Birds of a Feather Trail Trot

Thanksgiving Day, 11/28/24 at Briar Chapel in Chapel Hill, NC Directions

Race Info Email on 11/18/23

Hello Birds of a Feather Runners,

Welcome to inaugural Birds of a Feather Trail Trot coming up on Thanksgiving Day at Briar Chapel in Chapel Hill, NC.  Prepare for a healthy and fun morning on the trails with family and friends. Here we go!!!

Below are logistical and safety details for the event.  This message is long but should answer most questions you might have.  Please take a few minutes to read.

Schedule of Events:

Staging Area:  Pavilion at Great Meadow Park at Briar Chapel (161 Salt Cedar Ln, Chapel Hill, NC 27516)

WEDNESDAY, 11/22/23

  • 5pm–7pm:  Early Check-in / Packet Pick-up (optional, but encouraged) under the pavilion @ Great Meadow Park.  You may pick up packets for friends/family.  PORCH Briar Chapel will be accepting food donations.

THURSDAY, 11/23/23

  • 7:15am–8:30am:  Check-in / Packet Pick-up (check-in only if you did not pick up your packet on Wednesday).  PORCH Briar Chapel will be accepting food donations.
  • 8:20am:  5K Pre-Race Brief
  • 8:30am:  5K Start
  • 8:40am:  1.5M Fun Run Brief
  • 8:50am:  1.5M Fun Run Start
  • 9am–10:15am:  PIE, music, awards
  • 9:30am:  FREE Kids ‘Race for Treasure’ (kids 11-U)
  • 9:45am:  Awards 5K
  • 10:00am:  Giveaways, Costume Contest, Pushup Competition

Race Day Weather and Course Conditions (as of 11/18):  The extended forecast is calling for sunny skies, light winds, and temps ranging from the upper 30s in the early morning (brrr) to the low 50s by mid-morning - chilly, but pretty darn good running weather.  Of course, the forecast can always change as we get closer to race day, so please check the weather the day before and come prepared for the elements.  The trails are in good shape right now.  We spent some time earlier this week trimming the vegetation along some of the tighter trails and next Monday, we plan to do some light leaf blowing to expose the roots and rocks and improve footing.  It looks like we will get some rain on Tuesday and early on Wednesday, but it has been very dry lately so any rain we do receive should soak in nicely.  We will send another email on Tuesday with race reminders and a weather update.    

Volunteers:  If you have friends or family that would like to participate as a volunteer, we would love their help.  Volunteers have a front row seat to all the action as they help with check-in, course marshalling, aid stations, post-race pie cutting/serving, and sweeping the courses.  All volunteers receive a t-shirt (we allocated tees for volunteers when we ordered), post-race pie, $15 off a future race (that they can use or gift to anyone), and our sincere appreciation.  Plus, volunteering is fun!  To volunteer, CLICK HERE.  

Registration:  We currently have over 350 runners registered (as of 11/18).  Registration will stay open until race day, or until we reach our max of 500 runners, whichever comes first. The registration fee increases by $5 at midnight on Tuesday 11/21.  If you have friends or family who intend to participate, we encourage them to register as soon as possible to claim their spot on the start line, save $, and have a better chance of getting a t-shirt in their size.  

Start List:  CLICK HERE to view the list of registered racers.

PORCH Briar Chapel:  With this event, we are helping raise funds and awareness for PORCH Briar Chapel to support their mission to put food on the table of those in need in Chatham County.  Our goal is to raise $1500 and with $800 collected so far (as of 11/18), we are over halfway there.  Thank you to all who donated during registration!  Roadless Races will match 10% of whatever funds are collected.  Also, PORCH Briar Chapel will be at the event collecting monetary contributions and canned/boxed holiday foods.  Their greatest need for the holiday season is mac and cheese, rice, mashed potatoes, boxed stuffing, cornbread mix, fruit cups, canned veggies, pie/cookie/brownie mix, cinnamon, and any spices.  Please consider bringing an item to contribute or if you would like to make a monetary contribution, you can at the event or ONLINE HERE.  THANK YOU for supporting such a great cause.

Early Check-in/Packet Pick-up (Optional):  Optional early check-in/packet pick-up will be available at the pavilion at Great Meadow Park on Wednesday, 11/22 from 5pm-7pm (161 Salt Cedar Lane, Chapel Hill, NC 27516).  At check-in you will receive your bib number (with timing chip) and your race t-shirt.  You may pick up packets for other racers.  If you are checking-in on Wednesday, you DO NOT need to check-in on race day.

Race Day Check-in/Packet Pick-Up:  If you do not check-in early on Wednesday, check-in/packet pick-up will be available at the staging area from 7:15am-8:30am on race day, Thurs, 11/23. 

Arrival:  Please arrive early to help alleviate backups.  It takes time to park, check-in, use the bathroom, warm up, and attend the pre-race brief.  If you are checking in on race day (did not check-in on Wed), we recommend arriving at least 45 min before your start time and if you check-in on Wednesday, we recommend arriving at least 30 min before your start time.     

