This was sent out as an email to registered racers.
Not only have you willingly signed up to participate in an “ultra” event, but you have been living in an “ultra” event each day of your life. You have developed insight, strength, perspective, and adaptability. I am SURE assets will be used on Saturday!
The Sheyenne National Grasslands and the North Country National Scenic Trail are Federal Government lands. Thus face coverings/masks are mandatory. Please be mindful if/when you gather near others along the journey. While on the trail you do not need to wear a mask. I trust your judgment to be mindful of yourself and others in light of the pandemic.
Saturday appears to be an excellent weather day. The early spring weather, lack of snow, and enjoyment of being outside has made the Grasslands a popular destination. There will be others on horseback, bikes, and foot in the area. Stay alert to your surroundings. Horses may react to being surprised by your movement. Let riders know of your presence, especially if coming from behind.
Please park in the large lot next to Richland County Rd 23. There is plenty of space. There are no space markings. Park in ways that allow for access and exit. Parking in the Campground is limited. A vault toilet is a short walk from the parking lot.
Please print, sign, and bring your waiver to on-site check-in. A limited number of waivers will be available on-site.
Both distances will start and finish on the North Country Trail where it intersects the roadway into the Campground.
Both distances begin with a 4 mile loop which takes you east of the Campground. Upon returning to the Campground you may access vehicles to gather gear, food, beverage, clothing. Water will be available in jugs, as well as Hammer gels (apple-cinnamon + huckleberry) and some grab + go snacks. The next Aid Station (Middle Trailhead) is 13 miles. The miles will pass by as you enjoy the beauty of the prairies and oak savannahs!
100k --- The Middle Trailhead Aid Station will have water, gels, fruit, snacks (sweet + salty), powdered drink mixes, etc. Most items will be prepackaged, grab+go. If you have specific drinks and foods, you can certainly carry those or label a bag to have them at that site. There will be a “tent toilet” available at this location. BE SURE to check-in with the volunteer.
- Continue across Ransom County Road 53 on the NCT. You will mainly be in open prairie. You will cross railroad tracks. The Trail should be easy to follow. Some directional arrows and pink “END” flags will keep you on track. Also, the North County Trail had wooded posts approximately every .15 mile.
- The posts with mileage numbers are accurate. The Trail should also have pea gravel on it, if you are attempting to choose between a cattle trail and where you should run.
- You will cross ND Highway 27, 9 miles from the Middle Trailhead. Water jugs and limited calories will be located at that crossing. At the West Trailhead you can access drop bags, tent toilet, water, calories, etc. AND in order to get your full mileage there is a .6 mile out and back straight west of that parking lot.
- It is a gravel road. Wooden stakes and pick “END” flags will indicate the turn around point. BE SURE to check in with the volunteer!
- Then it is back to the Campground, seeing the Trail from a new perspective. Highway 27 (unstaffed) and the Middle Trailhead Aid area will remain until all have passed.
50k --- Please read the 1st paragraph for the 100k. This applies to your experience. Please know that you are responsible for you. This is your journey. We provide some basics regarding calories and hydration. We will cheer you on and support your efforts. Ultimately, it is your ultra experience.
Trash bags will be available at the Campground, Middle Trailhead, and West Trailhead. With the prepackaged items there will be more trash than prior years. Please be mindful of wrappers and packets. The area is naturally scenic and almost litters free. We want to minimize our impact regarding trash. With your partnership that can easily become a reality.
At the FINISH we will not have the post-run feast of years prior. Being mindful of the ongoing pandemic this has been eliminated, hopefully to return in 2022. You are welcome to hang out and recover, bring your recovery food, etc. to enjoy.
Also, END-SURE & ENDracing swag will be available. These items are a way for us to express our gratitude for your efforts and participation!
AND - copies of Eat Clean Run Dirty magazine will be available. It is a quarterly publication focusing on trail running and the outdoor community. One of their founding members is participating in the 100k. Check out their website. They also have podcasts.
I look forward to seeing you on Saturday!
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