The 2014 course is being adjusted to use new trails in the preserve. We are still finalizing the exact course and what trails will be used in the Long Haul, however, RD has confirmed that the course will now be 20 mile laps (rather than the 16.7 or 14.3 mile courses that have been used in past years). The course map below has the basic layout of the course, but we will post a more accurate course map once it has been finalized.
The Race Director and Technical Director personally run and
prep the course prior to the race each year. Course
changes are made when the trails are not runable or are
unsafe. This isn't a mud run or obstacle course it is
a race. That being said, it is a trail race which
means we are more at the mercy of wildlife, nature, and the
elements. Each year, hogs generally rough up small
sections of the northern part of the trail. There are
occasional roots, small rocks, and sometimes limbs and
branches fall on the trail. If you are an
experienced trail runner, you will find this course to be a
very fast, non-technical course. If you have not run
on trails, I would suggest logging some time on trails --
this course is open all year and we generally schedule some
group runs in the fall for any interested in seeing and
running the course.
Men's - Mike Morton - 13:18:58 (2012)
Women's - Whitney Richman 17:38:24 (2013)
Men's - Julian Vicente - 8:48:30 (2012)
Women's - Brittany Beede - 12:09:42 (2012)
50 Mile (50 mile
distance was only run in 2011)
Men's - Julian Vicente - 7:48:21
Women's - Eve Lane - 11:09:05
Here are some descriptions of various trails of the course,
once the course is finalized, a complete walk-through of the
course will be posted.
Long Haul 100s Course Description
The Long Haul Course is a 20 mile out and back course that is repeated until the total mileage is reached. The Start and Finish is located at the entry gate to the Cypress Creek Preserve at the location of Tampa Bay Water on 10 Cent Road. The course is closed to public vehicle traffic, however there may be hikers, equestrian riders and cyclists on various sections of the course. The race can be run entirely on trails -- the course does follow Pump Station Road, which is an asphalt paved private-access road, but those sections may be run along the pavement in the grass.
Trail 1 (Creek Trail) Section
The Creek Trail is a hikers only trail -- there will be no horses or cyclists on this trail. This is the only water crossing on the course and there is an optional temporary bridge that runners may choose to cross and avoid wet feet. The water is no deeper than the knee. The beginning part of this trail is wide grassy doubletrack until you reach the creek, which is about ¼ mile from the road. Once you cross the creek, the trail narrows to twisting single track. This is the most technical part of the course with substantial roots and trees. After the ½ mile technical singletrack, the trail opens back up to grassy doubletrack for about ¾ mile and leads back out to the road. Once you reach the end of the Creek Trail, you will cross over Pump Station Road and onto Trail 2 (Southern Trail). AID STATION 2 is located at the cross section of the creek trail, the southern trail, and pump station road and can be accessed going out or returning on any of these crossings.
Trail 2 (Southern Trail) Section
The Southern Trail is a lillipop course that will be run the same direction whether you are going out or returning in. You will follow a wide corridor that is a grassy road with a crushed coral base. This 1 mile straightaway is a great speed area as there is a very wide corridor and the ground is firm and smooth. Follow the crushed coral / grassy base until you turn off to the left onto wide doubletrack which is the border of a large cypress prairie. This You will follow this about ¼ mile until you come to a barb wire livestock fence, which is the border of the preserve. This part of the trail that borders the fence has two low areas that will likely be muddy -- there will be a route to avoid the mud around each of those two areas. In about ½ mile, you will veer off to the left through the prairie and back to the crushed coral road you came in on. The Southern Trail with the exception of the crushed coral base road, are some of the newest trails in the preserve, so while they are not technical with roots or rocks, the dirt is loose and relatively uneven -- similar to running in a grass field that has been plowed over with farm equipment. Once you reach the crushed coral base road, you will head back out to Pump Station Road and AID STATION 2 and turn right (east) on Pump Station Road.
AS2 is located at the crossing of the Creek Trail, the Southern Trail and Pump Station Road. It can be accessed going out or returning on any of these crossings. AS2 is the best place for spectators as there is plenty of room to setup chairs, awnings, tents, etc and runners will pass by this point 4 times each 16.7 mile out and back. There is also a shuttle to and from the entrance / start / finish.
Trail 3 (Armadillo Alley) Section
Trail 3 which is a grassy sandy doubletrack trail through a typical Florida Oak / Pine / Cypress forest. The trail is relatively root free, but soft and sandy in areas, especially if it is dry. Don’t be surprised to see whitetail deer running through the cypress or armadillos scurrying around at your feet. This section of the trail is approximately 1.25 miles until you return to the north spur of pavement aka Swiftmud Road. You will run on (or alongside) the road for about a ¼ mile until turning left (north) off the pavement onto Trail 4 Section.
Trail 4 (Hog Hollow) Section
Trail 4 is the northern most section which has a lollipop loop at the top which totals about 2.8 miles. The beginning of this trail is sandy / grassy doubletrack similar to much of the course. You are likely to encounter wild hogs more in this section of the trail. The northern most section of the trail becomes more technical as it becomes more of an oak forest and also turns near a swamp bog. As you near the lollipop, you will be bearing to your left and heading north to the northern preserve border where you will find a barb wire livestock fence. You will turn right (east) and run along the fence for less than ¼ mile before turning right (south) down a sandy doubletrack. You will head down this doubletrack for about ½ mile before turning right (west) back into the woods. There will be a basic AID STATION 3 (water/HEED/basic food) at this location. As you head back into the woods, this is another technical section and you will need to look closely for markers as the trail here is not well defined. Eventually you will come back to the point where you bore off to the left to go north on the lollipop, you will turn left and head back south. This return point is the place most people miss and end up looping around again. Watch for markers and signs this area is marked.