to advance level of trail runner/biker, (that's done). The Wild Azalea is a well-maintained and mapped trail system, so navigation will be quite easy and reasonable. You won't get lost, period!! The trail includes visible 1/2 mile markers. There will be 5 participant classes: 13.1 Mile Run, 27 Mile Ultra Run and 50 Mile Ultra Run ; 27 and 50 Mile Mountain Bike. The Wild Azalea Trail carries the honor of being the longest Running/Hiking trail in the state. It runs from the town of Woodworth to Valentine Lake in Gardner. Along the trail you will pass through a variety of ecosystems that will have you convinced you are not in Louisiana. Parts of the trail are lower with hardwoods and lazy creeks creating a beautiful backdrop to your adventure. Other parts are higher and hillier with the Longleaf Pines gracing your path to the Finish line. Please check out our Facebook link for all things Wild Azalea. It will serve as the race portal for all updates, additional info, and forum for asking any questions related to the race.
Due to the recent storm damage and the unknown status of the trail at the time of race weekend, a portion of the routes may be on forest roads in the Kisatchie National Forest to replace closed parts of the trails. We are working diligently along with the US Forest Service to clear the trails. We will be updating our FB page frequently of the progress. https://www.facebook.com/wildazaleatrail.
In order to help keep the trail free from litter, we are now going cupless at the aid stations that aren't manned. This means there will be no paper cups at the aid stations at this race. Runners will be responsible for carrying their own container to refill along the way. UltrAspire reusable cups may be purchased with registration or on race day OR we encourage you to bring your own. Grab a cup, a hydration vest, pouch, or water bottle and we will fill it at each aid station along the way. We ask you to help us in our efforts by preparing for a cup-free race day and thank you in advance for being good stewards of the trail.
Local time: 8:40 PM