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2018 Ancient Oaks 100-Mile Endurance Run


Sat December 15 - Sun December 16
Location: Titusville, FL US 32780 Directions
Type: Trail Race
Events
Event Time Price Details
100-Mile Run
Time
7:00AM EST - 3:00PM EST
N/A
Place
444 Columbia Blvd
Titusville, FL US 32780
Description

THE 2018 RACE IS CLOSED - BOTH THE ENTRANTS LIST AND WAIT LIST HAVE BEEN FINALIZED - PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL WITH YOUR REQUEST FOR THE 2018 RACE

This is an Invitation-Only, No-Fee, Low-Aid race held in the Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary in Titusville, Florida the third weekend in December.  The 2018 dates are Saturday-Sunday December 15-16, 2018.  Race start time is 7:00 AM Saturday morning, and runners have 32 hours exactly to finish 29 loops of a 3.46-mile course for a total of 100.34 miles.

In order to run, you must receive an Invitation to Run.  In order to get one of those, you need to email Mike Melton at mike@mcmelton.com ANY TIME between 12:01 AM June 1, 2018 and 11:59 PM June 30, 2018 with a Request for an Invitation to Run.  All Requests will be considered equally, no matter when they arrive, as long as they fall within that window.  It's not necessary to send an essay - a simple 'I would like to run the 2018 AO100 race' will suffice ;-).

Race Contact Info
If you have any questions about this race, please contact the race director at
Course Map

The course is a 3.46-mile loop that uses the trails located within the park boundaries.  The loop consists of a small section of asphalt pavement, sections of sand and grass two-track, rolling wood-chip trail sections, a short section of concrete path, a section of twisty, rooty single-track trail, two boardwalk sections, a short bridge, a sharp 15-foot hill, and some sections of loose sand.  The trail will be clearly marked.

Waiver 1

Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.

PDF
Waiver 2

Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.

PDF
Race Update 1

I’m sorry this is so late in getting to you – please accept my apologies for that. I’ve had WAY more on my plate than normal, and my ‘horizon’ (what I see in front of me to do and work on) has been incredibly compressed – a race that happens 30 days from now isn’t even making the back burner for me yet.  It is what it is, and I’ll make the best of it and do as much as I can when I can get to it.

 

You are on the Entrants List, and you’ll stay there until you tell me otherwise.  If you’ve already decided that you cannot run, please let me know as soon as possible – the Wait Listers are chomping at the bit to run!  Don’t pull the plug prematurely, though – wait until you’re sure you can’t run.  After all, miracles can and do happen!

 

I’ve put the Ancient Oaks 100 race up on the RunSignUp online registration site, and I sent you a link to get past the ‘Race Closed’ message so you can register there.  If you have already done so, thanks!  If you haven’t yet done so, then reply to this message and I’ll re-send the link to you.  The link will only work one time, so make sure you’re ready to use it when you click on it ;-).

 

The AO100 RunSignUp site is public, but it’s not possible to register any other way than the link sent in the email.  That’s because AO100’s Wait Listers would string me up if someone snuck in ahead of them via the RunSignUp site ;-).

 

You can see the Entry List by clicking on the following link:

 

https://runsignup.com/Race/FindARunner/?raceId=49656

 

The link doesn’t show the complete 60-runner list, since not everyone has used the RSU link yet.

 

If you’ve not decided on a hotel, then you should plan on staying somewhere as close to Exit 215 off I-95 (SR 50, Cheney Highway).  There are lots of choices, as well as several restaurants, a Lowe’s, a drug store, and a 24-Hour Wal-Mart nearby. 

 

I’ve set up a ‘preferred hotel’ option for those of you who want a place to stay and haven’t yet decided on one.  The Days Inn just west of I-95 is where I’ll be staying from Thursday night until Monday morning, and the IHOP is located there as well.  Days Inn has offered us a special rate of $62.00 plus tax – just tell them it’s the Ancient Oaks rate.  The address of the hotel is 3755 Cheney Hwy, Titusville FL 32780, telephone 321-269-4480.  If you have any problems, ask for Christina Carlton – she’s the general manager who authorized the rate.

