Overall Rating
Overall Rating (2 Reviews)
4.5
(2 Ratings)(2 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4.5
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
3.5
The Tecumseh Trail Marathon course provides a challenging route in Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood State Forests, during the beautiful autumn colors of South-central Indiana. A major portion of the 40-mile Tecumseh Trail is used for the race course. Participants will be shuttled by bus from the Yellowwood Lake area to the … MORE
Local Weather (Oct 27)
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H (°F) 57 62 56 80 57
L (°F) 38 46 50 53 30
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Recent reviews

    M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '17

    BOTTOM LINE: Close your eyes — what comes to mind when I say “trail running”? Odds are it looks an awful lot like Tecumseh. TTM is the quintessential “over the … MORE

    BOTTOM LINE: Close your eyes — what comes to mind when I say “trail running”? Odds are it looks an awful lot like Tecumseh. TTM is the quintessential “over the river and through the woods” type of experience, unlike most of the California trail races I’ve run which, while awesome in their own right, typically feature hard-packed dirt terrain in more exposed surroundings. And it’s a point-to-point course from one forest (Morgan-Monroe State Forest) to another (Yellowwood State Forest), always a bonus for those of us who try to avoid running loops and out-and-backs.

    For weather reasons the organizers at Do INdiana Off-road (DINO) moved the race date from December to late October several years ago, giving Yellowwood State Forest the chance to fully flaunt its fiery fall colors. And aside from the brief gravel transitions, the entire trail for this year’s race was covered with a multilayered, multihued carpet of leaves cast aside by the surrounding forest.

    Tecumseh feels like the middle of nowhere, to be sure — but what the course lacks in majestic mountain or expansive ocean views, it more than makes up for with rural Americana charm. Especially for us West Coast types who aren’t used to seeing leaves in any color other than green. My buddy Jeff, a Tecumseh veteran and the reason I decided to make TTM my first Indiana race, describes the course as “so deep in the woods… you expect to see the kid from ‘Deliverance’ playing ‘Dueling Banjos’ to keep you entertained.” Whether amusing or discomforting or maybe both, the truth is he’s not far off.

    So whether you’re a road runner in search of something completely different, a trail runner seeking the best the Midwest off-road race scene has to offer, or a 50 Stater looking for a challenging change of pace in the Hoosier State, you’ll be hard-pressed to do better than this hidden gem tucked deep in the backwoods of Yellowwood State Forest. Banjo strictly optional, though you never know — you may just find a kindred spirit in Yellowwood.

    PRODUCTION: Brilliantly executed, with just enough production to ensure the day ran smoothly and efficiently while not interfering with the low-key ethos. The comfortable, warm 30-minute bus ride from the finish area (where we parked our car) to the start in Morgan-Monroe State Forest was a nice waker-upper to start the day. And the leaf-carpeted course interspersed with gravel connectors — a wrong turn waiting to happen — was expertly marked by pink ribbons and hand-drawn white rectangles, with volunteers positioned at aid stations and other strategic spots to point us in the right direction where necessary.

    Fans of stale bagels and green bananas may be disappointed by the excellent post-race spread, which featured an assortment of food and beverages including several soups and sandwiches (with vegan vegetable and peanut butter & jelly as vegetarian options) plus chips and drinks such as lemonade, coffee and hot chocolate. Two types of beer, an IPA and an Octoberfest, were also available from newly tapped kegs. The post-race party wasn’t held indoors around a roaring fire as it has been in past years, but despite the chill I was perfectly happy to sit out alongside Yellowwood Lake and chat with my fellow finishers while we all refueled.

