Cross Timbers Race Guide
About The Race
As the oldest trail run in Texas, Cross Timbers Trail Run 2021 over the weekend of March 20 and 21 will be the 40th annual running of this event! Enjoy the rugged trails on the shoreline of Lake Texoma on the Texas side with the comfortable temperatures that come with being in Texas in March. With everything from 1 mile to 31.1 miles (distances are 1 mile, 5 miles, 13.1 miles, 26.2 miles, and 50K), there's something for everyone!
While aspects of the race will look a little different this year due to pandemic times, we are still planning for a wonderful weekend with our trail community, adventuring on these gorgeous trails, enjoying the time in nature, and celebrating 40 years of trail racing in Texas!
This year, to further celebrate 40 years of racing trails in Texas, we want an event the whole family can do! While we offer a 5 mile already for hikers, walkers, and runners wanting a fun but shorter experience than a half marathon, for our 40th annual, we will have a very affordable Kids' 1 Mile Race! It's an out-and-back course where your kids get a medal just like the big kids do! They'll also get a logo-ed flexible silicone drinking cup to continue to celebrate their achievement routinely throughout 2021. Let's introduce trails to the next generation!! Entry in the Kids' 1 Mile is only $25 per kid (and includes 2 guardians to accompany them on the trails for this adventure). The kids' race will be untimed.
We are all learning so much about this virus as the weeks and months pass, so I fully recognize this plan may need to be revised again even closer to race day as we learn more. It is incredibly important to me to keep the participants, my volunteers, myself, and the local residents all safe and healthy.
My directions when handling the virus will also no doubt be more conservative than some event producers because I take the threat of short- and long-term health effects, as well as the risk of death, seriously with this virus. And also because I myself am immunocompromised and don’t want to risk my kids and my husband losing me or handling potential long term health issues for me from the virus since I have 2 pre-existing medical conditions. However, at the same time, I want to be able to provide an event for the community when so many events have been canceled in the recent past and for the foreseeable future!
In the interest everyone’s safety I just assume that all volunteers and race participants are both (1) immunocompromised so I will take precautions to keep you safe AND (2) asymptomatically and unknowingly positive for COVID-19 so I will take precautions to keep you from giving the virus to others! This helps me lay out guidelines for the event to make sure everyone is safe!
We will have start windows on both Saturday and Sunday to help spread out the field. The earlier windows are great for those in long distances and early birds. Later windows are ideal for those who have a drive to get to the race or want to sleep in.
If a surge of folks show up at one time, only 5 may start per minute to spread out the field.
8:00 am to 9:00 am - Window 1 - 50K, Marathon, Half Marathon.
9:00 am to 10:00 am - Window 2 - Marathon, Half Marathon, 5 Mile, Kids' 1 Mile Races.
10:00 am to 11:00 am - Window 3 - Half Marathon, 5 Mile, Kids' 1 Mile Race
8:00 am to 9:00 am - Window 1 - Half Marathon, 5 Mile, Kids' 1 Mile Races.
9:00 am to 10:00 am - Window 2 - 5 Mile, Kids' 1 Mile Races.
10:00 am to 11:00 am - Window 3 - 5 Mile, Kids' 1 Mile Race
Location, Parking, and Directions:
The race takes place at Juniper Point West Campground on the Texas side of Lake Texoma. With rolling hills, the trails offer up some pretty views of the wooded areas on the shore of the lake and also of the lake itself.
We are here by permission from the Army Corps of Engineers, so please, no littering and no smoking at any time on the premises.
For GPS, use the address 32843 U.S. 377, Gordonville, TX 76245 to map to get to the parking area.
Directions: From Whitesboro, TX travel 13 miles north on Highway 377. The campground is on the left side of the highway just before you get to the Willis Bridge that crosses into Oklahoma.
Please follow instructions of any parking volunteers and adhere to any instructions on signs.
Race morning packet pickup can be done quickly and easily before your race start. Get your packet, take it back to your car, put on your bib, and get ready to race! You can pick up as early as 7:45 am both days.
What am I picking up? The following things:
Your bib - Write medical concerns we should know about on the back as well as emergency contact numbers.