 

Pre-race packet pickup will be at the IHOP restaurant located in front of the Days Inn, from 4 PM until 7 PM.  We’ll have the back room and you’re welcome to order off the menu – you order, you pay, everyone’s happy ;-).  You’ll get your t-shirt and race bib number, and you can turn in or sign the two waivers, and then on race morning you’ll get your timing chip ankle strap.  It’s just like the house arrest bracelet some of you are familiar with ;-).

 

If you’re driving to the race, please be aware that the park has VERY stringent rules as to what’s allowable inside the park.  We STRONGLY DISCOURAGE the use of motor homes and/or travel trailers, since there is NO CAMPING allowed in the park.  Please do everything in your power to avoid bringing a huge vehicle into the park.  The rule of thumb is that your vehicle should be able to fit into a standard parking lot parking place – if it doesn’t, PLEASE let me know as soon as possible, so that I can run interference for you with the park.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your understanding and cooperation!

 

Regarding tents, please DO NOT bring a camping tent with you!  We will have two communal 10x10 popup tents located in the picnic area of the race start/finish line, and those are available for your use.  If you have any kind of tent, it needs to be 10x10 or smaller, and it needs to be an obvious day-use type of thing – nothing that looks like it can be slept in ;-).

 

We’ll have the use of most of the parking lot throughout the entirety of the race, but the park will be open to the public on both Saturday and Sunday, so some of the parking lot will be roped off for that public use.  Please also be conscious of the public use of the trails, and practice appropriate trail courtesy.

 

The race consists of a 3.46-mile trail loop, so you’ll return to the start/finish line area 29 times during the race.  For most of you, this will be about every 40-80 minutes, so you will have ample opportunities to resupply yourself either at our aid station, or from your vehicle.  It is VERY easy to self-crew from your vehicle, since the race runs right through the parking area at the start of every loop.  I’ve done it myself successfully four different times ;-).

 

I’ll be sending out another Race Update email in the next couple of days as I get more organized, and each Update will be posted on the race’s Runsignup page, so be sure to check there once in a while to see if anything’s changed or been added.

 

Thank you for coming to run Ancient Oaks, thank you for your patience, and I look forward to watching you cross the finish line in the Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary the third weekend in December!

Race Update 2

 

 

This is AO100 Update #2 – if you missed getting Update #1, I’ve posted it above.

If you’re sure you are NOT running, then NOW is the time to let me know.

 

I emailed you a registration link to the race RunSignUp webpage recently, and if you have not yet used that one-time registration link.  Please check your ‘spam’ or ‘junk’ email folder, and when you find the email, please click on the link inside the email and it will take you to RunSignUp, where you can register for AO100 for free.  This is a ONE-TIME link – it won’t work twice.  Please let me know if you did NOT get that message for some reason.

 

If you ARE running, then we’re 10 days away from race day!  You’ll need to sign TWO different waivers before you can run – after all, a government entity is involved in the event, so why have just one waiver when two is better ;-)?  You can find the Waivers on the race website link shown above – just click on them, print them, sign them, and bring them with you to race check-in.

 

IMPORTANT!  If you are going to have ANYONE go out on the trails with you, they MUST sign BOTH waivers!  We will have a supply of both waivers at the aid station.  If your support person leaves the parking lot and enters any part of the trail with you, they need to have both waivers signed.  Thanks!

 

The ‘host hotel’ discount offered by the Days Inn is still in effect – just ask for the ‘Ancient Oaks’ rate when you make your reservation.  The Days Inn is located just west of I-95 at Exit 215, the Cheney Hwy (SR 50) exit.  The address of the hotel is 3755 Cheney Hwy, Titusville FL 32780, telephone 321-269-4480.  If you have any problems, ask for Christina Carlton – she’s the general manager who authorized the rate of $62.00 plus tax.

 

 

Remember that there is NO camping allowed in the park, so please do not being anything that resembles a tent that could be slept in.  10x10 popup tents are OK, but please don’t go overboard on this – the parking lot area space is limited, there’s plenty of shaded space in the picnic area located right next to the aid station, and we will have two 10x10 popups on-site in the picnic area to provide even more shaded space, and those are available for runner use.

 

Please remember to be an adult – if you bring it into the park, please take it out of the park.  If you take something out on the trail – water bottle, gel pack, etc – please bring in back off the trail.  LITTERING IS ABSOLUTE GROUNDS FOR IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION!

