FINAL RUNNER EMAIL INSTRUCTIONS:
It is finally time for your Medoc Trail Races final instruction email. If this is your first year, you will want to read every word and enjoy the informative hilarity below. If you are a repeat runner you should read too as we have tried to refresh some of our dad jokes, and there is likely something important for you to take in as well. Either way, you have some fun reading ahead of you, so grab your new Galaxy Flip Phone and head to the bathroom for some good reading! (you’re not fooling us – we know you read on the toilet). Be sure to click on all the links too. There is a prize if you read to the end.
THIS AND THAT:
FACEBOOK: It is a long story, but our Facebook page was wiped out from Facebook, so 4,000 followers and 15 years of memories are now gone. We are starting from scratch and hope you will like and follow us again: Click Me!
MAILING STUFF: Sorry, guys, but we don’t mail anything out. We are a volunteer team who do this race because we love trail runners. Our dining rooms get full of boxes the weeks before the race, and as soon as it is over we put stuff in storage and try to get back to our families. Appreciate you understanding.
RUNNER LIST: We have an updated list of runners online. Please check this list now. If something is wrong, we need to know. Someone always makes an error when they sign up. Last year we had a girl named Matthew. . . hmmm. Please note we do not change your information. We only download it. If it says XXL for your shirt and you weigh 85 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.
NOT COMING?: If you know you are not coming and no one is picking up your shirt, please let us know. This helps us prepare and know who is on the trails race day. If you already told us, you don’t need to tell us again.
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 weird sense of humor.
STUFF FOR SALE: BRING CASH! We have some old Medoc items to sell. Not exactly sure what we have in storage but we know we have some pint glasses, high quality sling bags, colorful fleece blankets, and some hoodie tees too.
DIRECTIONS AND ARRIVAL: The race will start with or without you. . . we hope it is with you. Visit the Medoc Mountain State Park page for address information. All cars must be parked by 8:10 am. If you arrive late, we will park you by the campground dump station and make you volunteer emptying the poop from the RVs. Even if you are running the 5 Miler, we still want you there well before 8:10 am. The park road is part of mile 1 and will be closed. 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 1013 head lights (someone has a headlight out), and go that way. Don’t arrive on an empty tank. There are very limited options for fuel near the park.
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 bluegrass music from Rollin’ Coal, hot soup from Logan’s Roadhouse, grilled hot dogs, and showers for campers. The extended forecast looks AMAZING (44F to 66F). This means it will probably rain or snow, but if the forecast is right, 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.
GROUP CAMPING: Group camping is back! The race has reserved two large group camp sites for race participants. You can set up your tents in either Group Site 1 or 2. Do not go to any other group sites, and definitely do not go to the individual sites 1 and 2 or you will likely have some very confused RVers. The group sites are essential dirt and trees with access to the group site bathrooms and showers (no, you don’t shower in groups). If you need power, have an RV, or a travel trailer this is not the place for you. The individual sites at Medoc have been sold out for a long time, but there is a nearby KOA in Enfield with sites still available.
CAMP BEHAVIOR: In 14 years we’ve never had a problem, but a few reminders. 1) We all have an early start on Saturday please do not stay up making noise and disrupt others. 2) We encourage family camping, so your language and behavior should be appropriate. 3) You must comply with all rules of NC State Parks. In short, have fun, but be respectful.
CLEAN UP: Don’t leave a mess. Even if it is not your mess, help us out and pick it up. We have 12 miles of trails to clean up and picking up your camp trash is not on our to-do list. And if you are wondering why we have 12 miles of trails to clean up when the longest race is only 10 miles, ask one of your smart friends.
TWO NIGHT CAMPERS: If you are camping Friday and Saturday, you must set up in Group Site 1. This is the only site reserved both nights.
COURSE MARKINGS: We have used the same race course dating back to 2018. [LINK] 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 Ray Charles). Most likely the person in front of you is a dummy. They are just a faster dummy 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-Milers 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!
