Please please read everything. More updates and info. Randomly. (I also thank sponsors and such last but be sure to read it!) I hope you have a lot of time because I really know how to ramble.
1. How was your day? Your friendly RD had a busy one. I got the key to the building at the start/finish. I got some more Heed at Scheels. I got the race clock from Running Wild in Cedar Rapids. Gotta have a race clock! (And I'll need a kid to start it for me when I say go!) What else...well I finally checked the course somewhat. Not all of it, but some. Whew...it's not looking so great now. Lots of ice. But we have warmer weather coming so I'm hoping it'll melt and soften up. Let's all hope that. It's going to be MUDDY for sure. I started marking the course. About time I know. I also printed out waivers. Yes you have to sign waivers at packet pickup. Rules. And I bought a bunch of food for the aid stations! Right now I have nine 2-L bottles of coke with the caps loosened, slowly going flat... And now I'm writing this. I know! You're jealous! Okay enough of this. On to the real stuff.
2. Yesterday I sent out an email just to the registered runners warning of this situation, but today I have more info. Right now we are NOT going to be allowed to go over the spillway due to high waters. I put the chances of this being reversed as quite low. No one is probably more bummed than I am, trust me. Re-routing will mean killing a certain elegance the course has. Plus the spillway is often the most memorable part of the race. Race Director Tim is sad.
I don't think I can make new maps, at least not quickly enough to post, so you're going to have to work with me here. I'll mark things as well as I can but it won't hurt if you keep this mantra in your head:
A. Out and Back to the Right
B. Out and Back to the Left
C. Two Loops (same loop, twice).
That will describe the new course, as you are standing at the start line. So remember that. Out and Back Right, Out and Back Left, Two Loops. It's a dance.
50K Runners will still experience the whole course (minus spillway) as follows: You will run, as normal, to the spillway. However you will TURN AROUND there and run right back to the start. (This will be about 22 miles total, including 10 miles of sloppy crushed gravel.) You will then go onto a trail about 1.5 miles (to the OTHER side of the spillway), and back. That's 3 more miles. You will then do the final ~3 mile loop TWICE. Total of 31 miles. What this does it put nearly all of the trails at the very end, instead of just at the end of each 25K loop.
25K Runners will do the EXACT same thing as above, except you will not run all the way to the spillway. In fact, you won't even make it to the first aid station. You will instead run, from the start, 3.25 miles and then turn around and come back. Total of 6.5. (That's 6.5 miles with NO aid station unless I can set up a small one at the turnaround. No guarantee but I can try.) Then turn around and do just what the 50K folks do to add another 9 miles for 15.5 total.
The 25K runners will actually do a higher percentage of trail than normal.
One thing about this: The course is designed so that you run facing traffic on the road. (Cars are going by at about 45 mph or more.) However now you will come BACK on this road, with cars at your back. This isn't a good thing, but we have little choice. I'll try to get some volunteers holding signs telling cars to be cautious. You should be okay. The mere mass of runners helps too. You likely won't be some lone soul out there.
3. Other race stuff. Again, check those maps to the start. Don't wait until the last second to figure this out. The entrance to the park (Macbride Nature Recreation Area) doesn't scream at you. It's not too hard to drive by it. I put out a bunch of little flags near the entrance so keep an eye out for them. They look like this:
By the way, those same flags are course markers. The course will be marked in TWO ways! With those pink flags and with yellow ribbons. If you see either one of those, run towards it! There will also be some turn signs. Here is an example:
So keep an eye out for that little guy.
4. As I mentioned above, right NOW the course is an ice-festival. But the temps are predicted to be over 50 tomorrow, Friday, and race day. Surely much of that ice is going to melt and/or get mushy. So be prepared for possibly some ice, but more likely a LOT of wet muddy slop.
5. Packet Pickup! It will be Friday evening at We Run from 4pm to 7pm. PLEASE try to pick up your packet then. However if you cannot, you can get it race morning. Don't arrive too late if you pick your packet up in the morning.
6. On race morning, the park gates will automatically open at 9:00am. You cannot enter the park before then. I'm guessing there will be a line of cars at that time, which is fine. When you enter drive carefully for 0.8 miles. We'll have folks there to tell you where to park.
7. PLEASE CARPOOL if you can. Parking is very very limited. And we may be losing some parking spots thanks to piled snow and muddy spots. Please also park close to the car next to you. Don't leave five feet between cars. Don't parallel park either, please.
8. Race begins at 11:00am. The last update had info about drop bags and related stuff.
9. Oh! We have a place you can shower after the race if you need to. Go to Core Fitness West of North Liberty (1395 Jordan St, North Liberty, IA, 319-351-2673, not far from Friday's packet pickup). For $5 they will give you a towel and let you shower. They are open 24 hours.
10. Acknowledgements: We are being supported by We Run of North Liberty, Running Wild of Iowa City, Coralville, Cedar Rapids. Also Team RWB will take an aid station. We Run will take another, and Relay Iowa will take another. Dr. Brian Fitzpatrick of Solon will be our Medical Director. Please thank all of them along with other volunteers you will see out there.
11. Sponsors! We Run, Running Wild, Scheels, Casey's, HyVee, Walmart, Panera. Please buy something from them!
12. We're looking at a high of about 50 on race day. (Friday night low of 30.) At least that's pretty ideal!
That's all for now. I may send out a final update tomorrow? I probably forgot something. If I can find the time I'll update the entrant list tomorrow.
Your Friendly RD,
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