Directions and Address of Staging Area at Great Meadow Park:  161 Salt Cedar Ln, Chapel Hill, NC 27516  

  • Briar Chapel is located off Rt. 15/501, which is 15 minutes south of downtown Chapel Hill.
  • From 15/501, take Andrew Store Rd west for approximately 1 mile.
  • Turn right onto Granite Mill Blvd (2nd Briar Chapel entrance) and follow the Race Parking signs.
  • Park and follow the signs to check-in.

Parking:  If you live in Briar Chapel and somewhat close to the staging area, we request that you please walk to the staging area if possible.  This will free up parking for those that live further away and may save you time depending on when you arrive.  If you are driving to the venue, park along the neighborhood streets of Briar Chapel, adjacent to Great Meadow Park.  SEE MAP below with parking areas.  Please arrive early and carpool, if bringing family or friends. Some of the streets at Briar Chapel are narrow so PLEASE PARK ON ONE SIDE OF THE STEET ONLY.  If and when all the space fills up near the staging area, you can park @ Woods Charter School (160 Woodland Grove Lane, Chapel Hill, NC 27516), which is a 8-minute walk to the staging area.  Thank you, Woods Charter! 

Portajohns:  Portajohns will be available near the pavilion at Great Meadow Park.

Pre-Race Brief:  The pre-race brief will begin 10 minutes before your race start time and will take place at the race start near the pavilion.    

Start Times:  The 5K will start @ 8:30am and the 1.5 Mile Fun Run will start @ 8:50am.

Courses:  Sprawling over 900 acres and located on the south side of Chapel Hill, NC, Briar Chapel is a green community that boasts a vast network of forested hiking and mountain biking trails.  The 1.5 mile fun run course includes some of the most mellow trails at Briar Chapel and is the perfect distance/terrain for the whole family.  Including a mixture of undulating double-track dirt trails and flowy single-track with some roots, rocks, and short hill climbs, the 5K course offers a super-fun challenge for both newbies and trail veterans alike.  Perfect for separating the field of runners, both courses start with just under half mile of downhill pavement running.  The 5K course has 217' of elevation gain and measures 3.4 miles (5.4K).  The 1.5 mile course has 109' of elevation gain and measures 1.57 miles.  Both courses may be run or walked.  

1.5 Mile Course:  CLICK HERE to view the course description, map, and elevation profile. 
5K Course:  CLICK HERE to view course description, map, and elevation profile. 

Race Strategy/Trail Etiquette:  While there are plenty of passing opportunities on the trails at Briar Chapel, many of the single-track trails are narrow and passing may be difficult.  So, it is suggested that you factor this into your race strategy.  At the beginning of the race, there is just under .5 miles of wide pavement before entering the trails.  So, it is recommended that you place yourself appropriately at the start line, with faster racers near the front, mid pack racers near the middle, and ‘back of pack’ runners near the rear.  Also, proper trail etiquette should be practiced.  Overtaking racers should use audible signals such as ‘passing on your left’ or ‘passing on your right’ and, when possible, slower racers should allow them to pass.  Keep in mind, however, that it is the responsibility of the overtaking racer to pass safely.  

Course Marking:  The course will be marked with red, yellow, or pink laminated arrows at all turns or areas of decision and pint surveyor’s tape tied to branches between points of decision.  Arrows will be tied to trees or stapled to wooden stakes.  There are some minor social trails at Briar Chapel that lead to homes or down to a stream.  Do not turn off the main trail if you do not see an arrow.  Before road crossings, you will see a CAUTION – ROAD CROSSING sign.  Most road crossings will be staffed with Course Marshals, but some will not.  PLEASE BE CAREFUL AT ROAD CROSSINGS AND LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING ANY ROAD.  

Aid Stations:  There is one aid station on the 5K course, at 1.8M.  The aid stations will be stocked with water and Gatorade.  Use the cups provided or carry a camelback or handheld water bottle.  First aid kits and emergency communication will be available at the aid station.  An aid station will also be positioned at the finish.

NO IN-EAR EARPHONES or LOUD AUDIBLE MUSIC:  The use of in-ear EARPHONES or LOUD AUDIBLE MUSIC that restricts hearing is not permitted during any Roadless Races event.  Why, you may ask?  Well, for the following three reasons:

  • Safety – we need to look out for each other!  Our courses are held on trails in remote areas.  If someone gets injured out on the trails, we rely on racers to notify us so we can activate emergency response.  Racers must be alert at all times.  
  • Courtesy – trail races are very different than road races.  Passing is usually not a problem in road races but passing can be a challenge on single-track hiking trails.  To pass safely, trail etiquette suggests using audible signals such as passing on your left.  Passing someone who can’t hear you is difficult and frustrating.
  • Community – at Roadless Races we strive to build community.  Please use your time with us to unleash yourself from your device, enjoy the sounds of nature, talk to people, make some friends, and have fun.    

