Morehead, Kentucky is not only one of the state's most popular official Trail Towns. We are making it a go to spot for trail running with the Big Turtle 50 Miler! The Big Turtle is a 50 mile and marathon distance trail running event that runs along the northern section of the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail. Why Big Turtle? Well, back in the day the Shawnee gave Daniel Boone the nickname "Sheltowee" which means "Big Turtle."
The race is an out and back course that runs from beautiful downtown Morehead to the norther terminus of the Sheltowee Trace and back. Marathon runners will (obviously) turn around after 13.1 (ish) miles.
We utilize a tiered pricing structure for the Big Turtle registration process. That means that rather than increasing prices at certain dates we've made available only a limited number of spots at each tier. When tier 1 fills up, the price goes up to tier 2 and so on. This lets us better estimate our costs and provide you the runner with the best value.
New to trail running? New to the 50 mile or marathon distance? This race is for YOU!!! With a mix of rolling singletrack and forest road, this race is the perfect introduction to trail running. Are you an experienced ultra runner? This is for YOU too!!! The Big Turtle course is (relatively) flat and FAST. This is the perfect chance to chase that PR at either distance. Read more about the course below.
The Big Turtle 50 Miler is a simple out and back route along the iconic Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail. All runners start in downtown Morehead on the campus of Morehead State University. 50 Milers will run The Trace all the way from downtown Morehead to the trails northern terminus in northern Rowan County. Marathon runners will turn around after 13.1 miles.
The race will start and finish on the lawn of the Laughlin Health Building on the campus of Morehead State University. Runners will run approximately a half mile through town before reaching the trail head at Eagle Lake. Then you are on the Trace. The first climb is affectionately known by hikers as "Heart Attack Hill". You're welcome! Be prepared for a tough climb to start out the race. After that the course follows the ridgeline.
The 50 mile course has a mild 4,400 feet of elevation gain and equal descent. The marathon course will give you approximately 2,400 feet of elevation gain and equal descent.