Course Description

“Any idiot can run a marathon.
It takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultramarathon.” –Alan Cabelly

Seven and a half miles of the race route is in the “Red Trail”, also known as the Potawatomi Trail, marked by the Park District with red markers on trees along the way. We felt the need to mark the course even more clearly so we have added yellow tape/ribbon. This yellow ribbon is along the entire course and is “official”. As an extra help (for those who tend not to look up) we have used white survey paint to arrow the turn where a choice of trails occurs.

Disregard orange paint — orange is for the horse trails and means nothing in this event. Red, yellow and white — all mark the route. Orange — bad.

Start/Finish line. All distances will start at the same time/place and run the same loop.
Turn left at the bottom of the hill and circle the only flat stretch in a clockwise fashion.
Turn up “Tanners Pass” which takes you to the top and across a grassy meadow towards the first section of the Red trail.
Head north on the Red Trail to the “Totem Pole Turn”. The route goes around the totem pole. The first aid station is here under the shelter house. Next aid station is about 4 miles so don’t miss this one.
Pit toilets are about a quarter mile after the “Totem Pole Turn”, on your right.
“Blue Bird” section is a rolling grassland, open and friendly. There are several bluebird houses in the area.
Heading south the trail will become mostly sand so we call this stretch “The Beach”.
Lick Creek crossing number 1. You can look for an easy way to cross but, trust me, head straight through for a refreshing cooling of the feet. It should be no deeper than mid calf — unless the water is brown which would mean recent rain has made a torrent!
Follow the yellow ribbons closely on the other side, as there are several trail options. After a couple of hills, you will have a short, flat, easy run.
That easy run ends at “Golf Hill”. We have a rope for your use. Enjoy the great view from the top as you will be heading back down soon. Listen for someone yelling “Fore!”.
Continue south through rolling hills (we call the last one “Heartbreak Hill”) until you get to “Brick Corner”. There is a stack of bricks on the other side of a fence and you can clearly see a private residence.
This turn puts you on a part of the Red Trail called “The Sheridan”. Veterans will remember a creek crossing here, but now you have the comfort of “Indian Creek” bridge.
“The Sheridan” exits at the “Hairpin” turn — named for the nearby road. This turns you toward the north (or left for directionally challenged folks), across a wooden bridge and up the hill.
At the top of the hill is another open field in the process of being converted back to forest (unsuccessfully!). You turn right and loop around what we call “Cemetery Loop” — the Meyers Cemetery is along the way. Run on the grassway around the field.
You’ll be turning right into “Heaven’s Gate”, which is about half way around the “Cemetery Loop” and is a fun mile loop. An aid station is at the Gate so you get to stop there twice.
Finish the “Cemetery Loop” and run along another grassway to the “Hooter Hill” loop. After you drop down to the valley floor, enjoy beautiful, shady, flat, stretch before climbing abruptly up to more rolling hills.
“Hooter Hill” exits to the picnic oak, a large grass meadow with a large oak tree and evidence of a few picnics. Head downhill and along another open field the 3rd Lick Creek crossing. If the creek is low, you might be able to cross dry on the left but will lose several seconds and be subject to a muddy shore.
Watch the yellow ribbons closely again as there are several cross paths on the other side of the creek. This last loop is called the “Foundation” loop and when you see the old concrete foundation, you are nearing the end.
As you exit the “Foundation” loop, you will run by another pit toilet, then turn right across the dam of the lake, up the hill and to the Start/Finish line. You will be running through the Frisbee golf course and these people take their sport seriously so watch for flying discs.
Advice for hills:
(from the
ultra list)
/ = uphill
\ = downhill
— = flat

If you are a new ultrarunner…
In a 50K… walk some of the /
In a 50M… walk most of the /
In a 100M… walk all of the /