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Third & Final Black Canyon Ultras Training Run – January 15, 2017

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One of my greatest joys this winter season has been the growth and participation at our Black Canyon Training Runs. I first set foot on the Black Canyon Trail back in 2010 after learning about this point to point mostly single track trail paralleling the Interstate 17 which runs North from Phoenix towards Flagstaff.

I didn’t know a whole lot about the trail other than it was known as a mountain bikers paradise. The first few runs on the trail were with my brother Nick, James Bonnett (on a bike at the time) and Boone Ebel. Over the course of several runs (and with very little map information available) we pieced together more than 60 68 miles of the trail.

Nick & Boone on one of the first runs we ever did on the BCT

Nick & Boone on one of the first runs we ever did on the BCT

It was always my dream to build an ultra on this classic course and the 100 kilometer distance seemed to be a perfect fit from the 69 highway down to the Anthem area. A chance meeting with Keith Jones, a Black Canyon Trail Coalition board member on one of those early runs helped facilitate the birth of the run.

The author & race director Jamil Coury scouting out the Black Canyon Trail

The author & race director Jamil Coury scouting out the Black Canyon Trail

Since almost no runner had been on the trail and knew where to go, I organized three training runs prior to the inaugural event in hopes that by race day at least some runners would be familiar with the course. The first few runs were small (maybe 20 people) but over time have grown up!

We’ve had between 80 and 90 runners join us for the first two training runs this winter and it is truly amazing to see the enthusiasm and enjoyment out of this trail. I don’t think a weekend goes by now without me catching someone posting on Facebook some photos or video from a recent training run on the Black Canyon Trail.

If you are curious about this amazing trail or looking for a long run, come out and join us for our final training run of the season Sunday, January 15, 2017. Meet at the Emery Henderson Trailhead and carpool up to Black Canyon City for a run along the final 24.5 mile section. If you only want to go part way, you can alternatively start or finish at Table Mesa Trailhead.

RSVP and coordinate carpools with this Facebook event: Facebook RSVP

Here are the nitty gritty details on the run:

We’ll be carpooling from the finish line of the run at Emery Henderson Traihead to the start of the run at Black Canyon City Trailhead.

Schedule: Please meet at the Emery Henderson Trailhead at 7:00am to carpool together up to the Black Canyon City Trailhead.

Cost: This is a completely free run and anyone who can run the distance is welcome to attend.

Aid: We may have aid along the route if we get someone to host an aid station. Aravaipa will supply the water and food, we just need someone to staff it. Aid if it happens will be at Table Mesa Road ~13 miles in.

Directions to Emery Henderson Trailhead (where we meet at 7am)
1. From Phoenix, head north on the I-17
2. Exit #232 towards New River
3. Head West (left) for 3.1 miles and turn right into Emery Henderson Trailhead

Directions from Emery Henderson to Black Canyon City Trailhead
1. Head back to I-17 and turn North
2. Go 10 miles and take exit #242 towards Black Canyon City
3. Turn left onto Velda Rose Road and go 0.2 miles
4. Turn right onto Old Black Canyon Hwy and immediately turn left onto Warner Road.
5. Follow Warner Road for 0.2 miles to the trailhead

Trail maps are below for those of you who would like to preview the route and / or carry a map:

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2017 Black Canyon 100K an Altra Golden Ticket Race

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We are pleased to announce that in conjunction with the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run that the 2017 Black Canyon 100K will again be part of the Altra Golden Ticket Race Series. Top runners will again be able to race their way into the 2018 Western States 100 which has already filled via their annual lottery earlier this month.

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The top two (2) female and top two (2) male finishers in each individual race in the Altra Golden Ticket Races will automatically qualify for entry into the 2017 Western States 100 event. In the case that the first, or second place participant is already in Western States (or decides to opt out), the automatic bid will slide to third place, fourth place, and subsequently down to fifth place as needed (no places below fifth will be accepted). Winners will receive their invitation via email and have two weeks from the qualifying race to complete the registration, including paying the entry fee.

Last year, Sage Canaday & Charlie Ware placed 1st and 2nd earning them spots in the 2016 Western States 100. For the women, it was Amy Sproston & Denise Bourassa who took home top honors.

