_The 2022 Highball to Thurmond Ultra:
The highball was a signal used in early railroads to signal the track was clear. When the ball was hoisted, trains were cleared to proceed! We are raising the ball on this unique 50 mile and 50 Kilometer event, and encouraging athletes to proceed on this epic adventure. Both races finish in Thurmond, West Virginia. With a population of 5 at the 2010 census, it is the least populated railroad town in the nation and part of the New River Gorge National Park.
The 50 Miler: This event starts at 4:45 am in Montgomery, WV, 50 Miles from the finish line, giving athletes enough time to Catch the Train! The train leaves at 6:59 pm, and the last call whistle will be at 6:45 pm! That means athletes will have 14 hours to complete this epic adventure in time to make the train back to Montgomery (don't worry, if you miss the train we will get you home)! This course is a mix of paved road (about 12 miles), awesome mountain dirt roads, and gorgeous trails with a spectacular view! Athletes can choose to take the train back to the start line (seats are limited and first come first serve on registration) or arrange their own ride. With about 6,000 feet of elevation gain, athletes will certainly have earned their finishers medal, post race food and awesome awards!
The 50 Kilometer Event: This will be a full daylight event starting and finishing in Thurmond and, other than the first and last miles, completely on the New River Gorge Trails! This is a well aided and extremely well marked 50 K and a great tune up race or beginner trail 50K with a very reasonable cutoff time! With 2,000 feet of elevation gain, this course is both manageable and challenging! Work hard and finish before the train leaves and you will earn your medal, post race food and awesome awards.
The 50 Mile Relay: This 50 mile relay can be run with 2,3, or 4 people. With 5 relay hand off points, athletes can run it in any order and run as many or as few legs as they want as long as each member of the team runs at least one. Bring your best trail runner, best roads runner, best mountain runner, and combine for an epic point to point 50 mile race!