The Redbird Crest Trail is one of eastern Kentucky's best off-road secrets. The 70 mile loop Redbird Crest Trail is nestled just outside of Manchester, KY in the Appalachian foothills. The area features rocky, sandy, and downright gorgeous trails to take you to some of the areas prettiest and most rugged parts of the Daniel Boone National Forest.
The Redbird Crest 100k race is an out and back course that runs from the Sugar Creek Trailhead along the Redbird River in a lollipop shape along the northern section of the Redbird Ranger District. There is a single start and finish location along with 9 aid stations along the course (at 5 different locations).
100K Trail Race
Start Time: 7:00am
Cut Off: 4:00am (21 hours)
Packet Pickup & cHECK iN
There will be no Friday packet pickup.
Saturday, December 2nd
Sugar Creek Trailhead on the Redbird Crest Trail near Hyden, KY. (Get exact directions HERE).
NOTE: The start/finish areas are at the Sugar Creek Trailhead which is located off Highway 421 in Leslie County, Kentucky. Please use caution when crossing when entering and exiting the trailhead area. This is a gravel forest road, so passing will require care.
All runners must be 18 years of age or older to participate. No exceptions.
It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED but not required that all runners complete at least one trail 50k race prior to running Redbird Crest.
All runners must carry the following mandatory gear for the duration of the race. This is non-negotiable.
- Capacity to carry minimum 30oz of water (bottles or bladder)
- Emergency Mylar Thermal Blanket (1)
- Jacket or Thermal Long Sleeve Shirt (1)
- Beanie or BUFF (1)
- Gloves (1 pair)
- Whistle (1)
- Headlamp (1)
- Extra Batteries or Extra Headlamp (1)
Your mandatory gear will be checked at packet pickup. Failure to have any piece of the mandatory gear will result in the runner not receiving his or her race bib. For questions regarding mandatory gear please EMAIL US.
Awards and SWAG
All participants receive a race shirt.
All finishers receive a customized 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 all competitors. Crews and pacers may access their runner at the Sugar Creek Aid Station (start and finish) and the Peabody Aid Station. Peabody is aid station #2 at mile 10. Refer to the EVENT GUIDE below for more details. Sugar Creek (in addition to being the start and finish lines) is aid station #4 (mile 20) and aid station #7 (mile 41). Pacers may join in with their runner at mile 20 or 41. Your runner will come through this aid station twice in addition to the start and finish.
All runners may also have a drop bag. There will be two drop bag locations:
- Sugar Creek Aid Station: Mile 20, 41
- Peabody Aid Station: Mile 10
Pacers may NOT enter the race before mile 20 under any circumstances. Pacers may also enter or leave the race at Sugar Creek when the runner reaches the mile 41 mark (the runner's third time through that aid station.
NOTE: Please reference the following Event Guide for full event details. This document will be updated as new information is made available.
The Redbird Crest 100K is a lollipop-shaped out n' back course. All runners start and finish at the Peabody Trailhead in Big Creek, KY. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead for competitors, spectators, and crew.
The 62 mile course has approximately 10,290 feet of elevation gain and equal descent. Click the buttons below for maps, downloadable GPS files, elevation profiles, and more.
*All distances and elevations are based on GPS data and are approximate.
There are 9 aid stations along the course at 4 different locations.
- Bear Branch: Mile 5, 15
- Peabody: Mile 10*
- Sugar Creek: Mile 20, 41*
- Elisha Creek: Mile 27, 55
- Gilbert Creek: Mile 35, 47
For full aid station details please reference the 2017 Redbird Crest Event Guide below.
The Redbird Crest 100K trail race takes place along the Redbird Crest Trail in the Daniel Boone National Forest. The race will start and finish Sugar Creek Trailhead. Parking for racers, volunteers, and crew is available at the start/finish line area.
For directions to the RACE use the following link for exact GPS coordinates:
GPS Coordinates: 37.127372, -83.481598
Rules, rules, rules. We need em, so listen up!
- Respect the land! This race is run on both private land and public land across the Daniel Boone National Forest. We proudly support the US Forest Service and the private landowners who allow the trails to flourish. As such any misuse of this great land will not be tolerated. Next Opportunity strives for sustainability in all of our races, and we hold our runners to the same standard. DO NOT litter, pick wildflowers, or otherwise deface the property in any way. Failure to follow this rule will get you disqualified from the race and asked to leave the premises.
