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California > Placerville's Historic El Dorado Trail Half Marathon, 10K & 5K
Placerville, CA  •  Saturday, May 19, 2012  •  Course Map


El Dorado, Spanish for "the golden one," is a legendary story that has made many transformations over time and is used metaphorically for any place where wealth may be found. El Dorado County is the home of Placerville, California where the Historic El Dorado Trail Half Marathon commemorates the discovery of gold in nearby Coloma, which prompted a boom in the mid-19th century. The El Dorado Trail itself includes portions of former rail corridors and Pony Express routes.

Runners in the half marathon will start their race on a portion of the trail approximately a half-mile west from Placerville Station, where runners in the 10K and 5K races will start. Runners will need to check in at Placerville Station and will be walked to the start line. As they begin the race, they'll will have an opportunity to check out Placerville's roughly seven-mile-long bike path as they follow the course along the El Dorado Trail and cross over Mosquito Road.

At the trail head, runners begin a gradual climb towards to the turnaround portion of the course -- all this climbing in the beginning will be great for runners trying to achieve a negative split. The course crosses a major roadway just before the first mile, which means runners will need to stay alert as auto traffic will be on the roads here. The first of five aid stations is located just past the first mile and a second one is around mile 2. Runners will need to be aware of another major road crossing around mile 2.5.

Hydration is available just past mile 2.5 and once again around 3.5 miles into the race. At this point, half marathoners will no longer see the 5K and 10K racers as they'll be heading back to the finish line. Those running 13.1 will continue on the paved path for another 1.5 miles until they reach the smooth dirt portion of the race. For the next 3.5 miles, the course unfolds along the dirt instead of pavement, taking runners to the turnaround point near U.S. Route 50. An aid station at around mile 5.5 will provide welcome relief, even though the trail is fairly shaded.

After the half marathoners reach the turnaround point, they begin to experience the downhill stretch back to the finish line. Runners will retrace their steps on the dirt path and meet up with the paved portion before mile marker 9. Thanks to the plentiful aid stations, the out-and-back course allows runners to never be too far from the next sip of water -- they'll also get to enjoy the convenience of finishing at Placerville Station, where there's plenty to do after the race.

The scheduled starting time for the half marathon is 8:30 AM, followed by the 10K at 8:35 and the 5K at 8:40.

By Carissa Liebowitz, contributing writer for HalfMarathons.Net

Race Weather & Climate

Placerville is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and typically experiences cold, wet winters and warm, dry summers. May tends to fall in the shoulder season of weather and runners can expect pleasant temperatures on race day. Highs average in the 70s and lows average in the 40s. Race day (May 19) averages are 69°F for the high and 44°F for the low. Precipitation in May is usually minimal.

Course Map

View the race route map for Placerville's Historic El Dorado Trail Half Marathon


$50 for the half marathon, if registered by May 18, 2012
$60 on the day of the race


To reserve your spot in the half marathon, 10K or 5K at Placerville's Historic El Dorado Trail race, register online at Active.com.

Official Race Website


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SEE ALSO: 12-, 16- and 20-Week Half Marathon Training Plans
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