Run the ancient dunes!
The story of this ultramarathon began during the last ice ages. On the Florida peninsula, sandy hilltop island and coastal dune ridges were the only lands peeking above sea level over 2 million years ago. Then the seas fell, leaving the flat, broad finger of land we now know as Florida. These ancient sand dunes are known as one of the rarest living communities: Florida Scrub.
Jupiter Ridge Natural Area is one of the last stands of Florida Scrub habitat in Palm Beach County. Only 2% of original Scrub in the county and less than one-third of the original Scrub in the state remain today. A gently rolling landscape of prickly, dense thickets spotted with bare patches of sparkling white sand, these 271 acres are protected by Palm Beach County as part of a countywide system of natural areas. Over 200 species of plants and animals call this home.
Lightheartedly called “ the Death Valley of Palm Beach County”, in fact, this natural area is full of life with an amazing variety of plant and animal species - some found to exist nowhere else in the state. The Scrub habitat of Jupiter Ridge Natural Area is among the harshest environments, and the slowest to regenerate if damaged. It’s also some of the oldest living stands of Florida landscape; you’ll be running on ancient sand dunes millions of years old.
It’s for this reason we have a runner cap of 50 runners this year. We are continually working with Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management to bring this race to fruition while preserving the integrity, and protection, of the natural area. Jupiter Ridge Sand Spur was the first and only outside entity to be permitted a running event in a Palm Beach County natural area with our 2017 inaugural race. We are tremendously proud of that, and will continue to work closely with them to ensure responsible execution and growth of this race.
These natural areas are managed by the Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management team, and we are tremendously fortunate to be working with them to make this race a reality.
Bigger, longer, hillier, sandier!
For our third year, we are proud to offer two distance options: 50K and our new 25K! Both races take place on the same course; the 3.58 mile “figure-8” loop spanning the entire natural area. 50K runners will complete 9 loops and 25K runners will complete 4!
The loop is a mixture of terrain but is primarily double-track sugar sand on rolling dunes. There are a few sections of hard packed sand, a short sidewalk section, a boardwalk, and a firm trail around mangroves to help you catch your breath.
50K - 9 hours
25K - 4 hours
Both races will have a soft cutoff one hour prior to the final cutoff; you must be on your final loop one hour prior to final cutoff or you will not be permitted to continue. Race management reserves the right to remove anyone from the race exhibiting signs of excessive distress.
Final cutoffs are strictly enforced. While we encourage and appreciate all of our finishers, coming in over the time limit will result in a DNF. It will break our hearts to do this, but this is not your average “everyone is a winner” race. However, since the 50K is actually 32.22 miles, 50K runners will be permitted an additional 15 minutes to get in beyond the 9 hour cutoff to account for the bonus mile. 25K runners must be finished in 4 hours.
South Florida Elevation?
Florida is notoriously flat, and south Florida is about as flat as it gets. Runners have to resort to bridge repeats, landfills, and stairs to get any decent elevation training.
Jupiter Ridge Natural Area is home to some of the tallest natural sand dunes in Palm Beach County, and one “peak” in particular is the highest natural point in the county! Affectionately called Mount Ridge, a massive dune stands a jaw-dropping 54 feet above sea level! You’ll summit Mt. Ridge twice per loop from two different directions, and that combined with the other smaller dunes and rollers, you’ll get about 2,800 feet of gain for the 50K! We are proud to be the only ultramarathon in south Florida to boast such “lofty” numbers!
Drop downs: drop downs will not be allowed on race day, or during the race. You may drop down as late as the day before the race, but ultimately you either finish or DNF the distance you decide on.
Refunds: your registration fee goes toward putting on a remarkable race with tons of cool stuff. We begin this process early on. We also strive to make a considerable donation to Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management’s Natural Areas program which helps maintain these amazing places. Your registration fee is non-refundable. There is no wiggle room on this. By registering for this race, you agree to these terms. Should you cancel, your registration fee will become a donation to PBCERM. So please do not ask; there is literally no circumstance which will result in a refund. 100% of surplus and proceeds will go to PBCERM’s Natural Areas program.
Drop bags and aid stations: the start/finish area will have a drop bag zone. You’ll be permitted one small duffle or tote, or a small cooler, if you wish. It must be clearly labeled with your name and bib number. You’ll have access to your stuff each time you finish a loop. We’ll also have two aid stations on the course: one at the start/finish, and one around the 1.75 mile mark of the loop. It’s entirely possible to complete this ultra with simply a handheld bottle. You’ll never be more than 2 miles from aid.
This race will be professionally and accurately chip timed!
This is one of the swaggiest trail ultra around! Every finisher gets a badass finishers medal, and top overall winners receive a handmade award! Even DFL’s in both distances get an award! Last year, we had a local artisan glass blower make hand blown hour glasses with the actual sand from Mt. Ridge, and a block of sand pine from a felled sand pine tree from the Ridge!
Local time: 11:33 AM