Charlie Horse Trail Half Marathon
ElevationAscent: 1,736' 529 m
Descent: -1,480' -451 m
High: 814' 248 m
Low: 204' 62 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 22% (13°)
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“A half marathon trail race not for the faint of heart along a challenging section of the Horse-Shoe Trail.”— Lex Luthor
Race - May 23, 2020
The trail then follows an abandoned road for about 0.5 miles to the second crossing of Hay Creek. The course then follows an abandoned canal for about 0.5 miles; then you cross the abandoned road for to start the climbing on mostly singletrack trail. You'll pass by beautiful Birdsboro Reservoir and continue to climb. To the first aid station at about 3 miles. Water, Gatorade and some light snacks are available.
The course continues the climbing to finally connect with the Horse-Shoe Trail and finally some descending. The trail will cross over a historic iron bridge or an abandoned rail line in the middle of the woods and pass through a barnyard to reach the second aid station at mile 7. The trail crosses Hay Creek Road and begins about a mile of some of the steepest climbing on the course on singletrack trail. This is followed by a fun, flowing downhill section to the 3rd aid station on Buck Hollow Road at about 8.8 miles in.
The course follows Buck Hollow Road for about 2.5 miles. The first mile of this section is a nice easy run on gently rolling hills; the last 1.5 miles is mostly climbing that gets increasingly steeper as you approach Rt 10. This is where the true fitness test begins. The trail crosses Rt 10 (the crossing is manned by local Fire Police) and another 0.5 miles of road leads you Charlie's property. Charlie was the founder of this race 22 years ago and still plays an active part in organizing the race.
The trail drops down to the fourth and final aid station before you start to experience the singletrack trails on Charlie's property. It begins easily enough with singletrack up Deer Tick Ridge. The trail then loops through some sections of trail that even in the driest years are filled with shoe-sucking mud. After 0.25 miles of that, you climb again to "The Rock Pile" for some rock hopping then a fun descent on switchback singletrack that drops you back onto the Horse-Shoe Trail for a final quick mile to the finish line at Sleepy Hollow. When you hear the music, you know you are near.
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