CAMPTONVILLE, Calif. March 14, 2019 – Come join the fire community for a beautiful 14.5 mile trail run along Bullards Bar Reservoir. Hosted by the Tahoe Hotshots, The 3rd Annual Hotshot Half is a fundraiser for fallen firefighter and beloved friend Mike Kelly. The course is 95% single track with the remaining course being mostly fire roads.

There will be 3 fully stocked aid stations hosted by local fire departments, Forest Service employees, and local Camptonville community members.

A hearty plate of warm food and an award will be waiting at the finish line for all participants. 100% of the money raised will go to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, the Camp Fire Relief Fund, and the North San Juan and Camptonville Volunteer Fire Departments.

The two previous races attracted up to 350 runners. The race had to be canceled in 2017 and 2018 due to the sheer amount of rain and snowfall during those winters. This year, the event has been moved back by two weeks, increasing the chance of good weather and more time to repair damage to the trail.

Registration open now

Registration is open and will be $70 for adults 16+ and $50 for under 16. Price will now include a T-shirt and customized gift, plus all the profits are going to great causes. You are also be able to order extra shirts for $20 each. Make sure to register early, as the Hotshots can only guarantee your free shirt until 4/1/2019.

The Course

The Hotshot Half Marathon loops 14.5 miles on the beautiful Bullards Bar Trail located right around the 2000 ft elevation mark. The trail is lined with beautiful dogwood, large doug fir and live oak, and beautiful views of the lake. Total elevation gain and loss is right around 2000 ft so it will be a challenging course for all levels of runners.

To give you an idea of the course, here’s a partial description from the Hotshot Half website: “The race begins on Vista Point road, which is pavement but quickly transitions into semi-maintained Sky Rd. If you are fit and crazy enough to think you can win the whole “Sha-bang”, use this section of the trail to get a good position, the single track is going to be difficult to pass on. After .7 mi runners hit the Bullards Bar trailhead on the right hand side and follow the rolling single track for about 4 mi until you tie into the pavement at the bottom of the overflow parking lot at the Dark Day campground. Just Remember, follow the main trail and volunteer directions because there are a couple of spots where if you venture off course you could get lost. All intersections will be either staffed or clearly marked. Once you hit the pavement, the 1st aid station will be in eyesight. After a quick break, follow the flagging to the restrooms where the trail takes you through a short section of winding single track before spitting you out onto the Dark Day boat ramp parking lot and the 1st Aid Station. Grab a quick bite and snack you’ll be happy you did…the trail continues for another 1.3 mi before hitting the 7 Ball trail intersection on the right hand side. This is where you Make Your Money!!  A switch-backing 1 mile meatgrinder, ascending 800 ft, this section will make you earn every step…Get Some!”

2016 Top 3 Female Finishers

Not a runner? Come and cheer them on!

There are 3 aid stations, not including the start/finish line, where people can come watch and support.

  1. The Dark Day Day Use parking lot is Aid Station 1. If coming from the start/finish line drive east on Marysville Rd to Dark Day and turn Left. Pass the kiosk drive downhill until you see the Dark Day Day Use sign and make another Left. If you go straight here you will run into the boat ramp, another good spot to cheer the runners on. There will be a couple Forest Service Fire Engines parked here so you won’t have to look too hard.
  2. Aid Station 2 will be located at the 7 ball/8 ball trail intersection. Located about 1 mile east of the Dark Day turn on Marysville Rd, you will see Aid Station 2 signs at the drive ways that you can turn onto.
  3. Aid Station 3 is located at the Schoolhouse Campground. Simply turn into the Campground off of Marysville Rd and you will run right into the festivities!!
  4. The top of Dark Day Rd where the 8 ball trail crosses is a great spot with easy access to watch runners come by. There will be two North San Juan Trucks here blocking traffic. There is no Aid Station at this location but a great spot to cheer on charging runners! The Dark Day Boat Ramp is another location which is easy to access and a good spot to watch participants cruise by!
​2016 Top 3 Overall

Don’t forget to bring your cowbells! The runners will need and appreciate any and all support and cheering on. There is a fair amount of parking on either side of Vista Pt road. Please park perpendicular to the road and not parallel in effort to accommodate as many people as possible. Volunteers will be helping coordinate the parking. There will be an overflow lot on the other side of Marysville Road, just watch for the signs.

If you want to support the race, you can also donate securely here. All proceeds go to four great causes. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation provides support to the families of fallen firefighters. The Camp Fire Relief Fund provides support to those affected by the Camp Fire. Additionally local volunteer fire departments (Camptonville and North San Juan), will receive contributions to help fund fire suppression costs.


​Mike Kelly Sr #48 crossing the Finish Line.

The Hotshot Half Marathon is dedicated to the memory of Mike Kelly 1980-2013. Mike was a Tahoe Hotshot, a Region I Smokejumper, a world traveler, and a beloved friend, brother and son. After his passing, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation was incredibly supportive of his family and the Fire community. A portion of race proceeds will be donated to the WFF in his name.

Hotshot Crews are the most highly trained, skilled, and experienced type of handcrews. Hotshot crews were first established in Southern California in the late 1940s on the Cleveland and Angeles National Forests. They were called “Hotshot” crews because they worked on the hottest part of wildfires.

The Tahoe Hotshots are based on the Yuba River Ranger District in Camptonville. The race is held on trails they run and maintain, right outside their base camp.