For years, despite there being miles of amazing single-track trailz on Turkey mountain, there were no trail races. In recent years, thanks to TATUR and a few other clubs, there are many. Between September 3rd and December 16th this year, there are SEVEN races on the slate at the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area!!!
The first is Escape from Turkey Mountain. This is the longest running trail race in Tulsa--the first running was in 2004. I think it was also ran in 2005, although I do not find any results online from that year. The race has grown a little each year, and the course has never been the same from year to year, which makes it interesting. Fast times are the norm, with the speedsters coming out of the woodwork for this one, risking skinned knees, sprained ankles, cracked teeth and split skulls for a record finish time. Online signup has closed, but you can still sign up at the race. Things kick off at 7:30 am. I will be volunteering here, and can be found NEAR the beer tent. ;-)
On September 16th, it's Tulsa's first and only adventure race.
This is the 4th year for the Mud Sweat + Tears Adventure Race This race involves some mountain biking, some trail running, some orienteering, some problem solving, and of course some tears, sweat, and mud. In years past, there has been some canoeing in the mix, but not this year. Despite this being promoted in part by TATUR, I have never done this race, but am considering it this year, if I can find a teammate who is willing enough to endure my pokiness on the bike.
The next week, there is another great event that has mountain biking and trail running.
The Keep It Wild event has Mountain biking races of 10, 15, and 20 miles, and trail races of 5K, 10%, and half marathon. This race raises money for the movement to preserve out urban wilderness playground--a worthy cause for sure. I personally know the person responsible for the trail running course, and it has a couple of hills--per loop. Hill repeats would be a good thing to add to your training! I plan on doing the half marathon option here, and am focused on being next to last place.
Next, on October 6th, we have an EASY trail run. The Purple Stride is a 5K, and it will be on mostly EASY trailz.
Again, I have good information on this course, and other than getting up to the top of the hill and then getting back down, it will be fairly flat and on easy trailz. This could be a good trail 5K PR course.
Celebrate with ghosts and goblins on October 28th at theWitch and Moan 5K/One Mile Zombie Chase. This is a super fun event put on by RunnersWorld-Tulsa. For a $5.00 donation, you get your choice of doing a 5K out-and-back course where trick-or-treating is in full swing, or doing the 1 mile Zombie Chase on the blood-red trail where a horde of zombies in various stages of fleshy decay lie in wait for you. Some overachievers will choose to do both, and that is permitted with the proper ante.
There is a dark devious rumor of another journey later in the deep of night, reserved only for the brave of heart--those not afraid of the things that slither and creep, those not phased by things that lurk in the deep woods just out of sight. In considering a tour of this magnitude and the grave risk of returning less than unscathed or never returning at all, the company will be restricted to less than 35. Visit this website for more details, or if you think you know someone who might have some guarded knowledge of this endeavor, prod them for more information.
Tulsa's oldest ultra is next on the calendar. Turkey and TATURs is Tulsa's premier trail race, and is one of the toughest 50Ks anywhere. A 50K, a 25K, and a 10K offering gives any trail runner or aspiring trail runner something they can do. This race helped put TATUR on the map, and will always be one of my favorites. Beginning and ending at the West Side YMCA, the race covers almost every trail in the wilderness area, and only briefly crosses itself in one place. Want to see what all Turkey Mountain has to offer? Sign up for the 25K or 50K. TATUR is also famous for superb aid stations, and it is because of these all-you-can-eat buffet aid stops that many runners despite sweating, come away gaining a few extra pounds. The post race feed is also amazing.
Finally, on December 16th, we have a very unique event coming to Turkey Mountain.
The Half and Half Marathon/Double Half Marathon offers a trail-half marathon, AND a paved-half marathon. Both races start at the same time, and both are out-and-back courses. For those wanting 26.2, this is doable. You will run the trail portion first, and then get your negative split by blazing the paved portion.
I think it's awesome that there are so many great races coming up. For me, practically living at the trail-head, I can walk out my front door and go race right into the New Year. (And do that race too!)