Additionally, all runners completing the full 100K course in under 17 hours will qualify for the 2018 Western States 100 lottery to be held in December 2017.

Registration is still open but filling fast! There are currently just 95 spots remaining in the 400 runner field in the 100K distance. Don’t miss out on this classic Sonoran desert point to point gem of a course!

 

Black Canyon 100K is now a 2017 WS100 Qualifier

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We are pleased to announce the 3rd running of the Black Canyon 100K which will take place February 13, 2016 has officially been included in the qualifier list for the 2017 Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Runners wanting to use their Black Canyon 100K finish as a qualifier must finish in under 17 hours, although the overall race cutoff is set at 20 hours. This classic point to point race through desert arroyos and riparian canyons set beneath the Bradshaw Mountains north of Phoenix is quickly becoming a late winter classic in the Southwest trail running scene. Already known as a world class mountain biking destination, trail runners are now discovering the hidden gem that is the Black Canyon Trail.

2017 WS100 qualifying race 250w

Although a net downhill course, this is a beast of a course! The first half is fast and net downhill from the high desert grasslands near the old outpost town of Cordes to the start of the canyon section near Black Canyon City. From there, runners still have the majority of the race’s 7,000 feet of climbing ahead as they negotiate several (often flowing) canyon sections. On a hot desert afternoon, these precious waters offer a momentary reprieve from the relentless runnable climbing and descents. Throw in some technical, rocky sections in the last 20 miles (the oldest part of the built trail) and you have one challenging run.

The nature of the race very well mimics that of Western States with a net downhill course that features a middle section full of canyon crossings and a final quarter of the race which is quite runnable and fast.

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Last year, the Black Canyon 100K joined the Montrail Ultra Cup which offered two spots in the Western States 100 to the top two male & female finishers. Western States recently announced a new footwear sponsorship agreement for 2016, effectively ending the Montrail Ultra Cup this year. However, the races featured in last year’s Montrail Ultra Cup will now be included in a new series called “Golden Ticket Races”. The same two spots available last year will again go to the top two male & female finishers. They will then punch a ticket to the 2016 Western States 100 Mile.

2015 Black Canyon Ultras Crew Manual

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The crew manual is now up to date as of 2/9/2015 and available for download here: 2015 Black Canyon Ultras Crew Manual

Here is a copy of the manual:

_________________________________

Crew Manual
February 14, 2015

Crew Rules
Crewing is a privilege not a right at this race. We ask that you follow these simple rules to help keep our race safe and enjoyable for everyone. Breaking any of these rules may result in the disqualification of your runner.

  1. Crews are permitted ONLY at the following aid stations (plus the start & finish):
    -Antelope Creek Aid #1 (Mile 7.7)
    -Hidden Treasure Mine Aid #2 (Mile 12.9)
    -Bumble Bee Aid #3 (Mile 19.5)
    -Black Canyon City Aid #6 (Mile 37.9 / Mile 6.6 [50K])
    -Table Mesa Aid #8 (Mile 51.2 / 19.9 [50K])
  2. Crews must follow the instructions of the aid station captains and be respectful of aid station staff / volunteers.
  3. When arriving at the first 3 aid stations (Antelope Creek, Hidden Treasure Mine and Bumble Bee), park to the far right side of the road in the same direction of travel you have been going in (south). Do not make a U-Turn to park closer to the aid station on the opposite side of the road. We need to keep all cars on the West side of the road and in a single file line parked as far to the right of the road as possible. This will keep the road open for traffic, emergency vehicles and provide a safe and visible crossing for runners.
  4. SLOW down when approaching the first 3 aid stations (5 MPH). Runners WILL be crossing the road at ALL of these junctions. Please be aware of this when you see special event & caution signage on the roadway and follow direction from volunteers with traffic control vests.
  5. Please be self sufficient on race day. Aid station snacks and supplies are for runners only. You may fill your runner’s pack and bottles with ice and water from our aid station, but please ask the aid station captain first for assistance.

Greetings Crew!

We want to welcome you to the 2nd Annual Black Canyon Ultras! We’ve put together this crew manual to make your race day experience go as smooth as possible. This race has some great features for crews which should make taking care of your runner easy and fun. We will cover some basics of the course layout, which aid stations you can access, aid station directions, and ask that you follow our safety rules at aid stations. Each aid station does have an aid station captain who is ultimately in charge if there are any questions on race day.

