Fountain Hills, AZ
|Avg Temps f.
|Gain/Loss in ft
800ft per 25k
7:00PM – 75K
7:15PM – 50K
7:00am general cutoff
Summary: Another popular Aaravaipa race in McDowell Mountain Regional Park, offering several distances, including 75k, 50k, 25k, 15k, and 7k, running on rolling desert single track trails with faster, smooth sections, some rocky sections, and old jeep trails. Races are stagger started, with the 75k starting first at 7pm. Races are multiples of the 25k Pemberton Trail Loop, with about 800 feet of elevation gain and loss per 25K loop. Runners switch directions each loop.
Lessons Learned from Race Reports
- Have a good headlamp (that’s completely charged!) considering your entire race will be in the dark. Seems like a no-brainer, but lots of race reports talk about headlamp issues. Have a backup at the start/finish.
- It’s a gradual climb up to the aid station in the middle of the loop and is enough of a climb to be noticeable but still runnable, especially if you’re running more than one loop
- Some sections are smooth but others are quite rocky, enough to easily fall if you’re not paying attention
- Considering it’s all in the dark, be mindful of course markings, especially if you’ve never run the course before
- Expect temps to still be in the 80s even after the sun goes down
- If it rains, once it stops, it’s likely to be very humid
- Likely to see snakes, scorpions, spiders, etc and hear coyotes
- Leave plenty of energy for loops 2 and 3 if you’re running more than the 25k
- The hills will seem bigger and bigger on each ensuing loop as you get more tired and the longer you run in the dark
- Be careful not to linger too long in aid stations – they have great aid stations with lots of food options, but the time can also add up!
Total gain/loss: 800 ft gain/loss per 25k loop
Ft/mile gain: 51.6
Total climbs: Each loop consists of one main climb and one main descent of ~700 feet
Course Map/Elevation profile (CalTopo of 25k loop)
Total aid stations: 2 per loop, one at the start/finish and one about 8.5 miles in for loops 1 and 3 (75k), around mile 21 for loop 2 (50k and 75k).
Furthest distance apart: ~8.5miles
What’s available: Standard aid station fare, along with plenty of ice given warm conditions are likely – water, ice, electrolyte drinks, salty and sweet snacks, fruit, pb&j, hot foods and more.
Access Locations: At start/finish only at the Pemberton Trailhead Staging Area
For 75k race only on loop 3
50K & 75K distances – 2 UTMB points.