Hi Hawkeye Runners,
This is just a bunch of reminders and information. In no particular order and please read through it all. Certainly some important stuff!
1. Let's thank our sponsors! Hammer Nutrition, We Run, Running Wild, Panera Bread, Scheels, Sleep Inn of North Liberty, Road ID, and Casey's General Store. They have all donated us FREE STUFF!! If you can go buy something from one or more of these as a way of thanking them. Seriously.
2. Please check the right side of the page for some useful info: maps of the course, maps to the start, previous results. There is even a video of the course. Check it out. Also a couple of previous blogs on the race. Which reminds me: If you know of other blogs or picture galleries from the previous two races, could you forward them to me so I could link to them?
3. Packet Pickup will be at We Run (see above) from 4pm to 7pm on Friday March 1. Also you can pick up your packet race morning starting around 6:30-ish. Obviously the more who come Friday the better. Makes things go more smoothly.
4. Sleep Inn (see above) is our race hotel and you can receive a discounted rate there. Just ask for the Hawkeye 50K rate.
5. PLEASE CARPOOL to the race! We absolutely do NOT have enough parking for 150 cars if you drive separately. Maybe not even for 100. There is a decent amount of parking very close to the start. If that fills up, you have to drive about a half mile down the road to the other lot. If THAT fills up, you're in trouble and we'll send you down to Angler's Point Rd and you'll have to hike 3/4 of a mile to get to the start. Also, when you park, be awesome and pack those cars together tightly. (For those of you locals who happen to know about the lot at the end of Angler's Point Rd and don't mind hiking 3/4 mile to the start, feel free to use that to help out.)
6. I can't give an exact time the gate to the park will open on race day. Roughly 6:15-6:30? This entrance can be kind of easy to drive right by. Don't be surprised if you do that. And I would suggest NOT arriving at 7:45 unless you are being dropped off and you can literally be ready in under five minutes. If you do, you'll not only have very little time to get ready, but you'll end up parked farther away. There will probably be a bit of a pile up around 7:00 but we can't really avoid that. Plan ahead. Be patient with the drivers around you. Go slowly in the park.
7. At packet pickup, you'll have to sign ANOTHER waiver. This is required by the University of Iowa and I didn't write it. For whatever reason, they want signed paper copies. (Yes we run on University property.) These waivers though play the role of "checking in." No signed waiver and you don't exist and you get no result.
Note: all volunteers must sign a waiver too, also required by the University.
8. Race begins at 8:00am. For those doing the 50K, you MUST begin lap 2 by noon. The race ends at 4:00pm.
9. There are aid stations at the start/finish, then at mile 4.5 and 9.6 and 12.9. NOTE: The aid station at mile 12.9 is actually the one at the start/finish. You just happen to swing by it then so it's kind of a bonus aid station. Thus, when you return to the start/finish, you have NOT completed the 15.5 mile lap. You still have 2.6 miles to go. The aid stations will have typical ultra foods: pb&j, M&M's, oranges, bananas, pretzels, salt tablets, water, and Heed sport drink (from Hammer Nutrition).
10. You will cross cold water at mile 11.2, and yes the water is at least ankle deep and unavoidable. (At least that is the case now and I find it hard to believe it will change by race day.) After you go through this water, you will reach the start/finish at mile 12.9 and you can change socks/shoes if you want. When you come to this water crossing, WALK CAREFULLY. Do not be silly and sprint through it unless you want to break an ankle. You then get to clamber up a few rocks before hitting the stairs. Yes, the stairs were just put in there this Summer.
11. You may leave a drop bag at the start/finish. This is probably mostly going to be utilized by the 50K runners, since the 25K runners would be within 2.6 miles of finishing. But anyone can leave something there. E.g, shoes/socks. There is a building overhang to put your bag at, but it won't really keep rain from falling on it so make sure it's leakproof if it is going to rain. Also we do NOT guarantee no one will steal it. Yes we'll be near it all day but not really paying attention to who is grabbing any drop bag. So beware of leaving your valuables in it.
12. Expect the trail and crushed gravel portion of the race to be a combination of snow/mud/ice, based upon the weather we're having now. There are also roots to contend with. You may fall down. Also there are two old wooden bridges. They are ridiculously slick! Walk over them!
13. The course will be marked with yellow ribbons. At a few places I may put signs (actually buckets with writing on them) but you are almost always just following yellow ribbons. If the roads are dry I put down yellow duct tape arrows, but they may NOT be dry. I may put up some black/yellow striped ribbon to BLOCK OFF certain trails. I do my best to mark everything, but you do kind of need to pay attention. Study the course map a bit or carry it with you. (You shouldn't need it, but hey it might come in handy.)
14. As you go through each aid station, be prepared that someone will check off your number. If your number is hidden, know it and yell it out to the volunteers.
15. Remember this course is, VERY roughly, about 5-6 miles of road (most from mile 0.6 to the first aid station at mile 4.6), then about 6 miles of crushed gravel along the lake to about mile 11, and about 5 miles of trail total, most at the very end. There are places you are running on roads with cars driving by you, sometimes at 50 mph. Be aware! Nothing is being closed down for this race! The trails are not closed for us so be nice to any hikers out there.
16. When you finish rip off the bottom of the bib and hand it to a timer.
17. There will be awards to the four overall champions (M & F of both races). Then there are three age groups: Juniors up through 29, Seniors 30-49, and Masters 50+. The top three in each age group get an award. The awards are not mind blowing, but they are awards! Yes, everyone gets a medal as a token of a hard-fought day.
18. Want to change races? You can. You can drop from the 50K to the 25K or vice versa by emailing me (chemsmith1 AT gmail.com) or telling us at packet pickup. You can move up from the 25K to the 50K also, but that'll cost you $10. (No refund for dropping down though.)
19. POTLUCK. It's been a tradition for inspired runners to feel free to bring a little treat for the post-race goodies. So if you want to pitch in, feel free to do so. You can buy something or make something. Anything you like. If you do, do NOT try to feed 150 runners + volunteers + family/friends. Bring something to feed some and that's great. Most of you need not bring anything, but if you're the type who likes to do that, please do! And yes, anyone can eat the post-race food including the volunteers or your friends/family who come to cheer you on.
20. Remember to thank the volunteers. You're running and staying warm. They are often just standing there, FREEZING. For you.
I'm sure I managed to forget something and may send out a followup soon.
See you race day!
Your Friendly RD,
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