Rothrock Trail Challenge 25k Race Report – Ryan E

rothrock trail challenge race reportRace: Rothrock Trail Challenge

Runner: Ryan E

Race Date: 06/09/2018

Location: Boalsburg, Pennsylvania


Strava Activity Link:

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. Challenging trail course that’s technical and 95% single track.
  2. Old school feel to the race with great community of runners doing it
  3. Post-race picnic

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

None! This is an awesome sub-ultra trail race.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?


Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I was able to run the technical sections on a good pace without turning an ankle. It was an exhilarating experience to not slow down despite the very rocky terrain that was pretty consistent throughout the entire course.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

This is a tough little booger. I’ve heard that Rothrock is a very rocky and technical course, but I didn’t realize that it is technical all throughout. So come prepared to climb, experience all kinds of technicality from small rocks, to loose rocks, to boulders, and roots, and some rope assisted descents.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

I would come prepared to run a consistently technical course. And also get myself ready for gut kicker in the middle of the race in Shingletown Gap that descends with a rope assisted descent, and climbs up boulders to a beautiful ridge.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Even an experienced technical runner will have to slow down or stop on their tracks when they reach Shingletown Gap. The last 3 miles is all downhill so you can start kicking it to your last gear and ride the wind to the finish.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Not much vistas, but it’s all beautiful, varied, single track bliss.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

It’s definitely not your beginner’s 25K trail race! I’d say 8/10 tough!

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Well run and organized!! The course is well marked. All aid stations were manned by great volunteers and carry what you would expect from a 25K course, and the post-race picnic at the finish line pavilion is a treat to runners and their family!!!

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Solid competition! A lot of local elites and fast runners.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

The race sells out when it opens but I was lucky enough to get in when the RD announced that a few spots opened up and allowed race day registration, although it’s not guaranteed that there will always be race day registration. So sign up online when it opens.

rothrock trail challenge
Photo: Momentum Photography

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Standard fare for aid stations because it’s only a 25K. There are 3 aid stations but the first one carries water only.

Weather and typical race conditions

Mild and fair weather as it’s in early June.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

You can run with a handheld or even run without anything and just rely on aid stations because there are 3 of them. Or you can choose to run with a vest and carry all your water if you plan to not stop at aid stations, which is what I did.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

I’ve only seen spectators at the start/finish area.

How’s the Swag?

You get a shirt and finisher’s hat

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

5/5 Stars! Definitely do this for the challenge!