Celebrate Liberty 7.1K Course Guide

April 28, 2023

Written by Mike Ellsworth, Director of Outdoor Recreation

It has been quite a few years since we have created a new race at the Liberty University Outdoor Recreation department. The excitement has been building and we are feeling great about announcing this new addition to our trail race programming.  Partnered with Alumni, we are hosting our first annual running event that can be completed by anyone in the Liberty family!  Whether you are here in Lynchburg, an online student in Egypt or an alumnus in London, you can run with us!


Racejoy is the app that makes this event possible. We are working with our local timing company, Riverside Runners to host our event on Racejoy. Both events will use the integrative platform that allows you to have your own unique and personal race day experience!  Using the free app will provide you:

  • GPS tracking of your run. Including progress alerts, off-course alerts (if appropriate) and an interactive course map
  • A custom audio experience that features announcements and encouragements from our team!
  • Remote spectator cheer sending- you can send cheers and receive cheers from your family and friends!
  • Automatic result upload, live updates, and rankings

Event 1: Celebrate Liberty @ Liberty Mountain

This is an open trail, 7.1K challenge (4.41 miles) that is marked on the Celebrate Liberty Trail Map, starting at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre. We are very excited for this course as it highlights some celebrated and nostalgic LU icons along the way.  This short course guide will help you get the most out of your run!

  1. Start at Snowflex Parking Lot. This race starts at the Snowflex parking lot, so tighten your laces at your car and spend a little time stretching and warming up. When you are ready to roll, the race will start at the northern end of the lot, this will be clearly marked during race week.
  2. Follow Monogram Road to “5 points”. As you run Monogram Road, you will pass underneath the most visible LU landmark, the monogram. Created in 2007, this feature spans 3 acres. The gazebo at the top showcases the incredible view of campus and provides a popular resting spot for runners and hikers. “5 points” is the nickname given to the popular trail point where 5 paths come together.
  3. At “5 points”, follow Horton’s Loop. David Horton is an ultra-marathon legend. He has run well over 100,000 miles and biked over 50,000 more. Dr. Horton came to Liberty in the fall of 1978 and it is hard to be a runner in Lynchburg and not know his name. This trail, named in his honor is another nostalgic feature of the most well-known LU faculty by the international running community. You will take a slight right to avoid Split Decision and have a significant climb after the turn, so prepare yourself. Runners will cross over Valley View Road and you can expect an aid station, so take a short break if you need to celebrate that hill kill.  We will have an unstaffed table with water and Gatorade for you during the entire week.  After this aid, you have a very steep and technical downhill, so be careful! Take a right to avoid Oak’s Way until you get to your next new trail.
  4. Turn left onto Alternate Flight Pattern. Be mindful here, there is another significant climb here as you get on AFP, and it is steeper than your previous climb.  You will take AFP nearly to Champion Road, though you will run alongside the mountain road before ultimately dropping onto the road.
  5. Turn right onto Champion Road. “Training Champions for Christ” has always been a common thread since Jerry Falwell Sr. established the college in 1971. Running along this mountain road helps us to remember all the champions who have left Liberty and done amazing things. We can also celebrate the future of Liberty and the Champions that it has still to teach. As you approach the end of this mountain road, be sure to pay attention for the…
  6. Sharp Left onto 1971. This is the trail name that the race can tie its distance to. This course is an odd distance of 7.1km and was designed that way to celebrate 1971. Think back to when Jerry Sr. and Elmer Towns founded Liberty and reflect on all that has changed on the mountain since then. This trail takes a short dash onto Monogram Road for an instant before turning back into the woods. There is a final steep climb to take you up to the final turn.
  7. Turn right onto Dirty Ridge and it is a single-track sprint to the finish! Hopefully you’ve got enough in your tank for a fast sprint to the end. The race ends at the Monogram Road gate, congratulations!

Event 2: Celebrate Liberty Anywhere

Complete a 7.1K (4.41 mile) distance from ANY location. Though, your run /walk does need to be completed in a single session. You can redo your distance as many times as you wish.

When you register for the race- Be sure to get all family and friends to participate with you. We would love to see runners from as many graduating classes, states, and countries as we can! Remember to use the Family Discount (4 or more) if applicable and don’t forget to add your T-shirt to your checkout!

When you train for your race- 7.1 km is a strange distance, we know. It was designed that way to celebrate 1971, by running the 7.1 km. We would recommend using training guides designed for a 5 mile race as 7.1 km is the approximate equivalent of 4.41 miles.  So, longer than a 5k, but a touch shorter than a 5 miler.

When you plan for your race- Be sure that you are set-up with Racejoy, input the race and your bib number.  Remember that you can run your race anytime between June 28–July 4.  If you are able, run it a few times!  Racejoy will keep your best time.  Think through where you will run, hopefully you pick a spot that you know well.  We will give you a “halfway through the race, so turn around!” warning, so that will help you be sure that you don’t end up too far from your car at the end of the race!

When you run your race- we want to encourage you to challenge yourself and your running buddies.  Comradery and Adventure are 2 of our core values at Outdoor Recreation and we believe that this race will help you to grow closer to the Liberty Community or your own local community by partaking in a physical adventure.  As always, use these appropriate safe running tips:

  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • Plan your route with safety in mind.
  • Be visible and when available run on the sidewalks.

Thank you for running with us!  Be sure to connect with us in the Facebook event page or reach out to us at outdoorrecreation@liberty.edu if you have any questions!