The North Fork 50 Mie/50K is 100% trails, mainly single track and some double track, in the beautiful Buffalo Creek Recreation Area in the Pike National Forest, near Pine, Colorado, in the mountains about 40 miles southwest of Denver. Proceeds of the race benefit the North Fork Volunteer Fire Department, which protects this scenic area, and Conifer StageDoor theater..
The course is a loop, plus an out-and-back section in the 50 Mile, starting and finishing along the rushing North Fork of the South Platte River in beautiful Pine Valley Ranch Park. The course is mostly in pine forest, but it also includes parts of the areas burned in the 1996 Buffalo Creek fire and 2000 High Meadows fire, both of which the North Fork Fire Department helped to fight. The altitude is 6,700 to 8,100 feet in the 50K and 6,700 to 8,400 feet in the 50 Mile. The 50K has about 4,800 feet of climb, and the 50 Mile about 7,500. Although the course is very challenging for those who do not regularly run mountain trails, speedsters used to altitude will find the course quite runnable. And the friendly aid stations, beautiful scenery and liberal time cutoffs make North Fork an excellent choice for a first trail ultramarathon. Complete race, course and lodging information can be found on the race website (click the red "i" icon above).
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