The Black Canyon Ultras take place on approximately 62 miles of the Black Canyon Trail from north to south, paralleling the Interstate 17 freeway on a combination of single track and old jeep trail. The 100K race will start at Mayer High School in Spring Valley, AZ and finish at the Emery Henderson Trailhead in New River, AZ. Crews will travel down a series of dirt roads that crisscross the run course and the I-17 freeway to access aid stations. The dirt roads are accessible by passenger car, but please exercise caution on some of the washboard sections of trail. There is also one steep section after the first aid station. The 50k course simply picks up right in the middle of the 100k and follows the same course to the finish.

The first three aid stations after the start (Antelope Creek, Hidden Treasure Mine & Bumble Bee) are all located along sections of the BCT100K that cross the dirt road you will be driving on. We ask you exercise extreme caution as you approach these aid stations and look for signs and aid station volunteers who will be wearing traffic vests. IMPORTANT. We ask that all crew vehicles park as far to the right side of the road as you can and stay in that direction of travel. This will keep the road as clear as possible for other traffic and emergency vehicles on race day.

There are dining options in Black Canyon City near the Black Canyon City Aid Station as well as Anthem near the finish line. We’ll also have Freak Brothers Pizza cooking up wood fired pizzas at the finish line from 2pm to 1am. They accept cash or card and pizzas range from $8-11 each (meat, vegetarian, and vegan options available).

Let us know if you have any questions leading up to or on race day.

Sincerely,

Jamil Coury
jamil@aravaiparunning.com
(602) 361-7440

 

 

 

Crew Directions – 100K

Address of 100K Race Start
Mayer High School
17300 E. Mule Deer Drive
Spring Valley, AZ 86333

Directions to Start from Interstate 17 & Loop 101 Freeway in Phoenix, AZ
49.6 Miles | 42 Minutes
1. Head North on I-17 N for 46.1 Miles
2. Take Exit 262A for SR 69 North / Cordes Junction Road towards Prescott
3. Drive 3.1 Miles on SR 69 to Spring Lane and Turn Left
4. Drive 0.1 Miles and turn left onto Mule Deer Drive
5. Proceed to the end of the road and park in the parking lot adjacent to the high school track

Directions from Mayer High School (Mile 0) to Antelope Creek Aid #1 (Mile 7.7)
5.7 Miles | 20 Minutes
1. Head back to Spring Lane from the high school and turn left
2. Proceed 0.7 miles through town and turn left onto Duffers Drive
3. Drive 1.2 miles (road quickly turns to dirt) and turn left at a T-intersection onto Antelope Creek Road
4. Drive 2.8 miles to junction with Crown King Road and continue straight at junctions (small ghost town of Cordes is located here)
5. Continue 1.0 miles to Antelope Creek aid station located at the crossing with the Black Canyon Trail. Park on right side of road only.

Directions from Antelope Creek Aid #1 (Mile 7.7) to Hidden Treasure Mine Aid #2 (Mile 12.9)
3.2 Miles | 12 Minutes
1. Continue south on Crown King Road past aid station 1 for 1.9 miles. This section of road is steep and has some exposure. Pleas switch to a lower gear and exercise caution.
2. Turn left at “Y” junction and head towards Bumble Bee on dirt Forest Road
3. After 1.2 miles turn left onto Crown King Road / FR59 and look for aid station on your left at the Hidden Treasure Mine Trailhead.
4. Please park on the right side of the road only and watch for runners crossing the road.

Directions from Hidden Treasure Mine Aid #3 (Mile 12.9) to Bumble Bee Aid #3 (Mile 19.5)
5.3 Miles | 20 Minutes
1. Continue South on Crown King Road / FR59 for 5.3 Miles to aid station. You will pass through a residential area (Bumble Bee) around Mile 5.
2. The aid station itself is located off to the right side of the road approximately 0.1 miles before the bridge over Bumble Bee Creek.
3. Please park on the right side of the road only either well before or well after the narrow bridge crossing. Do not obstruct the bridge or park on the opposite (northbound) side of the road). There is a small clearing to park approximately 0.2 miles after the bridge on the right side of the road.

