aurora 10/20

10-miler & 20-Miler

@ Lost Maples state natural area: Vanderpool, TX

Saturday, May 18, 2019

20-Miler
95.00
Register
10-Miler
70.00
Register

race day schedule

Race Day Activities Start Time
20-Miler 6:30 am
10-Miler 7:30 am
Brunchfast 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

race information

The start/finish line is at the day use picnic area located at the northeast terminus of the main park road. It is about .65 miles from the park campground to the start/finish.

There is ample parking at the day use area. In the event parking fills at the day use area, there is an overflow parking lot on the left hand side of the main road just before the main road crosses the Sabinal River.

No pacers allowed.

Every racer must start with a water carrier. You must either have at least one handheld water bottle or a hydration vest/hydration pack.

Our course preview and orienteering brief will be at 5:00 pm Friday, May 17.

Race Distance Racer Check-In Race Brief Race Start Race Cutoff
20-Miler Saturday 5:45 - 6:30 am 6:15 am 6:30 am 12:30 PM (6 hours ~ 18:00/mile pace)
10-Miler Saturday 6:45 - 7:30 am 7:15 am 7:30 am 12:30 PM (5 hours ~ 30:00/mile pace)
Sunrise @ 6:45 am Sunset @ 8:25 pm

race course

The race is run on a 10 mile loop course. The 10-Miler runs one lap of the course while the 20-Miler runs two laps of the course. This is a rugged, ever changing and vertically challenging race course. Do not underestimate the effort and skill required to compete in this race.

We have provided a sneak peak of the race course below. There is an interactive Strava route as well as an elevation profile. Study the interactive map. Clicking on the map image will take you to Strava and you do not need an account to view and interact with the map. *Pro tip: move your cursor along the elevation profile (in Strava) to follow a blue dot along the course.

We strongly encourage you to attend our course preview and introductory orienteering brief at at 5:00 pm on Friday night. If you can't be onsite Friday night, don't fret. We will provide a live orienteering seminar prior to the race and provide the recording for those who cannot watch live.

The course will have check points. At each check point, you will be responsible for grabbing a foreign coin, keeping it with you, and returning it (and your person) safely to the start/finish. Give us all your coins at the finish, and we will give you a finisher's time and finisher's swag in exchange. Those missing a coin will be given the option to go back on the course to get it or take a DNF. Gotta' keep you honest!

coins.jpg

Course Map

Click on the map to link to the interactive Strava route.

Click on the map to link to the interactive Strava route.

Course Description

The race starts at the day use picnic at the northeast terminus of the main park road. All racers will start heading north for on the East Trail following the Sabinal River. There are three river crossings but don’t worry, the river bares more resemblance to a creek and you are unlikely to get your feet wet.

At approximately 1.2 miles, the trail changes directions heading due west. This is the start of the first major climb. Look for this sign warning of the steep climb ahead!

 

From the start of the climb, follow the trail for about another .8 miles before looking for a side trail on the left that will take you to a scenic overlook marked as point of interest 3 on the TPWD’s trails map. Somewhere along this scenic overlook trail you will find the first of the checkpoints with coins you need to gather.

Once you’ve grabbed your coin (take only one coin), turn around and head back out to the East Trail. Take a left on the East Trail to resume your journey west on the East Trail. At approximately mile 3.4, you will begin a steep and long descent down to a large pond on Cann Creek. At the pond (~mile 3.7), you will take a right turn to pick up the West Trail.

Follow the West Trail for about 1 mile to the intersection with the West Loop Trail (total distance travelled now is ~4.8 miles). Follow the West Loop Trail in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Dealer’s choice! You will find the second checkpoints with coins you must retrieve on the West Loop Trail (take only one coin).

When you exit the West Trail Loop, take a right on the West Trail heading due south. At Primitive Campsite E, the West Trail turns due east. Continue following the West Trail until the intersection with the East-West Trail. You will find the third and final checkpoint (take only one coin) along the West Trail somewhere between Primitive Campsite D and the intersection with the East-West Trail. Follow the East-West trail to the right heading southeast.

The East-West Trail will eventually dump out on the park road. You follow the park road back into the Start/Finish area. As you make a left onto the main road heading back to the Start/Finish area, there is a small bit of single track you can follow if you wish to avoid the park road.


Location

Lost Maples State Natural Area

37221 F.M. 187 Vanderpool, TX 78885

 

Lodging and Camping

All racers are responsible for finding their own accommodations.

Camping is available in Lost Maples State Natural Area on a first come, first served basis. You can book reservations through the State Park Reservation System.

Additional lodging options are available in Vanderpool, TX. There are lodges, hotels, and Vacation Rental opportunities. A simple Google search will get you where you need to be!


race results

2019 Complete Results


course records

Race Distance Women's Record Men's Record
20-Miler TBD TBD
10-Miler TBD TBD

race photos

2019 Race Photos


RULES TO RUN BY:

 

  1. Every racer MUST have a water bottle or hydration vest. The distance between aid stations will never be more than 5 miles but there will only be water on the course so supplemental nutrition will be critical.

