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. Next year 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 Succeed for providing S! Caps for our aid stations. And to Runners Roost for our bib numbers and start/finish banners. And to the Park County Radio Club who will be providing communications among our aid stations and Bippy.
The Big News: North Fork is now under new management! Janice has retired after 10 years, and the new Race Director is Dave Manthey. Dave is a professional running coach, and he directs the Bear Chase race series. He brings many years of running and race directing experience to the management of North Fork. Dave plans to keep the same North Fork "vibe" that has developed over the years, but there will of course be some changes for next year.
Right now the 2019 race and course information is being kept on the website so you can get an idea what the race is about if you haven't run before. The website will be updated as changes are made for 2020. But it shouldn't be too much different.
If you have questions, feel free to email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.