Safety pins - Pin your bib wherever you want as long as it's on the front of you AND my volunteers can clearly read it at each aid station.
Your entrant shirt - You can swap sizes after your race if we aren't sold out.
Aid Station Details
For each distance, below are the aid station details. See the Cutoffs section above for aid station cutoff details.
Cedar Bayou - approx 2.5 miles
Stairway to Heaven - approx. 6.5 miles (turnaround for the half marathon)
Rock Creek Resort - approx. 9.5 miles
Paw Paw Point - approx. 13 miles
*Aid Station details subject to change.
You must wear a mask as you approach each aid station and take some distance to pull it down then back up if you need to drink anything from the paper cups provided. Please don't expose our volunteers to any germs while they are out there!
We will be refilling water at every aid station! A volunteer will help you refill your water. Bottles or bladders/packs need to be placed on the table and then distance yourself from the table while the volunteer refills.
We will have paper cups available where we can serve electrolyte drinks (Tailwind Nutrition), soda, and pickle juice.
We are not allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions from the property owners to serve any food at the event this year.
Aid stations will not provide Advil, Aspirin, Motrin, or any other pain relievers.
Aid stations will not have blister kits. If you are concerned about blisters, carry what you will need in your pack or make sure it's in the drop bag at each location you might need to use it.
At every aid station, participants are expected to check in and out. If you are bib 482, when you arrive, yell "482 IN." When you leave, you or your pacer (for 100 milers) should yell "482 OUT" and check that someone is recording. This keeps our records accurate.
If you decide to drop out of the race, you must please let the aid station captain know and make sure they note it on their clipboard. We don't want you to leave with your crew and then we're calling you or your emergency contact a couple hours later looking for you, or searching the expanse of the trail system for you!
Volunteers will work to monitor every participant's ingress to and egress from the aid stations. We reserve the right to disqualify anyone whose times between any check-in or check-out do not grossly align with the paces expected based on their moving times the rest of the race and their racing history.
Enjoy the rugged trails on the shoreline of Lake Texoma on the Texas side with the comfortable temperatures that come with being in Texas in February. We have distances to create an enjoyable day or a hard-fought challenge for anyone!
Lake Texoma is situated right on the border of Texas and Oklahoma. This lake is very popular, attracting 6 million visitors a year. Historically, hundreds of runners and walkers gather together every year to run the Cross Timbers Trail out-and-back along the lake's shore. It's a challenging wooded course with lots of roots, rocks, and hills to keep you challenged and engaged!
The course is two-way traffic.
50K: 1 time out-and-back on the full trail, 1 smaller loop on the 5 mile course.
Marathon: 1 time out-and-back on the full trail.
Half Marathon: 1 time out-and-back on a portion of the trail.
5 Mile: 1 time out-and-back on a smaller portion of the trail.
This course map shows the full out-and-back used for the marathon (1 time out and back). 5 Mile loops around where you see the "CB" on the map..
*Mileage is not for contestation. You will cover at least the distance you signed up for.
Garmin GPS devices aren't exact, but here is one elevation profile from a runner in 2016. This is a hilly course. Note that the new trail was created in late 2015 / early 2016, so any courses before 2016 will not reflect the current course. Click on this elevation profile to see it full screen.
This is not an exhaustive list but some hazards to watch out for on the trail:
Cliff drop-offs to the side of the trail.
For course markings, we will be using a combination of
bright pink contractor tape flagging
bright pink stake flags for any major field sections that don't have bushes
arrow signs (left, right, straight)
You may see CAUTION tape quarantining off a place to NOT go. And in other spots where there's an intersection, just follow the flagging for the right route to take. Flagging will be visible from where you are standing in the intersection.
Confidence flagging: For trail sections where there's no possible logical offshoot of a trail that you could take other than the one you are on, you may go as far as a half mile without flagging.
If you ever get to a spot where you are completely unsure of where you are, backtrack on the path you took until you get to course markers. If you become utterly and completely lost, never ever go off trail. Sit down where you are and wait until someone gets to you.
Drop Bags, Crew, Spectators, & Pacers
Drop bags will be allowed at Paw Paw Point (Mile 13) for the marathon and 50K. Drop bags have to be dropped off by 9:30 am Saturday morning to be available beginning at 10:00 am over at the Paw Paw Point Aid station. Bags will not be covered and will be exposed to the elements so plan accordingly.
