RACE STATUS UPDATE June 20, 2020 — KESUGI 30-MILER IS A GO!
Hello Kesugi enthusiast,
Great news: The Kesugi Ridge 30-mile Traverse will happen on Aug. 29! Thanks to Alaska State Parks/Denali State Park for permit approval.
- Lottery registration will open at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 22 and close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 28; entering the lottery is free. A randomized lottery will be conducted June 29 and the roster will be announced on Tuesday, June 30.
- Only the Kesugi Ridge 30-mile from Little Coal Creek to Byers Lake will be held. There will NOT be a 15-mile Half Traverse in 2020.
- 85 qualified entrants will be accepted; there will NOT be a waitlist in 2020.
- Non-Alaskan entrants may enter but they must adhere to the state of Alaska’s COVID-19 testing and quarantine mandate. See this website https://covid19.alaska.gov/travelers/ and search for more information at adn.com
- Qualifiers are required of all applicants by the close of registration on June 28 (see list on race website or Ultrasignup page); Please do not register without a qualifier; your registration will be denied. It will NOT be possible to hold a spot and qualify later in the summer. Contact the race director if you are uncertain of your qualifier.
- A 15-mile training run on the Turnagain Arm Trail (roundtrip between Potter and Rainbow trailheads) in 3:45 or faster has been added as an acceptable qualifier.
- There will be two mass starts at Little Coal Creek Trailhead with 35-40 runners each. Wave 1 will begin at 9 a.m. and Wave 2 will begin at 9:30 or 9:45 a.m.
- There will be no official race shuttles. Pre- and post-race transportation will be the sole responsibility of the racers and they will be expected to carpool given the limited parking.
- More information will be posted at kesugiridgetraverse.com and the Ultrasignup Kesugi race page as a COVID-19 mitigation plan is created.
Director, Kesugi Ridge Traverse
Lottery Registration Details (open June 22-28)
— Because registration filled in 30 minutes in 2019 and in order to give those interested a fair chance to participate, a lottery registration will be implemented in 2020. 85 entrants for the Full Traverse will be accepted. There will be no Half Traverse in 2020.
— Lottery registration opens at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 22 and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 28 (see details above). There will be no charge to enter the lottery.
Those who win the lottery and have an approved qualifier will have their credit cards charged the race entry of $65 (this includes the registration fee).
—Those who qualify for auto-entry will be placed on the roster and the remaining spots will be filled by lottery.
—Lottery winners and the full roster will be announced on Tuesday, June 30. There will be no waitlist in 2020.
—No refunds are given; if race is canceled due to COVID-19, entries will be deferred to 2021.
Lottery Automatic-Entry List
Provided they have an approved qualifier, the following will bypass the lottery and automatically receive entry to the 2020 Kesugi Ridge Traverse. Entry fees still apply and AUTO-ENTRANTS MUST STILL REGISTER during the week-long registration period (those with free entry will be emailed).
— Top 2 male and female finishers from 2019 for the full and half traverse
— Past champions of the full traverse
— 2019 volunteers (as determined by race director)
— Race Director discretion
Located in Denali State Park, the Kesugi Ridge Traverse point-to-point course starts at the Little Coal Creek Trailhead (Parks Highway Mile 163.9) and finishes 30 miles later at Byers Lake Campground (Mile 147). Starting at an elevation of 1,400 feet, the trail climbs steadily in the opening four miles to an alpine ridge with a high point of 3,500 feet. The trail is marked with cairns in most places.
When visibility allows, views of the Eldridge Glacier and Denali, the largest peak in North America, are prominent.
Near halfway, the Ermine Hill Trail comes in from the right (elevation 2,300 feet). The Kesugi Ridge HALF TRAVERSE (not held in 2020) course is about 14.2 miles and ends a short distance uphill from this junction at a rock formation called "The Doors." After their race, Half Traverse participants take the Ermine Hill Trail 3.5 miles back to the Parks Highway at their leisure. The Ermine Hill Trailhead is at Mile 156.5. A shuttle will then transport runners to Byers Lake Campground (or Little Coal Creek if necessary.
Beyond "The Doors," the FULL TRAVERSE descends to 1,500 feet before it climbs back above treeline, passes Skinny Lake and reaches almost 3,000 feet at Golog Point near Mile 20. Around Mile 25, the course begins a long, switchbacked descent to Byers Lake via the Cascade Trail. The course ends at the Byers Lake Group Campsite (elevation 800 feet) with food, drinks and awards. The total elevation gain is 6,200 feet and elevation loss is 6,800 feet.
Be aware this is not a race for beginners. Long-distance trail running experience is a must. Scouting the course is highly recommended. Past races have featured rain, snow, cold, heat, and limited visibility. Sections of the course are extremely technical and can be swampy.
The Kesugi Ridge Traverse & Half Traverse is a USATF sanctioned event.
Participants for the KESUGI RIDGE TRAVERSE must have completed at least one of the following since 2017 at a pace within the Kesugi race cutoff pace of 16 minutes per mile: Kesugi Ridge trail, Crow Pass Crossing, Resurrection Pass Trail, Lost Lake Trail, Matanuska Peak Challenge (sub-6 hours), Granite Tors, Angel Creek 50, Juneau Ridge or a comparable race. A 15-mile training run on the Turnagain Arm Trail (roundtrip between Potter and Rainbow trailheads) in 3:45 or faster has been added as an acceptable qualifier.
Participants for the KESUGI RIDGE HALF TRAVERSE (not held in 2020) must have completed 15 miles of one of the above trails since 2017, or 15 miles race of a comparable race, at a pace within the Kesugi race cutoff pace of 16 minutes per mile.
Those uncertain about whether they are qualified should consult with race director Matias Saari.
Participants for both the Kesugi Ridge Traverse & Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse must wear or carry the following gear: windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, pants or tights, winter hat, gloves, race bib, sustenance and water bottle.
Entrants for both the Kesugi Ridge Traverse & Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse must be at least 18 years old on race day.
The Kesugi Ridge Traverse has a time cutoff of 4 hours, 5 minutes at the Ermine Hill Checkpoint; those who miss the cutoff must hike out the Ermine Hill Trail. The cutoff to receive an official finish is 9 hours, 10 minutes.
To cutoff to receive an official finish in the Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse (not held in 2020), is 4 hours, 5 minutes at the Ermine Hill finish line.
Much more information about the Kesugi Ridge Traverse & Half Traverse, including a list of FAQs, can be found at www.kesugiridgetraverse.com
Volunteers are needed! Key volunteers will bypass the lottery and receive free entry for 2021. Contact race director Matias Saari at email@example.com if you can volunteer.
Local time: 7:55 AM