Race - Jan 19, 2019
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 just inside the west 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 and Swiftmud Road for short sections, 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 0.25 miles from the road. Once you cross the creek, the trail narrows to twisting singletrack. This is the most technical part of the course with substantial roots and trees. After the 0.5-mile technical singletrack, the trail opens back up to grassy doubletrack for about 1 mile and leads back out to the road. Once you reach the end of the Creek Trail, you'll cross over Pump Station Road and onto Trail 2 (Southern Trail). This junction is 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. This is an area that is very popular among crew and spectators as you'll pass this area more frequently than any other part of the course. There will be a staffed aid station (AID 2) at this junction.
AID 2 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. AID 2 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 20 mile out and back. There is also a shuttle to and from the entrance/start/finish/AID 1.
Trail 2 (Southern Trail) Section
The Southern Trail is a lollipop course that will be run twice in each lap. You'll follow a wide corridor that is open and unshaded for for the first 1.5 miles. It is a crushed coral base with a grass in the middle and sides. AID 3 is located 1.5 miles from AID 2 and is where the trail diverts off to a grassy double wide trail that is a mix of shaded forest and palmetto clearings. It is the most remote part of the course so you may hear or encounter deer, especially at night. Once you leave AID 3, you have a 3-mile round-trip back to AID 3 and then a 1.5 mile trip back to AID 2. The southern trail is a total of 6 miles, and you run it twice each lap.
Trail 4 (Armadillo Alley) Section
Trail 4 which is a grassy sandy doubletrack trail through a typical Florida Oak/Pine/Cypress forest. The trail is relatively root free, and generally grassy in most areas. Don’t be surprised to see whitetail deer running through the sawgrass or armadillos scurrying around at your feet. This section of the trail is approximately 1.32 miles until you return to the north spur of pavement aka Swiftmud Road. You'll run on a brief stretch of pavement until the turn around near a utility building. This is the halfway point (10 miles), and you'll now run the course in reverse for a total lap mileage of 20 miles.