Since we can't serve food at aid stations this year, all participants can leave a drop bag at the Cedar Bayou aid station (mile 2.5 in all races, mile 10.6 in the half marathon, mile 23.7 in the marathon and 50K, mile 28.7 in the 50K). The address to map to is 242 Dove Ln, Gordonville, TX. You can park temporarily to your left to drop off your bag on the other side of the gate.
Remember our aid stations do not have blister kits, so pack one anywhere you will need it. Pack anything you require to fuel your body during the event.
Size of drop bags: Just exercise reason for the ones we have to transport to Paw Paw Point. Thanks.
Friends and family may only spectate at the start/finish line at Juniper Point. Everyone must wear a mask at all times and practice social distancing of 6 feet from anyone outside your household.
Crews for the 50K may only access their runners within 200 yards of the aid station at the end of each loop. Crewing a participant outside that area may result in disqualification.
There are no pacers allowed at this event, as the longest distance is the 50K.
Cutoffs & Medical
There will be no FINAL cutoff time (within reasonable limits - read on).
There are incremental cutoffs ONLY. You must make each of these cutoffs in order to continue in the race.
Saturday - 50K and Marathon participants
You must be through the Rock Creek Aid Station OUTBOUND heading to Paw Paw by 11:00 am (approximately a 19 min/mile pace if you start at 8 am).
You must be through the Paw Paw Aid Station heading back to Rock Creek by 12:00 pm (Mile 13 for marathon and 50K which means a roughly 19 min/mile pace if you start at 8 am).
You must be through the Rock Creek Aid Station INBOUND heading to Stairway to Heaven by 1:15 pm.
50K must complete their first loop by 4:15 pm (at Juniper Point).
Everyone must be headed back through Cedar Bayou by 5:00 pm (18:48 min/mi pace for the 50K if you start at 8 am).
Saturday - Half Marathon and 5 Mile participants - you have a lot of time for your race because of the longer distances going on. This makes the race very approachable at a casual hiking/walking pace.
Sunday - Half Marathon and 5 Mile
Half Marathoners need to be through the Stairway to Heaven Aid Station (mile 6.5) by 10:30 am (a 23 min/mile pace if you start your race at 9 am).
All participants need to be through the Cedar Bayou Aid Station INBOUND by 12:00 pm.
Make sure you pick a starting window that works for your life and your pace based on these cutoffs.
These cutoffs represent the time you must be OUT of the aid station by. If a participant chooses to leave an aid station and return to the race course after the time cutoff or after being told by aid station volunteers that they are being pulled from the race, the participant is instantly disqualified and may be banned from future races.
If you leave an aid station before the cutoff but then backtrack and return to that same aid station after the cutoff, you will be pulled from the race.
If you can make the last incremental cutoff and these conditions, we will wait for you with your medal at the finish, however long you take to make the final 2.5 mile journey, within reasonable limits (up to 1.5 hours for that final stretch).
Medical: Each runner is responsible for their own actions. You need to be prepared both physically and mentally for all of the various stresses of the race. Our hope is to not have to call 911 for any of you. But in the event we have to in a medical emergency, medical expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participants receiving medical attention. Some parts of this trail are very remote to road access, and there may be a substantial amount of time that passes before medical personnel can arrive to provide aid.
Runners must understand all risks associated with undertaking this event. These physical and mental stresses include, but are not limited to, dehydration, hyponatremia, hypothermia, heat exhaustion, renal failure, seizures, hypoglycemia, disorientation, falls resulting in physical injury, complete physical and mental exhaustion, etc. Every participant is expected to monitor his or herself continually with an understanding of their own personal limitations. YOU, the individual participant, are absolutely responsible for your well being during and after the race.
Awards & Timing
Awards in each distance (both days' results will be combined):
Top 3 Overall male and female
Age group ranges and how deep we award in the age groups is determined by how many are registered for the race.
5 Mile : 1st, 2nd, 3rd place male and female in the following age groups: 19 and Under, 20-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 and Above.
