Where does the course go?
The 50k and 10 mile races will embark from the same start line/finish line located at Vashon’s Open Space (see map here). The first half mile will be surface streets taking runners into Island Center Forest’s 188th Street parking lot.
Turning right runners will get their first exposure to the Gateway Trail – one of the newest additions to ICF’s trail system. Runners will briefly exit the park and navigate around the perimeter of Dragon Head Cider Farm, and then quickly re-enter the park to pass Mukai pond.
From the 115th parking lot, all runners will exit the north end of the park and run a short paved section of 115th out to Bank Road. At this point, runners will cross Bank Road and run down the grass shoulder of 115th to the entrance to Fisher Pond Preserve. Runners will then turn west into the beautiful Fisher Pond Preserve trail system. Runners will circle the pond (approx. a 1-mile loop), exit the nature preserve, re-cross Bank Road and navigate south back into the Island Center Forest.
Once back in the forest the real fun begins. The remainder of the loop will be on single track trail and runners will experience the majority of what Island Center Forest has to offer. As usual the course will be clearly marked – but runners should remain alert just the same. The course will basically travel the perimeter of the park, crossing occasionally to create a large figure eight ending up back in the 188th parking lot from where the 10 milers will head back to the finish line at the O Space and 50k runners will head back out on Gateway Trail for two more loops.
Aid stations will be located at miles 5 and 9.5. 50k runners will pass each aid station 3 times.
What is the terrain like?
This rolling race course will include primarily single track and double track park trails, with some dirt roads, gravel driveways, grass shoulders and short sections of paved road.
The elevation change is less than 750 feet per loop (exact elevation for the entire 50k to be provided soon). Though don’t let that fool you – while generally short in distance, there are some nice steep hills in the mix on this course. Very little of this course qualifies as flat.
Technically the trails are mostly well groomed and free of obstacles and hazards. That said there are sections of the trail where footing will be challenged by roots, downed logs, or quick turns and sharp changes in elevation. Staying alert is important.
Will the course be closed to the public?
No. Runners will be running on both public and private land. While the Vashon Island Ultramarathon & Trail Run has permits and permission for all properties that runners will be accessing and crossing – those permits and permissions do not include exclusive use of those trails. Runners should be aware of their surroundings and should anticipate encountering other recreational trail users, such as equestrians, pedestrians and bicyclists. Please be courteous when on the trail and review the Vashon Island Ultramarathon Trail Rules for trail etiquette. Also when crossing and running on paved roads runners should yield to all motorized vehicle traffic.
The Vashon Island Ultramarathon & Trail Run course map and detailed description will be emailed to runners during in the week leading up to the event. Thanks for your patience!