WELCOME to the third running of the Glacier Ridge Trail (GRT) Ultramarathons and Trail Race!
Emerging brilliant green foliage and spring wildflowers in the rolling hills of Moraine State Park and the Jennings Environmental Education Center in western Pennsylvania are the setting for the GRT. The event’s namesake refers to a meandering ridge that is actually the terminal moraine that corresponds to the most southerly point reached by advancing glaciers during the Pre-Illinoian ice age, some one to two million years ago.
The GRT will offer three events to provide participants a choice of distances to match their experience, early-season fitness, and season-long goals – the 30K Trail Run and the 50K and 50 Mile Ultramarathons. The 30K is intended as an “introductory race” for those who might be interested in trying their first trail race, but may be hesitant to undertake a full “ultra”. It will also serve as a great training opportunity for folks getting ready for a later-season 50K or 50-miler. The 50K and 50 Mile should make perfect tune-ups for those with plans for a big summer race.
Except for a short stretch at the start and near the end, the 30K and 50K events will be entirely on an exceptional single-track trail. In addition to the single-track, the 50 Mile course also includes a section of very runnable, yet very hilly, double-track/fire roads through beautiful hardwood forests.
For non-runners, Moraine State Park and the Jennings Center offer a wide variety of activities to keep you busy while your runner grinds away over the rocks, roots, and hills of the GRT. Together, Moraine and the Jennings Center represent some 17,000 acres and offer nearly endless recreational opportunities for those visiting to test their endurance in one of three GRT events, or simply to support their runner. There are miles of paved and off-road bike trails and hiking trails, interpretive nature/environmental education trails, nature centers and gift shops, bird watching sanctuaries, lake canoeing and kayaking, and outstanding fishing. The surrounding area is also rich in historical and cultural points of interest. Oh yah, and there’s always the huge outlet mall 13 miles north on I-79.
So, join us the second Saturday in April, on a great course in a great setting to see the benefits of your winter base training and to gauge your fitness level as the ultra running season gets into full swing.