The Central Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club invite you to participate in the 12th Annual Ironmaster’s Challenge 50k & 15k trail runs.
When: Sunday, September 26, 2021
Where: Pine Grove Furnace State Park and Michaux State Forest in Gardners, PA
For over 10 years, participants have been enjoying this springtime adventure challenge in two separate events, a 50k and 15k, both culminating in a finish-line picnic celebration at the Ironmaster’s Mansion at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, the famed halfway point along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. We are sorry we could not offer the 50k in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, we look forward to offering both events once again in September 2021. You’ll experience the same challenging and rewarding day — the rock scrambles, grueling ascents, ridgeline vistas, wildflowers, rushing streams and lakesides, and epic single track trails through Michaux State Forest.
For those new to the race, the Ironmaster’s Challenge features a 50K Ultra and a 15K Challenge, both of which are open to trail runners and hikers, and feature the beautiful woodlands of Pine Grove Furnace State Park and surrounding Michaux State Forest. Each course is wheel-measured and each event is professionally timed by Pretzel City Sports for instant results. Radio communications, staffed food and water checkpoints, and additional water stations are provided. Every year participants praise the trail course for its challenging features, scenic quality and diversity, and finish-line reception at the charming Ironmaster’s Mansion.
Other benefits included in your registration are a tech t-shirt, a finisher’s premium for the 50K Ultra event, a finishline picnic lunch, and a plentiful supply of local beer provided by our beverage sponsor, Molly Pitcher Brewing Company (Carlisle, PA). Each participant will be provided with instructions, trail maps, check point locations, and water/aid stations.
The Ironmaster’s Challenge is organized as a fundraiser by Central Pennsylvania Conservancy (CPC), the nonprofit land trust for the surrounding five county-region. All proceeds from the race support CPC’s mission to acquire, preserve and protect important natural areas in our region through land acquisition, conservation easements, and outreach. Many of CPC’s projects seek to protect regional trail resources for public access, recreational use, and permanent protection of the surrounding scenic landscapes.
This event tends to sell out before race day, so make sure you get your registration in early to reserve your space in an experience you will never forget!
The first climb that culminated in Sunset Rocks made clear that this was not a day for turning in a speedy PR. I doubt anyone cared, however, because we made a conscious decision not to run a road race this day and the course rewarded our wise decision with natural beauty. It makes sense that this race was hosted by the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club. These stewards of our natural treasures knew how to show off the trails that we have in our backyards.
Patrick Cawley - 50K Ultra Participant 2012 - Ironmaster’s Challenge
Regardless of which event you choose, you will have fun. Sunshine, fresh air, and forested trails beckon you to join us … besides, you’ll be supporting a great cause! We hope to see you on the trail. Please contact us anytime with questions you may have.
Please NO pets and NO smoking.