Set for its second annual running along the single-track trails and forest roads that wind through the pine trees of the Michaux State Forest here in central southern Pennsylvania, just a short drive from the historic Civil War battlefield where Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg address, Fayetteville's Michaux Half and Full Trail Marathon takes runners on out-and-back loop route through gorgeous forests and challenging terrain.
Both races start at the southern end of Long Pine Run Reservoir, which lies just a few miles east of Fayetteville, through Caledonia State Park inside the Michaux State Forest, whose more than 85,000 acres have served as a place where botanists and naturalists have studied plants and trees quite literally for hundreds of years, dating all the way back to the French botanist Andres Michaux, for whom the forest is named and who visited here in the 1780s to gather trees, shrubs and flowers for the monarchs of France.
From the starting line near the reservoir, runners head out onto a 13.1-mile route that makes roughly a counter-clockwise loop through the forest (those running the full marathon, which makes its debut at the race's 2011 running, will make two loops around the course). Along the way, runners can expect plenty of challenging uphill and downhill runs as well as trees, twigs, rocks and perhaps even muddy sections along the single- and double-track trails that snake through the forest.
Organizers note that there will be three water stations out on the course for runners to get some needed hydration, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't bring along a water bottle or two with you to ensure you stay hydrated during the race. The starting time for the race is 8:00 AM, and organizers plan to send runners off in waves separated by two-minute intervals. This scenic run through the northernmost hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is challenging, they stress, so runners should be prepared to scale some tough hills -- but they also offer beautifully scenic views once you reach the peak elevations.
Weather & Climate
Located just east of the Allegheny Mountains in central southern Pennsylvania, just over 50 miles southwest of Harrisburg and about 170 miles east of Pittsburgh, Fayetteville typically sees mild to warm and occasionally hot weather in June, when the town's average monthly temperatures range between 81°F and 58°F. On the day of the race (June 12), the average high is 80°F and the average low is 58°F, while rainfall totals average just over 3.9 inches for the month.
$45 for the half marathon, if registered by June 9, 2011
$55 on the day of the race
To reserve your spot in the late spring 2011 running of Fayetteville's Michaux Trail Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at Active.com
Half Marathon Course Map
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