Yitka Winn September 25, 2013 TWEET COMMENTS 25

15 Fall Trail Races Under 15 Miles - Page 2


9. Moab Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and Kids' K

Moab, UT
Nov. 7, 2015

Courtesy of Danelle Ballengee

The Moab Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and Kid's K take place in Moab’s spectacular Kane Creek Canyon, where singletrack trails and slickrock routes go up, down and between the area’s imposing golden-red canyon walls, with views of the Colorado River.

The Moab Trail Marathon, which served as 2014’s USA Trail Marathon Championship, draws a competitive field, but that doesn’t mean it’s a speedy race. The well-marked course gets technical enough in places to be roped, so forget about your marathon PR and enjoy the view.



10. Diablo Trail Adventure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Family Hike
Walnut Creek, CA
Nov. 8, 2015


Put on by a partnership between Brazen Racing and Save Mount Diablo, an organization devoted to preserving open spaces on Mount Diablo and the surrounding foothills, the Diablo Trail Adventure races and family hike offer everyone from first-time trail runners to seasoned trail veterans the opportunity to enjoy these challenging courses. All race distances may include mud or creek crossings. Walkers, hikers and runners all welcome, with custom finisher medals and cotton or tech tees for all, and a plethora of age-group awards.



11. Dirty Duel 5K or 6K
Grand Rapids, MI
Nov. 14, 2015

Photo by Jamie Geysbeek, courtesy of Mark VanTongeren.

“3 dirty trail systems, 2 dueling courses, 1 tough decision,” says the Dirty Duel website. All runners begin together, then arrive at a fork in the first 100 yards and must decide which course to tackle—the “Long and Difficult 6K,” which takes place on lightning-fast singletrack, or the “Short and You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me 5K,” which is packed with challenging sand dunes, corn fields and off-trail scrambling. Says race director Mark VanTongeren, “Man-made obstacles get all the media attention these days but we want to demonstrate that trail running can offer natural obstacles superior to man-made versions.” Runners celebrate at the finish with homemade donuts and apple cider from the race course host, Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery.

Corn maze! Terry Johnston Photography, courtesy Red Bull.



12. Living History Farms 7-Mile
Urbandale, IA
Nov. 21, 2015

Photo courtesy of the Living History Farms race website

Now in its 37th year, the biggest cross-country race in North America promises to challenge its runners on “the world's richest farm land as you wade through creeks, dodge farm animals and claw your way to the top of gullies with 7500 (limit) other runners of questionable senses.” Crazy costumes abound on the supremely muddy course, complete with icy creek crossings and, in true Iowa style, heaps of cow manure. At the finish line, hot food and door prizes await. The terse FAQ section on the website features just five questions: “Will it be cold? Probably! Will I get wet? Probably! Will I get dirty? Probably! Do I need gloves? Yes! How far is it? 7 miles.” ‘Nuff said.



13. XTERRA Trail-Running World Championships
Oahu, HI
Dec. 6, 2015

Photo courtesy of XTERRA Photo

By the time December rolls around, it might be getting a little frosty where you live. Not so on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii! More than 2000 runners are expected to turn out for the capstone of the XTERRA Trail Run Series. Anyone can enter; there is no qualifying process for this World Championship, which boasts a $10,000 prize purse. Hosted at the stunning Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii on trails only accessible to the public during race weekend, the event offers a half marathon (the official Championship course) as well as a 10K, 5K and “adventure walk.”

Photo courtesy of XTERRA Photo



14. Backyard Burn 5-Mile and 10-Mile
Clifton, VA
Nov. 29, 2015

Cruising through the woods at Hemlock Overlook. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography

The Backyard Burn Trail Running Series takes place each spring and fall in five different parks in northern Virginia. The fall series begins with race #1 at Wakefield Park in Annandale, VA on Sept. 13 and concludes with the Nov. 29 race at Hemlock Overlook, Clifton, VA. The course at Hemlock Overlook is located along the banks of the historic Bull Run and feels surprisingly remote, given its proximity to Washington, DC. Be ready to scramble up plenty of rocks, roots, hills and stream crossings—and keep an eye out for deer, beaver, turkey, osprey and great blue heron. The Backyard Burn series allows runners to accrue points over multiple races to compete for age-group prizes. (Be aware: these races sell out fast!)

Splashing through a creek at another Backyard Burn Series race. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography



15. Thunderbird Moonlight 6K, 10K and Daylight Half Marathon
St. Francisville, LA
Dec. 2015 (TBA)


FORGE Racing, based out of Baton Rouge, puts on these epic races on an aptly-named trail called “The Beast” that twists, turns and features an elevation profile that race director Jeff Beck likens to “a heartbeat, it’s so erratic.” He adds, “People think that the South is all flat, but you’d be surprised.” In an effort to introduce as many runners to the joys of trail running as possible, FORGE focuses on injecting a lot of fun into this weekend of trail-running festivities. Runners camp out at the park and enjoy great food and music all evening, with home-brew kegs provided by Brenton Day, aka “The Ale Runner” of Running Monk Brewing Company. Because the moonlight 6K and 10K take place on Saturday evening and the daylight half marathon on Sunday morning, it is possible to do the “deuce” and complete both races.




Comment and let us know what your favorite fall races are!


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