One of my favorite races. The first time I ran this race I did the 15 mile distance as my first trail race; the second time I did the 5 mile. The volunteers are amazing; they acted like we had known each other for years. The race is run on a looped course; good or bad depending on your preference. The trail itself is a combo of single track and multi. If you're new to trail it's a decently technical trail with lots of uneven footing and some decently steep ascents/descents (at least for someone coming from Chicago). This is a cupless event so water bottles are encouraged. They have one water station on the back half to fill up though plus the main aid station at the start/finish.
The start/finish is always full of volunteers, race workers, and spectators so you're always cheered on or even helped with food/water. The aid station there is stocked with some amazing treats (pb&jelly, cookies, chips, candies,fruit, etc...) Some of the volunteers are so nice they bake goods as well (these were my favorite).
They do give out OA Awards plus age group. To this day these are probably my favorite awards. They are handmade by one of the volunteers family members. They are made of wood and each year they change what they look like.
I've never picked up my packet in advance but race day pickup is so easy and convenient with onsite parking. The parking can get congested if you get there late so carpooling is definitely encouraged.
Will go back and do again!!