Mayapple Trail Runs is back for 10th year

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Runners are invited to register for the 10th Mayapple Trail Runs to be held Saturday, May 11, in the South Mountain Reservation. The races are organized by the volunteers of the South Mountain Conservancy with the support of the Essex County Parks Department. The USA Track and Field-sanctioned 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, respectively. All proceeds support the mission of the conservancy as a steward and advocate for the park and its public programs. Visit www.somocon.org for more information and Ultrasignup.com to register.

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 on the east loop two, quarter-mile stretches of pavement and a water crossing. 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. Aid stations are positioned approximately every five miles on the east and west loops. To download a course map, click here.

The 50K and 100K runners start at 6 a.m. with the east loop, and continue alternating loops. Ten- and 20-milers start at 9 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 cutoff time for all races is 9 p.m. at Locust Grove, and somewhat earlier for the aid stations.

The parking space available at Locust Grove is limited. It is strongly recommended that cars be parked across Glen Avenue at the lots between the First Aid Station and the Millburn Library. Cars irregularly parked at Locust Grove will be ticketed.

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