FINAL RUNNER EMAIL INSTRUCTIONS:
The 12th annual Medoc Trail Race presented by Bull City Running Co. is just days away. We hope runners are as excited about this event as the race committee, sponsors, clowns and volunteers. This email contains your final instructions to help ensure an enjoyable race experience for everyone. This is a long email, so grab your iPhone and head to the bathroom for some “alone time.” There is a big prize if you read it all. Please don’t forget to flush and wash your hands.
I. Pre-Race Day
1. CANCELATIONS: Anyone who cancels do not get removed from the email distribution list, so now you get to see all the fun you are missing! For everyone else, please do not email asking for a refund or a transfer. Everything is ordered and printed now. We are focused on packing and setting up for race day. If you notified us of a cancelation, there will not be a packet for you on race day. And if you know you are not coming and have not told us yet, please still let us know.
2. MAILING STUFF: As simple as it may seem, we are not able to mail anything after the race. We are a very small 100% volunteer race committee, and trying to mail out items before or after a race is very time consuming. To be honest, our cars, garages, and dining rooms are filled with race stuff for weeks before and weeks after the race. In fact a bear was chasing my car today trying to get gummy bears for our aid stations. It takes every spare minute for us to just get our lives back to normal. Even if you offer to pay for the shipping, the answer is still respectfully no. We hope you understand. If you did not cancel, you can have a friend pick up your packet however (just not a finisher surprise or race medal).
3. RUNNER LIST: We have an updated list of runners online (LINK). Please check this list now. If something is wrong, we need to know. Someone always makes an error when they sign up. We promise you that no one born in 2019 should be running our race, for example. Last year we have a lady named Carl. . . hmmm. Please note we do not change your information. We only download it. If it says XXL for your shirt and you weigh 90 pounds, we are sorry but that is what the volunteers will give you at packet pick up. You can swap if available after the races have begun.
4. RACE RULES AND FAQS: Be sure to review the Race Rule and FAQS on the race website prior to the race. By running the Medoc Trail Races, you agree to abide by these rules and the race waiver. Plus they are moderately funny if you have a sense of humor.
5. PACKET PICKUP: There will be two opportunities to pick up your race packets in the park at the main picnic shelter. We strongly encourage you to pick up on Friday night if possible. With the races starting at 8:30 am, we want to avoid a massive group getting packets before the sun is up on race day.
* Friday Evening: 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm. (NOT A MINUTE LATER)
* Saturday Morning: 7:00 am- 8:15 am. (DON'T BE LATE)
Please don’t show up late on Friday and expect us to find your information. It gets dark quickly, and we pack up once it is 7:15 pm so everything does not get wet from the evening dew and also so we can come visit the campers.
6. WHAT IS IN MY PACKET: Not much. The last several years we used envelopes for your number. We decided we were killing too many envelope trees and have become more green this year. You will see multiple lines based on your race and last name. Go to the correct line for you. We will give you your number race number. On the table you should then grab a) safety pins, b) Medoc leaf vinyl sticker, c) a post card promoting the awesome Mill Chill race, and d) a coupon for an erotic foot rub in your tent.
7. SHIRTS: On the back of your race number is a sticker with your information, including your thong size (which you should confirm). This also includes your shirt size. Take your number to the “Medoc Shirt Emporium of Wonder and Awe” (also known as tables by the U-Haul). Show the volunteer your sticker and they will grab your shirt. Please don’t be sneaky and try to change sizes. This just ruins things for another runner who will not get the size they ordered. 10 Milers get a grey long sleeve tech shirt. 5 Milers get a navy short sleeve ring spun tee. WE DO NOT CHANGE YOUR REGISTRATION INFORMATION. All we do is download exactly what you filled in. This is how we placed the order, so you must pick up the shirt that is printed on your envelope. After the races begin you or a friend can swap for a different size, but NOT before. We need to make certain everyone else has an opportunity to get their shirt.
8. STUFF FOR SALE: BRING CASH! We and have several old Medoc items to sell. We normally have lots of items, but to be completely honest last year we sold a bunch at the race. We know there will be left over shirts and some winter beanies for sale. Everything is first come, first serve.