No Dogs on the Course:  We love our furry friends, but for the safety of all racers (and dogs), they are not permitted on the race course.  Spectators are welcome to bring leashed and supervised dogs.

Trail Strollers:  Strollers that are appropriate for the trail ARE PERMITTED on the 1.5 mile fun run course ONLY (such as a BOB stroller, for instance).  If using a trail stroller, PLEASE START AT THE BACK, behind the runners and walkers.  Strollers ARE NOT PERMITTED on the 5K course because there are some root and rock filled sections on the 5K that will be frustrating (and potentially dangerous) to navigate.

Photos:  Uber-talented professional photographer Mario Quivera will be at the race capturing images of the fun and friendly competition.  All photos will be available for FREE download a few days after the event.  We will send an email when they are ready.  Smile big! 

Chip Timing / Results:  The timing pros from Finish Well timing are timing the 5K race.  Timing chips will be affixed to the back of your race bib.  Please wear your bib on the front of your body, either on your torso or on your shorts.  Results will be posted on-site and on immediately following the conclusion of the event.  The 1.5 Mile Fun Run is untimed.   

Recovery and Medical:  AlbyPT will providing medical services at the race and will also be available to screen and discuss any injury recovery or movement performance questions you may have.  AlbyPT is your partner in keeping life moving well. Specializing in various areas of physical therapy including orthopedics, aquatics, pelvic health, and dry needling; Michelle Alby, DPT is there to guide injury recovery, improve performance for the next race, or assist the body to its next great adventure. With private individualized sessions at your home or office, AlbyPT is an ideal partner in keeping life moving well.  Thank you, Michelle for lending your medical expertise to athletes!

Post-Race PIE / Beverages:  Enjoy a slice of pie after you run, before you head home for your big Thanksgiving feast.  Consider it an appetizer:)  Beverages include cider, water, Gatorade, soft drinks, and non-alcoholic craft beer from Athletic Brewing Company – NICE!  Post-race refreshments are complimentary for all racers and volunteers.  Thank you to the gleaming new Food Lion at the entrance to Briar Chapel for providing the yummy pie, cider, and bottled water for this event! 

FREE Kids Race for Treasure sponsored by Knoll at Briar Chapel:  At 9:30am, kids aged 11 and under are invited to participate in the Kids Race for Treasure.  Fun, Fun, Fun!!!!  All kids are welcome to participate, and parents are encouraged to line the 'race course' to cheer them on.  We will match kids in age groups (3-U, 4-5, 6-7, and 8-11) and have them run a short out and back ‘race’ in the large field near the staging area.  After running, kids can grab a prize (toys from the dollar store:) from the Treasure Chest!  Thank you to Knoll at Briar Chapel (the beautiful new apartment community on the eastern entrance to BC) for providing the toys!  

Awards/Giveaways:  The 5K awards ceremony will be held at 9:45am.  Awards (1st-5th place pint glasses) and prizes (Fleet Feet gift certificates) will be presented to the top five M/F 5K overall finishers.  We will announce the overall winners and ask them to come up to the podium for their awards.  Awards (1st-3rd place pint glasses) will be given to the top three M/F 5K age group competitors for each distance.  Age groups include 6-8, 9-10, 11-13, 14-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+.  Age group winners should pick up their pint glass from the awards table.  In addition to the awards, we have plenty of awesome swag to give away from Fleet Feet.  Also, Fleet Feet Carrboro/Durham is extending a 10% discount to racers from Fri 11/24-Sun 11/26 (just bring in your race bib).  NICE and THANK YOU, Feet Feet - Carrboro/Durham!

Push up Competition and Costume Contest:  The costume contest and push up competition will take place at 10am, immediately following the 5K awards.  Anyone that participates will receive swag, and the top two winners of the costume contest and last two M/F push up contestants left 'standing' will receive prizes.  Also, a special prize is up for grabs to anyone that wins the push up contest, while wearing a costume:)  So, break out that turkey outfit, prep those muscles, and prepare for Fun, Fun, Fun!    

Awesome Sponsors:  THANK YOU to all our generous sponsors for providing product, services, donations, and giveaways in support of grassroots racing and our community.  Please show your love and support our sponsors in any way you can.  AlbyPT, Athletic Brewing Company, Fleet Feet – Carrboro/Durham, Food Lion Briar Chapel, and Knoll at Briar Chapel.

Whew, I know that was a lot – thank you for taking the time to read this message and THANK YOU for participating in the inaugural Birds of a Feather Trail Trot.    

Prepare for an excellent day on the trails and see you on Thanksgiving.


Jim Harman
Race Director
Roadless Races

If you continue to use this site, you consent to use all cookies. We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Read how we use cookies and how you can control them by visiting our Privacy Policy.

If you continue to use this site, you consent to use all cookies.