Runners are invited to register for the ninth Mayapple Trail Runs to be held on Saturday, May 19, 2018 in beautiful South Mountain Reservation in Essex County, N.J. Organized by the volunteers of the South Mountain Conservancy (SMC), with the support of the Essex County Parks Department, the races provide an informal but supportive trail race environment for runners who are up to the challenge of completing 10 or 20-mile distances, or ultra-marathons of 50 or 100 kilometers (31 and 62 miles).
All races start at the Locust Grove picnic area in Millburn. The course consists of a 10.5-mile east loop and 10.2-mile west loop through the forested 2,110-acre South Mountain Reservation. Following along the valley floor and the two ridges, the course includes long stretches of double-wide gravel roads, technically challenging, meandering single-track hiking trails with roots and rocks, and a short, half-mile stretch of pavement. It is a good combination of level paths, rolling hills, moderate climbs, and a few very steep ascents. The east and west loops total approximately 1,500 feet of ascent.
The 50K and 100K runners start at 6:00 a.m. with the east loop, and continue alternating loops. Ten and 20-milers start at 9:00 a.m. on the west loop. The 10-milers only run the west loop; the 20-milers continue on to the east loop which has some more rocky, technical trails. (The 9:00 a,m. start allows runners to travel on a 7:11 a.m. train from Penn Station, NYC, to Millburn on New Jersey Transit's Morris-Essex Line. The Millburn station is two blocks away from the Locust Grove starting point.)
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