CT's Hardest 50k!
This 50k(+) is a Graduate Level run, meaning you will be on some of CT's most technical and gnarly trails: first the Regicides (West Rock's "Blue" trail) and then The Quinnipiac Trail (another of CT's famed Blue trails). Hence, the Blue 2 Blue Challenge (h/t Alex McDaniel for the idea). It is imperative that you have finished at least one (1) 50k in the previous 12 months- I will also consider you if you’ve completed something gnarly like Cat’s Tail or Breakneck or the like. This is definitely not a beginner’s race. There's a good 6,500 feet of climbing and the majority of it is extremely technical.
Course description: this is an out-and-back starting at West Rock Playground (alternately named "Amrhyn Field" at the corner of Hard and Stone- serious) in New Haven, climbing up the Westville Feeder Trail and depositing you onto Regicides for about 6+ miles of some of the gnarliest, rockiest trail you can imagine. Then, the fun really starts as you climb up High Rock to the intersection of the Q Trail. You will follow blue blazes down to the first aid station at Brooks Rd, then climb up to Mad Mare Ridge before a nice little descent to a one mile road section on Downs Road, crossing Gaylord Mountain Road, then continuing on asphalt before going back on dirt right before the Y Camp.
You'll summit Mt. Sanford at mile 12, then cross Route 42 near Holiday Hill before another climb up to the backside of Roaring Brook Park (home to CT's tallest waterfall). Then you'll continue on to the turnaround aid station where the dirt hits Cornwall Ave in Prospect.
What in the...
Blue blazes all day! Here's the complete route on Strava: Blue 2 Blue Course
Here's the interactive Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails map from CFPA: CFPA Interactive Map
There will be aid stations at mile 4.8 (Regicides and yellow trail intersection- this will be water only), mile 8.1 (Brooks Rd), mile 11.3 (Downs Rd at the Y Camp) and the turnaround in Prospect at mile 16.4 (Cornwall Ave), so aid will happen at miles 4.8, 8.1, 11.1, 16.4, 21.3, 24.6 and 27.9 before finishing back at West Rock Playground at mile 32.8. The standard stuff will be available like Skratch, pretzels, potato chips, Swedish fish, ginger chews, PB&Js, M&Ms, salty potatoes, Oreos, Sour Patch Kids, quesadillas, water, Sprite and Coke.
Designed to be tough...
There's a *strict* 10-hour cutoff and some of you will need all of that, this runs more like a 50-miler. Please take note: this run is different than last year- there will be NO PACERS and NO CREWS. It needs to be a "challenge". I'll also be enforcing *strict* cutoffs at various aid stations along the way- you must get to the turnaround at mile 16.4 by 1 pm, the Route 42 road crossing (mile 19.5) by 2 pm, mile 21.3 by 2:30 pm, and mile 24.7 by 3:30 pm. Basically, you have to maintain a 18:18 per mile pace, or roughly 3.3 mph. C'mon- you can "almost" hike this whole thing if you want.
Local time: 7:56 AM
You'll also get one drop bag I'll shuttle out to the turnaround (mile 16.4). When race directors are like "must be smaller than the size of a shoebox" I have to agree here, do not bring a duffle bag with your 100-mile race kit for me to schlepp out to Prospect, please.