    SWAG: Tecumseh featured a couple of firsts for me on the swag side, as the first time 1) I’ve received a race sweatshirt and 2) the finisher’s medal (an extra $8 at registration) has been mailed to me after the race — the latter to allow time for the organizers to engrave the medal with my name and finish time. The sweatshirt is reasonably nice and feels warm enough to stand up to the Indiana winter, but the truth is I’ll never wear it in Southern California — I’ve lived in LA for five years now, and the next time I wear a sweatshirt here will be the first. And while the engraving is a nice touch, I prefer to receive the medal immediately after crossing the finish line, with optional engraving available post-race. Unfortunately, whereas my TTM experience will always stand out in my mind, the uninspired finisher’s medal won’t stand out on my wall. In fact, my first thought on sliding it out of its brown manila envelope was of winning my 3rd grade spelling bee, because the generic-looking award has my name and finish time engraved on the front, above and below the less conspicuous TTM logo. Yes, I know trail races aren’t usually known for their bling… but if you’re going to do it, do it well. On the bright side, at least it’s a medal I can hang and not a coffee mug!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    PeteSinCA May 11, 2018 at 1:00pm

    Your first race sweatshirt? Do the 6- or 12-hour Dirty Dozen at Point Pinole! His & Hers couch pillows?

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    Lorelei May 11, 2018 at 3:16am

    Nice review! It sounds like an awesome race! Send the sweatshirt to to me and I’ll make a decorative couch pillow out of for you! Then you won’t just have a closet filler. I mean, it’s a cool design with an elevation chart that looks worse than and EKG! Impressive!!

    The course looks beautiful and rugged. It almost looked autumnal rather than springing. My kind of scenery. Railroad tracks?!?! Wow!

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    jrohlede REPEAT RUNNER '10

    If you want to run a 'real' trail marathon this is the one for you. I have run it twice and it is not for the weak of heart or … MORE

    If you want to run a ‘real’ trail marathon this is the one for you. I have run it twice and it is not for the weak of heart or foot. Think of a scaled down Machu Pichu or Pikes Peak outside of Bloomington Indiana. But lets start at the beginning…Arriving in Bloomington on a snowy cold Jan day – they have since moved this run to Oct due to consistent bad weather issues. Bloomington is the home of Indiana University is southern Indiana and Brown county. Brown County is a favorite haunt of fall leave watchers and partying IU students. The city of Bloomington has many rolling hills but nothing to preview what is the future has in store. The morning of the run you drive out to a lodge around a lake about 20 miles outside of Bloomington. The lodge is buried deep in the woods and down many dirt roads. From there you board buses that bus you 26 miles out to the start. Once you get to the start – where you absolutely no idea where you are, I am assuming we are running back to the lodge where we left from and hopefully your car – you start off and head into the deep woods and trails of southern Indiana. When I say deep woods I mean it. They tell you to wear bright colors so the deer hunters sitting in the blinds can see you and not shoot you by mistake. An guess what? There not kidding. Running by hunters in deer stands and hunting shacks is a common occurrence. So off you go – once on the course you are running thru many miles of woods and trails. One lane dirt trail covered in leaves so you can’t see the roots and stones on the trail add to the ‘fun’. Many many hills – not rolling hills – straight up and down hills that force you to use the switchbacks to go up and down them. At one point you have to wait in line to use a rope to help you get past a nasty little drop off on one of the hills. Throw in 23 or so stream crossings – no you just don’t get to hop them – to deep and wide for that. So nice wet feet. Lots of fun when the temp is about 15 out. I would like to tell you which miles that are particular hilly and wet but you are so deep into the woods and climbed so many hills and foraged so many streams you have no clue where you are or where you are going. No mile markers and the Garmin gave up all hope about mile 3. Every once in while you get spit out to a paved road crossing. This is where the rest stops are. These are better stocked than any other marathon I have ever run. It is like stopping at a candy store / fruit stand. Makes you want to stop running and have a snack.
    But on you go. At some points you are so deep in the woods and seeing so many shacks you expect to see the kid from Deliverance playing Dueling Banjoes to keep you entertained. But no such luck. Just more hills, streams, rocks, and roots. But all good things must end. Finally the lodge is back in sight. How you got there – not a clue. But inside the fire is roaring and the world renown finishers soup is waiting for you. All in all what a trail run should be. The people who run it do a great job. The rest stops are a-one second to none. The course is a beast. Even registration is a hoot. The registration page allows you to make comments about yourself or the course if you have run it before. Participation is limited so register early – open in Jan. Take time and read other peoples comments on themselves and the course. Shows what an eclectic group marathon runners can be.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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