The Big Dipper is a trail race that includes part of the Messiah Cross-Country Team's course as well as other trails that run through Messiah's campus. The event is open to the community as a way to involve others with our team and to share what we love: running and dipping. Our team has traditions of dipping in the Yellow Breeches once a month, every month. Luckily, we invite you to join us for our dip after the race during the summer month of July. The proceeds of the race will go towards supporting the cross-country team and aiding in expenses we accrue over the year.
About the race: This is a great race for beginners in the trail racing scene, experienced trail runners looking for a tune-up, and also cross country athletes seeking a challenging 4-mile course to test their training. If you like to challenge yourself on multiple types of terrain and are not afraid to be adventurous, this is your kind of race. We offer a cash prize and ice cream scoops to the top male and female, and prizes for the top Masters division male and female.
About the course: The course begins on the Starry Athletic fields and stays entirely on Messiah College property. This year, we are running the course in reverse for the first time!
After crossing the covered bridge, the course joins the Fit Trail (gravel at first, then dirt double-track) before entering single track and climbing up the Water Tower hill. These middle miles will test even the strongest of runners as you drop down to creek level from some harrowing winding single-track descents from the bluffs, climb back up to the Tower on a rugged side trail, and drop back down into the back 40 open grass fields. The last mile on this side of the creek is downhill and fast! The finish is back in Starry Fields, where we will also hold awards and have post-race snacks and fluids available. We look forward to seeing you on the course!
Event date and time: July 13th at 6:00pm
Parking: Parking will be in Starry Parking Lot. Enter Messiah at the main entrance with the roundabout and the display sign. Turn right and drive down the hill past the central campus buildings, all the way to the stop sign at the creek. Turn sharp left, then drive to the next stop sign and turn right to cross the covered bridge into the lot.
What to Bring: Bring your waivers if possible or we may have you sign the waiver again once you arrive. Also bring your ID and extra clothes or a towel if you plan on taking a dip in the Breeches after the race.