Grasslands Trail Run – 25th Year Celebration
Saturday, March 18, 2023
Half-Marathon – Marathon – 50 Mile
About The Race
The Grasslands Trail Run has been a North Texas Trail Running tradition since 1999. The race is held annually on the third weekend in March at the LBJ National Grasslands near Decatur, TX on more than 20,000 acres managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The trails loop among rolling hills and through a mixture of pine and oak grove forests, and open grassland fields. Unique to North Texas trail races, the 50 miler is held on approximately 45 miles of non-overlapping trail. The Marathon and Half Marathon are both held on 100% unique trail. With a gentle elevation profile (approximately 2000 ft of elevation gain in the 50 miler) the race course is very runnable which makes it an excellent choice as a first trail race in any of the distances offered. Run the 50 Miler, Marathon, or Half Marathon trail races and enjoy the beauty of one of our National Grasslands while sharing the trails with horses and running past cows—don’t let the cows out!
Complete details will be found in the 2023 Race Guide
Race Week Schedule
Saturday (Race Day)
5:30 – 8:30 a.m. Race Day Packet Pickup and Timing Chip Pick Up
6:00 a.m. 50 Mile Start
7:30 a.m. Marathon Start
8:30 a.m. Half Marathon Start
All races are gun timed. Please be sure to arrive on time.
The race start is TADRA Point at the LBJ National Grasslands (Linked to Google Map for reference only). In most cases Google Maps are good enough to get to the site. Cell coverage is pretty good to Decatur. However, as you get closer to the race site cell coverage can be spotty in some places along the way. Please don’t depend solely on your GPS! Have a backup and plan on arriving early so you have time to park, pay the day use fee ($10), and pick up your timing chip before your race.
IMPORTANT: As you get closer to the race site we will have large signs that say “TRAIL RUN” with directional arrows pointing the way. We have set up these signs to make sure traffic to the race site is orderly and so we can quickly direct everyone into the parking area.
Directions from HWY 380 in Decatur:
- Take FM 730 North – Drive approximately 9 miles to CR 2461.
- Turn LEFT onto CR 2461.
- At the first fork, turn RIGHT onto CR2560 (There will be a couple of brown signs pointing)
- Continue approximately 2.4 miles to FS900 (There will be two signs both with arrows pointing left one for TADRA Point and the other for Cottonwood Lake)
- Turn LEFT on FS900 and Continue 1.8 miles to TADRA Point on the right side of the road.
Prizes will be awarded as follows to the top finishers in all events:
- The top three overall male and female finishers
- The top male and female Master’s finisher (40+)*.
* Any masters runner who places in one of the top overall positions will be ranked in the open division. Masters awards will then be awarded based on the next eligible runner within that division.
Our runners love our race shirts, and we will do our best to order enough shirts for everyone. To be guaranteed a race shirt in your preferred size, register two weeks before race date.
Please note the following:
- We do not mail shirts to participants who do not show up for the race.
- Transfers to another runner after the shirt deadline will receive the shirt size indicated by the original registrant.
- We only exchange shirts for a different size after the race as long as we have extra sizes available.
The Grasslands Trail Run is held on the multi-use trail system at the LBJ National Grasslands. The race uses the Blue, White, Yellow, and Red trails. The colors in the tables to the right match the colors of the trails in the course map to the left.
For more details on how the course is marked see the following link: COURSE MARKING
This is a cupless race. Please bring your own hydration device to carry and consume fluids on the course. Water a will be available at all aid stations along with many food items such as bananas, potato chips, Oreos, fig cookies, soda, Salt Stick and much more.
Please make sure your drop bags are water resistant as we cannot guarantee that they will not get wet in case of inclement weather. Many options are available, anything from dry bag to a zip-lock bag. All drop bags should be labeled last name, first name. Optionally add your bib number if you come to early packet pickup. Remember to pick up your drop bag at the end of the race. All drop bags left will be discarded after the race.
Time Cut Off
- Participants must leave the TADRA Point – Start/Finish Aid Station (mile 45.6) by 5:45 PM to start the final out and back segment. With a start time of 6:00 a.m., that means participants should be able to reach mile 45.6 in 11:45 or a 15:27 min/mile pace.
- Participants who do not meet these cut-offs will be politely removed from the course.
- Participants must reach the Red Ant Pond aid station before it closes at 2:00 PM.
- Marathon participants should be able to reach this aid station (mile 22.9) within 6 1/2 hours (17:02 min/mi pace.)
- Half-Marathon participants should be able to reach this aid station (mile 10.1) within 5 1/2 hours (32:40 min/mi pace.)
Historically in ultramarathon races pacers have be allowed only in the late stages of a race for the safety of the runner. Typically this is only in 100 mile races or a more difficult 100K race where most participants finish in the dark. While we do not expect any runner to finish the 50 mile race in the dark, we do recognize the value of a pacer for any runner struggling in the later stages of a race. Because of this we are implementing a policy that establishes a hard start time after which pacers can accompany runners.
