This page will be the FAQ / Race Information holding ground for all details regarding the 50k / 100k Race
The 50K and 100k races are run on scenic, hilly trails and fire roads. You will run through peaceful oak forests, wide-open meadows, and along ridges with spectacular views of the Santa Clara Valley and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Although the course is very challenging, the friendly aid stations and beautiful scenery make Quicksilver an excellent choice for a first trail ultra-marathon. The outstanding post-race barbecue is a fitting reward after you’ve met the challenge.
Be sure to check out the elevation profile, in addition to reading all the information below. Take a look at past years’ results to get a feel for typical times to finish the race. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the race or training for it.
Have a good training and see you on race day!
Volunteers are always needed on race day to help out at the aid stations and at the start/finish
area. There are a variety of jobs and hours are flexible. Volunteers get a T-shirt, lunch at the great post-race barbecue, and they are guaranteed a lot of fun and "thank-yous" from the runners. If you or someone you know is interested, just email the RD.
You can register online here and pay by credit card. THERE IS NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION. Sign up early, as we limit the field to 330 runners.
- 50K: $95 ($110 after April 9)
- 100k: $125 ($140 after April 9)
As with most races, entry fees are NON-REFUNDABLE as we incur expenses long before the race date. Goodies are guaranteed at check in only for those who register by April 9.
Where does your money go?
Quicksilver strives to be one of the “best runs for your buck”. We are a 100% volunteer, nonprofit organization. There are a lot of hours and no one gets paid. You can feel good as part of the proceeds go to charities and good causes. For example we fund schools to help them get sports equipments and foundations to keep parks open and create more trails.
- 50K: 5,540' elevation gain, high 1,700', low 360' (profile)
course record holders: Leor Pantilat 3:30:10, Kami Semick 4:17:15
- 100k: ~11,891' elevation gain, high 2,891', low 343' (profile - see below)
Aid stations will have water, an electrolyte drink, coke, fruits, cookies, pretzels, chips, and candies. Some aid stations will have gels, potatoes and sandwiches.
YOU SHOULD CARRY AT LEAST ONE WATER BOTTLE—the weather is often hot and it can be a long time between aid stations if you are moving slowly and out of water.
See below for more aid station and course details
When creating the new course, we took into consideration course beauty, historic features, elevation gain, sunrise/sunset timing, crew accessibility, aid station optimization, and the overall interaction of the ultra runners during the event. The new 100K, boasts 12,000 feet of elevation gain and was created from our 2,000+ individual experiences at other ultra marathon events we have experienced over the years.
As with the previous 30 years during the production of our Quicksilver 50 mile endurance run, we used neighboring parks and open space to allow for a unique yet challenging event experience. We have decided to continue to use the neighboring Sierra Azul Open Space that guides you higher and deeper into the Santa Cruz Mountains and into Los Gatos.
You are required to have a light source at start. Civil twilight is at 5:34am and sunrise at 6:04am. The race will start is being moved to the Hacienda entrance of Almaden Quicksilver County Park in historic New Almaden. Runners will immediately begin a gentle climb in the dark through English Camp, past San Cristobol Mine, through a rock quarry, and around Hidalgo Cemetery… all while dark. You then head west towards Sierra Azul Open Space and your first Aid Station at Hicks Road - mile 6.5. Crew will be able to cheer you on hear. You will then climb up towards Mt Umunhum to nearby Bald Mountain upon which you will hopefully be able to enjoy the sunrise with Aid Station Captain Jeff Clowers.
You will then continue towards neighboring Los Gatos and the Lexington Reservoir and home to National Champion Los Gatos Rowing Club. You may wish to jump in a boat or your crews car because from here you will experience the toughest section of the course (Look for a surprise along the way), enduring an exposed lengthy climb up the famed Priest Rock Trail (AKA Dogmeat) and over the unforgiving “Kennedy Rollers” to El Sombroso. However, before heading down the mountain back into the mines of Quicksilver Park, you will get to party with Kennedy Aid Station Captain Loren Lewis. It’s his birthday this day, so you may wish to stop and enjoy a cold one before your rocky descent. When you arrive back to Hicks Road Aid Station, you will be glad to see ultra running veterans and aid station Captains Clare Abram and Scott Laberge. Let your historic tour of Quicksilver begin.
The Quicksilver mines were highly important during the Gold Rush of California and referred to as the most successful mines in North America. The miners sought mercury which was used to extract gold from ore. There remains of numerous structures from the 130 years of mining operations that housed over 1,800 people during this span. Shall you decide to continue you on, you will be given a homemade tour of the rich history of our club’s host park. Be alert for deer, rattlesnakes, bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, and Tericha Torosa… aka the California Newt.
The rest of the course will provide many turns and challenges. But, please be rest assured, this course will be marked incredibly well. We will tease you by bringing you around to the Mockingbird aid station at mile 42.5 where you will be tempted to drop because of the smell of the best post-race celebration of food and drink in ultra running. Cruel? Well yes ;-). After the temptation, you will get on the most beautiful trail in the park, The New Almaden Trail and other single tracks that will prove to be very challenging on your tiring legs. The good news is that you will be running in the hottest part of the day under the canopy of trees. We will send you to our good friends and ultra running veterans, The Stevens Creek Striders, who have been managing aid stations at our races and Western States 100 mile endurance run for over 25 years. You are in good hands and running feet.
These have been updated and are located by following this link;
50k Turn by Turn - In Progress (see old particiapt guide here)
Work in progress; our Current course is has been mapped out with a Strava Route, we are working on a color coded map with aid stations and more information that should be out soon.
Course Elevation - 50K
Weather and Hazards
Normal starting temperatures are 45-60 degrees; afternoon temperatures can be anywhere from the 60s to the 90s. While the temps are normally moderate, it can feel very warm when it gets into the mid-70s. Rain is possible though not likely. Although we work very hard to keep the trail itself free of poison oak and tall grass, there is poison oak along the course. Be alert for rattlesnakes and ticks.
For your safety, we will have an EMT at the start/finish area and emergency kits at each aid station.
4am Start from Hacienda (100k)
1. Race numbers must be worn on the front so they are visible to checkpoint personnel.
2. Race numbers cannot be transferred to another runner.
3. Crew Access is still TBD. There is no other road access to the course, but observers
are welcome to run or hike into aid stations. No aid may be given outside of aid stations.
4. No pacers are allowed in the 50K. Runners in the 100k may have pacers from TBD.
5. Trekking poles are not allowed on the Single Track trail. Therefore, you may wish to put
them with a drop bag
7. No ties will be allowed for awards.
There are no cut-off times for the 50K.
The following cut-off times for 100k runners will be strictly enforced (they will correspond to a pace of about 15 mn/mile):
Any runner who refuses to leave the course after missing a cut-off may be refused entry to the race in future years.
We keep track of all runners, so if something should happen that makes it necessary for you to drop out of the race, GO TO THE SCORING TABLE AT THE FINISH LINE to let us know you have dropped. We do not have any reliable means of getting information from the aid stations, so it is your responsibility to let us know at the finish line that you have dropped. If we call search and rescue because we don’t know where you are, you will likely get a very large bill from the County for the search.
The Finish Celebration
The post-race barbecue will be held at the finish area beginning at about 11:00am. All finishers in the 50K and all who make the cut-offs out on the course and finish the 100k will receive finishers’ awards. Awards will be given to the overall male and female winners of each race (who will also receive their first place age group awards). Age group awards will be given to first and second female and male finishers in 29 and under, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over age divisions.