The Rockin K trail run is four interconnected loop trails. These are the Horsethief Canyon Trail, Prairie Trail, Alum Creek Trail, and Big Bluff loops. A simplistic description of the run is that you are going to run the north half of each loop going out, and the south half of each loop coming back. The first Rockin K loop is the marathon loop. All runners will complete this loop. The 50-mile runners will run the course a second time, taking Alexander's cutoff at gate #4 in the Alum Creek loop. On the second loop the 50-mile runners will not run the full Alum Creek loop. Please take note that Alexander's cutoff is to be run only during the second loop, and only by 50-mile entrants. Signs will be on the course explaining this.
There are about 10 gates that you will go through during each loop. These are large welded metal gates. Some of the gates are blocked open, others you will have to open yourself, and close behind you, or you can climb over. Please close gates behind you. The wind can damage unblocked gates. Some of the gates have number signs on them, some do not.
HORSES ONLY ----- We have permission, as part of our event permit, to use HORSES ONLY trails. Ignore this sign.
CLOSED TRAIL ---- there are several trail sections closed due to erosion, we are not running on any CLOSED TRAILS, if you do you are lost.
RESTRICTED ACCESS - This is up at Indian Rock to protect the petroglyphs from vandals. If you see this sign you are well off trail and lost.
RESTRICTED AREA - This sign is up along the trail behind the eagle hack towers. The trail is open to the public, but stay away from the eagle hack towers.
PRIVATE LAND - you will be running by lots of signs attached to the fences that say PRIVATE LAND, or PRIVATE PROPERTY. This means the other side of the fence is a private ranch. If you cross the fence you may find out how fast a bull really is.
WILDLIFE REFUGE, WATERFOWL REFUGE - Certain areas are closed to the public from November through February during the migratory bird season. This is not in effect now. Pay no attention to them.
1. Horses have the right of way, they are bigger than you are, a startled horse could run over you. Give the riders a yell a long way before you overtake them, they will generally get off trail for you.
2. If you go off trail, backtrack until you find a marker, then run the trail, do not cut the course, I don't care how many extra miles you did, if you do not run the course you do not finish.
3. Notify Stuart at Start/Finish or Elden at the Manned Aid Station if you drop.
4. 50-mile runners switching to the marathon. If you want to switch to the marathon, Stuart has to know on Friday night. If you switch to the marathon on Friday you will be allowed to compete for overall awards in the marathon, if you toe the line as a 50 miler on Saturday and complete the marathon we will give you a completion and your time, but you can not be in competition for any marathon awards. 50 milers completing the marathon are separately listed.
5. Do not complain to us if you get a ticket for not buying a day use permit. You drove by at least two signs that told you to buy one. Our event permit does not buy you, or us, entrance into the park. We have to buy vehicle permits too. The cost is about $5 unless you have a Kansas State Park Annual Permit which covers use all year round.
You will follow red/white checkered ribbons all the way out to the manned aid station at the Gate #6 and all the way around the Big Bluff loop. When you get back to Gate #6 you will follow yellow/red stripe ribbons all the way to the finish. 50-mile runners will take Alexander's Cutoff on the second loop and follow the green ribbons starting at gate #4 to the gate #6 manned aid station. There are numerous other markings on the trail. Pay no attention to these; the horse riders put these up. Ours ribbons are checkered red/white, red/yellow stripe and green. The trail crosses itself a few times so you will be running by both checkered red/white ribbons and red/yellow stripe at the same time. Pay attention, if you have not reached the manned aid station at Gate #6, stay with red/white, if you are coming back in stay with red/yellow. When we put out markers we try to put them up so that when you passed one ribbon the next marker would be in view. In any case you should never have to run more than a couple of minutes without seeing a marker. If you see markers spaced every couple of feet we are trying to warn you that there is some kind of trail crossing happening. Be aware that you take the correct fork. We will have several fence crossings in the Big Bluffs loop. There are army blankets over the barbwire strands at the places you need to cross the fences. The top strand has been taken down; please step over the fence there. The blanket will protect your hands and clothing from the barbs. For those folks unacquainted with crossing a barbwire fence, simply push down on the blanket, it will give enough for you to step over.
Crews/handlers are welcome at the Gate #6 manned aid station, however Gate #6 is not accessible by vehicle. Park on the road at the range gate and walk up the fence line, the aid station is about 100 yards beyond the top of the hill. Large cattle ranches bound the trail. There are no other vehicle access points. If it should happen to rain, the road to the Gate #6 fence crossing becomes very bad, very quickly, in wet weather. If it rains, we ask crews that they not come out to the Gate 6 aid station. If you drive out you will need 4-wheel drive and a high clearance vehicle and it is at your own risk. We have runners to take care of; you are on your own if you proceed down this road if it is wet.
Pacers/mules are allowed on the second loop of the 50-mile run. Stuart has to know ahead of time for safety reasons.
There will be drop bags at the Gate #6, and Start/Finish. There will be marked locations in the shelter house for you to place your bags. Please mark your bag on the outside with your name and number, drop location and race. We will be periodically returning bags to the shelter house through the day. If the volunteers do not know which race you are in, or whom the bag belongs to they will leave your bag out until the race is over. We will have tape and markers available if you need to mark your bags. 50 Mile runners, the cutoff is 5:00pm leaving Gate 6 the last time.
Toilets: There will be a camping style toilet at the Gate #6 aid station and out on the Big Bluff loop along with porta-potties and real bathrooms at Start/Finish.
Stuart Ray & Elden Galano, Race Directors