9. DIRECTIONS AND ARRIVAL: The race will start with or without you. . . we hope it is with you. Don’t arrive late! Visit the Medoc Mountain State Park travel page. All cars must be parked by 8:10 am. If you arrive late, we will put a port-a-potty by your car door and make you wait 30 minutes before starting. Even if you are running the 5 Miler, which start after the 10 Miler, we still want you there well before 8:10 am. The park road is part of mile 1 and will be closed. Arrive early, relax, warm up, and cheer on the 10 Milers as they start their journey! Medoc Mountain State Park is not the easiest place to find. Do your research BEFORE starting to drive on Saturday morning. If you arrive at the Main Park Office and do not see any runners, don't panic. You are not lost. . . you are just a little stupid (we mean that in a loving way). You are a mile away from the park entrance, just look for 1,149 head lights (someone is on a motorcycle), and go that way. If you are running low on gas, don't take a chance. Fill up when you can (or stop at a Taco Bell) because there are very limited options near the park.
10. WHAT TO PACK: Most races are like a basketball game. You show up, see the game, and leave. Medoc is like a football game. It is an event. Arrive early. Get to know people. Laugh at the trail names. Take a poop in one of our amazing porta pottys. Run the race. Take another poop. Hang out! We have live music from Stray Local, hot soup from Logan’s Roadhouse, grilled hot dogs, and showers for campers. You can even poop again to make room. The extended forecast looks AMAZING, so we want you to hang out with us. Bring a change of clothes, some camping chairs, a blanket, or a towel. Kick up your feet, relax and have some fun. We want you to feel like family; not just like a runner. Please note, our family is very weird . . . but you are part of the reason why.
II. Friday Night and Camping
11. GROUP CAMPING: We only have reserved all four Group Campsites again this year (sites 1-4). Note, these are the group sites. If 100 people show at the individual sites 1-4, you will likely have some very angry families looking at you. They are easy to find if you follow the signs. Note that one group site will be marked off as it is reserved for the awesome Scout volunteers we have supporting the race. If you plan to arrive on Friday night, please arrive before 9:00 pm. This way you do not disturb other campers who are settling in for the night. If you are reserving your own campsite (not using the group campsites), you must check in with the park office first during their business hours. The race is only responsible for the group sites.
12. CAMPING SUPPLIES: If you are camping, you must bring everything you need to camp. All the group site provides is a reserved wooded area, bathrooms, spiders, showers, and pillow mints. You need to supply your tent, sleeping bag, towels, shampoo, etc.
13. CAMPING BEHAVIOR: Many runners and families are camping. In 11 years we have never had a problem with camping (except for the time a runner had a shell fish allergy causing her face to swell to the size of a beach ball. . . or the time coyotes came nearby and howled for 10 minutes . . . both true stories). Camping is one of the best and most unique aspects of the race experience at Medoc. The earlier you arrive, the sooner you can pick your spot. Some key reminders: 1) We are not alone in the park. Act respectful at all times. 2) Families are welcome. Everyone have fun, but keep it clean. 3) People are running a race the next day. We all need a good night of sleep. If you plan to talk late into the night we recommend you reserve a hotel instead. If you come with a positive and helpful attitude you are guaranteed to make some new friends. Don't forget, just because you can't see people in their tent, does not mean they can't hear you. Tents don't have walls. . .
14. YOU ARE A GUEST: This is important. We are guests in the park. There are other people at Medoc camping and hiking while we are there. Park Rangers reminded us of this every year. There have not been problems, but we need to remember not everyone in the park is part of our race. People are allowed to hike the trails during our race.
15. CLEAN UP: If you are camping in our group camping area and leaving after the race, Park Officials ask that everyone break camp no later than 2:00 PM. This is when the area opens for the Saturday night campers. Unless you are bringing your mama, there is no one that will clean up after you. Your campsite should be left spotless when you leave. If you see some trash lying around, do us a favor and throw it away even if it is not yours. If you don't do it, it is just one more thing for us to clean up after the race. Don’t forget, we paid for your camping. Your help and respect is greatly appreciated.
III. Race Day
16. PARKING: Park gates will open at 6:30 am. All cars will be parked in the large grass field near the picnic shelter. Park officials with pitch forks and fire torches will direct you. Please be patient and follow their instructions. The grass will be wet. You may want to use an extra pair of shoes to walk to the shelter. Do not park in the paved spaces by the shelter on race day. These are reserved for race officials and EMS staff only. If you are camping, just walk to the start.
