Course description and The Rules

Aid stations and drop bags
These are for individual ultra runners only, not teams. Teams are responsible for their own aid. Ultra runners are allowed one car and one mountain bike. It’s fine if the mountain bike acts as a ‘mule’–that will not be considered unfair advantage. (It’s encouraged, particularly on hot days.)

General rules

1. Each team member runs two legs. Back-to-back legs may be run. 

2. Only two cars per team are allowed on the course. Ultra runners are allowed one car and one mountain bike. Relays are also allowed a mountain bike, but be advised that W. Camino Cielo is a real ride–around 2500′ of climb, and technical both up to Broadcast Peak and down the other side. To date, no-one has asked about horses.

3. The course isn’t marked. Teamwork-time to keep on course.

4. Obey all traffic laws. The course is open to traffic.

5. Except for #4, don’t worry too much about needed variations to the rules–if someone needs to get home to take the kids and that requires a third car, or if someone wants to run three legs–not a problem. The general rule is, if it makes it more fun, it’s allowed. (Are You Tough Enough is not responsible for accidental pregnancies.)

Number 4 is the only non-negotiable rule. You may be in a hurry and/or you may be really tired. Please be careful! Let’s keep it safe. It just ruins it for everybody if you get run over. Please be thoughtful.

Shuttle rules

We do NOT provide a shuttle. Used to, no longer.

The W. Camino Cielo dirt is kind of technical. Not a big deal, but if you’re going to drive, lots of ground clearance a must. (If it’s raining, 4WD or a winch or both might be good). The RD wouldn’t do it in a passenger car. For shuttling to the handoff point: take 101 to Refugio Road. Allow about 20 minutes to get up Refugio from Highway 101. Figure another fifteen minutes to get to the handoff. We strongly encourage shuttle coordination among teams — more fun, easier.


Leg one – Starts at junction of Toro Canyon Park road and 192. Follow 192 (East Valley Road) to San Ysidro Road. Turn right (uphill). Turn left on Mountain Drive and run to the handoff at Cold Springs Trail, just past where the stream crosses the road. All uphill, mostly modest, a litle sharper at the end. (6.3 miles)

Leg two Continue on Mountain Drive, a rolling windy road, to Gibraltar. Take sharp right up Gibraltar for three miles to wide turn in road that has a line of six boulders and “No Shooting” signs on the right. (Junction with W. Cold Spring trail.) Handoff. Mostly mild uphill on Mountain, then sharp uphill on Gibraltar. (7 miles)

Leg three – Continue up Gibraltar to the intersection of Camino Cielo and Gibraltar. Bear left up Camino Cielo to La Cumbre Peak turnoff. Handoff at “Off Road Motor Vehicle Travel Prohibited” sign. Some uphill (about 1800′). (5.4 miles)

Leg four – Camino Cielo to 154. When you reach Highway 154, stop. Wave across the highway to your team member. Ultra runners cross with caution. A few modest uphills, but overall a long downhill–about 1800 feet of drop in this leg. (9 miles)

Leg five – You are standing on the frontage road in front of a yellow sign with a black arrow pointing left downhill to another sign that says “Kinevan Road.” Follow both arrows. Kinevan takes an abrupt right down on a very narrow (and pretty) road. After one mile you hit Camino Cielo again. Go sharp right and follow road to start of dirt road at the Gun Club. Handoff. Very pretty section, mixing sheltered downhill and exposed-stone uphill. (4.7 miles)

Leg six – Dirt road. Run past the second hill of towers to where road forks sharply right (~150 degrees). Fork goes back toward tower. It should be clear that this is the highest point, and there are a lot of towers. You’ll have started running slightly downhill and will be able to see a lot of downhill ahead. The runner shuttled in will be waiting there. Wait for shuttle out to pick-up area. If you’re not sure, or don’t see anybody, don’t stop! — keep going until you do. Your teammates probably haven’t fogotten you. Steep drop in first mile, then mild but relentless uphill. Total climb is around 2200′. (~9 miles)

Leg seven – Continue along dirt then paved road, down to the intersection of Refugio Road and Camino Cielo Road. Handoff. Long downhill, mostly dirt. Don’t do this one if you did Leg 4. (~7 miles)

Leg eight – Go right on Refugio down hill (watch your footing) on narrow road. Handoff is at bridge over Santa Ynez River. Sharp downhill (~4M?), then rolling. (10 kilometers)

Leg nine – Take Refugio over bridge to Highway 246. Go left and stay on left hand side of road, run against traffic. Turn left at Alisal Road (there’s stop light). Go though downtown Solvang area. Continue on Alisal over bridge past golf course and Alisal Ranch. Past Alisal ranch, not to it. It’s a ways out of town. Handoff directly acros from the entrance to Alisal Ranch–you should see lots of corrals, horses, etc. Mild downhill, and level. (6.9 miles)

Leg ten – Last leg. Alisal Road to Nojoqui Falls park entrance. Gentle uphill, then roughly a mile and half of not-as-gentle uphill, then finish on the more-or-less flat. (3.6 miles)

Distances are vague approximations.

Published by

Hart K.

Average, but not so exceedingly average as to not be average.

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