It’s very rare for a first year race to sell out but that is exactly what the Blood Rock 50 did! The final race in the 2016 Southeastern Trail Series surprised us all by selling out by the end of September. In October, after talking things over with our local trail club, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society (B.U.T.S.) it was decided we could handle up to 300 runners so we opened registration again. Within a matter of days, the race was full again. The Southeastern Trial Series is a seven race series starting in April with a 3 & 6 mile race and ending in November with an ultra.
The Blood Rock 50 was actually three races, 50 miles, 50K and 25K. The runners in all three races got to enjoy the awesome backcountry section we call the “Outback.” Everyone had all the climbing a trail runner could ever want. The 50 mile had over 19,000 feet of elevation change, the 50K wasn’t far behind with over 14,000 feet of change and the 25K had 10,000 feet. We had some tired runners at the end of the day but after a beer and some of Logan Cook’s awesome food everyone was all smiles.
The 50K and 50 Mile started at 6:30 AM with 165 runners, the 25K began at 7:30 AM with another 130. Runners have an easy first mile along a park road to give everyone time to spread out before heading into the backcountry at Oak Mountain State Park. Five and one half miles of the first 10 miles is on unmaintained backcountry trails with over 4,000 ft. of elevation gain.
The Blood Rock 50 mile was also the RRCA State Ultra Championship Race. Our overall winners were Brandon Sullivan of Nashville, Tennessee and our own Lisa Booher from right here in Birmingham. The 50K winners were Mark McAlister from Sewanee, TN and Sarah Grappo also from Birmingham. Sarah is also this year’s Southeastern Trial Series Points Champion. The 25K race was won by Alec Hill also from Sewanee, Tennessee (must be something in the water in Sewanee) and the first woman was Natalia Pribytkova of Metairie, Louisiana.
Take a look at the finisher medal for the 50 Mile and 50K. I can’t wait to see what the 100 Mile buckle will look like!
If you plan to run the 2017 Blood Rock 100 or any of the other Blood Rock races, you had better register early. The race will be December 9th & 10th. You can find more details about the Blood Rock 50 and 100 Mile Trail Race at http://www.southeasterntrailruns.com/BloodRock.html
Pictures provided by: Charles McKenzie, Marye Jo Tosch, Suman Silwal (MRuns.com) Southeastern Trial Runs.