17. AID STATIONS: We encourage runners to carry a water bottle. Volunteers will be happy to quickly fill your bottle at the aid stations so you can take fluids with you. Be sure to check out Bull City for several great running bottle choices. They are a phenomenal store for trail runners! Each aid station will still have ample filled cups. Unlike a road event, trails do not allow for perfectly placed aid stations every two miles. Using these aid stations, runners will get aid at these approximate intervals.
* 5-Miler: 1.2, 2.1, & Finish
* 10-Miler: 1.3, 4.9, 7.3, 8.4 & Finish
Aid Stations will have water, Gatorade, pretzels, and gummy bears. The 10-Miler will also have energy gels at 4.9 miles. At one aid station there is even a porcupine you can pet.
18. TIMING CHIPS: We will use a bib timing chips. Be very careful not to fold, bend, damage, or chew on the timing chip. They do taste delicious, however.
19. RACE BIBS: All race numbers MUJST be pinned to the front of your shirt or shorts. Maroon numbers are for the 10M and navy for the 5M. The current 100-Mile Club members get a snazzy Gold number.
20. TRAIL NAMES: This year your trail is VERY BIG on your bib. We thought it would be more fun. Remember we asked when you signed up if we should be nice, or if we could “bring it on” so no complaining. And don’t get your hopes up for something fantastic. We know very little about you except where you are from and your shirt size. Most trail names are either not very creative, or are something like a mean 5th grade nickname. If you don't like your trail name, there will be a complaint box where you can file a dispute. The box will be located in the woods somewhere near Little Fishing Creek about six miles from the start and is only reachable by canoe. Please bring your own pen and complaint form.
21. COURSE MARKINGS: This is the same course as last year, but different from the first ten years. Pay attention to the signs. The race course will be marked with black signs that have orange arrows. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO STAY ON THE COURSE. If you miss a turn you must return to the point of your error and pick the course back up. Do not assume the person in front of you knows where they are going (especially if their trail name is Stevie Wonder). Most likely the person in front of you is an idiot. They are just a faster idiot than you are. Pay attention as the course does split twice when the 5M and 10M take different trails. 10-Miler will have green mile markers and 5-Milers are in yellow. Note that 5-Miler will never cross a long bridge over the river with heavy metal railings. If you cross this bridge, congratulations, you are now in the 10 mile race!
22. START TIMES: All races start by the main picnic shelter on the paved road. 10-Milers do a short out-and-back before crossing the field. Remember that unlike the first decade of this race you do not actually leave the park as we utilize the mountain bike trails and the hiking trails now.
* 8:30 – 10-MILE
* 8:45 – 5 MILE
23. SHARE THE TRAILS: Many times on the race course the trails become a single track. At other times it is wide enough for a hippopotamus in heat. You will also pass over 15 narrow bridges on the course as well. To be brief. . . Share the trail with your fellow runners (plus there may be hikers out enjoying the park). Be aware of your surroundings and make room for a runner if you are getting passed. We strongly suggest leaving your iPod (do people still have those?) in the car and enjoying the sounds of nature instead. IF YOU ARE PASSING ANYONE POLITELY ANNOUNCE YOU ARE BEHIND THEM SO THEY ARE AWARE. Remember there are two races going on 10-Milers will catch some slower 5-Milers around mile nine. Follow your marked course, or you may run a 12 mile race.
24. TRAIL SAFETY: Every step you take on a trail requires thinking. This is something that you take for granted on the roads where every step is virtually the same as the last. Be aware of your surroundings when running. Always be thinking ahead to the next step. Medoc's trails are not overly challenging when compared to other trail events, but that does not mean it is easy. You are responsible for your own safety. Also, please help keep the trails safe and clean by not littering on the course. We will have the Halifax, NC EMS on site if there are problems. If you see an injured runner, check their name and notify the next volunteer of their location. It you see a seriously injured runner, do the right thing, stop and help.
25. BRIDGES: The morning dew makes the bridges wet. We say this every year, and every year people still slip. It is actually kind of funny to see some guy running down the trails covered with wet leaves and scrapes on his knees. Don't be that guy! Slow down on the bridges. A few of them have a turn immediately after the bridge. If you think you can plant your foot on a wet bridge and turn 90 degrees, the person behind you is in for a good laugh, and we will all laugh at the finish line when you come in covered with dirt.
