Kirkwood’s Thunder Mountain Trail Challenge

Date:Saturday, July 22, 2023
Location:Kirkwood Mountain Ski Resort
Red Cliffs Day Lodge
1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive
Kirkwood, CA 95646
Race Distances:50K, Marathon, 30K, Half Marathon, 8 Mile, 10K, 5K
Start Time:7:00 AM
Overall Cut-Off Times:5K – 2 Hour
10K – 3 Hours
8 Mile – 4 Hours
Half Marathon – 5 Hours
30K – 8 Hours
50K – 12 Hours

About the Race

This course is extremely challenging. The course starts at Kirkwood’s Red Cliffs Day Lodge and runs on pavement for around 0.2 miles leading to a single track trail, then from there it is all single track going up. If you like the High Sierra and are into an incredible challenge, please come and play on Thunder Mountain. You will absolutely love this new event.

Troy

REGISTRATION

DISTANCE BY 4/22/23BY 6/30/23ONLINE 7/1/23
THROUGH 7/21/23
IN PERSON 7/22/23
RACE DAY REGISTRATION
5K$50$55$60$65
10K$65$70$75$80
8 Mile$70$75$80$85
Half Marathon$80$85$90$95
30K$100$105$110$115
Marathon$125$130$135$140
50K$130$135$140$145
Prices do not include UltraSignup.com processing fees
  • Active military receive a 15% discount. Please e-mail team@tctruns.com to process your military registration discount.
  • Entry fees are non-refundable, but the full registration amount (minus processing fees) may be transferred to another future TCT Run by contacting team@tctruns.com at least 24 hours before the scheduled event.
  • Runners may purchase a Troy’s California Trail Runs sport-tek technical fabric shirt for $15 during the registration process, or at the event supply permitting.  All shirts are gender-specific and come in sizes ranging from ladies XS all the way to mens XXL.
REGISTER
ONLINE
Online registration is available through the evening before the race.
REGISTER
AT RACE
Race day registration is available beginning at 6:00 AM.
VOLUNTEER
NOW
Volunteers are needed to help with aid stations.
Everyone who helps out gets a free future race!

If interested, please email volunteer@tctruns.com.

Schedule

  • 6:00 AM: Runner check-in at the Kirkwood Red Cliffs Day Lodge (1501 Kirkwood Meadows Dr., Kirkwood, CA 95646)
  • 6:45 AM: Trail briefing
  • 7:00 AM: Race start for all distances.

Course/Race Information

Race starts at the Kirkwood Red Cliffs Day Lodge, 7800 feet in elevation, and some of the distances will go up to about 9500 feet. Overall time limit: 12 Hours.

Bib Colors:

  • 50K, Marathon, 30K – Yellow bibs
  • 13.1 mile – Red bibs
  • 8 mile, 10K, and 5K – Black bibs

RACE MAPS, AID STATIONS, AND COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

5K (9:00am overall cutoff, 2 Hour Time Limit)

5K COURSE MAP

Out and Back, will hit a water stop twice. Follow orange ribbons, turnaround at green ribbons.

10K (10:00am overall cutoff, 3 Hour Time Limit)

10K COURSE MAP

Out and Back, will hit a water stop twice. Follow orange ribbons, turnaround at blue ribbons.

8 MILE (11:00am overall cutoff, 3 Hour Time Limit)

8 Mile Course is an out & back following Orange Ribbons for 4 Miles to the Thunder Mountain Trailhead Aid Station. 8 Milers turn around there and return to the Start/Finish. (see half marathon map below-entire course if marked in orange on the map).

Start: Kirkwood Red Cliff Day Lodge
Mile 0.3: Water only.
Mile 4.0: Thunder Mountain Trailhead Aid Station – Full Aid Available
Mile 7.4: Water only.
Mile 8.0: Kirkwood Red Cliffs Day Lodge. Finish.

Half Marathon (12:00pm overall cutoff, 5 Hour Time Limit)

Half Marathon COURSE MAP

This course will hit the Thunder Mountain Aid Station twice and the water stop twice.
This course has three distinct out and back components, including a from and back to the Thunder Mountain Aid Station before returning to the Red Cliff Day Lodge Start/Finish as shown in the map below.
13 Mile Runners Start out Following ORANGE RIBBONS for 4 Miles over to the Thunder Mtn Trail Head parking lot Aid.
13 Mile Runners Turn Around at Aid Station & now do a Out & Back Section now following PINK RIBBONS back up the Thunder Mtn Trail for 2.5 Miles.
13 Milers Run up the Thunder Mtn Trail Turning Around at RED RIBBONS & 13 Mile Turn Around SIGNS.
13 Milers Turn Around at Red Ribbons & follow PINK RIBBONS for 2.5 Miles Returning back down to the Thunder Mtn Trail Head parking lot Aid Station.
13 Milers Turn Around at the Thunder Mtn Trail Head parking lot Aid Station & now Return directly to the FINISH Following ORANGE RIBBONS for 4 Miles.

