Mile 6.5 to 12-- The first 5.5 miles will be following the 25K course (see 25K course description). At the Split, runners will cross Johnson Run and get onto the Donut Hole Trail. This newly built trail, which runs parallel to Johnson, will take runners to the infamous Sledgehammer. This will be a mile of non-stop climbing in which runners will gain over 1000 feet in just one mile. Once on top, there is an aid station manned by Clinton County Search and Rescue. Runners will then take the Pipeline Trail which offers some nice soft terrain for almost 1.5 miles. This trail travels south and brings one out to an awesome vista overlooking the river. Take a second to see the second best view in the area!!! We named the vista after fellow Trail Dog, Bob Farley. Runners will leave the Farley Vista and descend through a winding trail into the top of Bear Pen Hollow. This trail cuts backs north as it follows an old logging trail for about a mile and a half to a water station.
Mile 12-14. Very important. The next aid station is over 6 miles away. It will like 10 miles on race day. Make sure to grab some water here. It's not a full aid station but will have water, Gatorade, and gels. Bear Pen Trail is a two mile downhill in which runners can make up some time. After making a turn at the last switchback out of Bear Pen, runners will descend a steep fire line trail down into Ritchie Run. A quiet run is quickly interrupted by the sounds of the raging stream below.
Mile 14-17-- Runners will now start the Journey through the remote Ritchie Run. Its a 3 mile grind up through the hollow with stream crossings around every corner. Water falls are a plenty as runners meandor through. Unless we have a severe drought this spring, feet are going to be wet!!! Its Johnson Run's little brother. A mile shorter, but just as technical and beautiful. The last half mile follows an old log flume to the top of the mountain.
Mile 17-18-- Runners will follow a logging trail out to Sugar Camp Road. Cross the road for a few hundred more yards to the Camp Trail. Camp Trail veers off to the left and follows a single track path through the Chestnut Orchard for a few hundred yards. This trail is easy on the feet and will meandor through some dense forest and bring runners out to the West Branch Nature Conservancy Camp. This camp was built in the early 1930's by the CCC men. Here will be a full aid station with bathrooms and a place to warm up around the fireplace.
Mile 18-21-- Runners will leave this aid station and follow the trail for about a mile to the TNC Kiosk. Runners will then turn left here and follow the forest road out to the top of Middle Mountain where they'll come across the aid station from mile 8. No worries, all runners will already be through as you'll get some payback by running down Sledgehammer. The quads will most certainly be screaming at this point. Upon entering Johnson run where runners exited 14 miles earlier, they'll be reunited with the 25K course. Runners will follow this course for the remainder of the way. See 25K course description for more details.