Run for Kids Challenge

12 Hour, 50K & 10K Trail Race
The 7th Annual Run for Kids Challenge - May 6th - Cedar Pavilion - Oak Mtn State Park
The 2015 RFK Raised over $14,040 for Camp SAM and a special fund to help Rebuild Schools in Kathmandu, Nepal. One of our regular runners and two time Southeastern Trail Series Points Champion Suman Silwal is from Kathmandu and spearheaded the drive to help Nepal recover from the devastating earthquake on April 25th of 2015. In 2017 we have joined forces with the "Seven Summits Foundation" to help  rebuild schools, libraries and orphanages destroyed by the earthquake in Nepal. All donations are tax deductible through the Seven Summits Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Here is a link to the foundation’s website. The Seven Summits Foundation is unique in that it has zero administrative expenses therefore every dollar raised goes to help those in need. 
Race Information
​Date:  Saturday, May 6, 2017, At Oak Mountain State Park, Pelham, Alabama. 
Park entry fee is now $5.00 per person.
The 50K, 12 Hour and 10K races will start at 7:00 AM.
The start is at the Cedars Pavilion located off the parking lot at the end of Terrace Drive. Please see the map page of the star/finish area.

100% of race proceeds go to Camp Smile-A-Mile, Alabama’s program for children with cancer. Please take a minute to read about Camp SAM. You will understand why the camp is important to so many Alabama families, including several participants involved with this event. You may choose to have your entry fee go the Seven Summits Foundation for Nepal earthquake relief if you prefer.

This is the perfect run for a “First-Ultra” or anyone who just wants to see what a trail race is like.  
If you have been wanting to try a 50K or longer run, this is the event for you. The race will be held on the new Lake Trail and Rattlesnake Ridge Trail behind Double Oak Lake, the swimming and canoeing lake. The trail circles behind the lake then up along the ridge at the south end with gently rolling hills. There are are quite a few roots but not technical terrain and the trail is easy to run. (No trail shoes needed.) The 6.277 mile loop will pass a water only aid station at about mile 2 the main aid station at Cedar Pavilion every 6 miles so supplies and water are never very far away. There will be a cookout featuring Logan Cook's famous Bar B Que following the 50K and 12 Hour run. Come out and give it a try. Your entry fee goes to a great cause and it will be a lot of fun.  

The Races:
The 12 Hour Challenge Trail Race -  This race is simple, You just run as far and you can in 12 hours. (You don't have to run 12 hours.)
The 50K Trail Race - Runners circle part of the lake trail and Rattlesnake Ridge Trail for 5 laps to the finish. First one to complete 5 laps wins. Distance: 32.575 Miles.
The 10K Challenge - This is the fun event. You simply run one lap of the course. First runner to the finish wins.

Other Pertinent Information:
The Run for Kids is a Mountain High Outfitters Southeastern Trail Series Race: Runners will earn points toward the Trail Series points championship. More information at the Southeastern Trail Runs website. 

The 2017 Course for the Run for Kids: The course will be similar to the 2016 Run for Kids at Oak Mountain State Park. Runners will make their way around the east side of Double Oak Lake, across the beach and through the patio area behind the park offices. Cross a short section of Terrace Drive and enter the woods on the Lake Trail. Follow the trail around the lake, across the dam and around the back side of the lake. Turn right onto the Rattle Snake Ridge Trail angling away from the lake. Continue to the cutoff to the Family Trial and make a loop around the Family trial then a short section of Mister Toad before returning to the Start/Finish at the Cedar Pavilion. This lap is exactly 6.515 miles. The course is 34,401 feet long, measured with a measuring wheel.

Holiday Inn Express on Hwy 119, Cahaba Valley Rd. offers discounts to all 
Run for Kids Challenge runners. The hotel is just 6 miles from the race start.

Other Lodging: ​There are a number of other hotels within a few mile of the south entrance of Oak Mountain State Park. Here is a link to Google Maps: Hotels Near Oak Mountain State Park. This is the entrance you will need to use Saturday morning. The north entrance does not open until 7:00 AM. 

Camping and Cabins at Oak Mountain State Park: There is a large campground at Oak Mountain State Park with full hookups and showers. It is located at the north end of the park about 5 miles from the start of the race. There are also several cabins in the park located on Tranquility Lake about 4 miles from the start. Here is a link to the Oak Mountain sites. Oak Mountain State Park Camping 
 Lodging at Oak Mtn State Park.

About our Aid station: If you have never run a trail race you will be in for a surprise when you reach the aid station at the end of your first lap. Of course we have water and a carb drink (We provide Tailwind with carbs and electrolytes) like all Road Races have, but this is not an road race. For most of the morning we will have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, fruit, cookies, candy, chips and pretzels and possibly a few more items. About 12:00 noon, we will add quesadillas, grilled cheese, and  ham and cheese sandwiches. We will also have boiled potatoes sliced up to be dipped in salt. We might even throw in a couple of other treats. Once the BBQ is ready, you can grab a sandwich before heading back out.

