Foothill Flyers Race Reviews
Avalon Benefit 50 Mile Trail Race Early Start Notes

Last update January 7, 2016       Return to Avalon 50 Race Review - Race Reviews - Foothill Flyers main page - Weekend Warriors - Avalon Weather

This is a great 50 mile trail race that used to be one for vets who are aging and slowing such that they don't think they are fast enough to make the 12-13 hour cut off time. However, this event no longer allows official early starts before 4am. Official starts are only at 5am and 4am, and official finishers must be in before 5pm. There are aid station cutoffs. You must leave the Little Harbor aid station before 1:00pm, Eagles Nest before 2:15pm and Pumphouse before 3:30pm or be pulled and not qualify for age group awards. For first timers, a good estimation of how long it wlll take you to finish the Avalon 50 Mile is two times your Catalina Eco Marathon or Hi Desert 50K time, or two times your LA Marathon or other relatively flat street Marathon time plus 2 hours.

Some key points about starting early:
    Know that you will be completely on your own until you reach the first open aid station after sunrise.
    Only those who have finished the Avalon 50 Mile before and know they will take over 13 hrs should consider starting early.
    Early starters, after cutoff or after 5pm runners are disqualified from age group awards
    Early starters finishing before 5pm and leaving under cutoffs will count toward the 5 year finisher incremental awards.
    It is extremely important that you plan your start so as to come in under the cutoffs and 5pm.
    You should start on the hour and advise the finish line timer of your start time at the end.
    Bring a good strong flash light and or head lamp with fresh batteries to last until sunrise around 7am.
    Aid stations will not be set up until around 7am so you will need to be self sufficient with food and fluid until that time.
    Bring a course map, but try to stay with or in sight of other runners who have done the course before and know the way
    and water sources.

There are three places on the course that have a drinking fountain or water fawcett:

Haypress water stop
The first water stop is at Haypress about 5.4 miles out and just after coming off the Divide dirt road onto the Airport Road and less than a mile down hill past the reservour. There is both a drinking fountain and a spigot to fill bottles or hydration packs. It is a good place to top off, especially if you went a little light up the hill to the Divide Road and have a hydration pack to take you to Little Harbor. The next source is at the end of the Airport Road which is relatively flat. A bathroom is also available at Haypress but the bathrooms at the Airport are usually locked. The Haypress aid station may or may not be operational for the 4am start people, but the Empire Road aid station should be.

Airport Terminal water stop

Airport Hanger water stop If the Empire Road Aid station at mile 11.9 is not up and running, the second water source is slightly off course at the Airport in the Sky at around mile 13. Go into the airport at the top of the hill, then go straight toward the terminal or go left to the NW corner of the hanger. The terminal spigot is in the planter area in front of the terminal main building. Next water is at mile 18.9 on a mostly down hill dirt road.

Little Harbor water stop
Little Harbor should be set up by the time the 4am and 2am people reach it, but incase it is not, the drinking fountain is just seaward of the road from a bench under a tree. This is also the location of the aid station with the drop bags you will go through twice. There are bathrooms here also.

Little Harbor Map

The course is well marked at all the intersections, but at the end of the Rancho Escondido Road there is a hard right hairpin turn intersection, followed by a few off shoots that some have mistakenly taken in the dark. Stay on the main dirt road after the hard right hairpin.

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