 

This rule also applies to alcohol – we have never had much of a problem with alcohol, but please be discreet about it.  Red Solo cups are preferable to a pile of empty bottles and cans ;-).  Excessive consumption of alcohol will NOT be permitted – those who are deemed too inebriated will be asked to leave the park, and they will be escorted off the property is they do not comply.

 

RACE CHECK-IN

There will be race check-in both at the pre-race dinner, which will be at the IHOP restaurant on Cheney Hwy (just west of exit 215 off I-95), from 3:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Friday evening December 14, and on Saturday morning before the race starts.  Make sure to check in with plenty of time to get situated before the race starts.  You get a t-shirt, a race number, and you need to sign the waivers - that's the extent of check-in.  It's not complicated, but we've got to get about 60 of you ready to go by race start time. 

There is NO requirement to check in on Friday night – about half the field checks in Saturday morning.  Consequently, if you all arrive at 6:45 AM Saturday morning to check in, some of you will end up missing the race start, so if you’re arriving Saturday morning, be there early enough to not miss the race start – we WILL start on time!

Friday evening, I will be leaving the restaurant promptly at 7:00 PM – please don’t arrive at 6:55 PM and hope to get checked in ;-).  There’s plenty of last-minute stuff to get done so the pre-race meeting will end at 7 PM.

 

PRE-RACE DINNER

There will be a pre-race dinner at the IHOP restaurant in Titusville Friday afternoon from 3:00 PM until 7:00 PM.  The IHOP is located at 3755 Cheney Hwy (SR 50) Titusville FL 32780 (telephone 321-269-4480).  It's part of the Days Inn hotel, which is located about a tenth of a mile west of Exit 215 at I-95, where most of the motels are located.  You can order off the menu, and pay individually for your meals.

 

We've got a back room set aside for us, so when you come into the restaurant, just tell the hostess that you’re here for the race check-in.  I expect about 20 to 40 people to show up and eat, so you'll have a chance to mingle with many of your fellow ultrarunners.

 

VOLUNTEERS

We have several people who have graciously volunteered to donate part of a day, a whole day, or a whole weekend of their lives to us and the race.  DO NOT abuse the volunteers!  If you have ANY issues, then bring them to me at the timing tent.  I’ll be there for the duration of the entire race, with the exception of about a 45-minute nap around 4:00 AM.  I may also need to spend an hour or so on the course checking on equipment and such.  Otherwise I’ll be in the timing area.

 

RACE TIMING AND SCORING

You will need to wear your race bib number clearly visible on your front, at all times.  You will also be given an ankle strap with a timing transponder attached to it – this is the timing device that will track your progress around the course.  There will be timing mats located at various points around the course, so please do NOT avoid them!

There will be intermediate split points connected to the start/finish line so that your race progress will be live and online trackable by friends and family from anywhere in the world.  The link to online results will be provided earlier next week, in the Final Update message.

 

NOTE:  There will be one timing point at the back of the course, in the twisting single-track section called the Magnolia Loop.  There will be two orange cones located a few feet before this small timing mat to warn you that you’re fast approaching it. Please watch for it – thanks!

There will be a flat-panel 'scoreboard' display that will show you at a glance where you are in the race (how many laps and miles) as well as how long the last lap took you to run, along with some other miscellaneous information.

Please do NOT linger in the timing area - pass across the timing mat and then proceed on to the aid station.  Do not retrace your steps backwards across the mat - we don't want to have to fix your miscounted loops, and the software is programmed to ignore loops that are suspiciously too short ;-).

Results will be updated online and onsite in near-real-time, and they will be posted to UltraSignUp and RunSignUp once the race is finished.

Bib numbers will be assigned randomly – I’m using bibs left over from past races.

 

RACE CUTOFF TIME

The race will end at 3:00 PM on Sunday afternoon, for a total race time of 32 hours.  The Cutoff Time is FIRM!  Only finish times of 31:59:59 or faster will be considered finishes. 

You are free to leave the premises at any time, but if you decide to drop out of the race for some reason, you must report to the timing tent and let us know you have decided not to continue, and you MUST turn in your ankle transponder before you leave the park!