Half Marathon : 1st place male and female in the following age groups: 19 and Under, 20-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65 and Above.
Marathon : 1st place male and female in the following age groups: 19 and Under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and Above.
50K : 1st place male and female in the following age groups: 19 and Under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and Above.
Because there's an open start and two race days, awards will be mailed about 2 weeks after the event when any results disputes or issues are resolved and results are considered final.
There is no prize money. There is no double dipping. Overall winners aren't eligible for age group awards.
Every finisher gets a finisher item.
The Kids' 1 Mile is untimed.
All other distances will be chip timed. The "chip" is actually a tag attached to the back of the race bib. Unlike shoe chip tags, there are no special instructions for the bib tag. They do not have to be looped a specific way, nor is there possible runner mishandling that can compromise RFID timing. Do not take the foam cover off your bib chip. If you do not have a chip on the back of your bib, find the race timer by the start/finish early race day morning to get a new bib.
Some tips that enhance reader sensitivity, all of which are very standard practices:
Bibs need to be worn to ensure race timing. If they do not wear a bib, they do not receive a time.
Bibs should be worn on the front of the body.
Bibs should be worn horizontally so that the number can be read like normal - not upside down or sideways.
Bibs should be worn visible to anyone observing, so on the exterior of clothing. If youwear a jacket and place the bib underneath, it can help if you expose the underlying bib upon mat-crossing to enhance reader sensitivity. This is usually only a precaution.
Bibs should not be crumpled up and placed inside runner's clothing.
Failure to register on multiple timing mats or incredibly inconsistent timing splits between timing mats may result in investigation and potential disqualification.There may be at least one timing mat besides the one at the start/finish somewhere out on the race course. We will not be announcing the locations of all mats.
If you find you inadvertently go off course or take a wrong turn, you must return to where you left the course before continuing. If you cut a loop short and realize it, immediately notify volunteers to go find the race officials so a determination can be made as to how to help you complete the full distance.
Those not following the course will risk disqualification.
For your entry, you receive:
Technical fabric shirt (in your size while supplies last)
The opportunity to run beautiful trails during a competitive race!
Being taken care of for up to 8+ hours (depending on your race distance) with aid stations, portapotties, race timing, and a well-marked race course.
For your finish, you receive:
A beautiful, wooden laser-engraved medal for all finishers
A chance to win an overall or age group award in your distance!
Environment & Travel
Weather: Average low temperature is 47. Average high temperature is 69. But it’s Texas so the weather is known for being unpredictable.
Sunrise: 7:31 am. Sunset: 7:39 pm.
If we find you littering, you're disqualified. We are here by the permission of the Army Corps of Engineers, and we want them to invite us to come back. Don't jeopardize that for everyone. If you get all the way out of the aid station with a gel wrapper, paper cup, or anything else, carry it with you to the next aid station.
Accommodations - Hotel
Cedar Bayou Marina 903-523-4248
Cedar Mills 903-523-4222
Lake Texoma Hideaway 214-773-3239
Victorian Inn (Whitesboro) 903-564-5662
Accommodations - Camping
The Juniper Point (west) campground has 12 spots but are first-come, first-served.
38 sites are available in the C section of Buncombe Campground just 3 miles away from the start/finish. They will all be first-come, first-served, and will be $12 per night. No attendant will be on duty to take money, so use the honor vault station at the entry kiosk to pay for your spot. Information on the Bumcombe Campground is here...
A car will be needed to get around. There will be no shuttle service arranged, as we expect the vast majority of attendees to be locals or have rented a car for the trip from the airport.
Dallas, Texas is served by two area airports: Dallas-Love Field (DAL) is the smaller one where Southwest Airlines flies out of, and then all other airlines fly through Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).
Registration & Policies
Online registration opens Monday, January 4, at 8 pm Central time.
As with all The Active Joe races, bib numbers are assigned in order of signup, so the lowest numbers for those most enthusiastic who sign up first!
As with our other trail races, you are also given the chance to request your top 3 "lucky" bib numbers. If not already claimed, I'll give you the first one of those listed that I can!
Mail-in registration is not available.
This race has a lower limit this year due to COVID times. There will be total limits per distance and per 1 hour window. This is a flexible number to control spreading people out at the start line as well as throughout the race course. Sign up fast to ensure you get a spot in the starting window you want and also to ensure you get the shirt size you want!
