Runners get set for the start of the 2011 Tuff 10K Trail Race.

Race Cancelled!

Dear Runners

Due to circumstances beyond our control the 3rd Annual Tuff 10K Trail Race has regrettably been cancelled.  I apologize  for any disruption this may cause to your race schedule but the cancellation was unavoidable.   Full refunds will be processed to all registered runners.    Thanks for your understanding and support.

Race Director

About Us


The Saugus River Watershed Council was founded in 1991 to protect and restore the natural resources of the Saugus River watershed. Together with our 675 members and hundreds of volunteers, we are working to improve water quality, restore river habitat and fisheries, educate students about the environment, and promote public access and enjoyment of the watershed.
Programs & Projects

Aquatic Invasive Plants Project
Saugus River Water Quality Monitoring
Saugus River Fish Monitoring
USGS Real-time Gauge – Saugus River
Saugus River Flow Restoration Project
Reedy Meadow Habitat Restoration Project
Town Line Brook Project
Campaign Against Illegal Dumping
Environmental Education
Watershed Advocacy

For more information or to become a member, visit our webpage.

Go to General Race Information.

General Race Information

The Tuff 10K Trail Race will be held at Breakheart Reservation, 177 Forest Street, Saugus, MA on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 10 AM. Net proceeds from the race will help support the ongoing environment and youth education programs of the Saugus River Watershed Council. Please consider joining this unique organization.

Breakheart Reservation is a 700 acre hardwood forest with jagged, rocky outcroppings, two fresh-water lakes, and a rambling section of the Saugus River. Seven rocky hills, each over 200 feet high, provide vistas of Boston, southern New Hampshire and central Massachusetts. The 10 kilometer race course is a mix of single and double track trails, dirt fire roads and short sections of paved path. Runners will encounter rocks and roots, downed trees and possibly mud and water depending on weather conditions. The terrain, which is varied and challenging, will appeal to the seasoned trail racer. Although there are no major climbs there are many short steep hills to test your fitness. Your reward for climbing the many peaks along the ridge line will be spectacular views of the Boston Skyline and the surrounding areas.

There is one aid station at approximately four miles but all runners are encouraged to carry a water bottle. Remember, this is not a road race. Wearing trail shoes is strongly recommended. For the safety of all runners, headsets, baby strollers and dogs and are not allowed on the course during the race.

The trails at Breakheart are enjoyed by hikers, dog walkers and the occasional mountain biker. Please be courteous when approaching others on the trail.

Go to Course Description.

Trail Description & Course Map

Click on image to enlarge

  • Yellow Leg 3.2 miles  - Follows the Breakheart Hill, Fox Run, Tennessee Pipeline, Lodge and Saugus River Trails.  A significant, rocky climb up Breakheart Hill followed by a fast descent to the Fox Run Trail.  The footing on Fox Run is decent in most places but there are rocks and roots to deal with. A short paved section takes you to the Saugus River Link which brings you to the Tennessee Trail. The Tennessee trail starts with a short, steep climb up a grassy hill followed by rolling terrain. This grass covered trail takes you to the Lodge trail which is covered with pine needles. After completing the Lodge trail you turn left onto the Saugus River trail.  The first section of trail along the Saugus River bank is very technical single-track with an abundance of rocks and slippery roots.  Once past this section the trail is more runnable and most of the second half of this trail is covered with a thick pine-needle carpet making for very enjoyable running.   

  • Blue Leg 1.2 miles - Follows sections of the Pearce Lake Trail, Eagle Rock Trail, Jeep Road and Fern Trail. Leaving the Saugus River trail the course veers right onto a short section of pavement before turning sharply left under the power lines. A rock scramble brings you to unnamed single-track and to Pearce Lake. You'll have a brief run next to the lake before making the difficult, rocky climb up Eagle Rock Trail. Take a moment when you reach the top to enjoy the view. The tricky descent down Eagle Rock brings you back to the lake and onto Fern trail.  It's often muddy here and if it rains you can expect to get your feet wet running though standing water. A short run on Jeep Road (dirt and grass) brings runners back to Fern Trail which leads you to your last short stretch of pavement in the race.  Enjoy this brief respite because the hard running is about to begin!

