The 50 Mile and 50K are 100% dirt, mostly single track trail and some double track and dirt road, in the beautiful Buffalo Creek Recreation Area in the Pike National Forest, starting and finishing along lovely Buffalo Creek at the Community Hall in Buffalo Creek, Colorado. The Community Hall belongs to the Buffalo Park Improvement Association (BPIA or, as the locals call it, "Bippy")--so our start/finish is nicknamed Bippy. The elevation ranges from 6,700 feet to 8,100 feet in the 50K and to just over 8,500 feet in the 50 Mile. With 3,800 feet of climb in the 50K and 6,600 feet of climb in the 50 Mile, the race is very challenging for those not used to mountain trail races, yet speedsters who are used to altitude will find the course quite runnable.
The race benefits the North Fork Volunteer Fire Department, which protects the area where the race is run and for whom the race is named. They have helped to battle a number of wildfires in the area over the years that have changed the landscape, opening broad vistas of the high country and making way for new growth. You will run through some of the burn areas, but most of the course is in pristine pine and aspen forest. The beautiful scenery, friendly aid stations and generous time cutoffs make North Fork an excellent choice for first-time ultramarathoners as well as veterans. Runners get high quality tech T-shirts, unique finisher awards, a fabulous post-race barbecue and the satisfaction of a job well done.
All the course and race information from 2019 can be found under the Race Info tab above. The 2021 is expected to be similar.
THANK YOU to our sponsor Avery Brewing, who provides the great Avery beer for our post-race barbecue! And to Runners Roost for their support. And to Buffalo Park Improvement Association (Bippy!) for allowing us to use their beautiful place for our start and finish.
2020 RACE CANCELLED
Last week the USFS communicated to us that they cannot issue permits for June events, and with so much uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic, the likelihood is very high that some restrictions on group gatherings will remain in place through the end of summer. Even if we could do the race, with the needed safety precautions due to the virus, we could only hold a watered-down version of the North Fork 50 that would not be in keeping with the race’s tradition. And it wouldn’t be fair to ask everyone who has been training hard to reset your training to a new date only to be forced into the same cancellation scenario later. We also considered various ways to run the North Fork 50 “virtually” but ultimately felt it wasn’t a good enough option to capture the spirit and essence of this fine event.
So it is with a very heavy heart that we must cancel the 2020 North Fork 50. The safety of our runners is of the utmost importance. But equally important is the safety of our amazing volunteers, emergency & medical staff, vendors and partners who help to make your race experience possible and exceptional. North Fork 50 truly is a community event and many of the people supporting your race reside in the small mountain towns of Buffalo Creek and Pine. (And some actually live on the course itself.) This unfortunate decision is made with the best interests of every person involved with the race.
Runners, please watch your E-mail for a message that details your choice of options for your entry fee. We must take into account the fact that a significant part of our race expenses has already been incurred, and we also want to make good on our pledged contributions to charity partners, including the North Fork Fire Department, ProjectPurple.org, and Conifer's StageDoor Theatre. You will have until June 6 to make your selection.
This pandemic has created so much uncertainty, difficulty and anxiety for the running community and we share in that with all of you. Please know that we want to see the North Fork 50 continue to be a positive event for the community and flourish for years to come. Our commitment to you is that we’ll be working hard behind the scenes so we can be back running the gorgeous trails of Buffalo Creek together again at the 2021 North Fork 50!
If you have questions, feel free to email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.