The race will start and finish at Camp Manidokan, located near Knoxville MD. From Camp Manidokan runners will complete a short loop around the fields of Manidokan to spread out the runners. 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. 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.
Start to Dargan Bend AS - One entering the Canal from Manidokan (see above description), runners will follow the canal in the direction of Cumberland, MD until they reach the Dargan Bend aid station. After checking in runners will continue in the direction of Cumberland, MD until the reach the next aid station (Antietam AS). Crews are not allowed at this AS.
Dargan Bend AS to Antietam AS - Runners will leave Dargan Bend AS and proceed north to the Antietam aid station. After resupplying and checking in, runners will proceed three miles northbound to the "Northbound turnaround" point. Crews are not allowed at this aid station.
Antietam AS to Northbound Turnaround and Back - Runners will proceed 3 miles north, reach the turnaround and check in with the volunteer there, and then proceed three miles southbound back to the Antietam AS. Note there will be no aid at the turnaround point, so be prepared for the ~8 mile round trip.
Dargan Bend AS to Keep Tryst Rd. AS - After resupplying at the Antietam AS after the out and back to the turnaround, runners will arrive at the Dargan Bend AS. After resupplying runners will continue to follow the canal southbound towards until reaching the Keep Tryst AS. You will know you are getting close to the Keep Tryst Rd. Aid station when you can hear cars on the highway (US 340). After checking in continue to proceed towards Washington D.C. until you reach the Brunswick AS. Crews are not allowed at this AS.
Keep Tryst AS to Brunswick AS - Continue to proceed towards Washington D.C. after leaving the Keep Tryst AS. This stretch of the canal is popular among runners, walkers, bikers, and familes, please respect all canal users. Once you get to Brunswick proceed through the gate and under the bridge to get to the Brunswick AS. Check in at the Brunswick AS and continue towards Washington D.C. until the Lander Rd. AS. You will be able to access your drop bags at the Brunswick AS. Crews are allowed at this aid station. DO NOT park at the boat ramp, park at the train station. Check in and proceed towards Washington D.C. to the Lander Rd. AS.
Brunswick AS to Lander Rd. AS - You will know you are getting close to this aid station when you cross the recently restored Catoctin Aqueduct. The Lander Rd. AS will not be a fully stocked aid station. It will have water, sports drink, gels, and chips/cookies/simple fruit. re-stock on what you might need and head out quickly. No check-in is necessary at this aid station. Think of this as an oasis on your way to the next major aid station at Nolands Ferry. Crews are not allowed at this AS.
Lander Rd. AS to Nolands Ferry AS - This is a relatively long stretch (the previous one to Lander Rd. is as well), and by this time it will probably be starting to get hot out so prepare in advance to be taking in plenty of fluids. At the Noland's Ferry Aid station you will check in and then turn around and head back towards Cumberland, MD on the C&O Canal. You will be able to access your drop bags at the Nolands Ferry AS. Crews are not allowed at this AS.
Proceeding on the Canal towards Cumberland, MD you will again pass the Lander Rd. AS, the Brunswick AS, and the Keep Tryst Rd. AS. The remaning portion from the Keep Tryst Rd. AS to the halfway point will be ~7 miles. This is another long stretch and it will probably be the middle of the afternoon so prepare yourself accordingly. The turn off point from the canal back up to Manidokan will be marked with orange surveyor's tape tied around trees near the turn off. At night there will be glow sticks hanging up.If you miss the turn off you will eventually find yourself at the Dargan Bend AS. They will congratulate you on some extra bonus mileage and then turn you around in the other direction. Follow the trail back up directly to Camp Manidokan (see the 2014 course re-route map).
Once you get to the halfway point you will be able to access your drop bags. Be sure to check in and then head out on your second loop, going directly down the the canal.
Loop two will begin the same way as loop one, except you proceed directly toward Keep Tryst once you emerge on the canal, you will not proceed to Dargan Bend or Antietam Creek AS on the second loop. This means the first loop is about 60 miles and the second will be 40. Coming back after passing through the Keep Tryst AS at the end of your second loop, you will turn off the canal an head up the single track trail to Manidokan. Proceed directly up a steep but short hill to the finish line. Congratulations, you are done!