A suggestion:  If you're thinking of dropping out for some reason, take some time to recover and reconsider before taking final action.  My Rule of Thumb is to take 60 minutes of rest before dropping out of a race, because in that hour you might find that you feel differently than you did earlier, and you find the will and the way to continue on.  There's no downside in sitting on the sidelines for an hour before dropping out, and there's considerable upside if it allows you to regroup and get back out and finish the race.

 

For example - in four of my five finishes at Ancient Oaks, I've taken naps ranging from 60 minutes to three hours, and then gotten back up and finished the race, and twice I got back up and finished fairly strongly.  So if you consider dropping, don't do so lightly.

 

Pacers are allowed for the entire duration of the race, although because the race is 29 loops of a 3.46-mile course, you'll see the other runners plenty of times, and will often find someone to run with.  My suggestion is to use a pacer only during the late-night portion of the race, when your vision may be compromised and fatigue will be a factor.

 

Remember that this is a 100-mile race - 29 loops of a 3.46-mile course for a total of 100.34 miles.  NO CREDIT will be given for any intermediate distance - anything less than a 100-mile finish will be listed as a DNF, although each person's final mileage will be displayed in the results, no matter how many miles are completed.

 

There are no cash prizes, awards, swag or anything else of value given to those who finish.  You get a hearty 'Attaboy!' or 'Attagirl!', a hand-made finisher’s award, and the satisfaction of having done something significant on your weekend time off ;-).  There may or may not be any special awards presented, and if there is anything like this, it is entirely at the whims of race management and personnel ;-).

 

If you are running for a belt buckle, then you should not run, but instead you should enter and run one of the other 140-plus 100-mile races that offer buckles.  Ancient Oaks has never offered a buckle, and there are no plans to do so in future years.  AO is old-skool and will stay that way ;-).

 

PARK WILDLIFE

 

The park is home to the full array of Florida wildlife, including spiders, snakes, raccoons, armadillos, gopher tortoises, and most importantly, feral hogs.  These hogs can be as large as 200 pounds or more, and are most active during the nighttime hours.  They root around in the soil and often some sections of the course are significantly churned up by their efforts.  They should not bother you, but it's best to give them a wide berth.  I'd avoid getting between a mother and her piglets, for example ;-).  Armadillos will also be actively rustling around in the leaves at night.

 

In the last year or so, the Golden Orb spiders have become much more visible – their webs are both beautiful and intricate.  The Golden Orb spider is as small in size as a quarter, and can be as large as the palm of your hand.  They’re not aggressive and I don’t believe they bite – but I’d avoid getting tangled in a web just the same ;-).

 

PARK RULES

 

As guests in the park, we must abide by the park rules, and here are the ones that will apply to us.

First, there is NO camping in the park - no tents, and no Recreational Vehicles allowed.  There's just not enough room in the park and parking lot areas to accommodate anything more than passenger vehicles.  All vehicles must fit into a normal-sized parking space!  Shade-type canopies are allowed – as long as they’re not larger than 10x10 feet.  There will be at least one popup 10x10 tents set up covering some of the picnic tables just past the start/finish and aid station, and you are free to utilize both the picnic tables as well as the tents, for shade.

 

If you leave any supplies in the picnic area, remember that the park is home to lots of wildlife – much of which would LOVE to peruse your supplies and sample whatever’s in your kit!  Use coolers with snap lids and plastic buckets or bins with snap lids for the best protection against critter theft.

 

Second, of course there's no littering at all in the park - please carry any trash you have to the aid station or deposit it in the trash cans located around the park. If you can carry it out onto the trail, you can dam well carry it back off the trail.

 

The same thing goes in the parking lot and aid station area – make sure your area is cleaned up before you leave.

 

Third, the park will be OPEN to the public on Saturday and Sunday during the bulk of each day.  DO NOT run over or knock down any hikers or lollygaggers who are meandering around aimlessly while you're hell-bent on knocking off a big PR ;-).  Please be polite to the people you meet in the woods ;-).

 

The issue with the park and its rules is that the land that the park encompasses is pristine old-growth natural Florida forest, and as such it's protected under the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program.  In fact, the park is billed as the 'flagship property' under the EEL program.  There is a contingent of very active environmental activists who feel strongly that ANY human impact within the park should be strongly discouraged, and these people feel that the race should not be allowed in the park at all.  We presently have the support of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners, but it would take just one incident for much of that support to evaporate.  Please be considerate of the park and the race and act accordingly!

