Course Details - updated for 2014
General Description & Map

Course Map

Course Profile (repeats for 100 mile) Quick View - Open in new window

50K Course Profile Quick View - Open in new window

GPX file of the course (right click and "Save As")

The course follows an out-back configuration for each of the distances. Entrants in the 100 will have the pleasure of repeating the 50. Total gain for the 50 mile is a little under 11k, doubled for the 100, and a comparable ratio for the 50k. Many of the climbs are runnable but unless you're looking to increase your suffering later on, be conservative as it'll add up in short order. As a general rule, if you don't think you'll run it on the return, don't run it on the way out.

Section 1 & 11 - Hope Lake Park to Hitching Post
50K - Section 1

Section: 6.3 miles - Map - Elevation

Cumulative Mileage: 1st loop: 6.3; 2nd loop: 57.1; 50K: 6.3

Breakdown: Section one is a bit strung out distance-wise and fairly steady in gradual climbing for about 5 miles. Most should carry more than 20 oz. The course in several places of this section unfortunately have been chewed up by motorcycles, horses, and logging, but there's also some nice singletrack forest. Enjoy those moments and just get through some of the muddy post holes.

Section 2 & 12 - Hitching Post to Cortland 9
50K - Section 2

Section: 4.7 miles - Map - Elevation

Cumulative Mileage: 1st loop: 11.0; 2nd loop: 61.8; 50K: 11.0

Breakdown: Section two is up and down with some of the most technical singletrack before and after AS#2. Make sure the headlamp has batteries and mind the trail and markers as there are more missable turns (not always other trails...just tougher-to-read forest) in this section than the rest of the course.

Section 3 & 13 - Cortland 9 to Hurt Locker
50K - Section 3

Section: 5.7 miles - Map - Elevation

Cumulative Mileage: 1st loop: 16.7; 2nd loop: 67.5; 50K: 16.7

Breakdown: Section three takes you into the Hurt Locker. It's not the longest stretch distance wise but the AS is aptly named as you'll have 3 of your toughest climbs and descents heading into and out of the Hurt Locker. Don't short-change nutrition or fluids. You'll be hiking the climbs and time-wise this will be one of your longest stretches. You'll also have solid sun exposure on Carson Road as well as the alpine slopes so if it's hot you'll be sucking down fluids (or at least you should be). The alpine section has come to define the toughness of Virgil. Be conservative, respect the climbs, don't short-change carrying fuel between Cortland 9 and the Hurt Locker and embrace the reason that you chose Virgil...that is, because it's one of the toughest courses in the country (or you're just local or loco :) ).

Section 4 & 14 - Hurt Locker to The Crux

Section: 4.0 miles - Map - Elevation

Cumulative Mileage: 1st loop: 20.7; 2nd loop: 71.5

Breakdown: The 50k will turn around at the Hurt Locker AS, 50M/100M entrants will start their journey to the Crux by going up and over the nastiest climb on the course, made up for a bit by it being the shortest stretch between AS's. If you haven't broken out trekking poles on the course yet, this would be the place to use them. My opinion would be to get some light collapsible ultra poles and stash them at Cortland 9. Pick them up to get through the Alpine Loop and drop them off at the Crux, taking them again for the return. The Crux is named as such because I feel the climb toward it, leaving the Hurt Locker, will break a good number of entrants. Those that push through will have made it through the roughest section...that is until the return. You'll get the shortest following the gnarliest climb on the course.

Section 5 & 15 - The Crux to The Rock Pile

Section: 4.7 miles - Map - Elevation

Cumulative Mileage: 1st loop: 25.4; 2nd loop: 76.2

Breakdown: For section 5 you'll be quickly rewarded (or punished depending on the state of your quads and considering you have to climb it coming back) by one of the longest descents which is relatively mild in grade and footing. Use it. You'll climb a bit after on a dirt road then be treated to some beautiful forest and singletrack headed into the turnaround at the Rock Pile.

Section 6 & 16 - Rock Pile to The Crux

Section: 4.7 miles - Map - Elevation

Cumulative Mileage: 1st loop: 30.1; 2nd loop: 80.9

Breakdown and Insight: Reverse Section 5.

Section 7 & 17 - The Crux to Hurt Locker

Section: 4.0 miles - Map - Elevation

Cumulative Mileage: 1st loop: 34.1; 2nd loop: 84.9

Breakdown and Insight: Reverse Section 4.

Section 8 & 18 - Hurt Locker to Cortland 9
50K - Section 4

Section: 5.7 miles - Map - Elevation

Cumulative Mileage: 1st loop: 39.8; 2nd loop: 90.6; 50K: 22.4

Elevation: 1830 foot gain, 1935 foot loss = 105 foot gain/loss

Breakdown and Insight: Reverse Section 3.

Section 9 & 19 - Cortland 9 to Hitching Post
50K - Section 5

Section: 4.7 miles - Map - Elevation

Cumulative Mileage: 1st loop: 44.5; 2nd loop: 95.3; 50K: 27.1

Breakdown and Insight: Reverse Section 2.

Section 10 & 20 - Hitching Post to Hope Lake Park
50K - Section 6

Section: 6.3 miles - Map - Elevation

Cumulative Mileage: 1st loop: 50.8; 2nd loop: 101.6; 50K: 33.4

Breakdown and Insight: Reverse Section 1.