January 16, 2016, marks my introduction to David’s Trail Endurance Run. Winter flooding marked the inaugural year which required repair and rerouting of part of the course. 7K and 25K courses were run that year. The 50K distance was added in 2017. I’ve made the trip to Mountain Home for this race a few times since 2016. The reasons are clear for anyone who has participated in this run: the course is phenomenal, the atmosphere boasts amenities not available to other races, and the race directors are some of the best in the business.
The 25K course has about 5000 feet of elevation change, the 50K is about 10000 feet. The 7K course is a tour of the older part of David’s Trail on Robinson’s Point with all three distances providing vistas overlooking Norfork Lake. With the race in January each year, the weather has been everything from freezing rain and snow to warm and sunny. There is something serenely beautiful about running trails with snow on the ground and icicles still clinging to overhangs and bluffs. This trail is glorious regardless of the weather.
Where to stay:
One of the amenities that makes this race special is the option to stay in a cabin at Rocking Chair Resort. The Start/Finish chute is right in the midst of the cabins. Runners can leave their cabin and start the race within a few minutes of walking outside. Rentals include multi-bedroom cabins to share with friends for the entire weekend turning the race into a mini vacation. With full kitchens, outdoor grills, and fire pits in abundance, Rocking Chair Resort is a great place for runners to bring family and other spectators to enjoy a comfortable space while they run and for spectators to be right in the middle of the action of the finish line with the comforts of home just steps away.
This brings us to the race directors. Pirate Perry Events, Paul Gigliotti and Jake Anderson along with their spouses Misty and Melony, put on some of the best running events in the state. They do a great job of providing swag you’ll want to keep and wear, ample post-race food and beverages, and live music. The Mellow Mountain Band has partnered with the race several times to provide finish-line music and entertainment for the crowd. Live music amplifies the party atmosphere and makes people happy even if they just ran 15 or 32 miles and are dog-tired. If they don’t have the energy to dance, they can at least tap their toes while they hydrate and eat. In addition to David’s Trail Endurance, Pirate Perry Events direct Jog with your Dog and $5 5K in Mountain Home, the Branson Mountain Man Off-Road Tri in Branson, the White River Marathon in Cotter, and an off-road duathlon series in Bentonville- Trailfest for MS. Please check out their home page for all the events they have scheduled and check back for additions. Registration for David’s Trail Endurance Run Jan 21, 2023, opens on July 1.