 

The park front entrance gate will be locked after hours, but we'll have the combination and if you need to exit the park (or you have people who need to enter), have them get in touch with me on my cell phone at 772-349-1704, and we'll have a volunteer escort you out or escort them in.  We've had issues with non-race-related people trying to get into the park after hours, so we need to respect the need for security.  It's less than a half mile from the start/finish aid station area up to the front gate.

 

The visitor's center bathrooms are large, sanitary, clean, and WARM (during the chill of the night!) and they will be available for our use for the entire duration of the race.  Please keep them clean, and please report any issues (like a lack of paper!) to the aid station personnel.

 

Once the sun goes down, and the park management goes home, it gets a little easier for us.  But please be aware that whatever happens during the night better be cleaned up and gone by sunrise on Sunday morning, when the park management will return.

SAND

One of the things that surprises people every year is how much sand there is on the course – it’s not deep, but it can be soft and there’s a lot of it at various places along the course.  The sand is very fine – it will get into your shoes even if you use gaiters.  It just seeps right though the mesh of your shoes, where it becomes like sandpaper and grinds your feet and toes relentlessly.  Stopping to check your shoes more often than less often is probably a smart race strategy.

Sand may well affect your skin underneath your ankle timing strap, so check there as well.  Clean skin is less likely to chafe or become irritated!

 

ELECTRICAL OUTLETS

Electric outlets get to be a premium commodity as the day goes along.  Please do NOT ask the aid station personnel to charge your phone, mp3 player, ipod or ipad.  The electrical connection is limited, and we have occasionally overloaded the circuit and have had to reset the breaker.  There is a large screen room located next to the visitor’s center, on the aid station side of the building.  I’ll have an electrical cord with a long string of outlets attached to it in there, so that’s where you should go for a charging station.

 

WEATHER

The temperature during the race will vary widely, so plan accordingly.  Daytime temperatures will probably be in the 60-80 degree F range, but could be lower or even up into the low to mid 90s.  Nighttime temperatures could be very low, with the possibility of below-freezing temperatures.  Florida's nighttime is also damp, and often windy, so a temperature of 38 degrees F with a cold north wind blowing will chill you to the bone quickly.  Do not underestimate either the heat of the afternoon or the chill of the night ;-)!

 

Rain is always a possibility, but not likely.  In the past nine years, it has rained lightly at various times, and has rained more substantially only once.  I'd plan on a dry race, but have some rain gear available just in case.

 

Also remember that we’re running close to the shortest day of the year – so the sun will set early and rise late.  Plan on it being dark by 5:30 PM or so, and plan on it staying dark until close to 7:00 AM Sunday morning.  Any moonlight will make the visibility much better – under a full moon, a headlamp is often not necessary.

 

CREW/SUPPORT OPTIONS

 

You are encouraged to crew yourself out of your vehicle, which you will pass 28 times during the race, since each race loop begins by passing through the parking area.  While we will provide a variety of food and some liquids, you should assume that you will receive nothing except access to clean water during the race.  Whatever else you want, you should bring with you!

 

There are several picnic tables located near the start/finish area which will be available for runner use, and you're free to set up a small table and/or chair near your vehicle.  Just remember that the park is home to lots of wildlife, which is looking forward to scavenging through your race supplies while you're out on the race course ;-).

 

AID STATION

 

The aid station will be located at the Start/Finish area, and will probably be stocked with water, ice, cookies, pretzels, chips, some candy, peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, and Gatorade.  We're making plans to have grilled cheese sandwiches and hot soup and possibly coffee after dark, and there may also be pizza sometime before midnight.  Although these are our plans, nothing is certain until race day ;-).

 

AGAIN, DO NOT COUNT ON FINDING ANYTHING AT THE AID STATION!  Anything we provide should be viewed as a bonus ;-)!

 

My advice is - if you want something to be there, bring it yourself.  If you absolutely cannot run without your fair-trade, free-range, no-kill soy latte with organic whip cream and almond butter garnish, then you’d best be bringing that with you.  Do NOT depend on us to provide you with ANYTHING except access to clean water and bathrooms.  We're working on having a well-stocked aid station but I would count on nothing ;-).

