Quicksilver Running Club

Running with mountain lions since 1983

Course Description

When creating this course, we took into consideration course beauty, historic features, elevation gain, sunrise/sunset timing, crew accessibility, aid station optimization, and the overall interaction of the ultra runners during the event. The 100K, boasts 12,000+ feet of elevation gain and was created from our 2,000+ individual experiences at other ultra marathon events we have experienced over the years.

As with the previous years during the production of our Quicksilver 50 mile endurance run, we used neighboring parks and open space to allow for a unique yet challenging event experience. We have decided to continue to use the neighboring Sierra Azul Open Space that guides you higher and deeper into the Santa Cruz Mountains and into Los Gatos.

You are required to have a light source at the start. Civil twilight is at 5:36am and sunrise at 6:04am. The race starts at the Hacienda entrance of Almaden Quicksilver County Park in historic New Almaden. Runners will immediately begin a gentle climb in the dark through English Camp, past San Cristobol Mine, and around Hidalgo Cemetery all while dark. You then head west towards Sierra Azul Open Space and your first Aid Station at Hicks Road Aid Station.

You will then continue towards neighboring Los Gatos and the Lexington Reservoir and home to National Champion Los Gatos Rowing Club. Say hello to the volunteers at the Lexington Reservoir aid station, and thank them.  You may wish to jump in a boat or your crew’s car because from here you will experience the toughest section of the course, enduring an exposed lengthy climb up the famed Priest Rock Trail (AKA Dogmeat). At the top of Dog Meat is a 4 miles down and 4 miles up trip on the Kennedy Trail. After that, it's over the unforgiving “Dead Kennedy Rollers” to Mt El Sombroso. However, before heading down the mountain back into the mines of Quicksilver Park, you will get to the Wood Road Aid Station. When you arrive back to Hicks Road Aid Station, you will be glad to see your friends and family because you will be torn up. Get refreshed and psyched up because your historic tour of Quicksilver will begin.

The Quicksilver mines were highly important during the Gold Rush of California and referred to as the most successful mines in North America. The miners sought mercury that was used to extract gold from ore during the gold rush days. There remain numerous structures from the 130 years of mining operations that housed over 1,800 people during this span. Shall you decide to continue on, you will be given a homemade tour of the rich history of our club’s training ground. Be alert for deer, rattlesnakes, bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, and even the tiny Tericha Torosa… aka the California Newt.

The rest of the course will provide many turns and challenges. But, please be rest assured, this course will be marked incredibly well. We will tease you by bringing you around to the Mockingbird aid station where you will be tempted to drop because of the smell of the BBQ. Cruel? Well yes ;-) After the temptation, you will get on the most beautiful trail in the park, The New Almaden Trail and other single tracks that will prove to be very challenging on your tiring legs. The good news is that you will be running in the hottest part of the day under the canopy of trees. We will send you to our good friends and ultra running veterans, The Stevens Creek Striders at Bull Run Aid Station. The Striders have been managing aid stations at our races and Western States 100 mile endurance run for over 25 years, so you know you are in good hands and running feet.

After Bull Run A/S, you will be able to enjoy yourself on the easiest part of the course, and possibly the most fun back on Prospect #3 and New Almaden Trails towards the McAbee Aid Station. After McAbee, you will head to Enriquita, in which you will pass the Guadalupe Reservoir on your way to the Enriquita Aid Station. The out and back to the remains of the  Enriquita mine will be the most technical part of the course so watch your footing. At the turnaround, be sure to mark your bib or you may be disqualified. As you run or hike back out, you will be making your last big ascent before arriving at your last aid station, Bull Run #2. From here you will wonder why that downhill finish wasn’t as easy as it looks on paper, but don’t worry the finish line and post-race BBQ await you. You did it!

Quicksilver Running Club of San Jose is a 501(c) (4) nonĀ­profit tax exempt organization

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