30K (3:00pm overall cutoff, 8 Hour Time Limit)

30K / 18.8M COURSE MAP

This course will complete a full loop and upon arrival at Kirkwood’s Red Cliff Day Lodge (Aid and Toilets available. This course will complete the 5K out and back.

30K Aid Stations

  • Thunder Mtn Trail Head Aid station (Encountered at mile 4)
  • Kirkwood Red Cliffs Day Lodge Start / Finish / aid location. (Encountered at miles 15.6, and 18.7)
  • Two Water Stops (Encountered at miles 0.3, 16.3, and 18.5)

30K cut-off times

30K time limit 12 hours (7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.)
Start: Kirkwood Red Cliffs Day Lodge
Mile 0.3: Water only.
Mile 4.0: Thunder Mountain Trailhead aid station. Full aid.
Mile 8.7: Trail Junction. Water only.
Mile 15.6: Kirkwood Red Cliffs Day Lodge. Full aid.
Mile 16.3: Water only.
Mile 18.5: Water only.
Mile 18.8 (3:00 pm cutoff): Kirkwood Red Cliffs Day Lodge. Finish.

50K (7:00pm overall cutoff, 12 Hour Time Limit)

50K COURSE MAP

This course will complete a counter-clockwise full loop and upon arrival at the Kirkwood Red Cliffs Day Lodge (aid available), turnaround, and repeat the course in a clockwise direction.

50K Aid Stations

  • Thunder Mtn Trail Head aid station (Encountered at miles 4.0 and 27.2, drop bag location for 50K Runners)
  • Kirkwood Red Cliff Day Lodge Start / Finish / aid location. (Encountered at miles 0, 15.6, and 31.3)
  • Two Water Stops (Encountered at miles 0.3, 8.7, 22.6 and 30.9)

50K cut-off times

50K time limit 12 hours (7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.)
Start: Kirkwood Red Cliff Day Lodge
Mile 0.3: Water only.
Mile 4.0 (9:00 am cutoff): Thunder Mountain Trailhead aid station. Full aid. 50 km drop bags available.
Mile 8.7: Trail Junction. Water only.
Mile 15.6 (1:00 pm cutoff): Kirkwood Red Cliff Day Lodge. Full aid. 50 km drop bags available. 50 km turns around.
Mile 22.6: Trail Junction. Water only.
Mile 27.2 (5:00 pm cutoff): Thunder Mountain Trailhead aid station. Full aid. 50 km drop bags available.
Mile 30.9: Water only.
Mile 31.3 (7:00 pm cutoff): Kirkwood Red Cliff Day Lodge. Finish.

Download GPX

Wet Feet Mileage

50k & 30k Runners at approximately mile 12. The creek must be used for part of the trail in this section for approximately 100 yards.

Attention this section of creek runs downhill & is slippery so please use CAUTION.

50k runners will encounter this creek again. 

Water Stops

  • All Distances 0.3 Miles out & from the Start/Finish Line.
  • Approximately at Mile 8 (30k & 50k)
  • Approximately at Mile 13.5 (30k & 50k)
  • Approximately at Mile 17.5 (50k)
  • Approximately at Mile 23 (50k)

Aid Stations

  • Thunder Mountain Trailhead Aid Station at Mile 4 (8 Mile, Half Marathon, 30k, 50k)
  • Thunder Mountain Trailhead Aid Station at Mile 9 (Half Marathon)
  • Red Cliffs Lodge Aid Station at Mile 15.5 (30k & 50k)
  • Thunder Mountain Trailhead Aid Station at Mile 27 (50k)
  • Red Cliffs Lodge (Start/Finish) Aid Station – Finish for All Distances

Weather

Alpine Summer, Highs – 90 degrees / Lows 54 degrees. Lots of potential heat and sun exposure. Weather in the High Sierra mountains can be extremely unpredictable.

Runners/Crew – Please have all types of clothing, rain gear, hats, and sunscreen.

