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California > Cougar Trail Half Marathon
Escondido, CA  •  Sunday, May 26, 2013  •  Course Map


One of a series of San Diego-area trail running events organized by the locally-based Dirt Devil Racing -- which also includes the Wild Horse Trail and Foxy Run half marathons -- the Cougar Trail Half Marathon takes runners on a winding trail run through the San Pasqual Valley and the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, along a combination of dirt trails that are considered ideal for running.

The highlight of the race will be the climb up Cougar Mountain, which rises some 350 feet from the San Pasqual Valley floor, which runners will make their way through for most of the race leading up to the climb. The half marathon starts near the intersection of Bandy Canyon Road and San Pasqual Valley Road (Highway 78), where runners will meet and cross the starting in the trail head parking lot area.

From there, the course heads west along the winding dirt trails through the valley, taking runners along about a 6 1/2-mile stretch of the San Pasqual Trail, which itself is part of a trail system that stretches from nearby Julian in the east all the way to Del Mar, just north of San Diego.

Runners make the climb up the northern side and down the southern side of Cougar Mountain and then hit the race turnaround point, which sends them back in the opposite direction back along the trail to climb the mountain a second time.

After that, runners descend the mountain and head back onto the trail, which roughly parallels Bandy Canyon Road in the last few miles of the race. They'll follow it all the way back to the finish line at the trail head parking lot. Runners will need to finish the race within three hours in order to be considered an official finisher in the race, as course support will end three hours after the start.

Scheduled starting time for the race is 7:00 AM, and organizers plan to limit the race to a maximum of 400 runners. Note: Runners are required to bring with them a water bottle (at least 12 ounces) on the trail -- this helps eliminate the need for paper water cups and lighten the impact on the environment inside the park.

Race Weather & Climate

Located near the San Pasqual Valley in Southern California, about 30 miles north of San Diego and roughly 100 miles southwest of Los Angeles, Escondido typically sees May temperatures that average between 77°F and 54°F, while rainfall totals average barely over a quarter of an inch for the month.

On the day of the race (May 26), the average high is 82°F and the average low is 57°F.

Course Map

View the race route map for the Cougar Trail Half Marathon


$55 for the half marathon, if registered before March 1, 2013
$65 between March 1 - 31
$75 on April 1 and after


To reserve your spot in the late spring 2013 running of Escondido's Cougar Run Half Marathon or 5K 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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