New courses announced for 2018 SLO Ultra
New private access courses are set for the September 1 SLO Ultra & Dirt Festival Labor Day weekend on the California Central Coast. The third annual SLO Ultra races, produced by the Central Coast’s endurance sport leader Race SLO, sponsored by the City of San Luis Obispo and benefiting SLO County Parks, offers a 50K Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) State Trail Championship, cross country half marathon, 5K trail run and new kids race. All races will start and finish at the Dairy Creek Event Center in El Chorro Regional Park, offering exclusive access to private trails belonging to SLO County Parks, Cal Poly SLO, Miossi’s La Cuesta Ranch and Camp San Luis Obispo. Trail maps can be viewed at the SLO Ultra website.
All levels are welcome to run or hike these private trails made of golden hills, tree lined canyons and epic mountain top views of the Seven Sisters coastal range. The 50K course limit is 10 hours, roughly a 19:20 minutes per mile pace, on 60 percent fire roads and 40 percent single track trails, with 6,200 feet elevation gain, and offering 11 aid stations plus drop bags at mile 20. The half marathon is 70 percent fire road and 30 percent single track trail with six aid stations and 3,500 feet of gain. The 5K trail race is all fire roads with one aid station, and the kids race is within the golf course pathway so parents can supervise or join in the fun! All participants will receive a wood and leather finishers medal, race shirt, race photos, ample course aid-medical-directional support and a first-class finish line in the Race SLO Dirt Festival. Camping, BBQ, Lagunitas beer and live music is open to the public as well, making for a great way for the entire family to enjoy the holiday weekend.
“Our Race SLO team is stoked to partner with SLO County Parks in this new venue, providing new private trails, camping and a fun holiday weekend full of healthy outdoor activities for the entire family. Together with 1,000 guest athletes from all over the state we will raise much needed funds for developing and maintaining public open space with the Land Conservancy of SLO, Team RWB and SLO County Parks Department,” said Samantha Pruitt, Race SLO Founder & CEO.
The SLO Ultra will be held in conjunction with the sixth annual US Trail Running Conference, August 29-31, bringing industry leaders and professional trail runners to San Luis Obispo. Household names include founder and executive director of the American Trail Running Association Nancy Hobbs, executive director of the Council for Responsible Sport Keith Peters, Race Directors Tia Bodington, Paul Gigliotti, Jim Harman and Aaron Saft, and professional ultra runners & coaches Emily and Ian Torrence, Krissy Moehl, Megan Janssen and Peter Maksimow, among others. Register at www.ustrailrunningconference.com.
All day on September 1 during the SLO Ultra races, the Race SLO Dirt Festival is open to public and race participants for free, featuring vendors, live bluegrass music, athlete recovery lounge, hot BBQ, cold Lagunitas brew, non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of inspiration.
Camping is available in El Chorro Regional Park on a first-come-first-serve basis through SLO County Parks by calling (805) 781-5930 and selecting option four. Parking will be available for $5 in the park or at Cuesta College.
For more information and to register, please visit SLOUltra.com.