Race Week Schedule of Events

Friday, May 5 - 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM: Late Registration and Race Packet Pickup at Mountain High Outfitters 
Mountain High Outfitters is located on Hwy 280 in Cahaba Village adjacent to Whole Foods. 
Mountain High Outfitters Address - Hwy 280, next to Whole Foods,  2800 Cahaba Village Plaza Suite 250,  Birmingham, AL 35243
Mountain High Outfitters on Google Maps 

Please Note - The North Gate at Oak Mountain State Park does not open until 7:00 a.m. Go to the South entrance just off I 65 if you are running the race or you will miss the start. Don't forget about the $5 per person charge to enter the park.

Saturday, May 6 - 6:00 to 6:45 AM: Late Registration and Race Packet Pickup for all races at the Cedar Pavilion
Cedar Pavilion is the location of the start and finish. You must pick up your packet or register before 6:45. If you arrive late you may have to wait until after the start to pick up your race packet or to register. Please note - Late registration fees increase $5.00 (Friday afternoon and Saturday morning)
Saturday, May 6, 7:00 AM - Start of the Run for Kids Challenge 12 Hour, the 50K and 10K Trail Races..

Run for Kids Awards:​ Finisher Cups will be given to all 50K and 12 Hour Finishers
10K, 50K and 12 Hour Winners: Awards will be give to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall, Male and Female. 
10K 50K & 12 Hour: Masters 40 - 49, Grand Master 50 - 59 and Ultra Grand Master 60+
Awards for the 10K will immediately follow the finish of the 10K race..
Awards for the 50K will be given out as runners finish..
The awards ceremony for the 12 hour will be immediately following the 12 Hour Race about 7:15.

And, just a little about trail running and racing: In 1998 there were twenty-one 100 mile races in America. In 2008, there were 55. In 2012, there were 90 races. According to Running the USA, in 2017 there are 158 one hundred mile trail races. Ultra-marathon trail races are Americas fastest growing sport and there is a reason. Running trails is addictive and always an adventure, even right here in Birmingham. The trails are beautiful, quiet and secluded. The terrain is constantly changing, sometimes smooth and sandy, sometimes layered with leaves or pine straw, sometimes covered in rocks and roots, sometimes on solid rock. While running trails you will frequently encounter all kinds of wildlife. Around here, you see deer, turkey, all types of water fowl, hawks, squirrels, birds, toad frogs lizards, yellow jackets and an occasional snake. Trail running out west can have even more interesting encounters with bison, moose, bears and even mountain lions. On rare occasions you might even encounter another human.

You will sometimes top a ridge just as the sun come up over a distant horizon. You my run along the crest of a mountain shrouded in fog only able to see 50 feet in any direction. One of the most amazing parts of trail running is running at night, sometimes all night long, often miles from anywhere. There are times when, after a snow, you are running through an almost surreal white, silent world. And occasionally you will find yourself in the middle of a severe thunderstorm or even a tornado. That keeps life exciting!

Trail running can also be treacherous. Trail runners fall. With time, you get much better at staying upright on trails but you will fall. Usually you just hop up, check to see if you lost anything, dust off and head on down the trail. Occasionally you fall on a rocky section of trail and that can hurt. On very rare occasions you might have to have a few stitches or end up with a twisted ankle. While doing trail work for the Hardrock 100 in Colorado in 2011, I met a guy that was struck by lightning at Hardrock the year before. That is the only trail runner I know of that has ever been struck by lightning, and he survived with only a couple of minor burns. He got up and went on to finish the race. Ultrarunner Magazine even had an article about his "Close Encounter" with lightning.

Trail running is much easier on your body than road running. When you run down a road, with every step, you are pounding the pavement almost exactly the same way. This is really hard on your body and especially your joints when you build up your mileage. When trail running virtually, every step is different. The terrain tends to be softer (dirt, gravel, leaves, mud and sand) and rolls in every direction and angel imaginable on about every possible surface. Trail running is actually a great "core" workout. There are quite a few 70 year old runners still run 100 mile races.

Volunteers: We always need race volunteers. We guarantee you will have a lot of fun and you might be inspired to start running ultras. You also receive a really cool shirt. Sign up.

Two Race Shirt options are available on Ultrasignup.  

1st is the Poly/Cotton blend shirt at $10.00. 

2nd  If you want a very nice Tech Shirt that you will actually want to run and race in, this is the shirt.  This Technical Wicking Shirt is an Endurance Nexus Shirt, a Poly/Spandix blend available in Men's Crew and Women's V-Neck. The shirt is printed with the race logo on the front center. This is a shirt you will run and race in. Price is $22

Map of Cedar Pavilion Area, Parking and Race Start Route.