Saturday September 19, 2020

SKY ISLAND

A rugged Texas mountain race.

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Registration

50K

05:00 AM (CDT)

Saturday September 19, 2020

$121

25K

07:00 AM (CDT)

Saturday September 19, 2020

$101

Overview

COVID-19 UPDATE:

SKY ISLAND 2020 WILL BE HELD AT MCKINNEY ROUGHS NATURAL AREA (30 min east of Austin, TX)

While we are deeply disappointed that we cannot host all of you in the Davis Mountains this year, we are still committed, as race directors, to providing safe, competitive outlets in the great outdoors. We are excited to announce that we have secured a race contract at McKinney Roughs Nature Park for the location of this year's Sky Island 50k/25k on September 19.

Because most of our race participants come from the Austin area, we believe this location can help lower our risk categorization for the event to "More Risk" (the second-lowest risk category). We also believe that by eliminating lodging as a staple of the event, we further lower the risk exposure for all participants (by constraining almost all contact to outdoor environments, reducing the number of people one can be exposed to, and reducing the amount of time that exposure can last).

McKinney Roughs offers a great alternative venue to Sky Island with its thick stands of pine trees, towering pecan trees, and riverside views. And since the park spans the outcropping of a large Permian Reef, it offers plenty of challenging topography to test your climbing skills.

Let us take a moment to reflect on this harsh news and the words of the Stoic Philosopher, Epictetus, that we opened with: "...the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have." As with all things in life (from a Stoic's point of view), all we can control is our perception of the world and its daily situations. You thus have a choice here, or control so to speak. We hope you choose to seize this as an opportunity to realize your hard work and sweat a little with us in the woods. 


2020 Race Course @ McKinney Roughs: https://www.strava.com/routes/2725505177773455128


The Logistics of Racing in the Midst of a Pandemic

In some ways, this event will have the typical characteristics of a Spectrum trail race and, in some ways, it will be unlike any Spectrum trail race you've experienced.

The awesome swag, good finish line vibes, distance options, and date of the event will ALL STAY THE SAME! We've even added a custom Spectrum bandana to the list of goodies you'll get at the race.

To comply with federal, state, and local guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we must take several precautionary steps that deviate from our standard practices. These include:

  • Starting the race in waves of 8 runners (plus 2 race directors) every 10 minutes from 5 am to 9:30 am. 50k waves will run from 5:00-6:50 am and 25k waves will run from 7:00-9:30 am.
  • No aid stations: there will be plenty of space at the start/finish to set up your own aid station. You may also bring 2 drop bags + water carriers, one for each of the two locations on course where you can resupply/refuel (at mile 4 and mile 10.5). After the race, we will point you towards where you can retrieve your things, or we will recycle what is left behind.
  • You must respect social distancing guidelines by staying at least six feet away from anyone not in your immediate household.
  • You must wear a face mask in public spaces in the park and anytime you are passing another participant on the trails.


What happens next:


  1. Those who do not wish to participate due to the location change must communicate their wish to cancel with us by September 1st to receive a 75% refund. Email Mallory at mallory@spectrumtrailracing.com. Otherwise, it will be assumed you will race with us on September 19th. 
  2. All Indian Lodge room and camping reservations will be refunded in full (100%) this week. Those with reservations will be given first priority for equal reservations for Sky Island 2021.
  3. Those racers who plan to keep their Sky Island: McKinney Roughs Edition race registration and throw down with us on September 19th will need to pick a start window for their race. You will also be directed to sign LCRA's COVID-19 waiver. Those two tasks can be accomplished at this link: https://store.spectrumtrailracing.com/sky-island-2020-start-times


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2021 Race Overview (@ Davis Mountains State Park)

On Saturday, the 50k and 25k races start at the historic Indian Lodge and offer challenging climbs and descents on technical terrain. The 25k course is a single loop contained entirely within Davis Mountains State Park. The 50k course runs the entirety of the Davis Mountains State Park trail system with an additional excursion into the Fort Davis National Historic Site.

On Sunday, we chase the sunrise! Chase the Sunrise is a free 3.2 run from Indian Lodge to the lookout shelter at the end of Skyline Drive. The run starts at 7:00 am or you can meet us at the top at 7:30 am. Either way, we'll have coffee and snacks while we watch the sun rise over the West Texas horizon.

