The race begins on Vista Point road, which is pavement but quickly transitions into semi-maintained Sky Rd. If you are fit and crazy enough to think you can win the whole "Sha-bang", use this section of the trail to get a good position, the single track is going to be difficult to pass on. After .7 mi runners hit the Bullards Bar trailhead on the right hand side and follow the rolling single track for about 4 mi until you tie into the pavement at the bottom of the overflow parking lot at the Dark Day campground. Just Remember, follow the main trail and volunteer directions because there are a couple of spots where if you venture off course you could get lost. All intersections will be either staffed or clearly marked.
Once you hit the pavement, the 1st aid station will be in eyesight. After a quick break, follow the flagging to the restrooms where the trail takes you through a short section of winding single track before spitting you out onto the Dark Day boat ramp parking lot and the 1st Aid Station. Grab a quick bite and snack you'll be happy you did...the trail continues for another 1.3 mi before hitting the 7 Ball trail intersection on the right hand side. This is where you Make Your Money!! A switch-backing 1 mile meatgrinder, ascending 800 ft, this section will make you earn every step...Get Some!
At the top of 7 ball you hit the 2nd Aid Station at the 7/8 ball intersection. Here you will find the Camptonville Volunteer Fire Dept providing some much needed support and encouragement. Catch your breath as you begin a rolling decent, winding and rolling downhill for just over a mile to the Dark Day Rd. The North San Juan Volunteer Fire Dept will be traffic control here...look both ways, then cross the road and continue on for about a mile to Schoolhouse campground and the final Aid Station, "Water Up and Fuel Up!!" This group of lively volunteers are guaranteed to fire you up for the final 4 mile push..."Leave it all on the Trail." Follow the markers and flagging to the Schoolhouse Trailhead, where you follow a connector trail for .75 mi back to the Bullards Bar trail. Hang a left. This is the only section of the trail you run twice, however the views of the lake are better the second time around. Its roughly 2 miles back to Sky Rd and from there, little over a mile to the finish line...
The Hotshot Half Marathon loops 14.5 miles on the beautiful Bullards Bar Trail located right around the 2000 ft elevation mark. The trail is lined with beautiful dogwood, large doug fir and live oak, and beautiful views of the lake. Total elevation gain and loss is right around 2000 ft so it will be a challenging course for all levels of runners.
The Bullards Bar trail system gets narrow at times and has sections where rocks poke out of the leaf litter looking for an ankle to grab hold of. "Watch Your Footing!"
Exercise TRAIL ETIQUITTE, pass runners on the left and announce "on your left" as you approach
Headphones are not allowed during the race
Poison Oak is present in and around the Bullards Bar Rec area. The Tahoe Hotshots will be maintaining the trail system leading up to the race and will make efforts to eradicate poison oak, with that being said, STAY ON THE TRAIL! If you feel that you have come into contact with Poison Oak, Tecnu and Zanfel can be effective.
Ticks are out and in abundance this time of year!! At each aid station check your legs, waistline, arms, etc Find another runner or ask a volunteer to check areas you can't see. The buddy system works best!! If you find a tick which has dug in, and are unsure how to pull them out, notify an EMT or Course Marshall. You want to make sure to pinch at the base of your skin and pull all parts of the tick out. DO NOT LEAVE THE HEAD OF THE TICK IN YOUR BODY.
No Pets allowed on the course.
There will be RESTROOMS at the start/finish line, as well as the Dark Day and Schoolhouse campgrounds and the 7/8 split intersection.
There will be 3 fully stocked aid stations every 3-5 miles. You can expect fresh fruit, water, electrolyte mixed drink and snacks. We recommend carrying a water bottle. There will be EMT's at every Aid Station.