Big Changes for the Final Race in the 2016 Mountain High Outfitters Southeastern Trail Series
We are excited to announce the addition of a 50 mile race to or 2016 race schedule. This race will be part of the final race of the year, previously know as the Tranquility Lake 50K and 25K. The race will take place November 19th, starting at the Redbud Pavilion at Oak Mountain State Park. The race will start at 6:30 AM. The plans are to have a 15 hour cutoff but since the course in not yet established that may change. I have created a single loop 50K course for the race but this course has not been measured so I may have to make some modifications. Just a small warning. This race will use a few trails that are not on the map and consequently get very little traffic. Two of them will be very difficult to negotiate and one will involve a very demanding climb over extremely rocky terrain. Don't try this race is "Road Shoes."
In 2017 the race will start at the Cabins on Tranquility Lake. We will reserve all 10 cabins and runners may rent them for the race weekend. We will be able to use the lodge building at the cabins for the prerace meeting and as the aid station. There will be one additional change for 2017. We hope to have the Blood Rock 100 Mile Endurance Trail Race at Oak Mountain. We will need approval from OMSP but we are hopeful. The dates for 2017 are not set.
The following is a turn by turn description of the course at Oak Mtn State Park. As I said, until I actually measure it, this is just my best guess!
The race will start at Redbud Pavilion at 6:30 AM with a loop around the BMX track then take a left on the “Chimney Trail” to the “Dog Cat Snake Trail” and over to the North Trail Head (NTH.) From the NTH, runners will cross Findley Dr. through the NTH parking lot, then take the trail back to the campground. Runners will go through the campground and cross over to the northwest side of Oak Mountain Lake. They will then following the trail along the shoreline, cross the spillway and continue heading northeast along the lake shore on the gravel road. At the end of the gravel road, enter the paved road and continue straight ahead, past the north toll-booth, and along the road across Lunker Lake Dam. (3.68 Miles)
From there the course follows Findley Drive about 1 mile back south to an old roadway that turns off to the left along a small creek. This trail starts at the small parking area with just enough room for two or three cars. This parking area is 0.4 miles north of the North Trail Head. This will be the location of Aid Station 1, Findley Dr Cutoff AS. See the GPS Map and Elevation Profile Below. Leave the aid station on the "Far End Back Trail." The trail follows the creek to a fork where two small creeks merge. Runners cross the creek and angle left following the creek upstream through an old quarry cut. Just before reaching the spot where the creek comes down the mountain directly in front of you, makes a right and go straight up the mountain paralleling the creek. (Do not cross the creek.) Continue uphill through a very rocky area covered in boulders to the base of the cliffs. The trail climbs through the rock band to the left side of the cliff face, then angles to the right over steep terrain, up to the crest. The course follows the ridge crest heading southwest to a shoulder near the end of the ridge. The trail turns left across the shoulder (or gap) over to the next ridgeline to your left and continues to the Eagle Nest Overlook Trail. Follow the trail along the crest, then down the hill to the left connecting into the Blue Trail. Go left on blue up the hill to the ridge and continue left on the Kings Chair Trail. At the top of the eastern most ridge, where the Kings Chair Trail turns left, go over the ridge and right along the back side of the ridgeline.
This is where things start to get interesting. This is also where the trails become much more difficult to run. The next 3 miles are on unimproved park trails. They receive very light use and are not leveled or maintained. The old road down the back side of the mountain is even more difficult to run. In places, the trial down the back side is little more than animal trials. Many runners will need to walk much of this 3 mile section. Trekking poles will come in very handy in areas. I will spend considerable time raking and clearing limbs and debris and the route will be well marked. Just be prepared.
Runners will follow the east ridge of Double Oak Mountain on faint trails staying just to the west side of the ridge and at places, on top of the ridge. Runners will be following the trail called the "Rim Walk East Trail." Continue over two hills and watch for where the trail climbs through the rock band to your left. Climb over the ridge crest and continue along the east side of the ridge. The trail will drop sharply downhill through large boulders to a small creek crossing very close to a park boundary market. After crossing the creek angle slightly to the right and climb straight up the hill on a very steep, rocky trail. This section will be much easier to negotiate if you have trekking poles.
As you approach the ridge, look up to your right to see the rather imposing stone figure looming above. Continue up steep terrain to the the rocky crest of the ridge then angle left. Do not cross over the ridge. Continue along easy ground for several 100 yards to where the trial angles to the left and drops downhill on an old wagon road. If you look carefully you can still see the parallel ruts of the road. After about 200 yards the trail makes a sharp left turn and continues down the mountain for about 1/4 mile. Just before reaching an old fence at the park boundary, make a sharp right turn and traverse along a series of rock shelves. Eventually the trail drops sharply downhill through a rock band, turning left then back right. Watch for the old wagon wheel rim and bearing case as the trails levels out. Continue to where the trial again turns left through another rocky area and continues downhill to an old sunken road.
Go right on the old road and continue until you see another fence and park boundary sign and follow the trail off to the right. Cross a small creek and follow the trail up the back side of the east ridge of Double Oak Mountain. At the top, turn left along the ridge to an overlook where the trial leaves the ridge to the right and connects back into the Blue Trail. Go right on the Blue Trial to the South Red/Blue Connector and head downhill to the Red Bike Road and turn right. Continue downhill on the bike trail to the North Red/Blue Connector and climb up to the Blue Trial. Follow the Blue Trial back to the North Trial Head. There will be a water and Tailwind aid station here and maybe a few basic supplies. There will also be someone to check runners in to be sure everyone got off the back side safely. From there follow the yellow trail all the way back to the Redbud Pavilion and Aid Station 3.
More to follow.
Package Pickup and Late Registration will be Friday Afternoon, 4:30 to 6:00 PM at Mountain High Outfitters store on Hwy 280 adjacent to Whole Foods in Cahaba Village on Hwy 280. Address - 2800 Cahaba Village Plaza Suite 250, Birmingham, AL 3524. There will also be Packet Pickup before the race start at Redbud Pavilion beginning about 5:45 AM. Race Start is 6:30 AM Map to Race Start at Redbud Pavilion - Oak Mtn State Park - from Mountain High Outfitters store on Hwy 280: Tranquility Lake Start
GPS Coordinates to Start: 33.349150 -86.729034
Blood Rock 50 Miles, 50K and 25K Trail Races - November 19 - 6:30 AM Start
Our Sponsors Make the Southeastern Trial Series Possible
Registration opens June 1st
Tentative Course for the Blood Rock 50/50
The course will not be finalized until measured.
Mile 5 to mile 13.3 of the Blood Rock 50 Course - 2,300 ft of Elevation Gain.
GPS Map of mile 5 to mile 13.3