- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, 50K, 50 miles, Relay
- Trail Race
- Event Website
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Saturday, October 3, 2015. Cloudy 50 degrees, windy. 7 am. Kettle Moraine State Forest, Wisconsin.
Registration: This was available for quite a while online. Price started at $80 and increased to $115 on race day. The race was capped, and if it wasn't sold out you could register on race day. You could transfer your registration to another distance. Included with registration was a bib with timing chip, a short sleeve gender specific tech shirt, finisher's medal, post race hot food and a post race beer.
I registered with 183 days before the race, online. The race never capped and there was a tent with registration on site, shirts were still available, but may have to wait until end of race to claim, as they printed them on site. The shirts are nice tech shirts, but not race specific, so if you ran the 5k you got the same as the 50 mile. (Mine also fits strange)
Expo/ Packet Pick up: There was no expo. Instead participants were given a virtual race bag, and encouraged to pick up their bibs and shirts at three different area North Face Stores the Thursday and Friday before the race. To pick up your packet you had to have an ID, and you could pick up someone else's with a copy of their ID. The store closest to the race (Brookfield, WI) had a speaker event on Friday night with North Face Athletes and the Race Director.
*A group of us BibRave Pros attended the Speaker Event. There was standing room only, Each race has a different set of speakers, we were treated to Dean Karnazes, Dylan Bowman & Timothy Olson and a member of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Sarah; along with Race Director Nick Moore. Each was given a different question, and we were told about the course. Then it was opened to questions from the audience. Followed up by pictures or book signings.
Pre-Race: The race start/finish was at a Park. Parking was available, but had to pass through the park entrance and get a piece of paper for free parking. Closer parking was first come, first served. Car pooling was encouraged. There were park bathrooms (real) and many port-o-potties. There was no security or law enforcement that I saw. The area had tents with many stations: packet pickup / registration, bag drop, giveaway tents, beer tents, medical tents, food tents. In the center there were fire pits as it was a bit cool. Each day there were multiple races, and they all had different start times, with waves. The waves were to just get people to start so they weren't in a clump as most running areas weren't that wide. The announcer kept his high energy throughout the entire event, announcing each start and what was happening.
Race/Course: All courses were on the trails through the Kettle Moraine State Forest.
-Trail - single track, horse trail, rocks, grass, dirt, sand
-Hilly - nothing too steep, but overall rolling hills
-Aid Stations - 6 stops on the course, plus the finish. Chips, pretzels, potatoes, salt, oranges, bananas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, m & m's, skittles, water, clif shots, clif energy drink. Medical personnel. Signs for how far the next stop was. Energetic volunteers. Had to shout bib number to person keeping track of runners.
-Chip timing - there were no timing mats on course, but a system was in place to have updates sent via text, facebook and twitter
-Spectators - only a few spots to view runners on the course. If you were doing the 50 mile, your crew was allowed on course at spots. The few spectators (volunteers) were very friendly with lots of pep.
-Photographers - the were on the course in a few spots, post race photos were available for purchase the next day online.
-Course Markings - there were no mile markers. The course was marked with plastic ribbon, the ribbon in the same color of your bib was the course you were to follow. Any tricky spots on course there was a volunteer directing traffic.
-Bathroom - there was a port-o-potty at each aid station.
-Scenery - nice scenic trail, views of forest and prairie, some parts of course are on the Ice Age Trail.
There was a 9 hour time limit for the 50k
Post Race/Finish: Finisher's were handed a bottle of water and a finisher's medal, the chute took a turn to the finisher's food. When it was stocked there were chips, clif bars, bananas, oranges, & almonds. There was catered hot food for 50 milers, 50k runners and marathon runners; it was a hot sandwich (turkey, veggie burger, pork) chili, fruit, potatoes, cookie, soda. If you ran a shorter distance the food was $12.
Awards were announced, and prizes were given. There was a beer area, ID's were checked and runners could get a free beer with their bib. Sierra Nevada had 3 choices, on draft. If you recycled your water bottle, you could get a free pair of Repreve socks. There was a tent for post race massage and chiropractor. The North Face had a rolling station and giveaways. Participants and friends could hang out as they wanted.
Overall: For a longer distance race, great organization, fair trails, great for first timers, this race is worth it. The generic shirts and medals aren't enough to keep me away from doing it again. Or maybe I was clouded in my opinion as I got to hang out with friends all weekend.
Check out my blog http://wp.me/p3CgRX-1bm for Shenanigans and pictures