Directions from Bumble Bee Aid #3 (Mile 19.5) to Black Canyon City Aid #6 (Mile 37.9)
11.4 Miles | 26 Minutes
1. Continue South on Crown King Road / FR59 for 3.1 miles (cross over the Bumble Bee Creek bridge if you haven’t already)
2. Follow the pavement left at the junction with Maggie Mine Road and head up the windy road towards the I-17 freeway.
3. After 0.7 miles you will pass by the Gloriana Mine Trailhead which serves as the 4th aid station. Please slow down here, but DO NOT stop. This is NOT a crew accessible aid station so please do not stop at this trailhead.
4. Proceed another 0.7 miles to the I-17 South freeway entrance and head towards Phoenix.
5. After 6.1 miles take exit 242 towards Rock Springs / Black Canyon City
6.  Turn right at the stop sign onto Velda Road Road
7. Turn right at the next stop sign onto the Old Black Canyon Highway and then an immediate left onto Warner Road towards the Black Canyon City Trailhead.
8. Follow Warner Road for 0.3 miles to the trailhead and aid station. There is a restroom located at this trailhead. There are also dining options and a General Store in Rock Springs and some more options a couple miles north on the Old Black Canyon Highway in Black Canyon City as well as a gas station.

Directions from Black Canyon City Trailhead #6 (Mile 37.9) to Table Mesa Aid #8 (Mile 51.2)
10.0 Miles | 19 Minutes
1. Return to I-17 Freeway and head south towards Phoenix
2. Drive south for 6.0 miles and take exit 236 for Table Mesa Road
3. Continue 0.3 miles around curve and take first left onto Table Mesa Road (Do not cross over highway)
4. Continue 1.7 miles ahead to “Y” intersection and take the left fork staying on Table Mesa Road
5. Continue 1.4 miles until you reach the Table Mesa Trailhead. Park in the parking lot on the right side and watch for runners crossing the road.

Directions from Table Mesa Aid #8 (Mile 51.2) to Emery Henderson Trailhead (Finish)
10.1 Miles | 17 Minutes
1. Return 3.4 miles to I-17 Freeway via Table Mesa Road
2. Take I-17 South towards Phoenix for 4 miles
3. Take Exit 232 for New River Road and turn right.
4. Continue Southwest on New River Road for 3.1 miles to the Emery Henderson Tailhead on your right side.

Race Finish Location
Emery Henderson Trailhead
3.1 Miles West of I-17 Freeway exit 232 on New River Road
Crew Directions – 50K

Directions to 50K Race Start: Black Canyon Greyhound Park (from Phoenix)
1. Take exit 244 off the I-17 towards Coldwater Canyon Road/ Squaw Valley Road
2. Turn left onto Coldwater Canyon Road / Squaw Valley Road
3. Turn Right onto Maggie Mine Road
4. Follow Maggie Mine Road for 0.3 miles and Greyhound Park will be on the right

Directions from 50K Start to Black Canyon City Trailhead (Mile 6.6)
1. Take exit 242 off the I-17 towards Rock Springs / Black Canyon City
2.  Turn left at the stop sign onto Velda Road
3. Turn right at the next stop sign onto the Old Black Canyon Highway and then an immediate left onto Warner Road towards the Black Canyon City Trailhead
4. Follow Warner Road for 0.3 miles to the trailhead and aid station. There is a restroom located at this trailhead. There are also dining options and a General Store in Rock Springs and some more options a couple miles north on the Old Black Canyon Highway in Black Canyon City as well as a gas station.

Directions from Black Canyon City Trailhead (Mile 6.6) to Table Mesa Aid #8 (Mile 19.9)
10.0 Miles | 19 Minutes
1. Return to I-17 Freeway and head south towards Phoenix
2. Drive south for 6.0 miles and take exit 236 for Table Mesa Road
3. Continue 0.3 miles around curve and take first left onto Table Mesa Road (Do not cross over highway)
4. Continue 1.7 miles ahead to “Y” intersection and take the left fork staying on Table Mesa Road
5. Continue 1.4 miles until you reach the Table Mesa Trailhead. Park in the parking lot on the right side and watch for runners crossing the road.

