Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 26, 2013
Update 8:25 p.m.
Courtney Lyons-Garcia, director of The Friends of Big Bend National Park, said the friends group, the official fund-raising partner of the park, is not involved in organizing the race at this time. Overland Race Management is a private entity that is pursuing the event independently.
After months of uncertainty, officials announced today that the Big Bend Ultra is returning in 2014.
The race date is tentatively set for Jan. 19, during Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, but that’s subject to approval by the National Park Service. When that happens - likely in the next few days, according to officials with Overland Race Management, which says it will put on the race - registration will open.
I’ve raced in the 25K the last two years.
The race starts on the desert floor, east of the Chisos Mountain Basin, and winds its way through cactus-spackled terrain. With mountains rising to one side and pastel-colored vistas streaming off into the distance, it’s like running through a moonscape.
The spectacularly prickly event includes a 10K, 25K and 50K. It’s not a technical route, so it’s good for beginner trail runners. Most of the run is on old Jeep roads.
"We will finish filing for the necessary permit this week," Overland Race Management director and race co-founder Carroll Voss said in a press release. "If we get the nod, we will open registration soon."
"We know everyone’s been waiting a long time to sign up. We just ask for a little more patience."
For more information go to www.overlandracing.com and the Big Bend 50 a website at www.bigbend50.com.