SHARE THE TRAILS: Many times on the race course the trails become a single track. At other times it is wide enough to ride an elephant on. You will pass over 15 narrow bridges on the course as well. To be brief. . . Share the trail with your fellow runners (plus there will 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 Air Pods 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.
TRAIL SAFETY: Every step you take on a trail requires thinking. This is something taken 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 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.
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 girl running down the trails covered with wet leaves and dirt. Don't be that girl! 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.
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. Each aid station will still have ample filled cups.
* 5-Miler: 1.2 and 2.1
* 10-Miler: 1.3, 4.9, 7.3 and 8.4
Aid Stations will have water, Gatorade, pretzels, and gummy bears. At one aid station there is even a rare New Zealand River Otter you can take a picture with.
PARKING: Unless you are part of the race committee or a volunteer picking stuff up, you will be parked in the big grass field. We hose down the field every year so we can make sure your feet are plenty wet before the race. We suggest bringing an extra pair of shoes, or walking down the pavement to get your race packet or you will likely have wet socks. If you are camping, just walk to the start.
POOPING: We thought about titling this section “bathrooms”, but that is just not very funny. We have lots of porta pottys at the start of the race. There are also six indoor toilets in the shelter. Based on 14 years of past experience, we suggest the porta pottys. They are delivered the day before the race, are clean, and smell as fresh as a pine tree air freshener the day it is opened. You are welcome to use the indoor bathrooms too, but after about 30 minutes of use, they are less than cheerful. Plus we’ve seen spiders in the bathroom the size of a cantaloupe and they might bite your tush.
PACKET PICKUP: There will be two opportunities to pick up your race packets in the park at the main picnic shelter. We 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 do not arrive early on Friday as we have an very busy day getting the course set up and installing new roots on the trails. Also, please do not show up late. There is always that one car that comes flying down the park road in total darkness dodging deer five minutes after we have packed everything up. Don’t be that guy. We love all of our runners. . .but that guy, we love a little less.
WHAT IS IN MY PACKET: Not much. In fact we really don’t even have packets anymore. The last several years we used envelopes for your number. We decided we were killing too many “envelope trees” (dad joke) and simplified things even more. You will see multiple lines based on your race and last name. Go to the correct line for you. We will give you your race number (bib). On the table you should then grab a) safety pins, b) One vinyl sticker (a leaf or a Medoc Man), c) a post card promoting the awesome Mill Chill race, and d) a coupon for an erotic foot rub by Dennis after the race.
SHIRTS: We are really excited about your shirts this year. First of all, we have always been a runner-first event and try to spend all of the income on our runners. This year we were able to upgrade all 5-Milers from a short sleeve tee to a supper-soft long sleeve! Fear not 10-Milers as you are getting a sweet lightweight hoodie. We love the simple retro-style design that embraces the running, camping, and the woods of Medoc Mountain State Park.
GETTING YOUR SHIRT: When you get you race number there is a sticker on the back with your shirt size printed in very large font. Show this sticker to the volunteers at the Medoc Shirt Emporium of Wonder and Delight (the picnic tables at the shelter) and they will give you your shirt/hoodie. Please do not try to change your size. We ordered what you asked for. If you decide to trick a volunteer and get something else, it means another runner will not get what they ordered. If you do want to switch to a different size, you or your friend can do that AFTER the races have started. First-come-first-serve.
RACE BIBS: Your race number must be pinned to the front of your body and not covered by other clothing like a jacket, sweatshirt, or thong. The finish line needs to be able to see your number for back up purposes. Remember, it is not a license plate. It does not go in your back. If you see someone who has done this, you are encouraged to make fun of them. 10-Milers have a brown bib and 5-Milers are maroon. If you are in the 100-Mile Club (and you told us) your trail name will be in yellow to show how amazing you are.
TRAIL NAMES: Did you know we have 520 people signed up for this year’s race? Did you know 340 of you lacked the creativity to make up your own trail name? If you think it is hard for you to do one name, imagine a race committee of three people having to do 340. Remember, when we asked your preference about a trail name and most of you picked “bring it on, I have thick skin.” Well. . . we took that to heart. Whatever trail name you receive, you must fully embrace it! Seriously. . . go all in. If your trail name is “Fart Sniffer” or “Pee Stain”. . . OWN IT! Be proud! And yes. . . those are not the worst trail names this year.
