Two courses of varying sizes and challenges await the runners of the 2012 Ellicottville Ultra Trail Run at the Holiday Valley Mountain Sports Center.
The run will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 5, when runners competing on the 12-mile course take off. Those running the 4-mile course will begin at 9:30 a.m. Packet pickup is on race-day at 8 a.m.
Mark Lawrence, who runs www.heartrateup.com, which hosts numerous other outdoor athletic events throughout the year in Western New York, said in an email that the run usually draws about 250 people, who come from a variety of areas.
“We see entrants from more than six surrounding states; some elite, many regional and all strong-willed to toe the line,” he said.
Runners can register by visiting www.heartrateup.com, though race-day registration for the run is welcome and no one will be turned away. The entry fees are $30 for the 12-mile course and $25 for the four-mile run until July 28. After that, each fee will be $5 more. The first 200 entrants will receive T-shirts.
The four-mile course, according to www.heartrateup.com, will feature a 600-plus-foot elevation to the top of the first climb, as well as single track, rock gardens, and tight, twisty trails to and from the sports center. The 12-mile course promises to “satisfy your urge to push your system to the limit,” with its miles of manicured track, rock gardens, challenging climbs and descents and a few gravel road-recovery sections.
“Courses cover resort property and state land in an intermediate to advanced technical-difficulty level, with many hills and elevation changes,” Lawrence said.
Three water/energy stations, some of which are self-serve, will keep runners going, though Lawrence encourages runners to bring their own water bottles “just in case.” Clear course markings will “help make the EVL Ultra the race of the season for many,” the website states. The run, which is about 10 years old, also helps support the American Diabetes Association of Western New York.
The Mountain Sports Center will also host a post-race party that will feature lunch, door prizes and a disc jockey. Though shower facilities at Holiday Valley’s main lodge will be unavailable for this year’s run, plenty of hoses will be available for runners to spritz off.
The top overall male and female and masters male and female finishers in each distance will receive awards, as will the top three finishers of the following age groups in each distance: 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70-plus.
No matter the weather, according to Lawrence, runners are sure to show up, ready to take on miles of heart-pounding, sweat-inducing trails. He said that the run possesses “a vibe unique to any other event that highlights the beauty, challenge and remoteness of trail running.
“Rain or shine, it’s clearly one of the most challenging events of the year in a several-hour distance race,” he said.