26. FINISHING: Because we made your trail names so big, your number is small. This makes it difficult for back up timers which are vital to our results. After you finish there will be volunteers with Ipads keying in your race number. Please do us a big favor. . . know your number and verbally call it out to them as you exit the finishing chute. They have to key in 500 numbers and looking at your bib while trying to key is challenging. Verbal assistance is very helpful.
27. MEDALS: Runners will receive a finisher's medal at the conclusion of the race. These will be handed to you in the finishing chute. If you were a late drop to the 5-Miler and were one of the 14 people to receive an email from us (you know who you are) you must ask at the finish line before taking your medal. We honored all of the requests to drop to the 5-Miler, but we need to ensure those who originally signed up for the 5-Miler get their medal, even if they are the last finisher.
28. FINISHER'S SURPRISE: We said from the beginning of our race planning that this was an event "for the runners". We are not organizing the Medoc Trail Races with a profit goal in mind. This is why we created the “finisher’s surprise”. It is a way to spend some of the extra cash. To receive your finisher’s surprise go the food tent and a volunteer will give you one. If you did not run the race do NOT try to take the finishers surprise. They are for finishers only, and DO NOT TAKE MORE THAN ONE.
29. POST RUN: There will be food and drink available after you finish. Logan’s Roadhouse is bringing 25 gallons of hot and fresh soup and the local Rocky Mount Scouts are grilling hot dogs. We do want to remind you that this is not lunch. . . we want to be sure there is plenty of soup for all of the 10 Milers too. Please limit your soup to one serving per runner. We recommend that you bring a towel or lawn chair to sit on while you hang around and wait for the awards ceremony to begin. Hang out and enjoy the music from Stray Local. This will give you a chance to rest your tired legs before jumping in your car.
30. AWARDS: Overall awards (top 3) are done based on “gun time”. Age group awards are done based on “chip time”. 10 Miler has 5-year age groups and the 5 Miler has 10-year age groups. The 5-mile award ceremony will be done first and the 10-mile ceremony will begin once the majority of runners have finished the race. We can’t wait for everyone to finish before awards as many runners need to start the trip home. Don't be in a rush to leave. Have some food; have some fun; be a fan! Runners love to be cheered on as they finish. We are a small race. There is a good chance you have won an award.
31. SHOWERS: If you would like to take a shower after your run, showers are available at the group camping area until 2:00 PM. You must supply your own towel, soap, and shower companion. The people who you carpooled with would really appreciate this! Don't leave a mess. The person who finishes last deserves the same clean bathroom that a 30 minute 5-miler enjoyed. If you are the first person to the showers, please kill all of the spiders you see. . . we hate spiders!
V. Other Stuff:
32. NO BUTT HEAD RULE: The Medoc Trail Races has a "no butt head" rule. It is pretty simple. . . Don't be a butt head. Every person at this race is a volunteer. Be kind. This race was developed 11 years ago as a true "runner-first" event. Our goal is for you to leave with more swag, memories, and smiles than you will find at any other race in the country. If there is a problem, we still want to know. . . just don't be a butt head.
33. RACE DAY STAFF: If something goes wrong for you find one of our race committee members (Michael, Scott, Dennis or Ron). If things go well, find a person in a grey shirt with red sleeves and tell them “thank you”. These are volunteers. They gave up their Saturday so you could race. Say thank you at every aid station. Before you get in your car to leave, we hope you have thanked at least five volunteers. Be sure to include the staff at the park and the EMS workers as well (for allowing us to run). They are the guys and girls in the funny ranger hats (don’t tell them we said that).
34. CONCH SHELLS: Keeping with tradition, the race committee will not provide conch shells for runners. If you do not understand this you have not read the race rules.
35. VOLUNTEERS: If you are a volunteer and read this far. WOW! We are building the volunteer plan. You should get an email soon with your assignments. BIG THANKS for helping our little race become a big success.
If you have any questions please email us. See you on race day!
Michael, Scott, Dennis, and Ron
Things that were wrong with this email: There are no pillow mints when camping. There is no coupon for an erotic foot rub. There is no porcupine to pet at an aid station. Your race bib timing chip taste terrible and is probably toxic. There is no complaint box for your trail name. We will not put a port-a-potty by your car if you are late.