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 @ government canyon state natural area, San Antonio, TX

February 9, 2019 (SATURDAY)

The Escarpment 50k
The Escarpment 25k

* This particular race will be capped at 200 racers, 100 in each distance.

about government canyon

Government Canyon State Natural Area straddles the Balcones Escarpment, giving it a unique blend of terrain ranging from Texas Hill Country to Texas Coastal Plains. The State of Texas preserved Government Canyon becasue of it's importance as a water catchment and recharge zone for the Edwards Aquifer, which supplies much of the drinking water for San Antonio and surrounding towns. The primary mission of the Natural Area is to preserve this vital water catchment and recharge zone and safegaurd the quality of the water that enters Edwards Aquifer.
The word escarpment refers to the margin between landforms. In the case of the Balcones Escaprment, it is the dividing line between the Texas Hill Country and the Texas Coastal Plain. The Balcones Escaprment is formed historically as the result of both the Balcones Fault Zone and, more recently, as the result of differential erosin between the more erosion resistant limestones prevalent west of the Escarpment and the less erosion resistant sedimentary rocks (such as clay) east of the Escarpment.

The 50k course will be compiled of 2 identical loops. 
Mile 2.8 = full aid station
Mile 8.1 = full aid station
Mile 13.9 = water/Tailwaind station
Mile 16.0 = start/finish  *can access drop-bags here
Mile 18.8 = full aid station
Mile 24.1 = full aid station
Mile 29.9 = water/Tailwind station
Mile 32 = finish line

The 25k course will be 1 single loop.
Mile 2.8 = full aid station
Mile 8.1 = full aid station
Mile 13.9 = water/Tailwaind station
Mile 16.0 = finish line

race schedule

Race Day Activities Start Time
50k 7:30 am
25k 8:30 am
Lunch & Awards 12:00 - 3:00 pm

Race information

No pacers allowed. Crew is allowed only at aid stations or start/finish line.
Every racer MUST start with a water carrier. You must either have at least one water bottle or a hydration vest/hydration pack.

Race Distance Racer Check-In Race Brief Race Start Race Cutoff
50k Saturday 6:15 - 7:15 am 7:15 am 7:30 am 5:30 PM (10 hours ~ 19:21/mile pace)
25K Saturday 7:15 - 8:15 am 8:15 am 8:30 am N/A
Sunrise @ 7:15 am Sunset @ 6:15 pm

race course

Both races start at the Park Headquarters. All runners will begin by running the Savannah Loop in the Front Country trail system. You'll break off the Savannah Loop and cut through the day use and camp access trails to the Recharge Trail. Your first aid opportunity is at the intersection of the Recharge Trail and Sendero Balcones. You'll turn right onto the Recharge Trail to head up Far Reaches.
Take Far Reaches to the intersection with Sendero Balcones where you'll turn left to come down Sendero Balcones until you hit the intersection with the Recharge Trail. This is your second opportunity for aid. Turn right onto the Recharge Trail from the aid station and take a right on the cut over trail to the Joe Johnston Route trail.
Head up the Joe Johnston Route Trail and turn right on the Wildcat Canyon Trail. Run up Wildcat Canyon to the intersection with Sendero Balcones. Turn left on Sendero Balcones and run up to the intersection with the Twin Oaks Trail. Take a left on Twin Oaks and run down to the intersection with the Joe Johnston Route Trail. You will have your third aid opportunity at the intersection of Twin Oaks and the Joe Johnston Route Trail. Continue down the Joe Johnston Route Trail to the main park road. Take a right to continue back to the start/finish.

50k and 25k course map and elevation profile

Click on the image to access an interactive Strava route.  *This route was created using Strava Route Builder. The actual course distance may vary slightly.

Click on the image to access an interactive Strava route.

*This route was created using Strava Route Builder. The actual course distance may vary slightly.


Government Canyon State Natural Area

12861 Galm Rd

San Antonio, Texas 78254

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course records

Race Distance Women's Record Men's Record
50k 5:55:40 - Claire Diemer (2019) 4:18:09 - Anthony Jacobs (2019)
25k 2:31:14 - Dawn McElvain (2019) 2:04:20 - Josh Beckham (2019)



  1. Every racer MUST have a water bottle or hydration vest. Both races have stretches greater than five miles in between aid stations.

  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 finisher's award, pay the insurance company,  pay the timing company and photographer,  and on. That said, we're still 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. This trail is sensitive to weather and sees frequent closure following rain storms. The superintendent of the park will make this call based on rainfall and trail conditions. In the event that we must cancel, we will reschedule one or two weeks later. If the trails are still closed two weeks later, we will give each registered racer the chance to defer to another Spectrum race or the following year’s Escarpment race.