From the race website:
"Course is an out-and-back on the Enoree Passage of the Palmetto Trail in Sumter National Forest, starting and finishing at the Day Use Parking Area near Brickhouse Campground.
Runners will find much diversity and great scenery on the course. As you travel the shaded trail, you will pass by lakes, beaver ponds, swamps, cross over dams and rivers, including the Enoree River. There are bridges and wooden walkways over the rivers and swamps. You will find hills, some rocks and roots, some road crossings, some short stretches on paved and gravel roads, but the course is about 98% trail, overall, very runnable.
From the start, the course goes north on the Palmetto Trail for 20 miles to a turn-around/aid station at John's Creek Lake, then returning to the finish. Additional aid stations will be located at approximately miles 5/35, 10/30, and 15/25. All aid stations will be well-stocked with a wide variety of food and drinks, plus food at the finish. Mandatory to carry at least one water bottle. There are no cut-off times and each finisher will receive a unique award.
The course is marked with yellow blazes painted on trees, plus orange ribbons and orange flags."
Here are some pictures I found from a Mountain Biking site. They provide a pretty good feel for what the Enoree Trail should be like, with the exception of it being Spring, so I hope to seemore foliage.
I confirmed this as my first Ultra attempt after receiving this email from Jason Sullivan. I was very impressed he took the time to provide some feedback I was looking for. If you have a moment you really should check out his blog, Running the Carolinas. You'll find lots of good race recaps, information about fueling, and gear, etc.
I think the Enoree Passage would be an excellent race to do for a first ultra. I assume that this will be your first ultra? If so, then I would say go for it! Terri Hayes puts on very laid back and relaxed ultra runs and they are perfect for your first. Her aid stations are awesome and she will have one setup every five miles. Oh, and the big draw - No Cutoff times! You can find your pace and adjust it as need be. I love that about her races.
I have run this section four times and it is one of my favorite trails in the Upstate.
There are a few small climbs, but the trail is flat and runnable for the most part. It is very diverse. You will run over three dams, cross 2-4 rivers (via bridge), and pass through several swamps while running on walkways. On the other hand you will run through some thick forest areas and even go through the edge of someone's backyard. I forget that I'm in South Carolina every time I run it.
You will find a lot of first time ultra runners at Enoree if you decide to do it. If you do, be sure to introduce youself if you have time.
Take care & hope to see you on the 9th!
I also received an email from the RD herself, Terri Hayes, who said she didn't think Enoree would be too difficult for a first ultra, especially coming down from Asheville. She said the course does have some rolling hills, a few rocks and roots, but is quite runnable. She says that for a first ultra, she always tells runners to just do it to finish, not to try to run any set time and most important, have fun. I like her already.