 

Someone asked about the availability of hot water, and about using a camp cook stove to heat water.  That’s fine – just use common sense.  Don’t be obvious about using it, don’t put it in the grass and start a wildfire – you get the point – lol ;-).  We will have hot water at the aid station, especially overnight, and it should be accessible at all times since we plan on keeping it warm in thermos-style bottles. 

 

What I’d like to avoid is having stuff that leaves a trace – a couple of years ago, one of the runners and crew used a metal fire pit during the night, and when they left in the morning, they just dumped the ashes out on the parking lot asphalt.  I saw it and did my best to clean it up, but the park manager still pointed out the stain mark the ashes left, and he was unhappy with knowing that a fire had been present in the park.

 

So use common sense out there ;-).

 

SALT

Remember to monitor your salt level during the day.  The best way to do this is to taste salty foods such as pretzels – if they taste REALLY good, chances are you’re a bit low on salt ;-).  There will be Succeed S caps at the aid station for your use.  These are packed with loads of salt – one of these should do you for a couple of hours, unless it gets really hot.  Please be careful with the salt – if you overdo it and take in too much, the only way to correct that is to guzzle large amounts of water to dilute the overconcentration of salt.  Unless it’s really hot, if you stick to eating salty foods – and there will be some salty choices at the aid station – you should be fine.

 

It’s easy to correct a low sodium imbalance – one S-Cap will do it.  It can be VERY difficult to correct a high sodium imbalance – you need GALLONS of water pushed through your system to lower your sodium level.  My advice is to err on the side of caution.

 

In my opinion – and I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV – high sodium levels lead to nausea and make it difficult for you to take in ANY nutrition, which then leads to an energy bonk.  One way to take in sodium is to simply eat salty foods – and pretty much anything you buy in a store is already loaded with salt ;-).

 

SUNSCREEN

Sunscreen should be in your race supply bag, especially if you’re not from the south.  The sun load can be big during the day, even though there’s lots of shade on the course.  Bug spray might also be useful at some times of the day – dusk and dawn in particular.  Some kind of lubricant should also be in your arsenal – chafing is a big problem when it’s warm and sunny.

 

MEDICAL ISSUES

Please run within the limits of your ability.  If you are having a medical issue, please report it immediately.  Remember that if you are having an emergency, you need to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible or have someone call for you.  Paramedics are located within two miles of the race site, so they should be readily available.  There are at least one doctor and at least one nurse running, so it’s possible these people might be available to help, but again, plan on calling 9-1-1 if you have any medical issue that would require skilled help.  We reserve the right to remove you from the course and the park at any time if we deem that you are a danger to yourself or to others.

 

NOTE:  We will NOT be offering any type of anti-inflammatory over-the-counter pain relievers this year.  We prefer not to encourage use of such pain relievers, as overuse can become a medical issue.  If you want Advil, Aleve, or aspirin you should bring it yourself.

 

DOGS AND CHILDREN

 

A couple of people have asked about bringing a leashed dog to the race, and according to park regulations, dogs are prohibited in the park.  Also, the liability insurance policy I purchase for the race prohibits dogs at the event, so unfortunately, Fido should stay home (or visit doggie day care) this weekend.

 

Although this is primarily an adult event ;-), children are welcome in the park and at the race – with ONE proviso.  You MUST supervise any children at ALL times – we will NOT be providing babysitting services.  Simply letting children fend for themselves in the park is not an acceptable option either ;-).  So maybe it’s best to have the kids watch Fido at doggie day care, or have Fido hang with the kids at Nana’s house this weekend.

 

DONATIONS

Since many people have asked, if you'd like to contribute to race expenses, I'll be paying for all supplies and race expenses such as liability insurance, aid station stuff, race numbers, and the like.  There will be a donation jar located on one of the aid station tables if you’re so inclined, or you can make a donation through Paypal – my Paypal account is mcmelton57@gmail.com ..  Please do NOT feel as if you need to contribute ANYTHING.  THIS IS COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY ON YOUR PART - IT IS NOT A REQUIREMENT TO RUN THE RACE!