Summer weather at high elevation may include but is not limited to: heat, cold, wind, snow, hail and even thunder/lightning (hence the name of the mountain). Please dress in layers and be prepared!

Be prepared for anything & everything, especially out on the trail & into the afternoon. 

Windy conditions are very common in this area of the High Sierras.

Many parts of the course are remote high altitude exposed sections along with the sun closer to us so be extremely prepared & cautious. 

Hats are ADVISED to protect the runners from the SUN & afternoon THUNDERSTORMS (possibility in this area).

Wildlife

Bears, mosquitoes, & others that can sting us are always a concern. Always be careful while out on the trails.

Awards

All runners receive a medal for finishing the race.

Results

Results are posted here after the race.

Drop Bags

Collection area at Kirkwood (Start/Finish Line). 50K Drop Bags will be available at two locations:

  • Red Cliffs Day Lodge – Start/Finish Line and at Mile 15.5
  • Thunder Mountain Aid Station at Miles 4 and 27.2

Directions, Crew Access, and Parking

All PARKING for Event will be in a dirt parking lot on your right just After the Kirkwood Lodge just before the entrance into the Red Cliffs Lodge.
Participants will be directed where to park.
Participants after parking please cross over wooden bridge at the backside of the parking lot, then walk over to Runner Check In inside of the Red Cliffs Lodge.

Directions leaving the the Start and Finish for the event:
Attention Crews – be very careful driving on Hwy 88. If you need to walk across Hwy 88 for any reason, use extreme Caution.

You will have access to the Thunder Mtn Trail Head Aid Station – Directions:
Turn Left West onto Hwy 88. Drive less then one mile the Thunder Mountain Trailhead Aid Station will be on your Left located in a dirt parking lot.

Returning to Kirkwood/Red Cliffs Day Lodge from Thunder Mountain Trailhead Aid Station, turn right onto Hwy 88. Drive less than one mile, turn right onto Kirkwood returning to the Red Cliffs Day Lodge.

Travel and Accommodations

Troy’s California Trail Runs is partnered with iWeekender to provide comprehensive travel packages that include accommodations, air travel, and rental cars.

Troy’s California Trail Runs has partnered with Vail Resorts’ Kirkwood Lodge to extend a discounted rate to runners for accommodations on the weekend of the race. These rates are subject to availability.

For Phone Reservations: Please call 855-332-1601 to make lodging reservations and use the group code: KG4KSU to receive the discount.

Please make reservations early.

Other lodging and camping information:

ATTENTION – NO CAMPING of any kind is ALLOWED in Kirkwood, but some campgrounds are available very close to Kirkwood.

TCTRuns is not affiliated with these operators, but they may be able to provide more economical or additional space when conditions are sold out.

Pyramid Peak Properties with options from studios to full multi-bedroom homes available in Kirkwood area. View options and availability on their website, and book in real time.

Kit Carson Lodge on Silver Lake, about 4 miles west of Kirkwood Resort, with rustic cabins and a restaurant.

Silver Lake West Campground, Silver Lake East-ElDorado Campground, Martin Meadow Campground

This race is made possible through partnerships with the following companies and organizations!

  • Kirkwood Resorts / Vail Resorts
  • De La Torre Radio Services
  • The Sample Guy
  • iWeekender
  • EMTs

More Info

Attention Runners & Crews no gasoline is available in Kirkwood, so please fill up if needed prior to getting up in the high country.

LIGHTS – Back up lights are always advised especially for the 30k 50k Runners in case you get off course.

Restrooms – Available in the morning & during the entirely of the event at Red Cliffs Day Lodge near Runner Check In & Start/Finish Line.

Food is available in Kirkwood, but very limited. Kirkwood does have a very small general store.

Phone reception for runners and crews:

  • Cell phone reception is great inside Kirkwood.
  • Cell phones work on the first 2.5 miles of the course on the Sentinels Trail leading up to the Thunder Mountain Trail.
  • For the runners out on the course, once gaining some elevation up on Thunder Mountain, cell phone service is good in lots of locations.
  • Cell phones work on some sections of the Thunder Mountain Trail up to the top.
  • No cell phone reception at the Thunder Mountain Aid Station, but if you hike up the trail a little, then you might be able to get some cell phone service.
  • 30k – Primarily No Cell phone service along the Horse Canyon Trail up in the Covered Wagon Peak area & down into the Pioneer Trail.
  • 30k & 50k Runners – Around Mile 14, once you get off of the dirt service road & are heading down the single track trail you should be able to get cell phone service again.
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