Foothill Flyers Race Reviews
Last update April 22, 2004

Leona Divide 50 Mile & 28.4 Mile Trail Race

3rd Saturday in April, Lake Hughes CA

App and info: call Glenda Kimmerly (760) 765-1149, email: kimmerlys@yahoo.com

Location: Lake Hughes Community Center, Lake Hughes, CA. (approx. 20 miles West of Palmdale, CA)

One loop and an out and back section with roughly 38 miles of Pacific Crest Trail and 12 miles of dirt roads in the Angeles National Forest. Finish line cutoff at 13hrs. More info about cutoffs in Confirmation Letter. Cutoffs stricly enforced.

NEW 28.4 Mile distance option offered for runners 60 and over. Same course as 50 Miler for the first 24.5 (aid st. #4), then 3.9 to finish area.

Manuel Garcia opines:
Leona Divide....a great 50 miler. What a sweetheart of a trail. I didn't do the race, but I did do enough running (17miles) to get a feel of what she's like. She's soft, curvy, and exposed! You do Leona on a hot day...and you're in for a "bad water day." Fortunately, this year she greeted the runners with showers of hail and a light cold breeze. I just went up to take photos, read a book, listen to music, and help out at some aid station...but it was just too cold to wait around so I took my camera and went shooting for any "Flyer" I could find.

While waiting around the first two aid stations I was entertained by Scott Jurek's (winner) dramatics as he approached the aid stations. He was carrying two hand held bottles, which he threw with such fervor just as he approached the aid station. While rushing over to his crew (probably his wife) for his two new bottles, his competition passes him. You can only imagine the intensity of the situation. His transitions were anything but smooth. At the first and third aid stations he fumbled and dropped his water bottles. His clumsiness may have been the reason he missed breaking his record by 17 seconds!

Overall, I would rate the Leona Divide 50 a must do ultra race. The course does have some good steady climbs. The toughest climb was four miles long. Since the course is not very technical you get to do a lot of running. The aide stations were well stocked with goodies and good people. The time limit of 13 hours is challenging but doable if one trains and if the weather conditions are not too severe. My congratulations to all the Flyers I saw: Julie, Gary, Hal, "Badwater" John, Mark, Bill, Jeff, and my running buddy Dina.


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