Each complete circuit is 20.7 miles and includes and eastern and western loop. Each loop is composed of a leg running north (out from Locust Grove with orange ribbons, Remember, Orange Out) and a leg running south (returning to Locust Grove with blue-striped ribbons, Remember, Blue Back). At times, the orange and blue-striped ribbons overlap, so be attentive. This route is slightly different from previous routes to take advantage of newly created trails such as the promenade over the Orange Reservoir dam, Reservoir Connector, Zoo Loop, and the stone staircase at the bottom of the Openwood Trail. Download a map of the course below.
East Loop - 10.5 miles
Leg A is marked in dotted yellow in the attached map (map markers 1-21) and is approximately 5.5 miles long. It crosses South Orange Avenue by a bridge, so there is no concern with traffic. The end of this leg is the Turtle Rock picnic area.
Leg B is marked in solid blue in the following map and is approximately 5.1 miles long. It crosses back over South Orange Avenue by the same bridge. This leg returns to the race start/finish area at Locust Grove (map markers 21-36).
West Loop – 10.2 miles
Leg C is marked in dotted orange in the following map and is approximately 5.1 miles long. This leg crosses South Orange Avenue, and Cedar Lane, and crosses over Northfield Avenue. It ends at the Mayapple Hill picnic area (map markers 37-49)
Leg D is marked in solid green in the following map and is approximately 5.1miles long. It crosses a busy intersection with South Orange Avenue. It returns to the race start/finish area at Locust Grove (map markers 49-65).
A few people go off course each year and we're always trying to improve our trail marking, but we've received rave reviews about the clarity of our trail marking. We have a great group of volunteers who mark the course with ribbon and paint. Just remember, there are two ridges running north/south with a valley in between and going Out from Locust Grove north, follow the Orange ribbons (O with O); returning Back, follow the Blue-striped ribbons (B with B). In the attached map, north is pointing to the right.
Each 20.7-mile circuit includes around 1,400 feet of ascent and six hills, three on each loop (the course map has marker numbers cited below).
Six-Minute Hill on Sunset Trail which starts about a half mile into the course at marker #4.
Zoo Loop Hill, an extended rise starting from the side of the Orange Reservoir at around mile 4 at marker #15.
Openmouth beginning at the bottom of the grand stone steps on the Openwood Trail just after Hemlock Falls, around mile 7, marker #30.
Elmdale Hill, an extended rise starting about a half mile into the western loop mile at around mile 11 of the 20.7-mile circuit at marker #40.
Monster starting at around mile 12 at Hawk Hill and continuing onto the West Ridge Trail at marker #41.
Twilight starts around mile 18 (at the base of an unnamed open field) just south of the intersection of South Orange Ave. and Brookside Dr. at marker #57.
Trail Surface and TerrainThis course has a little bit of everything: Long stretches of double-wide woods road; meandering single-wide trail; two sections of pavement (on the East Loop) around three-quarters of a mile in total (one crossing over the Orange Reservoir dam, the other around the Crest Drive circle); miles of soft dirt interlaced with ankle twisting rocks. If there is rain leading up to the day of the race or during the race, it will be almost impossible to avoid certain patches of mud. In short, a good combination of level paths, rolling hills, moderate climbs, and a few very steep ascents and descents. The East Loop has a bit more technical running going out from Locust Grove than coming back.