The Pigtails Challenge is ran around Lake Youngs Watershed, it is a rolling loop course with 900 feet of elevation gain per loop. It is mostly double track dirt and packed gravel. There are only a few areas where the footing is not smooth. This is not considered a technical course. If it has been raining a lot, which is always possible here in Washington even in late May, puddles may be present. However, the trail drains well and you can usually run around the puddles without getting your feet wet. There are no water crossings.
Here is a link to the course map,USATF COURSE MAP
Keep in mind you will never see Lake Youngs. Well, actually, if you are running the loop counter clockwise, you can catch a quick glimpse of a small part of the lake about halfway through. This is not a course where you are running around a lake. Also there is a chain linked fence around the entire watershed that will be on your right when you are running odd numbered loops (clockwise), and on your left when running even numbered loops (counterclockwise). It is still a very pleasant run with wooded areas, but as you know with any multiple loop race, you will grow to despise it, I'm sure. There will be some stretches where the road goes alongside the trail but you will never have to worry about car traffic. This is a multi-use trail which includes walkers, bikers, horses, etc. Please share the trail. With horses, please do not surprise them. If you are coming from behind, make some noise to let the rider know you are coming. Also, slow to a walk when you pass them.
This is a well groomed (with a few rougher spots) 9.4 mile double track loop trail. Once on the trail, run slight uphill for short distance (1/8 of a mile) to a T in the trail. You will see a chain linked fence. We will have a sign there pointing to the left for odd loops. Turn left (now fence is on your right). Follow trail and fence around entire loop. At no point do you cross a road. There will be a break in the fence and a short asphalt section at about two miles going this direction for about 20 yards. Just run straight across and reconnect with the trail. The 200 milers will run 21 loops with an extra out and back on the trail at the start (1.3 out, 1.3 back). The 150 milers will run 16 loops and their first loop will be shortened slightly (I will walk you in about 1/4 mile on the trail where you will start). The 100 milers will run 10 loops with 6 miles at the start (3 out, 3 back)at to make that distance. The 100K runners will do the out and back with the 100 milers then do 6 full loops. The 50K runners will run 3 loops with 3 miles at the start (1.5 out, 1.5 back)at to make that distance. The out and backs will be in the clockwise direction before running the full loops starting in the clockwise direction. All distances are certified.
There will be an aid station halfway. This will be unmanned Thursday and Friday, and most likely manned on the weekend if I have enough volunteers. There will be water, electrolyte drink, gels, chips, cookies, candies and other items that will be restocked throughout the race. Please deposit trash there. No trash on trails, including toilet paper! At the completion of the clockwise loop, you will climb a short steep hill. At the top of the hill, you will turn left and run back to the parking area to complete the loop. I will have this marked with chalk. For the next loop (even loop), you will run to the fence at the T intersection and turn right right (even numbered loop) and you will head down that steep hill you just ran up. You are now running in the counterclockwise direction. Repeat odd and even numbered loops at nauseum. You must complete your chosen distance for an official finish, otherwise, you will get a DNF (in other words, if you started the 150 miles race and complete 120 miles, you will not get credit for a 100 mile race). You may drop down to a shorter distance before starting.
Please let the timer at the start/finish know that you have arrived at the end of each loop so that we can keep track. It is your responsibility to check in every loop. We will update the white results board as frequently as possible.
The average temperature for this time of year is high 65 and low 49. Record high was 88 in 2005 and low 48 in 2007. Precipitation is always a possibility. I'd say 50/50. Much of the course is tree lined but not tree canopy. Make sure you bring warm clothes for the night, especially if you are moving particularly slow. Bring rain gear if it is in the forecast.
The parking/trailhead is located at SE 184th St and Old Petrovitsky Road Renton, WA 98058.
There are two park bathrooms with running water at the start/finish. There will be two additional sanicans at the start/finish and one at the middle aid station. No showers.
AID STATIONS/DROP BAGS
There will be an aid station at the start/finish of each 9.4 mile loop and halfway. The 1/2 way aid station may be unmanned Thursday and Friday and manned on the weekend. Drop bags only at the start/finish. This should be manned all weekend, so it should be safe to leave it in the drop bag area but we can't guarantee there will be no theft or another runner accidentally walks off with yours. Or you can use your car. The main aid station will have a HUGE variety of food and beverages. During the race weekend, I will have different types of food available, including hot and real foods such as soups, pizza, quesadillas, hot dogs, etc.