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The Reaper 30K is no longer being conducted by Next Opportunity Events.

The information on this web page refers to the 2018 event.

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Race Info


This race is one of the most unique races in Bluegrass State!  And no, we are not just saying that.  20 miles of diverse trail running around beautiful Cave Run Lake make The Reaper 30K a race you don't want to just hear about.  You have to experience it!  The views, the hills, the terrain, it all makes this a great challenge and the best time you'll have running at Cave Run Lake.  Keep reading for all the details, locations, and logistics.  


Start Time:  8:00am

Cut off:  7 hours

Packet Pickup & cHECK iN

Saturday Morning 10/13/2018 - Packet pickup and Race Day Check In

Time:  6:30am - 7:50am

Location: Zilpo Campground Boat Ramp Area (follow signs after entering campground)

Friday Night 10/12/2018 - Packet pickup

Time:  4:30pm-6:30pm

Location: Zilpo Campground Boat Ramp Area (follow signs after entering campground)

Awards and SWAG

All participants receive a race shirt.
All finishers receive a handcrafted finisher's medallion.  
Top three men and women receive a commemorative The Reaper 30K TOMBSTONE!

Training Runs

SUNDAY, Sept. 30, 2018

LocationBuckskin Trailhead Parking Lot

Distances vary (route is an out-and-back)

Run starts at 8:30am

Join the event on Facebook!

SUNDAY, Aug. 26, 2018

Location: Buckskin Trailhead Parking Lot

Distances vary (route is an out-and-back)

Run starts at 8:30am

Join the event on Facebook!

Course Info

The Reaper 30K is an approximately 20 mile trail race in the Zilpo Recreation Area at Cave Run Lake in Salt Lick, Kentucky.  This gorgeous property will give you sweeping views of the lake, some deep green forest running, and one of the coolest finish lines in any trail race.  We finish right on the beach!

Runners will start at the boat ramp parking area at the back of the campground and run the road to the trailhead at Buckskin Trail.  You will run along the rolling coast line of the lake before heading inland and up your first climb at about mile 8.  Runners then go up and down through the lush Daniel Boone National Forest and around the signature Cave Run Trail before returning to the finish area. 

Total elevation gain for the course is approximately 2,900' and equal descent.  Get detailed course maps and downloadable GPS files below.

*All distances and elevations are based on GPS data and are approximate.

Aid Stations

There are 4 aid stations along the course at 3 different locations. 

  1. Buckskin: Mile 3.5
  2. Hog Pen East: Mile 7.8
    1. Cut-Off:  10:40am
  3. Hog Pen West: Mile 11.3
    1. Cut-Off:  12:00pm
  4. Buckskin:   16.5
    1. Cut-Off:  2:00pm


The Reaper 30K race will take start and finish at the Zilpo Campground on Cave Run Lake in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Salt Lick, Kentucky.  Zilpo is a 355 acre campground with lake views, beaches, and camping for the whole family.  

The race will start and finish at the boat ramp area near the back of the campground campground.

For directions to the race use the following address and/or GPS coordinates:

Zilpo Campground, Salt Lick, KY 40371

GPS Coordinates:  38.073082,-83.476891


Race Rules

Rules are a necessary evil, but these'ns MUST be followed by all participants.  Violation of any of these rules could result in disqualification.

  1. Respect the land!  This race takes place on public property, our Daniel Boone National Forest.  We are privileged to have the resources and the opportunity to enjoy them in our way of running.  DO NOT litter, pick wildflowers, or otherwise deface the forest in any way.  Failure to follow this rule will get you disqualified from the race.  
  2. 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.  For you safety and for the sake of the environment please follow all course markings on the trail and the road.
  3. 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 especially on the trail section.
  4. 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.  
  5. Take nothing.  Leave nothing.  Leave no trace of your presence by taking any trash out with you along the course.  You can drop any trash at the finish line or any of the aid stations.  Do not pick or otherwise deface any plant life.   
  6. 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.
  7. Be prepared for everything.  Rain.  Heat.  Cold.  Mud.  We never know what mother nature will throw at us.  This is one of the most diverse trails you'll find in Kentucky.  One moment is rolling and beautiful and the next you are on a very technical descent.  There are steep climbs and low creek running plus several miles of road running at the end to get back to the finish line. 
  8. Runners who leave the established course will be disqualified.  ALL RUNNERS will be checked in and out of every aid station.  If your bib number is not recorded at every aid station we will assume you did not run the entire course.  Any runner caught cutting course will be disqualified.
  9. 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 for the duration of that event.
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+ Do I still get a finisher's award if I make all the aid station cut offs but miss the finish line cut off?

No. To officially finish the race a runner must run the entire race course within the allotted time. Even if you run the full distance you must also do so within the official time limits to receive an official finishing time or finisher award.

+ Are there restrooms on the course?

No. There are restrooms at the start and finish lines.

+ Are we allowed to take a dip in the lake after the race?

Are we allowed to take a dip in the lake after the race? But of course!


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*.  Click the button below to see the volunteer opportunities and express your interest in volunteering.

Please review our full VOLUNTEER POLICY here.

*Course sweepers can receive bigger discounts. Volunteers must volunteer for a minimum of 2 hours to be eligible for race discounts.


Lodging & Camping

There are lodging options for everyone coming to Cave Run Lake for The Reaper 30K.  Camping is available at the Zilpo Recreation Area where our race starts and finishes.  You can find out more about camping at Zilpo or any of the other great areas around Cave Run Lake HERE.

Other camping options are available on the other side of Cave Run Lake at Twin Knobs Campground.