  2. We love dogs, cats, parakeets, and goldfish just as much as you, but they won't be allowed to join you on the race course.

  3. Pacers are not allowed for this race.

  4. You race swag is earned only by finishing your race. We have some amazing stuff we will be thrilled to send you home with...but only after you cross that finish line. And earn it!

  5. We can't give refunds or transfers. Once you purchase your race entry, we pay the land owners for your park pass, buy your t-shirt or hat, pay the insurance company,  pay the timing company and photographer,  and on. That said, we're still very reasonable people and want to help you out. If you write a compelling request, we'll give you a discount to a future race.

  6. No cutting the course (ie CHEATING). Some days just aren't your day to race well. Realizing and respecting that bad race day by dropping out is WAY cooler than getting caught cheating. Oh, and if (when) we catch you, you will be asked to not race with us again. Ever.

  7. We prefer you run without them, but if you're going to wear headphones, use only one earbud or turn it way down. You have to hear people trying to communicate with you. We have had a runner take off in the complete wrong direction just because she couldn't hear us screaming at her to stop. Her loss.

  8. Most of the trails are single track or very narrow, so get used to saying "ON YOUR LEFT" when you pass. It also never hurts to tell that person something encouraging like, "NICE JOB". And while you're on a kind streak, a big "THANK YOU" to the volunteers is golden and earns you an extra beer.

  9. If we have to postpone the race due to weather, we will push the race back to that afternoon or into the next day. We aren't afraid of a downpour, but we don't mess with lightning or hurricanes...or Sharknato.


 why is it named

"The aurora" ?

Aurora.jpg

This is not a typical trail race. Please allow us to explain. The Aurora 10/20 race is inspired by the Ross Sea Party (the lesser known half of Ernest Shackleton's famed 1914 Antarctic exploration mission known as the Endurance) and born out of our desire to help the trail runners we interact with hone their craft.

The Ross Sea Party was tasked to land on the southern edge of the Antarctic continent (at the Ross Sea) and make a series of supply drops that the main expedition would be able to consume as they made their Trans-Antarctic journey from the northern edge of the continent (The Weddell Sea) across the south pole and, ultimately, to the Ross Sea. Enduring unimaginable hardships and setbacks did not deter the members of the Ross Sea Party. They ultimately completed their mission, though it proved a futile effort in the end.

The entirety of the Endurance mission is a testament to human fortitude and our natural proclivity to explore and wander. We believe these inherent human traits of resilience, survival, exploration, and navigation should not be forgotten. That's why we created the Aurora 10/20 race. The Aurora race course will be unmarked and supplied only with water. But don't worry, we will arm you with a map and some basic navigation skills to help you find your way (should you chose to take our lessons).

Now, you might be thinking, "wait a minute, The Endurance is as famous for being a failure as it is for being one of the boldest expeditions in human history." This is true. For some of you, this adventure may be a great success and an experience of adventure and self-discovery. For others, this adventure may be a disaster. You may get lost, you may not find all your way points, or you may not even finish the race. Sometimes, that's the harsh reality we confront in the face of adventure. Just remember, every failure in life is an opportunity to learn and become a better version of yourself. Finally, the Aurora namesake is also a symbol of optimism. Keep in mind that despite the legendary hardship and failure of the Endurance mission, the Ross Sea Party mission was ultimately successful.

how it works

It’s much easier than it sounds! We promise. There is really only one main trial in Lost Maples State Natural Area and that’s what we are running the course on (the course includes the West Loop Trail and excludes the East-West Trail). You won’t need a detailed topographic map and you won’t (really) need a compass.

The first thing you need is a plan. Research the park, especially the trail system. Know the major landmarks and intersections. Know the names of the trails. Get comfortable looking at and reading maps. Know the key components of a map such as the compass, the legend, and the key.

On race day, you just need a basic trail map, a little intuition, and since for where you are in relation to major landmarks, like trial intersections, water bodies, campgrounds, etc. When you arrive at a trail intersection, take a quick moment to orient yourself. Take a look at your map, identify the intersection, and then choose the appropriate trail to follow. If your unsure of what to do, look for major landmark that may be present on the map. And remember, whatever you do, don’t be a lemming! You’re responsible for knowing the course and following and following the course. If you follow someone else and get lost, that’s on you.

The race is run on a 10 mile loop course. The 10-Miler runs one lap of the course while the 20-Miler runs two laps of the course. This is a rugged, ever changing and vertically challenging race course. Do not underestimate the effort and skill required to compete in this race.

We will not provide a course map until you arrive on sight. We strongly encourage you to attend our course preview and introductory orienteering brief at at 5:00 pm on Friday night. If you can't be onsite Friday night, don't fret. We will provide a live orienteering seminar prior to the race and provide the recording for those who cannot watch live.

will have check points. At each check point, you will be responsible for grabbing a foreign coin, keeping it with you, and returning safely to the start/finish. Give us all your coins at the finish, and we will give you a finisher's time and finisher's swag in exchange. Those missing a coin will be given the option to go back on the course to get it or take a DNF. Gotta' keep you honest!