 

I'm happy that you've decided to spend a few days of your life with us here in sunny south-central Florida ;-), and I'm looking forward to having a GREAT time this coming weekend!

 

LAST-MINUTE SUPPLIES

 

If you arrive and realize you've forgotten something, there is a 24-hour Wal-Mart Supercenter located at the northeast corner of the intersection of I-95 and Hwy 50 at Exit 215, and there's a Lowe’s as well as a Home Depot and a drug store at the same Exit.  Any of those stores should have what you need.  There's a gas station/convenience store located less than a mile from the park entrance as well.

 

SATURDAY MORNING PRE-RACE BREAKFAST

 

If you're thinking you want a last-minute carbo-loading feast before the race, there are two 24-hour restaurants located at Exit 215 off I-95 and Hwy 50 - one is a Denny's (located in the Ramada Inn) and the other is an IHOP (located at the Days Inn).  If you’re staying in the Days Inn, they’ll offer you discount coupons for use at the IHOP at the time you check into your room.

 

RACE START TIME

 

A couple of you have asked what time the race starts - the race will begin promptly at 7:00 AM Eastern Daylight Savings Time.  There's been nothing to change that, so plan on starting at 7:00 AM on the dot!

 

PARK ACCESS

 

The park will be open on Friday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, and I will be in the park from 9:00 AM until about 2:00 PM, marking the race course and doing final race prep.  After that, I’ll be at the pre-race dinner.

Saturday morning I’m planning on opening the park gates about 4:00 AM, so you should have plenty of time to get into the park and set up before the race begins at 7:00 AM.  Some of the parking lot will be roped off – please do not park in this area.  That’s the area that the public will use while the race is going on.  We are allowed to park on the west side of the parking area, and in the large open space just before the paved parking area – this would be on your left as you drive into the park.  I’ll try and have it clearly marked as Race Parking.

If for some reason you will not be at the start of the race at 7:00 AM, but you’re still planning on running (maybe you’re giving the other runners a head start ;-) ) please check in at the Timing Tent before you start the race.  I need to know that you are starting the race, and I need to make sure I know exactly when you started.

You are not required to remain in the park at all times during the race – you’re free to leave if you need something outside the park, and then return and continue running.  If you need to leave the park boundaries for some reason, please tell someone at either the Aid Station or the Timing Tent that you are leaving, and leave your ankle timing transponder with us (check out with us), and then tell us when you get back into the park (check back in with us) and get your ankle timing transponder back from us.  That way we don’t start looking for you in the weeds and the canals ;-).

 

POST-RACE CLEANUP OPTIONS

 

I will be staying at the Days Inn from Thursday evening December 13 until late Sunday evening December 16.  I have the room on Saturday night December 15, and since I will be at the race site from about 4:00 AM on Saturday morning until about 6:00 PM Sunday evening, my room will be available for use by anyone on Saturday night, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon.  So if you absolutely need a nap or a hot shower after the race, the room will be available on a first-come first-served basis.  I’ll have a couple of room keys at the brown popup timing tent located across the path from the aid station – just stop by and get the key.  Please remember to bring it back when you’re done using the room – and please don’t steal any towels or leave any mess that I would be embarrassed to have to deal with ;-).  My standards are pretty low, but I do have standards ;-).

 

Please do not attempt to drive home after running all night without any sleep – I want each of you to run the race again in future years!

 

FUN

 

Although this is an ultramarathon in every sense of the word, and we take your efforts very seriously, I’d like to emphasize that we intend to have a lot of FUN this weekend!  Although both the Disco Glitter Ball and the South Park boxer shorts have gone AWOL , the Superman Action Figure, the fairy wand, and the small white Michael Jackson gloves will be on-site, and there may be some unusual prizes awarded, based on the whims of the race staff.  We will attempt to not offend anyone, and we will probably fail in that attempt ;-).  Allow us some grace to be human ;-), and we’ll do the same!

 

I have no last-minute words of wisdom for you ;-).  Although there is no easy 100-mile race, the mere fact that I finished this race five years in a row means that the finish line is attainable for each and every runner who starts this race.  You CAN finish this race!

 

I know I’ll have more information, but that’s it for now – the final Update will be sent early next week, and no later than Wednesday night.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing you in the Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary in 10 days!