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Burning River Endurance Run

July 29, 2024 - July 30, 2024

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trail runners at burning river endurance run a best trail running event midwest

The 17th Annual Burning River Endurance Run & Relay offers 100 mile, 50 mile, and Marathon solo runs as well as 100 mile relay option in Northeast Ohio and is produced by Western Reserve Racing. The 100 qualifies for both the Western States 100 and is a UTMB World Series qualifying event. Finally, it acts as the 3rd leg of the Midwest Grand Slam of Ultra-running and is rated by Strambecco as one of the best trail-running events in the Midwest.

The race travels through several of the region’s most scenic areas through the valley carved by the Cuyahoga River, including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park,  Summit Metro Parks, and Stow Parks. The 100-mile route features approximately 70 miles of single track and bridle trail, with sections of crushed limestone towpath and road. As you navigate the rolling terrain, you’ll encounter a rich variety of plant and animal life, showcasing Northeast Ohio’s diverse ecosystem. Along the way, you’ll run alongside streams and rivers, tracing the historic Ohio-Erie Canal Towpath. Take a moment to appreciate the historical markers and catch your breath before ascending the trails through hardwood forests, shaped by glaciers and swift-flowing streams. Amidst the leaf-strewn paths, you’ll also enjoy sunny interludes in open meadows and have the opportunity to traverse the rails-to-trails Bike & Hike path towards the 50-mile mark at Silver Springs Park, serving as the finish for those running the Front 50.

The 100M course is Out-Back from Cuyahoga Falls to Silver Springs Park and back (30-hour cutoff – 4:00 am start).  The 50M course is point-to-point from Cuyahoga Falls to Silver Springs Park (15-hour cutoff – 5:30 am start).  The Back Half 50M is a point-to-point from Silver Springs Park to Cuyahoga Falls (16-hour cutoff – 6:00 pm start).  The Marathon course is point-to-point from Oak Hill to Silver Springs Park (14-hour cutoff – 6:30 am start).  The 8-Person Relay runs the same Out and Back course as the 100M event (27-hour cutoff – 7:00 am start). Check out the official 2023 Racer Guide for all of the nitty gritty details.

Official lodging for event participants is being provided by Sheraton Suites Akron Cuyahoga Falls and is conveniently located adjacent to the Start/Finish. There are many vacation rentals in the area as well as some unique camping options in the broader Cuyahoga area. While in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, check out local favorites Yada Yada Coffee, Butcher & Sprout, and Blue Door Cafe & Bakery.

The Midwest Grand Slam of Ultrarunning was established in 2012 and is comprised of completing any four of the midwest’s premier 100-mile trail races:  Mohican Trail 100; Kettle Moraine 100; Burning River 100; Hallucination 100; Indiana Trail 100Runners completing all five races are designated “Super Slammers.”

The Burning River Endurance Run and Relay is a Western States 100 qualifier, which is the grandaddy of ultra-running events.  It is an epic 100-mile trail run from Olympic Valley to Auburn, CA, in one day on the last weekend of June. It is the world’s oldest 100 trail race, starting in 1974 as one of the ultimate endurance tests. Over the course, runners will climb more than 18,000 feet and descend 23,000 feet. Western States Endurance Run site details the lottery process, training, support, and volunteer opportunities. Participants must qualify for the race within two years and enter the lottery. If you are selected as part of the lottery, you are officially sent details to register within two weeks. If not completed in time, the registration will be available to runners on the waitlist of 50-75 people.

UTMB World Series is the ultimate global trail running series uniting the sport’s biggest stars and amateur runners through a leading international event series in the most stunning locations.  The UTMB World Series gives all trail runners a chance to experience UTMB events worldwide, with 25 events taking place across Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas in 2022. It is the only place runners can begin their quest to UTMB Mont-Blanc, home of the prestigious UTMB World Series Finals.  The UTMB World Series integrates three levels of events:

  • UTMB World Series Finals
  • UTMB World Series Majors
  • UTMB World Series Events

To qualify to enter the lottery for Finals or Major events, you must collect a “Running Stone” by finishing qualifier events in the 20k, 50k, 100k, or 100M categories.  Only 1 Running Stone acquired in the past two years is mandatory to enter the lottery. Running Stones are cumulative, have no expiration date, and each Running Stone gives you an additional chance to be drawn.  Collecting Running Stones is the only way to access regular runners’ UTMB World Series Finals.  Discover the 25 events that will allow you to collect Running Stones in 2022 to enter the UTMB Mont-Blanc lottery from 2023 onwards here.

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