The race will start and finish at Camp Manidokan, located near Knoxville MD. From Camp Manidokan runners will complete a loop around the fields of Manidokan to spread out the pack. You will then follow a short single track trail connecting Manadokan down to the C&O Canal and turn right onto the canal towards Cumberland, MD. The good news at this point is that as long as you can follow a straight line you should have no fear of getting lost. See below for a detailed description of the course. Bathrooms are located periodically along the canal at each official aid station. Please be respectful of other C&O Canal users and avoid taking bathroom stops which may quickly become too "public".


The C&O Canal in general is a packed dirt surface with small gravel rocks which you will swear grow exponentially as the race goes on. It is advised that you pack alternate shoes in your drop bags to be ready to tackle this problem if it arises. The canal is mostly (~60%) shaded, with frequent stretches of brief sunlight and only a few stretches of prolonged exposure to the sun. High's during April tend to be in the mid-to upper 60's, and the lows tend to be in the 40's at night. Rain at some point during the race weekend is likely. For directional purposes, "heading towards Cumberland, MD" means more or less in the northwest direction and "heading towards Washington, D.C. means more or less in the southeast direction. A detailed list of mielages and aid station diagrams can be found on the aid station page, the general course map and the 2014 re-route at Manidokan can be seen on the maps page.

Loop 1

Starting from Manidokan runners will proceed around the grass field loop at Manidokan. After completing the field loop proceed down the trail to the C&O Canal. At the C&O canal runner will turn right and run upstream towards Cumberland, MD. Shortly after reaching the canal you will pass Dargan Bend Aid Station. You do not need to stop at this aid station but they will have a place to drop off gloves, or other light garments you might have wanted to start with but do no need once you are warmed up. After running upstream on the C&O Canal for a cumulative total of 6.3 miles you will come to Antietam Campground AS. From Antietam AS you will do an out and back to the North Turnaround (no aid, check in only) with a round trip distance of 7.6 miles before getting back to Antietam AS. Following the canal downstream now you will pass Dargan Bend, Keep Tryst, and Brunswick aid stations (see Table 1 for mileages). At Brunswick AS you will turn around and head back upstream towards Manidokan while passing Keep Tryst. Once you have followed the single-track trail up to Manidokan you will have completed one loop at mile 38.4.

Loops 2 & 3

The second and third loops will follow the first except you will not do the out and back section to the North Turnaround (instead turning to run downstream at Antietam AS). The second time you come through Brunswick AS (mile 59.6) you may pick up a pacer. You may have one pacer at a time for the remainder of the race. Refer to the 2019/2020 Runner Information Packet for more details on pacers. At the end of your third loop you will return to Manidokan and finish the race (mile 100.0)!

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