WELCOME TO THE 11th YEAR FOR THE PISTOL PARTY!
This is a great urban ultra and half/full marathon to start spring off with a bang! This event near Knoxville, TN (USA), has quickly become very popular, always filling before registration closes. With distances from 13.1 to 150 miles, there's something for everyone!
Runners get some great swag at check-in and are pampered by some really nice volunteers, spoiled with amazing support at heated aid stations, enjoy camaraderie with plenty of other crazy ultra runners, and can score some really cool finisher's awards. This is a great race for first time and seasoned ultra runners alike. Walkers and push rims are welcome too. We’re here to have a good time!
All of the races start at the Alcoa Springbrook Pool Center (636 Vose Rd, Alcoa, TN). The certified courses are mostly flat (for East Tennessee!), paved, generally eight foot wide greenway that is lit at night time. For those who prefer a softer surface, there is grass alongside some of the trail. It meanders along the Pistol Creek (hence the name for the event), through Alcoa, by several small bodies of water, and over to Maryville's Bicentennial Greenbelt Park. It is a linear route just over 5 miles long with a lollipop at the southern end of the out-and-back and a short side spur on the return trip back to the Start/Finish.
The 50K/100K loops will be the same distance (10.35 miles). The 50kers will do this loop three times; the 100kers, six times. The 50/100 mile loops will be slightly shorter (10 miles exactly), with the 10 milers doing it once, the 50 milers five times, and the hundo runners ten times. The event features a very generous 32 hour cut-off for the 50K, 100K, and hundo. The nighttime 50 mile race starts at 8 PM Saturday, with a 20 hour cut-off. The half and full marathon start at 8 AM Sunday. All races end at 4 PM Sunday. For a complete schedule, click here.
Check This Double Barrel Award Out!
The uber cool double barrel pistol on a stand, with a customized name plate, will be awarded to those who complete either the 50K or 100K starting Saturday morning, AND the 50 miler Saturday night! To join the "double-your-fun" party, simply select the 50K/50M Double button when registering. Or if you're ultra-crazy, select the 100K/50M Double button. And if that's not enough, go REALLY big and choose the 100M/50M Double. Better get your big boy/girl panties ready though! And of course there are the awesome awesome finisher's awards specific to each distance, including the highly coveted pistol buckle (complete with spinning chamber) for the hundo finishers. Check out all of the awards here.
Marathon Maniac Special!!
Check out this special pricing for our Marathon Maniac friends! Want to level up? You can run the 50K on Saturday, and then the marathon on Sunday. So...two marathons+ in 2 days! Simply choose this combined option during your registration process and you'll score the marathon for only half price! NOTE: This is a Marathon Maniac combo special pricing. It is NOT one of the Pistol Ultra Double Barrel options.
PLEASE NOTE: Both the Pistol Creek Half and Full Marathon are on SUNDAY, March 10.
If you want to potentially be reimbursed if you are not able to participate, we recommend you consider purchasing event registration insurance to cover yourself. This option is offered during registration checkout. We do not provide refunds, deferments, rollover credits, transfer of entry fees, etc, regardless of the circumstances. Selling/giving your bib to someone else is not permitted.
If your circumstances change and you are unable to join the Pistol party, please cancel your registration as soon as you know. Simply follow the directions here. You’ll score good karma, possibly allow a waitlister to snag a spot, and definitely help us with the onerous task of registration management. If you are unable to run, but are still available, please consider volunteering. The runners would really appreciate your help and support as they get their run on! It takes a whole village to produce an event this size. Plus you’ll snag some credits towards a future event. Simply sign up here.
Please read the event website Registration details and policies here carefully before registering. They include legally binding terms and are incorporated herein by reference. Don't register unless you understand and accept them.
The Long Run Store team will be hosting the Main Aid Station/warming area at the start/finish. The Knoxville Track Club and friends are teaming up again to have the Lucky Leprechuan water stop at the halfway point. Then the Wild Trails Aid Station (it will be heated too) will be at the end of the 4.5 mile southern section. The Little River Trading Company will be hosting a water stop by the imperial turn around. This means you'll pass an aid station every 2.5 miles or less. Talk about spoiled!
Plan to arrive Friday afternoon for check-in, packet/swag pick-up, score some official Pistol gear at the Pistol Corral Store, meet other runners in the tribe, and enjoy other pre-race activities. It will be held inside the large tent next to the Start/Finish area. There is space close by along the course where you can set up your own personal support area. See the parking map here for the location. There are REAL indoor heated restrooms at a couple of locations along the course. In addition to awesome aid stations and amazing runner support, all participants receive a FREE finisher's food truck meal ticket. Yes, you will definitely be spoiled! Can't get any better for a spring race!
