28-Mile Marathon Section 1: Start to Dollar Lake: 9 miles and 325-foot elevation gain.
New for 2021, the 28-mile race will begin on Sunday, March 14 at 8:00 am. Racers will start by heading north along the road following the Green River for about 9 miles to Dollar Lake. This section of the course is fairly flat, wide, fast (depending on snow conditions) and easy to follow. There will be a volunteer at the 13 miler turn around point which is 6.6 miles from the start. There will be no aid, until the Moose-Gypsum intersection station. If you are struggling, this is where you should turn around as it only gets harder from here. This recreation event is authorized under a Special Use Permit with the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Shoshone National Forest.
28-Mile Marathon Section 2: Dollar Lake to Moose-Gypsum Intersection (Aid Station 1): 4.5 miles and 300-foot elevation gain.
From Dollar Lake the trail continues North and then turns East following the river. Watch for and enjoy (but do not approach) elk in this area. At no time are racers allowed to leave the trail, this is a protected area. Your actions reflect this race-follow the rules, and respect any and all wildlife you encounter. There will be an aid station here with water and a few basic snacks. Fill up here-you’ll want snacks and stuff before the climb.
28-Mile Section 3: Moose-Gypsum intersection to Gypsum Creek (Aid Station 2): 8.3 miles and 1350-foot elevation gain and 750-foot elevation loss.
Racers will turn right on Moose-Gypsum road, shortly thereafter begins the biggest single climb of the course. Pay attention to your temperature here, do not soak clothes with sweat or the descent to the finish line will be a cold one! Watch for and enjoy (but do not approach) elk in this area. At no time are racers allowed to leave the trail, this is a protected area. Your actions reflect this race-follow the rules, and respect any and all wildlife you encounter. Racers will gain 1200 feet over the next 4.3 miles to the course high point of 9200 feet. Give yourself a pat on the back, it’s downhill from here…mostly. The course flattens out for about a half-mile before starting a gradual 3.5-mile 600-foot descent to the Gypsum Creek Aid Station, only 6.6 miles from the finish.
28-Mile Marathon Section 4: Gypsum Creek Aid Station to Finish: 6.6 miles and 700-foot elevation gain and 1600-foot elevation loss.
The course stays flat for about a mile before a 400-foot descent and then climbs several hills over 2.5 miles. Don’t think for a second that it’s easy. It’s not. Be sure to layer up for a fast 3-mile 1000-foot descent to the finish line!
There are two aid stations. Racers must check in at each aid station. Both will have race volunteers, satellite communication and basic first aid kits. While you may be able to grab a snack and top off your water, you need to be self-sufficient at this race. Do not rely on aid stations for safety, food, water, or major medical needs. This is a cupless race. Again: Aid Stations are mandatory. If you do not stop and check in at an aid station, you will be called in as missing and a search party will be dispatched immediately. Remember cut-off times are strict!
Drifters may leave the course on their own accord before Dollar Lake. Drifters that do not make the Moose-Gypsum Intersection or Gypsum Creek Aid Station cut-off times will leave the course by snowmachine and donate $50 to Tip Top Search and Rescue. In the event of snow machine evacuation at any point along the race course, Drifters will be required to make a $50 donation to Tip Top Search and Rescue. Drifters who do not check in to either aid station or pass the finish line by 5 pm will be declared missing and a search party will be deployed immediately. Do not leave the race course.
Although every attempt is made to make this race as safe as possible, Drifters are reminded that you will be traveling through remote wilderness in variable, often formidable, conditions at altitude in the winter. You are ultimately responsible for your safety. There will be limited snow machine support and course sweeps. Do not underestimate the difficulties of this race.
In the event a racer is unable to finish the race or if they miss an aid station cutoff, they will be taken off the course via snow machine. It may not be possible to evacuate from the course immediately. Be prepared to wait. Racers may initially be taken to a heated aid station for a time before a full evacuation can be completed, based on volunteer availability and race flow. All racers evacuated from the 28-mile course are REQUIRED to donate $50 to Tip Top Search and Rescue. Exception: if you turn around before Dollar Lake, you may return to the start/finish on your own. Racers will not be permitted to leave the course on non-race snow machines.
We know it can be a bummer to quit a race. We know the mood. We know you’re tired, you’re pissed, you’re disappointed, you’re hungry, you may be hurting, you’re probably freezing, and you’re just plain defeated. But, be grateful for assistance off the course. Pay your drop-out fee and be kind to your evacuator. Be patient if you have to wait. Remember that these folks are only there because they have volunteered to help you (even in the middle of the night), not to put up with your crap. So, if you need to get a ride out, swallow your damn pride, pay the fee, and be a nice human. K, thanks.
Racers are expected to start and finish with all gear they will need for the course. Racers may pick up snacks and drop trash at aid stations. There is no caching or outside support allowed. This includes dropping gear you are not using, towing or receiving food, water or a ride from anyone not affiliated with the race. Doing so will result in disqualification. Racers can and should help each other. Buddy system is always encouraged.
March in Pinedale is still very much winter. The average high is 38*F (which seems like a lie-it’s colder than that) and the average low is 7*F (again: lies). March is the windiest month (and, hey, that’s really saying something) with an average wind speed of 8 mph (but it’s totally going to be windier than that). However, temperatures in Sublette County in March have been as cold as -39*F. Read it again. For real. (yes, it says negative.thirty.nine.degrees.fahrenheit). Wyoming doesn’t f**k around: frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration, sun- and windburn are all very real and potentially deadly dangers here. Be prepared. Be overly prepared. Should you show up for the race under-prepared, it is at the discretion of a Race Director to determine whether you can safely race, and you may be denied entry, without a refund on your registration fees. So get your shit together and be safe.