Brutal. Beautiful. Two words that only begin to describe this event in the remote Midcoast area of Maine. It’s the only race to be held in the popular Camden Hills State Park and the 50K traverses over 90% of the trails of this gem with a minimum of overlap. The views along the course are stunning and even the speedy “contenders” will be tempted to stop and take them in.
But it’s not a race for the faint of heart. Neither is it well-suited for the first-time ultra runner. There are over 7600’ of elevation gain and the trails are steep with lots of rocks and roots. If you’re not going up or down, you’re probably off course. The cutoff time may seem generous at 10 hours, but this course will beat you up physically and mentally. And while it doesn’t have the 3000’ climbs of some of the races in the West, it has more overall vertical than most of those and would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any of them for the level of difficulty. We’ll wait to hear from our finishers before declaring it the toughest 50K of any particular area.
It’s not a circuit run multiple times and there are only 3 out-and-backs of 1.7 miles, .15 mile and .5 mile. There are 5 aid stations, two of which are hit twice for a total of 7. You’ll top all 6 of the significant peaks in the park (Battie, Bald Rock, Derry, Frohock, Cameron and Megunticook), experience numerous lookouts and cross an abundance of brooks and streams along the way.