Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Race week email!

 Here is the email that went out today to all runners with last minute details.  See you all this weekend! 

Happy December!  

Crazy that this year is almost over, but the even better news is that we get to spend this weekend together in a beautiful place! 

Here are the last minute details, including a much simpler route now that we have the distance nailed down.  Also below are crew instructions, and other important info, and it will make all of our lives easier if you take the time to read this all the way through.

COURSE: We suspected the backside of the loop (where you will be running) held some of the shorter "miles", and we were correct.  The distance from the pavillion all the way to the Mud N Guts turnaround just before the mile 8 marker is approx 10 miles.  We used 4 different devices to measure, and of course they were all different, but the average reading for the distance is slightly over 10 miles.  So there will be no intermediate turn arounds on the trail.  EVERY distance will run the whole segment to the Mud N Guts aid station, where your drop bags will be waiting for you as well as a fully stocked aid station.  You will hit an aid station every 3 - 4 miles on the trail, and each aid station will have warm food and vegan options, especially for the ultra distances during the later hours. 

20 milers - 1 out and back; 40 milers - 2, etc.  Each lap, you have to come back to the start/finish aid station to check in.

As mentioned, Drop Bags will be at the halfway turnaround point(East Landing Trailhead).   Bring your drop bags to packet pickup on Friday evening, or to the pre race packet pickup on Saturday.  Bib numbers are assigned on Ultrasignup, so be sure to write your bib numbers on your bag as that is how it will be sorted.  

Your crew will be able to see you at the start/finish and at the East Landing Trailhead (turnaround point).  The East Landing Trailhead is on Spillway Road.  We ask that when your crew waits at either aid station (East Landing or Start/Finish) that they keep well away from the aid station itself in order to respect the social distancing guidelines, and to stay out of the way of our aid station workers.

DO NOT speed in the park, you will get a ticket.  Any crew caught speeding by the park staff risks causing their runner to be disqualified.  

PLEASE let your crew know that all food and drinks (INCLUDING COFFEE) at the aid station is for runners or pacers ONLY.  If they need coffee, it might be a good idea for them to bring their own. This has been a strain on our aid stations in the past as the crews can impede the volunteers' ability to properly care for the runners.  We are happy to have your crews out there, but the supplies provided are not for them, but for the runners and pacers.

Pacers can be picked up at the Start/Finish or East Landing Trailhead.  Pacers do not need a bib and have free access to all aid station fare as well as food and drink at the finish line.  Check out the Race Doc at www.LoupGarouTrailRun.com for more details on pacers.

DNF/Dropping/Left the Iron on at home
The ONLY aid stations to drop at are the Start/Finish and East Landing Trailhead (turnaround).  If you decide to drop, it is very important that you tell the aid station so that we aren't looking for you all day Sunday.

While marking the trail yesterday, there were a few wet spots from last weekend's rain, but overall the trail is in fantastic shape.  There are a few reroutes because of some of the larger trees that the hurricanes knocked over, but they are easy to follow and will be well marked.  For the newbies to this trail - it is pretty rooty in spots, but Mother Nature was kind enough to give you a soft blanket of leaves to cover the roots. Also, the wooden bridges yesterday were a little slick in spots, so I strongly recommend walking those, especially when you are passing someone.  They are wide enough to pass, but as a courtesy, walking as you pass someone would be welcome.

We will have plenty of contractor flags along the trail that have a reflective strip - very easy to spot day or night.  When heading out they will be on your right, when heading back to the start/finish ... yep, they'll be on your left.  It will be very hard to get lost, but I have faith that someone will find a way...

Please see the race doc at www.LoupGarouTrailRun.com for the address to plug into your GPS. Don't enter Chicot State Park - it gets you to an old group camp area, nowhere near the start.

There is a $3 per person fee to enter the park for the day.  When you stop to pay it, please be sure to thank the park staff for allowing us to have the race under these crazy circumstances, and thank them for working so hard to clear the trail from hurricane damage in time for the race.

START LINE - We will be starting our 7:00 runners (ultra distances), and our 8:00 runners in waves this year.  We will start with the lowest bib number and start you in groups of 20 to allow for space between runners in the starting area as well as on the trail.  Waves will be in 1 minute intervals, and any time you spend waiting in the start area will be deducted from your time before it is uploaded.  Please follow instructions the morning of the race so that you start in the right wave.

FINISH LINE - We are happy to provide one free bowl of gumbo or vegan chili and a local craft beer to each runner and pacer.  This is expensive on our part, but we want you all to get the full Cajun treatment.  Please help us to continue to offer this service by sticking to a single serving (it will be generous), and reminding your crew to bring their own food.  

I think that should cover it (but I know there will be additional questions). For general queries, visit the website = www.LoupGarouTrailRun.com.  

Safe travels and see you all this weekend!!!! 

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