  • Orange Leg 1.8 miles - Follows the Ridge Trail. This is the most difficult two miles of the race with constant changes in elevation, an abundance of rocks and a good chance of getting your feet wet. Turning left off the pavement the first climb begins along a rocky dirt road parallel to the power lines.  Where there's power lines, there's pain!  Plenty of loose rocks here to slow your progress. After leaving the power lines, the remainder of the race is on technical single-track or rocky outcrops.  There is one long, grinding climb and several short, steep ups and downs too.   Focus and foot placement is key here as a hard fall on the Ridge Trail could leave you battered and bloodied. The last half-mile to the finish line is mainly downhill and fast if you still have anything left in the tank.
Terrain Breakdown
Single-track - 3.4 miles
Wide trails - 2.4
Jeep road - 0.2
Pavement - 0.2
Total course - 6.2

This course is not to be taken lightly!

Go to Registration Information.

Registration Information

You can register for this event either online or by mail.

10K Race Fee - $20.00 prior to 09/15/12 and $25 thereafter

Online registration is now open. There are no extra fees for online registration. 

Click HERE for online registration.

Click HERE for mail-in registration form.

If registering by mail, please complete the registration form and mail with your check made payable to the Saugus River Watershed Council to:

Dan Scotina
12 Sunnyside Avenue
Saugus, MA 01906

The registration form and check must be mailed no later than 09/18/12.

Sorry, no refunds.

Go to Directions and Parking Information.

Directions and Parking

General Directions
From Rt. 1 North or South: Take Rte. 1 to Lynn Fells Parkway exit, follow Lynn Fells Parkway a short distance, take a right onto Forest Street. Follow Forest Street to Park entrance.

Limited parking is available in the Ranger Station parking lot and along Forest Street. Do not park where "No Parking" signs are posted. You WILL be ticketed! Addition parking is available behind Ocean State Job Lot Store (formerly Shaw's Market). The Ocean State Job Lot Store's parking lot can be accessed from Forest Street. From Forest St. turn right into the Kasabuski Rink parking lot. Continue through the gate onto road. Road opens into parking lot.

Parking in the Ocean State Job Lot Store's lot is preferred as this will allow other visitors to the park access to the lot near the Ranger's station and keep you from getting a parking ticket.

For detailed directions to Breakheart Reservation click on the green marker below.

View Larger Map

Blue marker indicates preferred additional parking area. Click on marker for directions.

View Tough Ten Trail Race (start) in a larger map

Course Map - Satellite View

Breakheart Reservation Course View

Click on image to enlarge

Course Elevation Profile

Click on image to enlarge

Gain 841 feet
Loss 846 feet
Total 1678

Elevation change by mile:
Mile 1: +230/-162 feet
Mile 2: +18/-125
Mile 3: +81/-53
Mile 4: +126/-97
Mile 5: +233/-126
Mile 6: +153/-229
Final .2 +0/-54


With the 3rd Annual Tuff 10K race only two months away I thought I give all of you future "Tuff 10ers" something to strive for.  

MATTHEW CARTER              33 SAUGUS MA 48:39
COLLEEN O'SHEA           26 SOMERVILLE MA 1:12:44
MATTHEW CARTER                33 SAUGUS MA   48:39
CARL SPENCER       60 SAUGUS MA 1:24:38

As you can see from these times, the Tuff 10K is not an easy course. Hope to see you at the race this year.

Happy trails,
RD Dan

Course Photos

Take a virtual tour of the Tuff 10K Trail Race here with over 170 photographs of the course. This photo tour will give you a very good idea of what you will encounter on race day.

2012 Race Date Announced

The 3rd Annual Tuff 10K Trail Race will be held on Sunday September 23th at 10 AM.  Additional information will be posted at a later date.  Check back for updates.