Saturday, May 5 is the date of the 2012 Run for Kids Challenge at Oak Mountain State Park here in Birmingham. The race will again feature the 12 Hour Challenge and the 50K Trail Races. In addition there will be a Trail Running Festival for those that do not feel they are quite up to 32 miles. Festival runners will be able to select the distance they wish to attempt, whether it is one lap of the 3.2 mile trail, two laps or 9 laps. If they want to run 10 laps, that is fine but we will enter them in the 50K. Festival runners will have full access to all aid station supplies as they would if they were entered in the longer races. The idea is to allow 5K and 10K road runners or any runners to get a taste of trail running and ultra running without the commitment required to run even a short ultra. Register at Ultrasignup.com or there is a printable form on the website.
The 12 Hour and 50K runs will start at 7:00AM Saturday and the Festival Run will begin at 8:00 AM. The start/finish will be on the paved road in front of the Cedar Pavilion at the far south end of Double Oak Lake, the swimming and canoeing lake at the park. The run will follow a short stretch of paved road before entering a wooded section of trail, then along a walking path to the beach area. Runners will then cross the beach, run through the terrace area and follow the contour of the lake to the canoe rental area. From there, runners cross another short section of road, over part of the lake before entering the Lake Trail, the new single track beginner bike path around the back side of Double Oak Lake. The trail is very runnable with no technical sections and very gentle hills. The trail winds around the lake for about a mile before crossing a foot bridge over the spillway, then runs along the top of the dam before heading back into the woods. The trail then follows the contour of the terrain as it snakes its way back to the aid station at the start/finish area. Here are a few shots of the lake and trail.
If you live anywhere in the north central Alabama or even western Georgia consider driving over for the race. With a 7:00 AM start, it would be easy to drove in from Atlanta or Chattanooga, especially considering you would gain an hour. We will have race day registration although there will likely be no shirts available. If you want a nice, technical shirt (I am purchasing the same shirts used for the Lookout Mountain 50 Mile race in December) then register in advance.