September 26

4) The Course


The fourth thing you should be aware of before registering for the Yellowstone Half is the course.Overview: This course is way (WAY!) prettier than the previous one, but it has more elevation gain. From mile 5-6.5 you gain 300 feet. It’s not as bad as it sounds, but it is definitely uphill. It’s worth it though because then you get this fast downhill next to the south fork river. It is incredible. There are sections around the midpoint of the course that are slightly technical. That just means there are significant rocks and uneven ground on the course. Its not a lot, but you need to be aware of it. Also, don’t forget there is a small hill at mile 10.5.

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Mile by Mile

Starting Line: We will be starting from the old airport. There is tons of parking and it is within easy walking distance from all the hotels on the south side of town. You can realistically walk from anywhere in town, its a small town, but its a really short walk from the south side hotels. Or you can drive. Again, there is plenty of parking at the starting line. Best part is the start and finish are at the same place.
First Mile: This section is in town and is flat. You will run away from the old airport and down Yellowstone Ave.
Second Mile: Also flat, but you will jump onto dirt at mile 1.1 and run the rest of the race off road. Depending on weather, there may be puddles.
Third Mile: The course turns back towards the starting line so you can get one last boost of support from friends and family as you pass near the starting line and head towards the hills.
Fourth Mile: Totally flat and straight.
Fifth Mile: This is where it starts to get pretty. You run over this spectacular bridge that crosses the South Fork Madison River, and really enter the forest.
Sixth Mile: This is the most challenging section. You will start running uphill and in the 6th mile you will gain about 200 feet in elevation. Thick forest on either side. If you have to use bear spray it will be in this section (just kidding, but not really).
Seventh Mile: This starts out uphill then flattens and finishes downhill. The course gets more technical here with some rocks and a less defined path. The course will be clearly marked, but those in the front will feel like you are running through some weeds.
Eighth Mile: Starts to be real fast down hill. Continues to be technical and weedy.
Ninth Mile: Fastest section, very downhill, but still a bit technical. However, at the end of this mile things flatten out as you join the South Fork Madison River and pass a beaver dam! So amazing. There are beautiful rocks on the left of you and a rolling river and trees on the right. All the work is so you get to experience this and it will be worth it.
Tenth Mile: Slightly downhill and incredibly beautiful next to the river.
Eleventh Mile: Still pretty, but there is a small hill that will feel big if you aren’t ready for it. Its only a 40-50 foot gain, but its later in the race.
Twelfth Mile: Final downhill and you get to cross over the bridge a second time on your way back. Its flat or slightly downhill at this point all the way until the end.
Thirteenth Mile: Same as Mile 12.
The best part of the course is that you will be less than a mile from the west park entrance. That is 32 miles from Old Faithful and 24 miles from the Grand Prismatic Spring.
For anyone who may have been expecting this race to take place inside the park, we are sorry if you feel mislead. We really try hard to be upfront with everyone regarding our races before anyone registers. While we work with the park service, we have yet to receive approval for a race inside park boundaries. We still think this race is going to be awesome, and we think you should include it as part of an awesome vacation to Yellowstone next June.


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