Rio Del Lago 100 Miler begins at beautiful Beal’s Point, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area in the Sierra-Nevada Foothills. With Folsom Lake as the sparkling back drop, you’ll traverse oak woodland and meadows, over bridges and creeks, up and down switchbacks and along the most spectacular trails in the area. This scenic 100-mile foot race combines two of The Best trail races in Northern California: American River 50 and Way Too Cool 50K. The 100-mile course includes a variety of terrains that novice and veteran runners alike will enjoy.
Runners will begin their 100-mile journey with a 0.6 warm-up lap (that means relax, smile, and pace yourself!) on the perimeter path around the lake. After a quick ascent out of Beal’s Point, the course turns left onto the American River Parkway. The next 1.8 miles are a gradual downhill on a paved bike path, so watch the pace and don’t get ahead of yourself. The downhill gives way to about a mile of steady climb up the Dam Wall. Right about here you should hear the train a comin’, it’s rollin’ round the bend. You ain’t seen the sunshine since you don’t know when. Yes, that’s Folsom Prison on your right, so just run on by to the Johnny Cash Trail and a nice little tour of Folsom.
The course will wind down under the Powerhouse and on Leidesdorff Street in Old Historic Folsom. The course remains on the south side of Lake Natoma on the American River Parkway through Willow Creek and then to the Aquatic Center. At the Aquatic Center, the course crosses the bridge up to the Nimbus Bluffs.
Runners climb Hazel Bluff on single-track trail, then go right back down the other side where the course turns left and meet up with the Middleridge Trail. It’s good to be in the middle of Middleridge Trail. You can sing ABBA’s greatest hits, or if you’re not feeling that rowdy, try getting everyone to join you in a round of that Row, Row, Row Your Boat song. That one resonates at mile 70 or so. After winding through the Middleridge trail, the course joins at Sunset and Main Street by the Shadow Glen Stable area which eventually meets back with the paved bike trail at Negro Bar. From there, the course gradually ascends past the Rainbow Bridge. You’ll veer right on to the Prison Break Trail — don’t pick up any hitchhikers — and cruise about 2 miles to the Folsom Lake Crossing. You will then have 1 mile of paved bike trail before you’re reversing that same 0.6-mile loop around Beal’s Point.
After reaching Beal's Point, runners will enjoy single track trails and head north on the path worn by gold miners in search of riches: The Pioneer Express Trail, near the entrance of the Granite Bay State Park. Runners will continue to Granite Beach on the north side of Folsom Lake.
Runners leave Granite Beach and continue north towards Twin Rocks and Auburn, CA. Runners will pass through Horseshoe Bar and Rattlesnake Bar. No, we aren’t talking about stopping at local pubs, but trails above the sand bars where miners would pan for gold, but there ARE Aid Stations at each, which is kind of like finding gold. The route continues to Power Plant, Avery's Pond, Dowdin's Post, and arrives at the base of Cardiac Hill. We did ask the park officials to lower the top of the hill for you, but they stubbornly refused, so you have to climb the whole thing. Take a deep breath and then ascend Last Gasp to the Auburn Dam Overlook. (NOTE: Pay attention to the route you’re following because you’ll be coming back down this stretch in the dark and you’ll be tired. We mark the route with this in mind, but runners still need to pay attention.) Exiting the Overlook, runners descend on the Western States Trail to the historic No Hands Bridge (109 years old, but doesn’t look a day over 90!) If you get wobbly about heights, don’t look over the rail, just run to the aid station on the other side of the bridge.
From No Hands Bridge, runners will cross Highway 49 at Lower Quarry. The Rio course now joins forces with the iconic Way Too Cool 50K course. You will run along the scenic Quarry Road until continuing through Main Bar. You will make your way to Auburn Lake Trails, Goat Hill and descend to the Upper Highway 49 crossing. From Upper Highway 49, you will follow the WS trail to the Cool Fire Station. From Cool, the course heads back along the fire road, to the meadow which will then bring you down the luge as you return to No Hands Bridge.
From No Hands Bridge, runners will re-trace their footsteps to the Auburn Overlook (running DOWN Last Gasp, take that!) and back onto the trails through Cardiac, Rattlesnake Bar, and Horseshoe Bar. Back through the Meat Grinder to Twin Rocks, back to Beal’s Point to cross the finish line and celebrate! And when we say celebrate, we here at NCU headquarters mean EAT DONUTS. Flop yourself down on the grass and contemplate how good it is to be alive, to have donuts, to have however many toenails you still have, to live in a world where donuts were invented, to be among people who know exactly how you feel at this moment!
Rio 50K Endurance Run
We are excited to announce the inaugural Rio Del Lago 50K! This is a lightning-fast course. (Hint: if you are looking to set a PR, sign up today!) The 50K will start at Beal’s Point with the 100 milers at 5 A.M. Both race distances will run together until Twin Rocks (just past Granite Beach) and the 50K’ers will turn around and retrace your steps back to Beal’s Point. The course traverses the American River Parkway, the infamous Johnny Cash Trail and breath-taking views of the Nimbus Bluffs. We’re not bluffing!!! The terrain combines both pavement and trail (way more trail than pavement!!!) for novices and veterans alike. This course is perfect for those seeking their 1st ultra and those wanting to set a new 50K personal record.
Course Map & Elevation
Aid Stations & Restrooms (click to download)
Click to download the 100 Mile Aid Station / Pace Chart
Click to download the 50K Aid Station / Pace Chart
Click here to view portable restroom locations.
Please note/remember, Rio Del Lago is cupless.
We will be providing all entrants a reusable cup for the aid stations!!
Aid stations will be stocked with:
- Assorted GU Engery Products: Liquid Engery Gels, GU Gels - both caffienated and uncaffienated, GU Chews
- Water, Roctane Energy Drink, Coke, Ginger Ale
- Boiled potatoes and a complete line of ultra sweet and salty foods
- All aid stations will have KRAM PB&J (strawberry or blackberry jam) and JAMBARS Organic Energy Bars (Musical Mango, Malt Nut Melody, Chocolate Cha Cha, Jammin ’Jazzleberry)
- Night time aid stations will have hot veggie broth soup, and quesadillas
- You must carry two water bottles and/or hydration pack
Click here to download the on course GU nutrition.
Soup and hot food will be available at the following aid stations:
- Horseshoe Bar
- Rattlesnake Bar
- No Hands Bridge
- Auburn Lake Trails
- Granite Beach (on the return)
Please familiarize yourself with our aid station check points and note that there is NO CREW access at:
- Willow Creek
- Negro Bar
- Horseshoe Bar
- No Hands Bridge
- Auburn Lake Trails
- Highway 49
- Granite Beach (on return to the finish)
All runners are responsible for their crews. All runners will sign a crew waiver during your online registration, acknowledging and accepting full responsibility for their crews. Please be sure to read the waiver before you sign it. Crews may NOT be at locations that are NO CREW ACCESS. Failure to comply will result in their runner being disqualified. Local runners and friends, this applies to you even IF you know the course. Do not access any locations that say NO CREW ACCESS! No excuses!
**Crewing at one of these locations will result in runner disqualification. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.