- The race website
- Prerace email
- Blog posts from race director
We'll give you some phone numbers at the race start for emergencies. If you have questions before then, feel free to contact us in any number of ways:
Pre-race checkin will be available on Friday night (4-7 pm) at Paramount Sports, 2430 S University Dr., Fargo, ND [updated 2017-03-11]. This is especially crucial for the 100k runners, as there will be a lot to get ready prior to their 8am start.
There will be waiver sheets available, but it would be helpful for each participant to print his or her own sheet from the website and bring it signed to check-in.
100K: Please make every attempt to make this Friday night check in, as things will move very fast in the morning. We will not be taking drop bags at the Friday night check in! Please bring them to the race start. Water will be available at the start.
100M: 100 mile participants can come to packet pick-up at Paramount Sports. However, there will be time at Jorgen’s Hollow Campground prior to the start for waiver signing, drop bags, etc. (updated 2017-03-01)
Race Day checkin: Available one hour before start or bus departure for each race.
|Start Time||Cutoff Time|
|100M||11 PM Friday||Midnight Saturday (25 hours)*|
|100K||8 AM (start from finish line)||Midnight (16 hours)|
|50K||11 AM (bus leaves from finish at 10)||7 PM (8 hours)|
|25K||1 PM (start from finish line)||5 PM (4 hours)|
*The midnight cutoff for the 100 mile participants is suggested, but not a “hard” cutoff. Anyone attempting this distance should be able to maintain a 4mph average. As access by vehicle is limited in many portions of the Sheyenne National Grasslands, participants are responsible for making it from checkpoint to checkpoint.
Location and Course Description
Sheyenne National Grasslands, approx. 45 minutes SW of Fargo, ND. The race base (start and finish) will be at the expanded parking lot adjacent to the Jorgen’s Hollow Campground on Richland County Road 23 (6147 Co Rd 23, McLeod, ND 58057, see driving directions below). One of the bathrooms (primitive but private) will be open for our use. The drive from Fargo takes between 45 minutes and an hour, so allow time. When you come to Jorgen's Hollow Campground for your event, please park in the large lot off of Richland County Road 24. The Campground will be busy with 50k shuttle vans, starting line + finish line, food, bathroom usage, etc. Thanks in advance for your help. The parking lot isn't striped, so be visual enough to leave space for others when you park in rows as the day progresses. [Updated 2017-03-17]
Driving directions to get to Sheyenne Oaks Horse Camp, 1.2 miles north of race start (copied from their website): "Written Directions ~ highly recommended! GPS is great until you get almost here. If traveling west on I-94, get off at Fergus Falls on 210 west. Continue west to Breckenridge, MN/Wahpeton, ND. Bypass town on the north side and continue west on ND Hwy 13 all the way to Wyndmere, ND. Turn north on Hwy 18. You will pass Hwy 27 going west and CR 4 going east. Your road is next. Turn west on CR 4 also called CR 23. As you travel west, you will see a green SHEYENNE OAKS sign that directs you north. Follow until you arrive at camp which is on the right ~ east side. When you turn off Hwy 18, the last 8 miles will be gravel. If you are coming south to camp from the north, you will find yourself close to Leonard, ND. This is where Hwy 18, Hwy 46, and CR 23 all meet. You want to go south on CR 23 for four miles, follow the green SHEYENNE OAKS sign, go east one mile, continue south about 2.5 miles. Camp is on the left just past the Sheyenne River. The last 3 miles are gravel."
During the inaugural year (mid March) runners faced over a foot of brand new snow on the trail. You should be prepared for an 'all conditions race.' Yeah, it is possible that the trail will be dry and in awesome conditions, but it isn't exactly likely. While we expect some sections of dry and fast runnig, we also expect challenging sections of the race including plenty of miles of 'spring conditions'.
The NE portion of the course (all participants are in this section) is characterized by small but frequent rolling hills and oak savannahs. The SW section (miles 1-15 on the Grasslands map) which the 50k, 100k, and 100 mile participants will be on is more exposed, flatter, and faster than the NE area. The North Country Trail in the SW section is a bit more difficult to follow, but it will be well marked. Runners are responsible for following the route. The indentations in the terrain, as well as small rock gravel on the prairie are indications that you’re on the trail. Also, large wooden posts with North Country Scenic trail emblems on them are useful guides. Temporary markings for the event will be placed in this section, as well.
[embed better elevation profile for each race, including mile markers, and two versions of 50K]
The 100M, 100K and 25K will begin and end at Jorgen’s Hollow Campground. We’ll be using the newly developed Oak Leaf Trail Loop for all of the distances. This loop is located to the east of the Campgrounds. There will be NO road running this year. Everything will be on the North Country Trail. Also, be aware that due to melting and areas where the water table is high, wet spots will occur. These can be by-passed if you desire, but know that your shoes and feet will probably get damp. The 100M, 100K and 50K participants will have sections of boardwalk or puncheons that will take them over areas that are usually wet and muddy
The 100 mile course will involve an out-and-back punctuated with one or two loops on Forest Service and Township roads. These are double track and minimum maintenance roads that have little traffic on them. However, be careful when on these roads as there can be vehicles using them. 100 mile participants will be allowed drop bags at the middle trailhead and west trailhead. (updated 2017-03-01). There will be an aid station at Country Road 53 (half-way point), water only (self serve- 6 miles from west trail head/turn around) as the Trail crosses State Highway 27, and at the 25k turn around point (only on their return). Interactive map.
