The 50K race starts at 7:00AM at the same time as the 100/50 milers on the Bonneville Speedway and runs out to the "lone post", an oddly placed post set deep into the flats, and then reverses the course to the finish.
There is an 8 hour cutoff for an official finish, and all finishers making the cutoff receive the "mini-buckle" finishers medal. Overall and age-group winners also get their own chunk of the Salt Flats commemorating their win! Signup Now!
As a general description; you'll be running on the salt and compacted salt-sands for roughly 16 miles, then reversing the course. This is one of the flattest "trail" courses in existence. The course starts and finishes at the same location, so runners won't have to worry about shuttling vehicles or themselves.
The course marking is very straight-forward and easy to follow. From the Start to Aid 2 we use both green pin-flags and re-bar with orange flagging. Through this section, the course is marked every 1/8 mile. 50K runners will need to ensure they've checked in at Lone Post to ensure they get credit for making the full distance.
The course begins at the end of the Bonneville Speedway access road on the staging area for the Speedway. Once the gun goes off, head north following the flagging along the Speedway for 10 miles, passing Honey-Bucket portable toilets at mile 3 and 7, to Aid Station 1 at 10 miles.
You’ll be running on nearly 6 feet of solid salt for this entire section!
The surface is generally quite hard, similar to hard-pack dirt. However, if there’s been any moisture, it can be very sticky and you can accumulate some salt cakes on the bottom of your shoes… just keep running and it’ll fall off eventually.
From Aid 1 (Salt Flats), head north following the same flagging for almost three more miles, and then turn east following the same flagging and then pin-flags for about another 3 miles where you’ll reach Aid Station 2 (Lone Post), at 16 miles. You’ll have transitioned off the salt and will now be on the classic firm sand of the salt basin. It’s a little like running on the beach near the water line. The big post stuck in the salt here is a mysterious relic from the past and serves as a great marker for the aid station.
From Lone Post, you will reverse course and run back the way you came grabbing some water at Aid 1, and then making the long trek back to where you began the run a few hours earlier. An unmanned water station will be placed at 28 miles to ensure you can wash all that salt down.
For 2016, we've encountered "Lake Bonneville", where the salt flats themselves have collected rain water and are under 3" of water. Under this circumstance, we'll be running an alternate course, which proceeds as follows: Leave the start, and run west along the shoulder of the access road following the green flagging. At the Y with Levy Pass Road (mile 3.83), continue to head west for 0.71 mile to the “scenic byway” of east Silver Island Road (and an unmanned water stop). Follow the flagging north for 5 miles to Aid 1. Leave Aid 1 north and continue for 3.33 miles to Aid 2. Leave Aid 2 and head north to a turn-around at 15.5 miles, and then return back south to Aid 2, 1, and then to the Start/Finish area.