Directions from Table Mesa Aid (Mile 19.9) to Emery Henderson Trailhead (Finish)
10.1 Miles | 17 Minutes
1. Return 3.4 miles to I-17 Freeway via Table Mesa Road
2. Take I-17 South towards Phoenix for 4 miles
3. Take Exit 232 for New River Road and turn right.
4. Continue Southwest on New River Road for 3.1 miles to the Emery Henderson Tailhead on your right side.

Race Finish Location
Emery Henderson Trailhead
3.1 Miles West of I-17 Freeway exit 232 on New River Road

Crew Directions – 18K

Directions to 18K Start: Table Mesa Road Trailhead (from Phoenix)
1. Take exit 236 off I-17 for Table Mesa Road
2. Turn left onto W Table Mesa Road
3. Turn right to stay on W Table Mesa Road
4. Continue 1.7 miles ahead to “Y” intersection and take the left fork staying on Table Mesa Road
5. Continue 1.4 miles until you reach the Table Mesa Trailhead. Park in the parking lot on the right side and watch for runners crossing the road.

Race Finish Location
Emery Henderson Trailhead
3.1 Miles West of I-17 Freeway exit 232 on New River Road

 

Other Race Information

Pacing
Pacing is permitted in the 100K starting at the Black Canyon City Aid Station at Mile 37.9 through the finish. Pacers may also start or switch out at Table Mesa Aid Station at mile 51.2. We ask that pacers be on foot and you only use one at a time. “Muling” or carrying of the runner’s equipment, food, water or other supplies is not permitted.

Race Day Tracking
We don’t yet have a race day tracking feature for runners out on the course. Please be patient when waiting for your runners. Our radio communications team is tracking all runners and we will do our best to inform crew members at an aid station of any situations that arise.

Restrooms on Course
We will have a “roaming” portable restroom on a trailer that will be mainly available at Antelope Creek Aid #1, Bumble Bee Aid #3 and Table Mesa Aid #8 at different parts of the day. There are also permanent restroom facilities at the start, Black Canyon City Aid #6 and the finish at Emery Henderson Trailhead.

Crew Food & Water
We ask that you bring your own food, water and other supplies for your personal use on race day. We will only be providing water, ice and food for our registered runners and pacers on race day. There is food available in Black Canyon City / Rock Springs, Anthem and at our finish line for purchase (we will have  wood fired pizza at the finish for purchase).

Cutoff Times
Runners must clear the following aid stations by the following times to continue on with the race:

1:30 PM – Gloriana Mine Cutoff (Mile 24.0)
3:30 PM – Soap Creek Cutoff (Mile 32.7)
5:30 PM – Black Canyon City Cutoff (Mile 37.9 / Mile 6.6)
8:30 PM – Cottonwood Gulch Aid Station (Mile 46.6 / Mile 15.3)
10:00 PM – Table Mesa Cutoff (Mile 51.2 / Mile 19.9)
12:00 AM  – Doe Spring Cutoff (Mile 58.7 / Mile 27.4)
1:00 AM – Final Cutoff at Emery Henderson Trailhead

Maps
Course maps may be downloaded and printed from our race website here: http://www.aravaiparunning.com/black-canyon/#course

2015 Montrail Ultra Cup Announced

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Ultracup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Montrail Ultra Cup 2015

Portland, Oregon – October 9, 2014 – Montrail and the Western States 100 are excited to announce the 2015 event line up for the Montrail Ultra Cup. The challenging six (6) event line-up will include two (2) new events and only one race below the 100k distance.

The top two (2) female and top two (2) male finishers in each individual Ultra Cup Series event will automatically qualify for entry into the Western States 100 event. In the case that the first, or second place participant is already in Western States (or decides to opt out), the automatic bid will slide to third place, fourth place, and subsequently down to fifth place as needed (no places below fifth will be accepted).

Updated Official Rules, Participant Guidelines, Prize Structure and Registration will soon be available at ultracup.montrail.com.

2015 Schedule

Bandera 100k, 1/10/15

Sean O’Brien 100k, 2/7/15

Black Canyon 100k, 2/14/15

Gorge Waterfalls 100k, 3/28/15

Lake Sonoma 50 miler, 4/11/15

Western States 100, 6/27/15

 

Montrail