This is a difficult course, reaching an elevation of 13,200 (mile 6.5). There is over 6500’ of elevation gain. The second portion of the trail (the Bard Creek “trail”) is undefined for miles at a time. Although it will be well marked, it is not a defined trail for a good portion of this stretch. It is not easy running. It is an absolutely amazing and breathtaking course. Previous ultra running experience is required. Please be prepared to show race history if asked.
Participant check/in, Bib pick-up:
- Minton Park, (Empire Ball Field)
S. Main Street and Cemetery Rd, Empire Colorado 80438
Runner Check-In and Bib pick-up will take place on Race Day morning from 5:00 – 6:15am. Parking is at this location. Everyone must check in at this time. No exceptions. Participants will receive bib and goodie bag.
Bag drop (50K Aid #2 and 22K Finish)
- Bags must be dropped by 6:30 am at the Empire Ball Field and will be transported to the Herman Gulch. (Mile 14 and 22K Finish) Bags left at Herman will then be brought back to the finish line (around 12:30/1:00pm)
- Empire Ball Field (parking, check-in and 50K finish area)
- Jones Pass TH (start area)
- Herman Gulch TH (50K Aid #2 and 22K Finish)
- Shuttle to the Start:
The course is a point to point course starting at the Jones Pass TH (across from the Henderson Mine) on Henderson Mine Road. Henderson Mine has granted us permission to use this area to start the race. There is no participant parking at this location. Honoring the request of Henderson Mine, we will be shuttling all participants and spectators to the start line.
- CCSD busses will be LEAVING the Empire Ball Field at 6:30am.
- Race starts at 7:00am
- Runners should be familiar with the course. Carrying a course map is highly advisable.
Race starts at the Jones Pass Trail Head Lot. Run up Jones Pass. At Mile 4 (Aid 1) head south on the Continental Divide Trail. High Point at 13,200 (Mile 6.5). Continue south to the Herman Lake Split (Mile 9.5). Participants will head to the southeast side of Herman Lake to get bib punched (Mile 10.2) and head back to the split (Mile 10.9) and continue to the Herman Gulch Trail Head Parking lot (Mile 14, Aid 2). Course continues by heading east on the Watrous Gulch Trail to Mile 15.4 where it splits off to the right onto the Bard Creek Trail. This trail, as mentioned above, is undefined for miles at a time. Pay close attention and always be on the lookout for the next course marking and/or cairn. Water only aid station at mile 21. At mile 25.5 Bard Creek Trail become a 4WD road (Aid 4). Continue on the road approx to the finish line at the Empire Ball Field. (Approx mile 30)
- Please no dogs or pacers on course.
- Four aid stations on course:
Mile 21 – WATER ONLY
- RUNNERS MUST CHECK IN at each aid station! Bib number must be recorded before you proceed. This is a remote course that is not easily accessible in many spots.
- This is a remote course that is not easily accessible in many spots.
- Participants are required to run with hydration systems that carry at least 20 oz.
- Aid Station will be supplied with water, pop, and GU Brew electrolyte drink. Water and GU Brew will be dispensed in large drink coolers. Racers may refill personal hydration systems and or use cups that we will provide.
- Each aid station will be also be stocked with a variety of foods – PB&J, PB&Nutella, candy, chips, bananas, pretzels, GUs, and pro-bars.
- Please do not litter. You can leave your trash at aid stations or carry all trash with you.
- If a participant drops from the race at any time, THEY MUST notify the aid station, course sweep or the RD.
Cut off time:
- Herman Gulch – Mile 14: 11:45am (4.75 hours)
- Bard Creek – Mile 25.5: 4:30pm (9.5 hours)
- Finish Line: 6:00pm (11 hours)
- Runners must arrive at the Herman Gulch Aid station (Mile 14) by 11:45am and leave the aid station by 11:55am to continue on Bard Creek. The finish line closes at 6:00pm, participants crossing the finish line after 6:00pm (11 hours) will not be given an official finish or time.
- Weather can be a major factor. Dress accordingly. Be prepared for rain, lighting, hail, snow and freezing temperatures. For the safety of the participants and volunteers on course, we have strict safety guidelines when it comes to Mother Nature. The RD has complete authority to call or postpone the event at any given time if the course, or a section of it, is deemed unsafe. If nasty weather comes in, you may be asked to turn around and check in with an aid station that you have already passed.
- Be smart and use common sense. If lighting is present, seek shelter as soon as possible and when safe, return to a lower elevation. If you are above treeline with no shelter, find a boulder or lay in a ditch to protect yourself.
- Every effort will be made to hold the race, but the race director reserves the right to delay, shorten or even cancel the event. There will be no refunds in the event of race cancellation.
Post race / Awards Ceremony:
- After the race, a light meal will be provided that includes soup and snacks, and plenty of Tommy Knocker beer at the Empire Ball Field for participants and volunteers. Stick around and cheer on the other runners as they finish!
- Awards ceremony will take place by the fest tent at 3:00pm. We realize that some folks will still be on course, but feel the majority of the runners will be in by this time. Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers as well as age group recognition. We will also be drawing bib #’s for a variety of goods, treats and gift certificates.