We understand that LIFE HAPPENS! Note that, unlike a lot of races, this race offers a refund policy (described below) and even refunds if you downgrade your distance (also described below). You may also go up in distance up until 2 days before the race (also described below). So there is no downside for committing to your goal now!
No registrations allowed on race day.
First 10 runners - $85 (current price tier)
Next 20 runners - $90
Until sell out or before race day - $100
First 30 runners - $80 (current price tier)
Next 20 runners - $90
Next 10 runners - $95
Until sell out or before race day - $100
First 40 runners - $70 (current price tier)
Next 40 runners - $75
Next 40 runners - $85
Until sell out or before race day - $90
First 40 runners - $45 (current price tier)
Next 40 runners - $50
Next 40 runners - $55
Until sell out or before race day - $60
*All prices subject to change.
Refunds can be requested if you find your plans change.
Refunds are subject to a $15 Administration Fee before February 1st.
Refunds are subject to a $20 Administration Fee before March 1st.
Refunds are subject to a $30 Administration Fee until 2 days before the race (the end of March 18th).
No refunds will be processed after March 18th.
See dropping down distances ahead of time below for info on refunds for downgrading your distance and receiving a refund before March 1st.
Want to transfer your race entry to a friend? Because there's a generous refund policy, no bib transfers are allowed.
Changing Distances Ahead of Time
If you want to switch distances before your race starts, email us if before March 18, or come find me at the race start/finish at packet pickup and runner check-in time pre-race, and we'll verify we have the swag and finisher gear to support it, and we'll approve it.
If upgrading distances, you will just need to pay the difference between the price you paid for your original distance and the current price at the time of the request for your new distance.
If downgrading distances and the lower distance costs less than you paid, you can get a refund for the difference minus the admin fee shown above in the refund schedule.
If downgrading distances and the lower distance now costs more than when you originally paid, you will owe the difference, but no fees.
Refunds for distance downgrades will only be granted until March 18.
Dropping Down Distances Mid-race
If you drop down midrace to a shorter distance than you initially signed up for, then you will not have an official finish in the shorter distance. Dropping midrace will result in a DNF (Did Not Finish). We all have bad days. It's okay. If you want to switch distances ahead of time, talk to us (or email us), we'll verify we have the swag and finisher gear to support it, and we'll approve it BEFORE your race starts.
We will offer a wait list for those who didn't get in if the race sells out early. Depending on when you get pulled off the wait list if a spot opens up, your swag (like shirt and other stuff) options may be limited or you may not receive some of it. We do not overorder stuff.
See our Transgender Entrant Policy which applies to all races produced by The Active Joe and seeks to support, include, and protect the privacy of the transgender athletes who attend our races.
Dogs are allowed into the race on a case by case basis and only a limited number will be allowed. You must email to inquire about your animal.
No strollers are allowed on the race course for the safety of all.
Runners and walkers are both welcome, as long as you can finish by the time limit.
Entry fees are non-refundable, including in the case of inclement weather.
This is a private event, so unregistered participants are not allowed. "Banditting" (as this action is referred to) is frowned upon in the running community and unfair to the runners who paid for the opportunity to participate. Race entry fees go for a lot more than water on a course, medals at the finish line, and a shirt in your race packet. It also exposes an event to serious liability risk. It stresses race resources that were calibrated for the sold-out number of participants and therefore can put other participants', the paid participants, health or safety at risk. Those who bandit any portion of the race may be banned from future events by The Active Joe.
Note that it is never okay to allow someone else to use your bib without a proper bib transfer arranged with the Race Director. This can lead to serious liability and medical risks in the chance of emergency and jeopardize the future of the event for everyone.
Our primary goal is to provide a safe event for participants, volunteers, and the community alike. If something arises that threatens that safety, then a) the event will be altered as it is reasonably possible without stressing other resources, b) the events may be delayed during the morning, or c) the event may be canceled. The event can not be rescheduled for another date due to resource availability in the event of cancellation.
Event shirts not picked up at packet pickup or race day will not be mailed.
*All items above subject to potential significant change.