Bear Mountain Marathon

March 2, 2021
Tackling The North Face
Number of comments: 9
Average Ratings: Course - Organization - Fans -
Tough course (about: 2014)
Course: 4 Organization: 4 Fans: 5
J. D. from Colorado (5/4/14)
6-10 previous marathons

I ran the 50k version of this event in 2014. I've done other challenging trail races. Specifically, I ran the Pikes Peak Marathon in 2013 (about 17, 000 feet elevation change, max elevation over 14, 000 feet). I'd say this race is less difficult, but comparable. The trail itself is difficult. THis year was apparently especially challenging. Winter ran long, so none of the trees had leaves on them. Consequently, there was no shelter from the sun. Because the temperature had been so cold this winter, there were still a ton of leaves on the trail, making it difficult to see rocks, roots, etc. Additionally, there were a bunch of sections of the trail that were plain difficult. For about a mile, the trail narrowed so much that you were almost bushwhacking on both sides. Because of recent rain, about a third of the course was completely covered in unavoidable mud.

I also wore normal running shoes. Normal running shoes served me well in the Pikes Peak Marathon, and I've been too cheap to purchase proper trail shoes. I would say proper trail shoes are a necessity for this race. There was one section where you were essentially running down a shallow stream. Because of the number of rocks, it wasn't safe to run with normal running shoes.

The organization was mostly good. There was no problem following the trail markings, but they did have a snafu with the medals and ended up giving us temporary medals.

Insanely difficult! (about: 2012)
Course: 5 Organization: 5 Fans: 5
John Sovocool from Cooperstown, NY (5/9/12)
50+ previous marathons | 1 The North Face Endurance Challenge - Bear Mountain

I ran the 50K at Bear Mountain after running the Nashville Marathon last weekend and had a great time. The course was incredibly difficult but that is what makes it so fun. With so many marathons being dumbed down to make them faster and easier, it is invigorating to find a race that truely challenges you physically and mentally.
But, the best aspect of Bear Mountain is the people who come out to do it. They are driven, determined, excited about a new challenge, risk-takers, adventuresome and fun. Great people to hang out with.
Bear Mountain is not for most runners. Most will find it too challening but if you truely want to push your limits and see what you are made of than this race is for you!

Great course..poor organization from race official (about: 2012)
Course: 4 Organization: 1 Fans: 3
T. R. from US (5/5/12)
50+ previous marathons | 1 The North Face Endurance Challenge - Bear Mountain

I have run two North Face Challenge runs, 50k Washington DC and 50K Bear Mountain in 2012. The race in Bear Mountain is very beautiful, challenging course, hard, rocks, very good for us trail lovers. Aid stations are great. Bad part of the race was toward the end of the run, several of us took a wrong turn because of poor markings; so we actually back tracked at a crossing and went back up toward the start of the race instead of the finish direction. VERY POOR MARKINGS.

Then we were turned around at a previous station, told we went wrong way. On the way I turned around 3 other runners doing the same thing that were behind me. Get to the finish line and visited with the Director, Nick, and he says if you would of go to the right you would of see a marker. We followed the markers to the left, how do we know which direction is to the finish line?? 'Well, 300 other people didn't get lost, what you want I do.' I replied, total 7 people made that wrong turn and I myself ended up doing 5 extra miles, you should either have someone at that point or have your sweeper take ribbon and close off the turn that goes back tracks back to the start. Nick replies, 'Well you guys should of know you already did that part of the course and are going backwards.' Excuse me NICKSTER...obviously he is not a runner and/or not a trail runner for sure. After 28 miles we should of know we were heading the wrong way. All in all, it is 20% of your runners made that wrong turn.

Don't make stupid comments to experienced ultra runners who fly/travel across state to be apart of your run, just apologize and say we are sorry and will correct it for next year, good suggestion to take some cheap tape and close that off. But that he did not do, instead...

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