TRAIL NAME COMPLAINTS: If you do not like your trail name you can file out a complaint and drop in in our complaint box located somewhere near Little Fishing Creek about two miles off the trail. It must be completed in orange ink on a 5.3” x 16.7” index card. Alternatively you can email email@example.com
SWAPPING BIBS: Please don’t. Giving your number to someone else screws up race results. More importantly it puts the volunteers and EMT at risk. We have emergency contacts for all runners. If someone gets hurt, we need to know who is on the trail.
CHANGING RACES: We asked a month ago for drops to the 5-Miler. Thank you for everyone who reached out. If you emailed us and we responded, this sections does not apply to you. If you decide on race morning to drop to the 5-Miler, you need to alert the race timer before the race. A few things you should know. 1) your race number will still show you are in the 10-Miler so volunteers will try to direct you to the 10-Mile course. Let them know verbally you changed races and follow the 5-Mile course. 2) You will not receive a finisher’s medal. It is important for us to give those who are registered for the 5-mile race what they signed up. Please do not take advantage of the volunteers and take a medal. All this will do is take a medal from a finisher after you. Thank you.
TIMING CHIPS: Very excited to have Clockwork Timing this year. We use a bib timing chips. Be very careful not to fold, bend, damage, or chew on the timing chip. They do taste crispy and delicious, however.
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. Please do us a big favor and verbally call out your race number as you finish.
FINISHER MEDAL: You will be given a medal at the finish line by an amazing volunteer. Be sure to say thank you. Reminder that if you drop to the 5M on race morning you will not be able to get a medal.
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”. As the name indicates, you MUST FINISH the race to earn the surprise. This year the surprise comes in 15 different colors. Although the majority are intentionally more “normal” we have a few more lively options for those that like to stand out too. While the item is the same for both races, we will have two tables to make sure the 10-Milers have an equal chance at picking their color. They are first come, first serve so the choices may be a little more limited for the back-of-the-packers, but the item is still equally cool. Extras will not be for sale. One lucky finisher gets a puppy!
POST RUN: There will be food and drink available after you finish. Logan’s Roadhouse is bringing 30 gallons of hot and fresh soup and volunteers are grilling hot dogs. We do want to remind you that this is not a buffet. We want to be sure there is plenty of soup for all of the slower 10 Milers too. Please limit your soup to one serving per runner (we are not feeding everyone’s families). We recommend that you bring a towel, buy a fleece Medoc blanket, or lawn chair to sit on while you hang around and wait for the awards ceremony to begin. Hang out and enjoy the bluegrass music from Rollin’ Coal. This will give you a chance to rest your tired legs before jumping in your car.
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. Reminder, we will not mail your award if you leave.
HELP US: With 500 runners there are 1,000 hands at the race. If you see trash, please pick it up. If you are sticking around over the weekend and back on the trails after the race we would love it if you grabbed some signs. You can bring them to camp site #32 or leave them at the picnic shelter.
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 15 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.
RACE DAY STAFF: If something goes wrong for you find one of our race committee members (Michael, Scott, or Dennis). If things go well, find a person in a black shirt 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 (in light navy shirts). Be sure to include the EMS workers, and the staff at the park as well (for allowing us to run). They are the guys and gals in the funny ranger hats (don’t tell them we said that).
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.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you on race day!
Michael, Scott, and Dennis
Things that were wrong with this email: Nobody owns a Galaxy Flip Phone. . . at least not that we know. There is no coupon for an erotic foot rub. There is no such thing as a New Zealand River Otter. Your race bib timing chip taste terrible and is probably toxic. There is no complaint box for your trail name. We will not make you empty poop from RVs if you are late. We do not hose down the grass fields or install new roots on the trail. We have seen spiders, but not the size of a cantaloupe. You are not getting a puppy as your finisher surprise. There is no prize for reading to the end. . . sorry. Reminder once again to please like and follow our Facebook page.