The 50k will be a point-to-point, ending at the Campground. 50k participants will load vans at 10am at Jorgen’s Hollow Campground to be transported to the west trail head to begin the race. This is a point-to-point run. They can get water at the State Hwy 27 crossing, if needed. Aid will be at Cty Rd 53 crossing (about half way). This will be staffed. There will also be an aid station at the 25k turn around which will be about 9 miles from their finish. Interactive map.
25k will be an out and back from the Campground making use of the Oak Leaf Loop to begin the run. There will be an aid station at the clearly marked turn around point. Participants will get a great variety of what the Grasslands have to offer. Oak savannahs, open prairie, sand hills, cattle gates, and awesome beauty will make the miles glide by. Interactive map.
There will be a “full” aid station when the North Country Trail intersects with Ransom County Road 53 (middle trailhead on the map). There will be a self-service aid station where the NCT intersects with ND Highway 27 (water and a small calorie selection). The 100k and 100 mile participants will have drop bags, water, and some calories at the West Trailhead.
The 25k participants will have a water and light calorie aid station at their turn around point on the NCT. This will be close to the halfway point of your run. Once this aid station is set up in the afternoon, 50k, 100k, and 100 mile runners can use it as well.
There will be post-race refreshments, food, and camaraderie at Jorgen's Hollow Campground.
The Trail is easily followed due its usage, signage, and the gravel/ stone layer that is evident on the trail. Other cattle trails and vehicle trails intersect the North County Trail, but these will be readily marked to insure you remain on the Trail.
We expect the trail to be relatively snow free which is good, barring a mid-March blizzard. The SW section of the trail now has trail markers. In addition to our markings, the NE section will, however, have various style North County Trail markers as well as mile markers (see photo). Note, the mile markers count up from the SW to the NE and are approximate at best but can be used to determine your pace!
Some accommodation is available in Lisbon ND, which is about 25 minutes from race start. Fargo, ND is the nearest major city with ample accommodation options and is about 45 minutes to 1 hour from the race start.
If you want to camp at Jorgen’s Hollow Campground prior to or following the event you are welcomed to do so. As of now camping is free. There are two vault toilets which are in buildings. As of this time the pump to access water has not been activated.
Waiver link (updated 2016-12-29)]. Please print one and fill it out and bring it to pre-registration/registration. We will have extras in the event you forget. You will not be allowed to race without a signed waiver.
Although there will be several aid stations, racers should be prepared to be self-sufficient and will be required to carry a minimum amount of gear. This gear list may be modified prior to race day depending on weather forecasts and/or actual race day conditions.
Emergency contact numbers will be provided upon check in. It is your responsibility to program these into your cell phone to be used in case of an emergency that requires assistance from staff organizers. It is recommended that you keep your cell phone off until you need it. If your battery is dead because you are taking selfies at every mile marker and posting them to Facebook we will not feel sorry for you when you get lost and get severe frostbite because you are unable to call for help.
Bold items are required. Non-bold items are recommended.
- 1 liter water capacity
wind/rain jacket (weather dependent)
1 liter water capacity
wind/rain jacket (weather dependent)
1.5 liter hydration capacity--the race will start with 16 miles without aid stations
Headlamp/flashlight* with extra batteries
extra mid layer
100K racers will be allowed 1 small drop bag to be carried by race organizers to the 50K mark of the race. The headlamp/flashlight can be part of this drop bag. The bag must be clearly labelled with your name and sealed to prevent articles from coming out. You may leave anything you want in the sealed bag when you start the second half of the course and it will be brought back to the finish line for you. Articles not put in your sealed bag will be thrown in the trash.
As mentioned above, a phone number list will be provided to participants at check in. This is your lifeline. Although cell service is spotty, due to the flat nature of North Dakota most of the course does get it. We will have several vehicles dedicated to ‘extraction’ but if at all possible, please try to drop at an aid station. If you simply can’t make it to an aid station, we will ask you to describe your location in terms of last aid station passed, time on the trail from the aid station, last mile marker passed, etc. to determine the best route to access you on the trail. Be prepared to wait it out, help may take some time to arrive!
Following the races there will be an array of food and refreshments at the parking area. Brats and nonmeat burgers will be available on the grill. Chocolate milk, electrolyte drink, and juices will be available, as well. Bagels and cream cheeses will supply carbohydrate replenishment, too.
We welcome those of you with time and multimedia capabilities to participate with updates, thoughts from the trail, selfies, tweets, instagrams, etc. We will provide more details on how to do this prior to the race, but if you’d like to get a head start, please use hashtag #ENDSURE, stop by the ENDracing Facebook page or heckle us at @ENDracing on Twitter and @endracing_gf on Instagram. After the race, we'd love to add your race reports to our website, please send them to us in any format you want.