Morehead, Kentucky is not only one of the state's most popular official Trail Towns.  We are making it a go to spot for trail running with the Big Turtle 50 Miler!  The Big Turtle is a 50 mile and marathon distance trail running event that runs along the northern section of the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail.  Why Big Turtle?  Well, back in the day the Shawnee gave Daniel Boone the nickname "Sheltowee" which means "Big Turtle."  

The race is an out and back course that runs from beautiful downtown Morehead to the norther terminus of the Sheltowee Trace and back.  Marathon runners will (obviously) turn around after 13.1 (ish) miles.  

We utilize a tiered pricing structure for the Big Turtle registration process.  That means that rather than increasing prices at certain dates we've made available only a limited number of spots at each tier.  When tier 1 fills up, the price goes up to tier 2 and so on.  This lets us better estimate our costs and provide you the runner with the best value.

New to trail running?  New to the 50 mile or marathon distance?  This race is for YOU!!!  With a mix of rolling singletrack and forest road, this race is the perfect introduction to trail running.  Are you an experienced ultra runner?  This is for YOU too!!!  This is the perfect chance to chase that PR at either distance.  Read more about the course below.

50 Miler

The 2017 Big Turtle 50 Miler is the only 50 mile trail race in central or eastern Kentucky.  Don't miss your chance to be part of this inaugural event along Kentucky's LONG trail, the Sheltowee Trace.

Start Time:  7:00am

Cut Off:  10:00pm (15 hours)


50 miles not your cup of tea?  We have a marathon distance just for you!  This is the perfect chance to introduce yourself to trail running.  You'll run along the Sheltowee with the 50 milers until the 13 mile marker then turn around and head back to town for a complete marathon.

Start Time:  7:00am

Cut-Off:  10:00pm (15 hours!)

Pre Race Dinner and Meeting

There will be a pre race dinner and meeting on Friday night 5pm-630pm at the Morehead Conference Center.  Packet pickup will begin at 4pm.  Dinner will begin at 5pm.  There will be a pre race meeting at 5:30 and 6:15.  This is an important safety and course logistics meeting, so it will be very beneficial for you to be there.


Morehead Conference Center, 111 E First St, Morehead, KY 40351


4pm - Packet Pickup Begins

5pm - Dinner Begins

530pm - Pre Race Meeting

615pm - Pre Race Meeting

630pm  - Everybody OUT!

Packet Pickup & cHECK iN

There are two packet pickup times.

Friday, April 28th


Morehead Conference Center, 111 E First St, Morehead, KY 40351

Saturday, April 29th


Laughlin Health Building, Morehead State University, University Blvd., Morehead, KY 40351


Awards and SWAG

All participants receive a race shirt.
All finishers of the regardless of distance receive a special finisher's award.
Top three men and women at each distance receive a special award.

We stand by our belief that these are the BEST awards out there.  Just check out some of our other races if you're not sure!

CREWs , pacers, AND drop bags

Crews and pacers will be allowed for 50 mile racers only.  Marathon runners will not be permitted to have crew or pacer.  50 milers may have crew access at the Elk Lick aid station at mile 17(ish) and 33(ish)  and at Big Perry Road/FS977 at mile 40(ish).  Pacers may join their runners at these points.  Also check out the official Big Turtle Event Guide below which contains all the information on this page as well as additional details for crews and pacers.

50 Mile runners can also have a drop bag.  Drop bags will be available at the crew locations at the Elk Lick and Big Perry/977A aid stations.  That means you may have TWO drop bags.  Drop bags must be dropped off in the morning on Saturday prior to the start of the race.  Please clearly label your drop bags with your bib number.  Drop bags will be brought back to the race start after the race by 10pm.