You can view the 2021 route on Strava.

Next year's race info: 2021 Sky Island Race Doc!

Race Photos

2019 Photos & More Photos 2018 Photos 2017 Photos2016 Photos

Schedule

2020 Race : Saturday, September 19th

50k (2 loops)

50k racers will start in waves of 8 runners that will take off every 10 minutes

Wave start times: 5:00 am, 5:10 am, 5:20 am, 5:30 am, 5:40 am, 5:50 am, 6:00 am, 6:10 am, 6:20 am, 6:30 am, 6:40 am, and 6:50 am

Cut offs 

#1: You must be through the halfway point (25k mark) no later than 4 hours and 30 minutes from when you start (17:23/mi pace).

#2: You must complete the 50k course no later than 9 hours from when you start (17:23/mi pace).

ALL 50K RACERS MUST BE OFF THE COURSE BY 4:00 PM

25k (1 loop)

50k racers will start in waves of 8 runners that will take off every 10 minutes

Wave start times: 7:00 am, 7:10 am, 7:20 am, 7:30 am, 7:40 am, 7:50 am, 8:00 am, 8:10 am, 8:20 am, 8:30 am, 8:40 am, 8:50 am, 9:00 am, 9:10 am, 9:20 am, 9:30 am

Cut offs 

#1: You must complete the 25k course no later than 5 hours and 30 minutes from when you start (21:15/mi pace).

ALL RACERS MUST BE OFF THE COURSE BY 3:00 PM



Awards

Beautiful wood awards, hand crafted by Eagle's Nest Artistry, will be handed out at the end of the day! Top 3 men and top 3 women in each distance will be awarded with one of these amazing trophy cheese boards.



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2021 Sky Island @ Davis Mountains Race Cutoffs

50k runners must be at :

Park Entrance (mile 16.8) by 11:00 am (averaging at least a 17:51/mile pace)

Park Entrance (mile 28.4) by 2:30 pm (averaging at least a 17:57/mile pace)

Finish Line (mile 31) by 3:15 pm (averaging at least a 17:56/mile pace)


25k runners must finish by 3:15 pm (averaging at least a 30:00/mile pace)


Sunrise @ 7:45 am    Sunset @ 7:50 pm


2021 Sky Island's Sunday-Chase-The-Sunrise

Chase the Sunrise run starts at Indian Lodge at 7:00 am (bring a headlamp) or you can meet us at the top at 7:30 am.

On your way home, swing by the Fort Davis Drug Store and Hotel (https://www.fortdavisdrugstore.net/), the unofficial Sky Island spot to grab breakfast before you head home. Wear your race wristband to get free coffee (Big Bend Roasters)!

Details

2020 Temporary Location: 

McKinney Roughs Nature Park

1884 TX-71
Cedar Creek, TX 

78612

https://www.lcra.org/parks/mckinney-roughs-nature-park/


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2021 Race Information:


2021 Location

Davis Mountains State Park - TX-118, Fort Davis, TX 79734

Parking

  • Indian Lodge guests park at Indian Lodge.
  • Campsite guests park at campsites.
  • Race day arrivals follow parking attendants. Race day parking is in Campgrounds 62-94,
  • Overflow parking: follow parking attendants to the park maintenance facilities across from Indian Lodge.

2021 Park Entrance Fees

Park entrance fees are covered for all race participants. Spectators must pay their own entry fee. You can pay for spectator entry fees on the Texas State Park's reservation system and print your park pass prior to leaving for the race. This will speed your entry into the park.

2021 Race Rules

  • No pacers allowed
  • Every 50k racer MUST start with a light, as you will run in the dark for the first 90 minutes of the race.
  • Every racer MUST start with a water carrier. You must either have at least one water bottle or a hydration vest/hydration pack.

2021's 10 Essentials

Although all our courses are excellently marked, you can never predict what can happen during a race. We recommend learning about the 10 essentials for backcountry safety and bringing them in your running pack. Learn more about the 10 essentials in this article by North Shore Rescue.

2021 Drop Bags

For 50k runners, drop bags can be left at the Park Entrance Aid Station (mile 16.8), which you can do on the morning of the race. 


