17th Into the Darkness Night Trail Run
October 28th, 2023, 7:00pm
Full Moon Year
About the race
This year’s course will the same as last year and the 2018 and prior course
This is the Roanoke Valley’s most unique event. The course will take you through 4 miles of the Explore Park. Much of the course is on IMBA designed trails. The course consists of 2 miles of twisty rolling single track and 2 mile of grass and gravel roads. These trails will be marked with reflective arrows, glow sticks, and the occasional surprise (nothing scary, this is a family event). Every effort will be taken so that you will easily be able to find your way and stay on course.
A light source is mandatory; it is recommended that you have at least a headlamp or flashlight. I personally think it is best to carry one of each. A headlamp to see where you are going and a flashlight to cast shadows and give you depth perception (easier to see those sneaky roots and rocks). We will leave this up to your personal preference. It is recommended that you try your choice of light source under similar conditions prior to running the race.
PLEASE NOTE—Headlamps, flashlights, and any other light source will not be provided by race management.
10/26/23 – Thursday – Gilbert Chiropractic – 10-1 & 3-6pm – 375-3990
10/28/23 – Saturday – Explore Park – Packet Pick-up from 5:15pm-6:40pm
Race Day Itinerary
5:15-6:40pm – Packet Pickup and Check-in.
6:45-7:00pm – Race Briefing – Discussion of Race & Course details.
– We’ll have the usual MJs food along with water and some Skratch.
– Into the Darkness Awards Ceremony
Age brackets for the races include, for both male and female:
9 & Under; 10-14; 15-19, 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64; 65-69; 70 & over
The top 3 overall male and female finishers for each race will receive distinctive awards.
The top three finishers in each age group will receive a medal recognizing their achievement.
Race Course Description;
There is a lot going on with the Explore Park and every time we are out there there is more work being done.
The race course is a mix of trail and paved and grassy roads. You will start out on the section of road that has been called “vomit hill”. This will give you a nice hill to get spread out before hitting the trails. From there it is a matter of following the person in front of you are the many reflective tacks, glowsticks or trail decor that we have set out for your amusement.
Detailed course description;
Some course details may change leading up to race day. What we know for sure is that the race will be headquartered at Journey’s End (Parking Lot D on the map, like 2018 and couple year’s prior to that). We will be setup in or behind the “Camp Store” building.
- Course directions;
- Start and Finish area on the gravel road to the side of the camp store (L on this MAP)
- The start will be at the Yellow gate to the side of Blue Mountain Adventures.
- From the start, you will run up “Vomit Hill” to the Brugh Tavern parking lot (Lot B). You will head straight through the lot to the ramp in the sidewalk curb. You will then take the gravel path that goes along the left side of the Tavern.
- From here you will come to the old section of the Foresters Trail. At two orange reflective stakes you will take a right down on to the single track trail.
- Take this trail to an old wooden section of fencing. Here you will take an almost 180 degree turn at the orange stakes on to the Yellow Trail.
- After you cross the large bridge and climb up the switchbacks you will turn left on to the Blue Trail.
- Take the Blue Trail for approximately 1.5 miles.
- At around 2.5 miles you will take a hard 180 degree left turn where the Blue and Red Trails meet, heading down to the River Walk.
- Take the River Walk to the steep hill that goes beside the Mill.
- At the top you will come to the Farmstead loop.
- Take the Farmstead loop counter clockwise
- At the end of the loop, take a right over the bridge to the last .2 miles to the Yellow Gate where you started.
- This will be at the “6” on the Map.
RACE DAY RULES:
- Race number must be on your front, and visible at all times. Do not tear off the bottom strip until the finish (Even if we chip time the event. The tear tag is our backup).
- Follow the marked trail – no short cutting. We have eyes everywhere!
- Communicate and be courteous when passing or being passed.
- Same goes for our volunteers. They’ve taken their day off to help you.
- Headphones (ipods, mp3 players, etc) are permitted only if you keep the volume down so that you can hear other runners behind you and our volunteers when they need to get your attention. Failure to do this will jeopardize the use of headphones for you and the other runners in the future.
- Dogs are NOT permitted.
- If you drop out of the race, please let us, course marshal, or volunteer know before leaving the event.
Directions to the Explore Park
You may want to consult this PAGE to verify if the parkway is closed;
Once on the Blue Ridge Parkway go to milepost 115. Take the road into the Explore Park. Once in the park, you will head down Salem Turnpike to the gravel lot at parking lot D. Once this is filled we will start parking on the side of the road heading up the hill you drove down. We’ll be setup under tents behind the camp store building.
Race Headquarters and Parking
We will be using Parking Lot D and setup under tents behind the camp store building.
From the North on I-81
Take I-81 to exit 150B (alternate 220 South). Take A220 approximately 5.5 miles south to HWY 460. You will take a left onto 460 East. Take 460 approximately 2.9 miles to the exit for the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). Once on the BRP head south for approximately 9.4 miles to the exit for Virginia’s Explore Park. Take this road a mile or so until you enter the park.
From the South on I-81
Take I-81 to exit 143 for I-581 south. Take I-581 south through downtown Roanoke. Once you are through downtown I-581 turns to HWY 220. Continue to take 220 south until you reach the exit for the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). This will be about a mile after the Lowe’s and Home Depot. Take the BRP north approximately 6 miles to the exit for Virginia’s Explore Park. Take this road a mile or so until you enter the park.
If the Blue Ridge Parkway is Closed:
Take I-581 towards Downtown Roanoke. Take the Elm Exit. From the North take a RIGHT on Elm or From the SOUTH take a LEFT. Pass the hospital and take a LEFT at 2nd light onto Jefferson Street. Once on Jefferson take a LEFT at the 4th light onto Walnut Ave. Follow Route 116: After crossing the bridge take a LEFT on Piedmont, then a quick Right on Riverland. After 1.5 miles take a LEFT, off of Route 116, on to Rutrough Road (we will try to have a sign/ARROW here to direct you at this tricky turn. We have had many signs taken from this location so we will not guarantee the sign will stay there). Take Rutrough approximately 4 miles to a sign for the park on your LEFT. Enter Park and parking will be in the second lot on your left.
For Race Information Contact:
Mountain Junkies L.L.C.
26 West Main Street, Salem, VA 24153