Tell your friends and get everyone registered. (Shirt sizes guaranteed to those registering by Jan. 31st.) Hop over and like our event Facebook page here to keep up with all the latest happenings. We can’t wait to have you join us for an amazing experience at the Pistol party!
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.
Live Phone Tracking, GPS Progress Alerts and Cheers!
We are providing you with RaceJoy as part of the official race experience for The Pistol.
Download the RaceJoy mobile app in advance to ensure proper phone setup. Invite your friends and family to track you and send you cheers!
Some key RaceJoy features include:
Greetings Fellow Pistolers!
It only one week until the big dance! The hay is in the barn now. Enjoy your taper and get ready for a great weekend at the Pistol Party!
We’ve only got three important things to cover in this third runner email.
1. Have you read Runner Email #1 and 2? If not, here’s the link.
2. We have the best sponsors! Whenever possible, please consider doing business with them since they support us and our ultra crazy Pistol party. Be sure to tell them thanks!
Silver Sponsors - Little River Trading Company, Flynn Electric, Mayfield Dairy Farms, 2 Toms Sport Shield, Harrison Construction, Kroger Marketplace, Sore No More, The Long Run Store, Drankful, Hotshot, Zenevo Chocolate, Eddie's Health Shoppe, and C2RL Engineers
3. We have some very special limited time discounts just for our Pistol family. Check ‘em out!
That’s it for now. We’ll be in touch again in a few days with your next email update.
Will, Stacy, and the Pistol Team
Greetings Fellow Pistolers!
It’s race week! Wow! Are things hopping here!
Today’s email focuses on what it will take for you to succeed at the Pistol. Ready?
OK…let’s get right to it!
1. PRE-RACE Medical Services: If you want PRE-RACE taping or bodywork done, Dr. Jeanne Williams will be available Friday, between 12-6 pm, at the Hilton during packet pick-up. Walk-ups are accepted pending availability. However, we highly recommend you schedule an appointment ahead of time to secure your preferred time. Grab your spot now right here!
2. Race Day Medical Services: The Quest Health & Performance team will be located in the start/finish tent for the entire race! If you are even slightly considering pulling out of the race for a physical reason before you finish, PLEASE go see her before you make a final decision! She’s saved the races of some of the most discouraged, hurting and hobbling runners. Jeanne and crew will be providing stretch sessions, body work, blister care, compression boots, Theragun, taping, first-aid, medical assessment and triage. They will also be monitoring the warming tent for those at risk of hypothermia. During the race, services will generally be provided first come-first served, but with the following exceptions: medical emergencies will always take first priority and runners still on course will be seen before others. If you have finished your race, please be understanding of this for folks still on the clock. They will gladly take care of you as soon as possible once on-course runners are assisted and back out racing again. There is a $10 supply charge per body area for kinesio taping during the race. If you think you may need or want taping services and don’t want to carry money or a card with you during the race, you can give Jeanne payment info ahead of time and it will only be charged if used. All card types are accepted. Basic first aid & medical triage will be available at the Wild Trails aid station during the overnight hours. There is no charge for medical services during the race, but our dedicated and mostly volunteer medical crew accept and always appreciate tips. Tipping is not required, but greatly appreciated! Over the years, many have asked about paying for these professional services or offering something to say thanks, so here's your opportunity!
3. One of the biggest reasons the nighttime runners drop at the Pistol is because they did not expect to get that cold, particularly at night. They slow down later in the race, perhaps got wet, then got cold, and boom! They drop. If you want to be prepared and have a much better chance of finishing, carefully read and then reread the advice in the next paragraph. It could save your race and possibly your life.
4. Weather Preparedness: If you’re like us and have been checking the forecast repeatedly, you know how much it keeps changing! Please keep in mind that the current highs in the 40’s during the day and lows overnight Saturday in the 20’s equals a prime recipe for hypothermia if you are not prepared! To decrease your chances of hypothermia, if you are going to change clothes during the race to warm up, please put on dry everything! You can’t get warm until you’re dry! That means changing everything from head to toe - hats, gloves, shirts, bras for ladies, jackets, shorts/pants, underwear, and socks (shoes if possible too). Be prepared for whatever comes…wet, dry, cold and warm weather!
5. Most of you will go out too fast. Don’t do it!! Remember, for most of us, the race doesn’t start until the halfway point. So don’t floor it at the start line and then cry when you run out of gas 3/4 of the way though. Instead, pace yourself, run smart, and you’ll have a MUCH better chance of finishing and getting the award you came for.
6. Keep your nutrition and blood sugar up. You will have a more positive mental attitude and perform better. If you get to feeling negative or sluggish, make sure you’re getting enough calories. It will improve your mood and energy level.
