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2023 Wild Azalea
Welcome to the 11th annual Wild Azalea!! Yep, entering 11 years of mud, flooding, tornados, hurricane debris, ice storms, government shutdowns, pandemic, tamales, gastrointestinal afflictions, near death experiences and just overall misery and despair. Luckily, the trail and our participants (we think) have survived them all, and by the looks of it will keep delivering its torment and joy for all who seek to conquer it's paths. As we say, there is no more excellent way to ring in the New Year than on the trails with like-minded souls. So let us formally invite you to the 11th annual Wild Azalea slated for January 7, 2023, 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 believe 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, key chains, finish line bell-ringing parade or other various civilized sundries. We go for great trials, pain, suffering, exultation, trail rash, beer, gumbo, and jambalaya (not necessarily in that order). Our solicitor (Saul Goodman) has inform us that we have to encourage only folks primarily in the intermediate to advance level of trail runner/biking, as well as those who are interested in hiding from Federal Authorities and/or Cartels. (that's done). The Wild Azalea is a well-maintained and mapped trail system so that navigation will be easy and reasonable. You won't get lost, period!!
Local time: 8:38 AM
The trail includes visible 1/2 mile markers. There will be 5 participant classes: 13.1 Mile Run, 27 Mile Ultra Run, 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 route, you will pass through various 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 features are higher and hillier, with the Longleaf Pines gracing your path to the Finish line.
Please feel free to check out our Facebook link for all things Wild Azalea. It will serve as the race portal for all updates, additional info, and a forum for asking any questions related to the race.
And remember, this will be an official "NO WHINING" trail run, so don't enter if you are a Wendy Whiner. Our prices are still the CHEAPEST in the region for trail running, and despite other races which make you take out a HELOC loan just to enter, we intend to keep it that way. We've been price-gouged ourselves by these blood suckers and don't believe we should treat our participants with that discourtesy.