Music City Trail Ultra 50k. Pegram, TN. March 14, 2015. 3rd year for the race.
Registration: This was available online through ultrasignup.com. When I registered it was around $55 with a shirt included, as race day neared the cost rose to $70. This also included a finishers glass, and aid station help. No medals, no chip timing.
WARNING – The Music City Trail Ultra is hard especially for the 50k. We are not saying this to impress you, read some of the reviews from last years runners on our site under the “News” link. If you’re willing to take this challenge and still be humble, we welcome you."
Packet pick-up / expo / pre-race email: The week of the race an email surfaced from the race director. This had information about where and when packet pick-up was located and the general race information. It was a 11 page pdf. It was harsh, but honest, and had us wondering what we were getting into. Things like "add the map to your phone" "it's going to rain" "follow the flags, don't get lost" "bring a positive attitude" "it's not a 50k walk."
There was no expo, this is a small race, maybe 200 people tops. Packet pickup was at a Fleet Feet store near Nashville, the evening before. You could also arrive early to the race and pick up your bib. Once the pick up was open, all we had to do was say our name (no id was asked for and you could pick up someone else's) and we got our shirt and a bib in a bag with a couple of flyers for local companies, which is great if you lived there.
Pre-race: plenty of parking for everyone in the grass pasture. Port-o-potties lined up. Nothing fancy. An announcement was made 10 minutes before the race was to start, saying they would wait for the port-o-pottie line to die down, then they would start.
8:05 am - race announcements were made and runners had to take an oath. Then the race started. We just wanted to finish. We were given 9 hours to attempt our feat.
Course: There were 3 race distances that started at the same time; 12k, 25k & 50k. The shorter distances would eventually turn around or run a different route.
Trail, single track trail, ravines, mud, creeks, leaf covered ground, and some gravel. The terrain was tough, lots of elevation change. Up and down, through creeks, slippery, sloppy and wet. Course was marked with orange flags, some were placed really far apart.The course was a giant loop through a hunting preserve.
There were 6 aid stations (3 out and 3 back) with plenty of water, Gatorade, chips, pretzels, gummis and candy. The volunteers were friendly, but realistic if running slow. Some of them took photos. You were on your own aside from the aid stations.
There were no bathrooms on the course, just nature. No spectators. No mile markers. No medics
Finish: There were finisher pint glasses with the race logo to fill with beer from the local Jackalope Brewing. There were also peanuts, candy, cookies and Gatorade. Pizza was available earlier in the day. The food was all spread out on the porch. There were hand made awards given out long before I arrived.
Overall: As I mentioned I would not run this again. This course is a BEAST!!! I should have taken the warning more seriously, but I am not sure how you train for this crazy terrain. Yes, it's trail, but it was also super wet and muddy, it was also steep, constantly changing elevation. Only recommending If you want to prove how badass you are, do this race!
Check out my personal struggle with this race on my blog https://marathang.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/music-city-trail-ultra/