7. Running a long distance race is more mental than physical. Expect the negative mental demons to start dragging you down, usually when you’re the most tired and discouraged. Don’t listen or fight them. Just ignore them. Instead focus 100% on what it takes to keep relentless forward motion. Embrace whatever the circumstances are (rain, fatigue, disappointment, etc) and keep moving. Even if you’re only walking. If your brain tells you to quit, tell it to shut up. You will quit when you’re done…and not before. You didn’t do all this training, spend all this time and money, and come all this way just to try. You came to finish…so just do it!!
8. All runner email updates are posted on the website after they are sent out. Here's the link.
That’s it for now. We’ll be in touch one more time this week with your final updates.
Enjoy your taper week. We can’t wait to see you at the Pistol Par-tay!
Will, Stacy, and the Pistol Team
Greetings Fellow Pistolers!
It’s almost Pistol party time! Woo-hoo!
We’ve got 20 important things to cover in this final general email. So take a few minutes and let’s jump right in.
1. This is the 10th official running of the Pistol. We’ve got some really special limited edition Pistol shirts and hats for you. Extras will be available in the Pistol store after the Saturday morning check-in. Get them before they are gone forever!
2. Be sure to check out the Pistol Store at check-in. There will be some great deals on lots of cool Pistol goodies.
3. Drankful is one of our awesome sponsors. They will be at our mini-expo. Be sure to check out their smooth running gear.
4. If you didn’t make a shirt selection during registration or registered after the shirt deadline, we did not specifically order a shirt for you. Good news! We did order a few extras. So come back at 7:30 Saturday morning for the ultra distances or 7:30 Sunday morning for the half/full marathon and we’ll be happy to check and see if any are still available.
5. Be sure to give your predicted finishing time to the volunteer during check-in. The person who is closest to their actual finishing time wins the highly coveted Pistol Marksmanship Award!
6. Make sure you’re set up and ready to go with RaceJoy. It is packed with cool features that will help you. The best part is we’re providing it for free to all of our participants, so it you have nothing to lose. So go ahead, download it and check it out. It is a great way for you family and friends to watch your progress and encourage you. You can also monitor your own progress, so no more wondering how many loops you’ve done. It will also let you know if you get off course when you start sleep walking. Just click on the RaceJoy tab on the home page here.
7. If you want to change distance, you will need to wait and do that on site during check-in.
8. Bibs are only issued to the registered runners. They will not be given to anyone else.
9. Gear swap table will be available at all check-ins. Bring any gently used, clean running gear that you are no longer using and would like to bless someone else with. And if you are needing something, be sure to check it out. You can’t beat the price!
10. FREE Birthday/Anniversary gifts! If your birthday/anniversary is anywhere from March 12-25, congratulations! Come to the Changes and Solutions table to snag a free gift.
11. If you’re competing in the Athena/Clydesdale contest, be sure to check in for that just prior to your race start. Here's the page with the details.
12. Good Times Events will be timing all ten of our events. Please be sure to show them lots of love for all their hard work!
14. Please note that on Saturday morning, the general parking lot next to the Springbrook Pool Center is ONLY for 100K and 100 Mile runners so they can self support as needed. (Here is the parking map.) To enter, you will need to either show your 100K or 100 Mile bib OR your registration on your phone to the Parking Marshal. No exceptions please!!
15. Remember, this is a cupless race! Be sure to have your own cup for water and sport drink out on the course. If you don’t have one, no worries. You can grab one or more collapsible Pistol Hydrapak Speedcups at the Pistol store during check in. They are super cheap, lightweight, and collapse down to almost nothing.
16. The course has several road crossings. Generally the traffic will stop. However, we are not permitted to stop or block them and must give them the right of way as needed. This includes the 4 way stop in Maryville at East Harper Ave and East Church St.
17. The Jump Contest is on! Be ready to show up your best jump for the photographers out on the course. The Facebook contest will be held later in the year. Nine lucky winners will score reduced entry fees up to 90% off!
18. You will need to officially finish the distance you are registered for to be an official finisher. The option to change your distance up or down after your race has started is not available. Click here for more info.
19. There are unheated bathrooms/changing area/showers in the Springbook Pool Center.
20. If you have any unanswered questions, come to the Changes and Solutions table during check-ins and we will do our best to answer them there. We are out of the office now hard at work getting everything set up and ready to go for you! So email responses may be limited or delayed.
OK, that’s it! Safe travels. We can’t wait to see you and share in your accomplishments this weekend!
Will, Stacy, and the Pistol Team
Springbrook Pool Center, 636 Vose Rd. Alcoa, Tennessee 37701 USA
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