Fort Clinch Endurance Runs

For those that are running the Fort Clinch 100 mile, 50 mile or 24 hour run you are in  for a fun course. I am just getting back into running so did not do a ton but did get a good feel for the trails and what you will be facing. First, nice job to Caleb Wilson, Race Director, for finding a really pretty area to hold an ultra-trail run. Second, an early thanks to the lead runner out as you will remove approximately 487 cobwebs for the rest of the runners 🙂

First, please be really safe (i.e. drive slowly) when you enter Fort Clinch as there are a lot of animals that want to live to see another day. I saw 5 deer just driving into the park! Note: click on the pics to enlarge and click the back button to go back to the post.

Let’s get to it! I love that the course reverses direction after each 10 mile loop as trails always look different when running it in reverse so it will keep you alert. The trail has some really fun undulating hills and what is GREAT is you will find that it is mostly shaded thanks to some beautiful oaks! This will be a savior when the temperature starts to hit in the high 80’s. It truly is a single track trail so you have to be alert as other runners will be coming at you and I also ran into 5 or 6 mountain bikers. With the quick turns on the trails this could be dangerous if you don’t stay focused. The course itself is not hard but I did eat dirt once due to a root that was covered by some leaves and landed on a root when taking a turn and twisted my ankle so keep those eyes down as to make it out unscaved!

There is a bit of soft sand but not much at all! From what I ran (note: I did not run the beach, boardwalk and a fishing pier part) the soft sand was sparse and when you do hit it many times you could jump to the right/left to run on a harder surface. Where you are not able to you will only have maybe 2-5 steps until you are out of it. My hips don’t do well in soft sand so this was a plus! There IS some nice rollers but NOTHING hard! Maybe 10-20 feet of elevation gain on each one but some parts you hit many in a row. They are easy to pop-up when you are fresh earlier in your mileage.

There was one part I was excited to run and it ended early. Why? A small black snake slithered across my feet and I ran back the way I came like a screaming baby. I should have known when I saw these signs AND the real thing (click on photo to enlarge)!! Oh, when I ran out of the trail a lady that saw me go in said, “You are done already?”  I told her I saw a snake (embarrassing!) and she said she just saw a diamond back rattler on the trail rolled up in the sun and she had to keep tossing things at it so she could keep going. Yea, I am a wimp!

All in all you will love this course and the company as the 35 participants will be passing each other throughout the day (and night for many). I will see you in 2 weeks!

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3 Responses to “Fort Clinch Endurance Runs”

  1. Ummmm… alligators? Squirrels frighten me. Mmmmmm… Diamond Backs? I run away from curvy sticks when they look like snakes. I would carry a taser if I were you! Really does look like a beautiful run though (if you look up)! Good luck to all of you doing the race! Run, run, run!

  2. Awesome PRE-race report! Thank you so much for the info. Not sure I like the rattlesnake idea while running all night there. I’ve never been bitten, but I think I allergic.

  3. Great report…can you scout out the Bear Chase and give me an update on that course? I’d like to know what kind of taser to buy.

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