Pacers are only allowed for 50 mile runners. Pacers can only be picked up from the Start/Finish Aid Station at TADRA Point after 4:00 PM. No exceptions. Violation of this policy will result in disqualification. Runners with pacers cannot earn any top place finish. Check the standings before leaving on your final loop.
Camping is available at the TADRA Campground by the start/finish line. Sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. TADRA is a fee area ($10/day) with a self-pay station available for all campers. Pit toilets are available at the campground, and there is no potable water or electricity.
Holiday Inn Express Hotel Suites
1051 North Hwy 81/287
Decatur, TX 76234
La Quinta Inn & Suites
1600 South Highway 287
Decatur, TX 76234
Fairfield Inn & Suites Decatur
1910 West US Highway 380
Decatur, TX 76234
Baymont Inn & Suites
600 W Hale Avenue
Decatur, TX 76234
Best Western Decatur Inn
1801 South Hwy 287
Decatur, TX 76234
1709 TX 287
Decatur, TX 76234
Chip Timing – Even though this is a chip-timed race your start time is based off of Gun Time. All splits and finish time is based on when you cross the timing mat. You will not get an official time unless you are wearing your chip for the entire race. The chips are sensitive to angle and proximity with the timing mat so wear the chip around your ankle, as intended.
No Littering – We host the race by special permit from the Forest Service. Please respect the trail. Intentional littering will not be tolerated and is grounds for disqualification. Each aid station will have garbage bags. If you have garbage between stations, carry until the next aid station. This includes wrappers from gels, food items, etc.
Running the Course Correctly – Any runner who does not run the course in the proper direction/order may be disqualified from the race. Make sure you study the course maps and understand the order and direction of the trails you will run in your race. It is your responsibility to understand the course.
Cutting the Course – Anyone who cuts the course intentionally will be disqualified and may be banned from registering from future Blaze Trails races. Anyone who cuts the course unintentionally may be disqualified or assessed a time penalty at the sole discretion of the race director.
Crews are not allowed at any location other than the Start/Finish at TADRA Point. There is not enough parking at any remote aid station for crew vehicles.
Outside Aid is not permitted. Aid is only allowed at designated aid stations.
Pacers are only allowed for the 50-mile event only, and only on the final loop. No exceptions. Anyone violating this policy will be disqualified. Pacers are not allowed to carry any items for their runner. Runners are only allowed to pick up their runner from the START/Finish Aid Station at TADRA Point. Pacers must check in and sign a waiver before leaving with their runner.
Dropping from the Race – While we don’t prohibit dropping at remote aid stations, we typically do not shuttle people back to to the start/finish except in the most dire circumstances. If you need to drop, please check out from the race and provide your race chip to the timer at the Start/Finish.
Don’t Let The Cows Out – Please close and chain the cattle gates along the course behind you. The forest service leases sections of the grasslands for cattle grazing from time to time. Anyone violating this policy will be disqualified.
Share the Trail—with people and animals!
Grasslands is a combination of single-track and equestrian trails. If someone is behind you and ready to pass, please step to the side and allow them to pass.
You might come across horseback riders. When approaching, talk to the riders and let them know that you are coming up. Hearing your voice will prevent a horse from getting spooked. Give riders time to move to the side.
Cows are also sometimes in fields or even on the trail in front of you. Please run around them, giving them plenty of space.
Respect Volunteers and Race Staff – Our Volunteers are pretty darn great! Please be courteous and thank them for coming out to support the race.
Headphones – We do not prohibit Headphone use during the race. However if you do decide to use headphones, we’d like to ask that you listen with one ear only so you can be aware of other runners and your surroundings.
Registration and Refund Policy
We understand that things come up. If you can no longer run the race, if you let us know more than one month in advance, you will receive 100% race credit for another Blaze Trails Running event. If you let us know between one month and two weeks prior to race day, you will receive 50% race credit towards another Blaze Trails Running event. We will not allow any refunds or transfers less than two weeks before race day. No exceptions.
We allow changes in race distance as long as we still have openings in that distance. If you are moving to a longer distance, you will need to pay the difference. If you are moving to a shorter distance, you will not get that difference back.
Bib transfers to another runner are allowed up until the two weeks prior to the race only if the race has not sold out. If you are interested in transferring your bib to another person, please contact us immediately. It is very important for the safety of all runners that we have the correct contact and medical information. If the shirt order has already been placed, the person you transfer to agrees to accept the shirt size that you ordered. A $15 administration fee (plus transaction fee) will be charged to the person who is accepting the bib transfer. We do not allow transfers if the event has sold out and have a wait list. In that case, we will follow the posted refund policy and allow the next person on the wait list to register. We require transfers to be completed no later than two weeks prior to the race. This allows us to keep our focus on producing the event and other important race details during the race week. If you contact us in the last two weeks to ask for a transfer, we will not reply and the transfer is not allowed. No exceptions.
Refund and/or transfer requests must be made in writing by submitting a message through the “contact us” link on our website. Refunds are only processed as credit to a future event.
I further understand that I am not entitled to a refund if the race director and/or race officials are forced to cancel the race due to any participant safety issue on the course that is out of the race organizer’s control. This may include, but is not limited to flooding, lightning or any other weather condition that makes the course unsafe for participants.