2021 Aid Stations

Aid stations are available at the following locations and mile marks:

50k Aid Stations
Mile Marker

25k Aid Stations
Mile Marker
Sky Line Ridge -3.6
Park Entrance1.2
Sky Line Ridge -
7.0
Primitive Loop4.2
Sky Line Ridge -
11.3
Primitive Loop9.6
Sky Line Ridge -
14.4
Park Entrance12.6
Park Entrance -16.8


Primitive Loop -19.7


Primitive Loop -25.4


Park Entrance -
28.3


Finish Line - 30.8



Courses

2020 Course:

The 50k course starts and finishes at the amphitheater in the McKinney Roughs Nature Park and tours around the entire property, weaving in and out of pine trees and running alongside the Lower Colorado River. The 50k will complete 2 loops. The 25k will complete a single loop.


2021 Course:

The 50k course starts from Indian Lodge and heads directly for the Skyline Drive Trail. This is the first major climb on the 50k race course. At the end of the Skyline Drive Trail, you pass through a rock cut to find the first aid station (mile 3.5). From the aid station, you take the Fort Access Trail to descend into Fort Davis National Historic site. Once the National Historic Site, follow the North Ridge Trail to the Tall Grass Loop to the Hospital Canyon Trail. You will climb out of Fort Davis via Hospital Canyon and return to the Skyline Ridge Aid Station (mile 6.6). From the Skyline Ridge Aid Station, you descend the Old CCC Trail to return to the start of the Skyline Drive Trail. Skyline Drive to Fort Davis to Old CCC to Skyline Drive comprises the Skyline Ridge Loop. All 50k runners must complete back-to-back laps of the Skyline Ridge Loop.

After completing your second lap of the Skyline Ridge Loop, all 50k runners exit the park and cross under Hwy 118 to run what we call the Primitive Loop. After crossing under Hwy 118, the course traverses Limpia Creek and then ascends the Limpia Creek Trail and circumnavigates the Sheep Pen Canyon Loop Trail (the portion of the course on the north side of Hwy 118 is the Primitive Loop). After completing the Sheep Pen Canyon Loop, the course descends the Limpia Creek Trail, re-enters the park, and jumps on the Headquarters Trail. The Headquarters Trail will lead you to the Montezuma Quail Trail where you will immediately start to ascend the gnarliest and steepest climb on the course. Beware the false summits! Once you crest the Montezuma Quail Trail, you follow the Indian Lodge Trail back to the Start/Finish (the portion of the course after re-entering the park is also known as the Indian Lodge Loop).

Course Record
MenBrandon Ostrander - 4:50:10 (2017)
WomenChris Kimbrough - 5:51:30 (2017)

2020 Course:

The 25k course will start and finish at the amphitheater of the McKinney Roughs Nature Park. The single loop course will weave in and out of pine trees and run along the Lower Colorado River, across some technical trail. We love this area, and we are confident you will, too! The 25k course will be on a single loop course. 


2021 Course:

The 25k course heads straight of the park from the start at Indian Lodge to ascend the Limpia Creek Trail and circumnavigate the Sheep Pen Canyon Loop Trail (the portion of the course on the north side of Hwy 118 is also known as the Primitive Loop). After completing Sheep Pen Canyon Loop, the course descends the Limpia Creek Trail, re-enters the park, and jumps on the Headquarters Trail. The Headquarters Trail leads to the Montezuma Quail Trail where the course immediately starts to ascend the gnarliest and steepest climb of the race. Beware the false summits! Once the course crests the Montezuma Quail Trail, it follows the Indian Lodge Trail back to the Start/Finish with a treacherous descent on loose rock (the portion of the course after re-entering the park is also known as the Indian Lodge Loop).


Course Record
MenBryan Morton - 2:00:46 (2018)
WomenJess Harper - 2:00:46 (2018)

Photos


Location

TBD

Lodging

Reservation for the Historic Indian Lodge are being refunded in full during the first week of August. Reservations for next year's lodging will open March 1, 2021. 

Camping reservations for the 30 campsites are also being refunded in full and will open for reserving for the 2021 race on March 1, 2021.

If you would like to still visit the Davis Mountains State Park during the September 18-20 weekend, you can make reservations directly through TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE.