Willis River 50K or Less Fat Ass

Ring in the New Year with some training miles.  This race takes place January 5th, 2020 at 8am!  Runners run the Willis River Trail, a trail that runs through Bear Creek Lake State Park and Cumberland State Forest.  Runners have the option of completing a roughly  35k run or a 50k run.  Come out and get training miles.  The cost is free!  This is a Sunday race!


Runners begin at the Cumberland multi-use trail trailhead in Bear Creek Lake State Park.  After a short stretch (.2 miles) on this they turn left onto the Willis River Trail.  They follow this for roughly 6 miles until they come to the first aid station.  They have the option of turning around at this aid station.  Runners continue on from the aid station to the next aid station on Game Farm road.  This is the turnaround for everyone.  They then retrace their route back to the 21k aid station and back to the start.  Once at the start, they have completed roughly 35k.  If they want to complete a full 50k, they turn right onto the Willis River Trail from the start line and follow it down to Winston Lake.  This is the final turnaround and aid station.  They then return to the start.

**This is a rough course!  The trail does not see much use during the year and is also rerouted frequently by trail maintainers.  You must follow the white blazes and white engineer tape closely.  If you just put your head down and run you will probably run bonus miles.  There are also numerous river crossings.  It’s a winter run.  Accept that your feet will get wet and embrace the suck!


This is a Fat Ass.  Runners will bring goodies to share at the aid stations.  We supply water and basic first aid supplies.  If you want to eat something, bring it!  All goodies will be divided up and sent out to the aid stations.  The only bathrooms will be at the start/finish line.  Drop bags will be coordinated with volunteers at the start


There is an 8 hour time limit to complete the 50k.  Runners returning to the start line (35k) after 5 hours will not be allowed to complete the 50k.  If you head out on the backside of the course after 5 hours there is a good chance you will need a headlamp.  That’s why I don’t allow anyone to head out if they haven’t finished the 35k in 5 hours.  I had to go find someone last year.  I am not doing it again.


The Cost of the race is free.  I will provide runners with bibs, timing and water at the aid stations.  I will also have a portajohn at the start/finish.    So in return for that I ask you to bring a few things:

  1. The cost of parking in the park ($4 payable to the park upon arrival)
  2. Some food to share at the aid stations
  3. Consider making a donation to me to cover the cost of the race.  I do pay out of pocket for insurance, permit and portajohns.  If I can’t cover those costs it doesn’t make much sense to put the race on.


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