The 8 mile course is a two loop race that first follows the Red Trail, which traces the border of Gay City State Park, then follows the White Trail, which zig-zags through the park’s interior. The course will start and finish in the upper athletic fields. Participants will begin by running the main road toward the park entrance and turn left to enter onto the Red Trail before reaching Route 85. This trail starts off narrow, but widens up about one mile into the course. Once the Red Trail is complete, runners will reenter the forest on the White Trail which begins as a wide access road with a few bumps along the way. About a mile into the White, the trail narrows, be prepared to encounter more rocks and roots and a few down hills and climbs. After crossing the Blackledge River participants will climb the Blue Trail and then onto the road before finishing where they began.


Gay City State Park Trail Map

Male: 48:14 – set by James Boeding in 2022
Female: 56:55 – set by Olivia Mondo in 2023

Course Suitability for Disabled Athletes:
Click here for more details.


Registrants must submit an estimated finish time during the registration process and these times will be used to organize runners at the start. Due to the immediate narrowing of the trails: there will be 3 starting waves. Each registrant will be assigned a wave based on race distance* and estimated finish time provided during registration. All participants will be required to be at the race start area prior to the first wave starting.

The 8 Mile will start with the 5 Mile in the upper athletic fields of Gay City State Park. Both races will run together for roughly 4.9 miles.

*Note: Waves 1 & 3 will be for the 8 Mile & 5 Mile distances. Wave 2 will be for the 3 Mile distance.

All participants will be notified by email the week of the event with race start logistics and need to know updates.


The 8 Mile distance is proud to be a part of the Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series in 2023!

This year-long series is a sequence of races throughout Connecticut that are run partially or entirely on Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails (BBHT). These trails are maintained by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA). The series was created to promote the BBHT system, trailing running, and raise awareness for the CFPA’s trail maintenance efforts. Click here for more details and to explore other events in the series.

Note: Only the 8 Mile is eligible for the series, the 3 Mile & 5 Mile are not.


This event is timed by Bay State Race Services and uses the B-Tag timing system (timing chip is attached to the back of the race bib). Please wear the race bib on the front of the shirt.


  • Top 3 Overall Male and Female
  • Male Age Group – 12-19, and 10-year age groups from 20-80+
  • Female Age Group – 12-19, and 10-year age groups from 20-80+
  • Clydesdale (men 200+lbs.)
  • Athena (women 150+lbs.)
  • Nonbinary/Genderqueer More…

  • Disabled Athletes More…


  • Commemorative Awards to the Top 3 in Each Division
  • All awards based on chip time
  • No “double dipping”
  • To collect an award after race day, click here


Course limit is 2 hours and 24 minutes for the Summer Solstice Trail Run – 8 Mile Course. Course limit is based on the end of the race start window. To finish within these time limits you must maintain a pace of approximately 18 minutes per mile. Participants that do not pass the 5 Mile checkpoint by 1 hour and 30 minutes, will be directed to finish the race and will be moved to the 5 Mile results. More…



  • Directional arrows and course marshals marking all turns
    • First Loop – Follow Red Arrows
    • Second Loop – Follow White Arrows
  • Start and finish lines with timing mats


Minimal on-course hydration will be provided. Participants are encouraged to carry their own fluids.

  • Hydration (Water & Nuun Sport Lemon Lime flavor)
    • Pre/Post Race & Mile 5
    • Open cup service, handed out at arms length
  • Portalets: Pre/Post Race & Mile 5
  • Medical personnel
  • Event alert system notifications in the pre-race area and at the water station. More...


No dogs (service dogs must be identified as such at all times). No unregistered runners or walkers. Headphones discouraged. No bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards, or motorized vehicles.

Baby Jogger/Strollers are NOT permitted in 8 mile, 5 mile, or 3 mile, please see details on the stroller policy HERE.