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Indiana > Indian-Celina Challenge Marathon, Half Marathon & 8-Mile Run
Bristow, IN  •  Saturday, June 14, 2014  •  Course Map

More than 4,400 feet of overall elevation gain over its 13.1-mile loop course is just part of what makes the Indian-Celina Challenge trail races here in the Hoosier National Forest of southern Indiana perhaps "Indiana's toughest race of its kind, according to the race officials at RunPerryCounty, which organizes the race.

Rocky trails with tree roots and rocks litter the trails, creating an obstacle course nearly every step of the way. Why run this race? The beautiful scenery includes two lakes, the Indian and the Celina and a forested trail that is nearly 95% shaded. Wildlife including deer, turkey, quail, and various songbirds can easily be spotted throughout the course -- and runners will get to know they've accomplished one of the toughest courses anywhere in the Midwest.

In 2011, the event saw 130 runners cross the finish line in all three race distances combined, and race directors have capped this year's race to 175 entrants. Be sure to register early as it is expected to sell out. Trail races are growing in popularity and highly technical ones like the Indian-Celina tend to draw serious athletes.

For runners in the half marathon, the race is a single loop course that takes runners over the trails that are around the perimeters of the two lakes. Runners begin the race by racing around Lake Celina and make their way around to Indian Lake before returning to the finish line. (For those running the full marathon, they'll make a second loop around the same course to complete 26.2 miles.)

The first 4 miles are a series of hills that runners drop as low as 500 feet in elevation and climb to as high as 700 feet. This is only a small taste of what is to come in the next miles, however, as runners climb large looping hills in miles 5 and 6. The course rises and falls repeatedly and there are very few spots that runners are actually racing flat.

At mile 6, runners will begin to descend 300 feet over the course of a mile. As soon as they reach the bottom near the the 7th mile marker, they experience another round of smaller rolling hills. Between miles 8 through 10, fatigued runners will get no respite.

Next, three huge hills full of rocky terrain have to be tackled within short succession of each other. The final big ascent is just past mile marker 10 where runners climb 450 feet for 1.5 miles. A slow series of rolling hills will finish out the final miles.

By Carissa Liebowitz, contributing writer for HalfMarathons.Net

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled along the western edge of the Hoosier National Forest in southern Indiana, roughly 70 miles west of Louisville, Ky., Bristow typically sees mild to moderately warm weather in June, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 37 degrees (in 1966) and as high as 100 degrees (in 1988).

June Avg. Day of Race Monthly Precip.
Low: 63°F Low: 63°F Rain: 4.14 in.
High: 84°F High: 84°F Snow: 0 in.

Course Map

See the course map for the Indian-Celina Challenge Half Marathon


See race website


To reserve your spot in the the late spring/early summer 2014 running of Bristow's Indian-Celina Challenge Marathon, Half Marathon or 8-Mile trail run, register online at GetMeRegistered.com.

Official Race Website


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