- Stay on course and on trail. Going off trail creates a negative ecological impact. So if there is an obstacle in your path go through it, over it, or under it. If there is mud, get muddy. If there is water, get wet. If there is a tree down, find a way over it. This isn’t just about the environment. It’s about challenging yourself.
- Be respectful and courteous of each other. If you need to pass another runner you must announce your intent to do so. If you are being passed, step aside and let the other runner by when you feel safe enough to do so. Offer some words of encouragement to each other while you're at it!
- Be respectful to and obey all race volunteers. Thank the volunteers and obey the orders of the course marshals and emergency personnel. They want you to have a great time, but above all they want you to be safe.
- Be respectful of other trail users. The Redbird Crest Trail is a shared use trail. We may encounter hikers, ATVs, cyclists, or horseback riders. Please yield the trail when appropriate and use sound judgement when passing other trail users.
- Take nothing. Leave nothing. Leave no trace of your presence by taking any trash out with you. Do not pick or otherwise deface any plant life. This trail is extremely well-maintained, and we want to keep it that way.
- Leave no injured runner behind. Help your fellow competitors. If you come upon an injured runner, help them if you can or run to the nearest race official. Tell the race official the injured runner’s location, bib number, and nature of the injury.
- Know what you're getting into. Train and prepare properly! Redbird Crest is NOT for the first time trail runner. It is meant to be the ultimate challenge of will, strength, and perseverance. Make sure you have experience running trail ultras before you attempt this race.
- Crews are allowed at the Sugar Creek Trailhead and Peabody Trailheads only. All runners may have crew. There are two crew points at the Sugar Creek Trailhead and Peabody Trailhead. Reference the Event Guide above for specific directions. There is plenty of parking for all crew at both locations. You will see your runner three times throughout the day: once at Peabody and twice at Sugar Creek. Any runner who receives aid from a crew at any other point in the race will be disqualified. Any crew teams attempting to access any other aid station locations will have their runner disqualified. This is due to the remoteness of our aid stations and the need to maintain a level playing field for all runners.
- All runners must check in and out of every aid station. This is to ensure that everyone is accounted for and that everyone runs the full distance of each race. If you do not check in/out at of any aid station you will be subject to disqualification. There will be a volunteer at each aid station responsible for checking each runner in and out. It is the runner's responsibility to make sure he or she gets checked in and out of every aid station. When you arrive at an aid station, announce your bib number and make sure that you get checked in. The same goes for when you leave the aid station. Any runner who does not check in/out of every aid station will be disqualified and will NOT receive a finisher award.
- Runners must run the full distance in order to receive an official finishing time. Turning back before you reach the turnaround will be cause for disqualification.
- No pets are allowed at the race. This includes dogs on or off leash. Per regulations related to our USATF event sanction and Next Opportunity insurance policies pets are prohibited on the race course and at the race site for the duration of that event. That includes Friday night. We love our doggies, but they'll have to miss out on this race.
A 21-HOUR COURSE CUT-OFF WILL BE ENFORCED FOR THE RACE!! NO EXCEPTIONS.
You've got questions. We've got FAQs. Click the button below to view them all.
Volunteers make Next Opportunity races successful. Period. Without volunteers our events will fail! All Volunteers receive a FREE SHIRT and 25% off registration fees for any future Next Opportunity Events race. Course sweepers receive even BIGGER discounts. Click the button below to see the volunteer opportunities and express your interest in volunteering.
Red Bird Mission
The nearby Red Bird Mission is offering special lodging options for Redbird Crest 100k racers. Click the button below to see their lodging options. They offer private rooms as well as hostel-style cabins with bunk beds. Your lodging includes dinner and breakfast the following morning! Plus they are only 10 miles away from the start/finish line. Check them out!
Backcountry camping is permitted in the Redbird District. Please refer to the following U.S. Forest Service Redbird District Trail Guide for complete rules and details regarding camping in Redbird.
Camps should be at least 300 feet away from the trail. Avoid private land unless you have the landowner’s permission. Follow all U.S. Forest Service rules regarding the use of campfires.
Several nearby campgrounds offer RV parking and camping. Here are just a few of the local favorites.
Drive time to start/finish line: 30 minutes
Drive time to start/finish line: 20 minutes
Drive time to start/finish line: 40 minutes
Drive time to start/finish line: 30 minutes
Cabins and Such
Drive time to start/finish line: 70 minutes
East Bernstadt, KY
Drive time to start/finish line: 60 minutes
Drive time to start/finish line: 70 minutes