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. 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 waypoints, 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.
07:30 AM (CST)
Saturday February 22, 2020
08:30 AM (CST)
Saturday February 22, 2020
Racer Check-in: 6:30 - 7:15
Race Brief: 7:15
Race Start: 7:30
Racer Check-in: 7:30 - 8:15
Race Brief: 8:15
Race Start: 8:30
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
We will host award ceremonies as all podium finishers for a given race come in.
All races: 1:30 PM. That's 6 hours for the 20-Miler (18:00/mile pace).
Sunrise @ 6:45 am Sunset @ 8:25 pm
Lost Maples State Natural Area - 37221 FM 187, Vanderpool, TX 78885
- The primary parking lot for Aurora is the day use picnic area, which is also the trailhead to the East Trail and Maple Trail as well as the race start/finish.
- Overflow parking is located at the East Trail Trailhead located less than 1/4 mile west of the start/finish area.
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 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.
To ensure that each racer has covered the course in its entirety, we will have checkpoints. At each checkpoint, 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!
No pacers allowed
Every racer MUST start with a water carrier. You must either have at least one water bottle or a hydration vest/hydration pack.
Our course preview and orienteering brief will be 6:00 pm Friday, the evening before the race.
Aid Stations and Drop Bags
Drop Bags can be left at the start/finish area. Aid stations will be supplied only with ice cold water and there will be no aid station volunteers on hand. You will find water at mile 4 (Can Creek), mile 8 (Primitive Campsite E), and mile 10 (Start/Finish)
Lost Maples protects a special stand of Uvalde bigtooth maples. Many folks come here to see colorful leaves on these and other trees in autumn. The show varies, depending on weather conditions. While you may know Lost Maples for its fall color, but it is spectacular year-round. Visit any time to see abundant wildflowers, steep canyon walls and the scenic Sabinal River.
Your whole family will find plenty to do here. Take a hike or a photo, go fishing, look for birds and other wildlife, camp, backpack, stargaze and hunt for geocaches. Please stay on designated trails. The natural area contains steep and rugged terrain. Do not climb on rocks or hillsides. Bigtooth maples have shallow roots, and you can hurt the trees by walking over their roots.
Note: Cell phone service is not available in the Natural Area.
Lost Maples State Natural Area covers 2,174.2 acres in Bandera and Real counties. It is north of Vanderpool on the Sabinal River. Purchased from private owners in 1973 and 1974, the site opened on Sept. 1, 1979. About 200,000 people visit the park each year.
Evidence shows that prehistoric peoples used this area at various times.
The Spanish began exploring and colonizing around here in the late 17th century.
Apache, Lipan Apache and Comanche Indians ranged over the land. They posed a threat to settlement well into the 19th century.
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!