Monday, March 2, 2009

Race Updates for 2009

If you are a new runner to the Clinton Lake ultra, these pieces of information may prove valuable. If you have run the race in the past, there are a few changes that might interest you. Here goes...

First and foremost...that guy on the left will not be running his own race! That's me from last year. I'll be at the start/finish area all day. It was great experiencing the race as a runner last year, but way too stressful combining race directing with race running.

As in the past, the race starts and ends at the Clinton Lake north fork boat access lot. This means you'll pass by your car after each loop. You can easily stash your favorite goodies in your car (or toss them in a drop bag and place them right at the start/finish aid station). The parking lot is not huge, so I encourage you to carpool if possible.

DNR map of area

Google map of start area

There are only two aid stations on the 10 mile loop. I suggest bringing a water bottle with you. Each aid station will have water, Succeed! Sports Drink, and S!-Caps (electrolyte pills). We'll also have chips, pretzels, cookies, PB&J sandwiches, crackers, M&Ms, fruit, etc. The particular grub may vary throughout the day, but there will be a variety of food that should satisfy your needs. We will not have pain relievers so bring your own Advil, Tylenol, Aleve, etc. If you really have an injury, we will have basic medical supplies (including pain killers, but we won't be dispensing them right at the aid station). We'll liklely have Vaseline as a lubricant/anti-chaff aid too.

Don't bring a pacer. You won't need one. It's hard to get lost and the race is only 30 miles long. We don't need extra bodies on the single-track trail. Same goes for crewing. You can bring friends and family, but don't have them on the course handing out food and drink. They can cheer you on (and other runners too), but please skip the hand-off of food, drink, and supplies (unless it's at one of the open areas on the course like a road or aid station).

The race has changed direction for this year. We will be running clockwise around the lake. That means when you exit the starting parking lot, you'll turn left and head up the road hill to access the trail. This will spread people out quickly. You can still pass people when you are on the trail, but it's a bit harder if there is a group in front of you. Please keep alert for runners in front and behind you so passing is safe and cordial. No tripping or elbowing of fellow runners.

The canoe access parking lot aid station is around the 5.5 mile mark. Even if you don't want aid, the aid station is part of the race course. You MUST go to the aid station and check-in (call out your name/number). To get a full 10 mile loop, we needed to add a few hundred feet to the trail course. You circle the full outside of the starting parking lot too. This allows us to keep track of runners too--if you need to drop, tell people at that aid station and they'll get you back to the start/finish.

There are now "permanent" mile markers on the course and they are based on the race start at the back of the boat access lot. The mile markers are on both sides of the trees so you can train going either direction on the course and still have those miles marked. Same goes for the white flashes that are on the trees--the course is marked in either direction. If you are running and don't see a white mark on a tree, then you are off the trail!

There is now a "Veteran" age group division (60+). This is a fairly small race (125 runenrs) so we don't have a ton of awards, but we felt those oldies deserved a fair comparison group. The top male & female in the following age groups gets an age-group award: open (under 40), master (40-49), grand master (50-59), veteran (60+). All finishers get a medal. The 2nd place finisher in an age group gets nothing. All starters get a race t-shirt and a few extra goodies (plus chance for random give-aways). All entrants get a mini-subscription (3 issues/6-months) to Marathon & Beyond magazine (even if you don't start the race).

There is a small cash award for new course records: 4:00:39 for males and 4:34:26 for females. And the race champions (course record or not) will get a free entry into next year's race.

There is not a formal post-race party or buffet. We'll have extra food and soda, maybe even some beer and pizza, but don't expect a fancy post-race food fest. I'm trying to arrange some hot soup, but we have a hard time getting water and electricity turned on at that boat access lot early in the year.

Once you are a Clinton Lake race finisher, you are eligible for the Illinois Trail Ultra Grand Slam (i-TUGS). I encourage you to register for, and complete, the other three races: McNaughton Park, Rock Cut Hobo, and Farmdale.


Jerry Davison said...

I'm glad you posted this about the subscription to Marathon & Beyond. I received my first copy in the mail just yesterday and was having a senior moment trying to figure out WHY I got it!

Chris Ⓥ said...

Glad you went to the blog and checked out the update. Enjoy the M&B mini-subscription. I hope to have several more race updates on the blog over the next 3 weeks. I'll try to report on actual trail conditions too.

Anonymous said...

I was on the trail today, very nice out. The trail is in much better shape than the last 2 weeks when I was out there! The mud is softening, its a little mushy in the lowlands but not too bad.
I could tell exactly where the elevation gains were...whew, miles 4 and 5 leading up to the canoe access!!!

Anonymous said...

I was hoping after last years comments you would have added another water station. I guess we will just hope it isn't too hot.

Chris Ⓥ said...

Another water station only if it's scheduled to be hot. Otherwise, it's not worth it and only a few people requested more aid. I run 20 milers out there with no support and just my own water bottles and don't have issues (although I do get hungry).

Anonymous said...

Well you're just a stud

Chris Ⓥ said...

Definitely not a running stud. I'm just a middle-of-the-pack ultra runner. Most ultras have aid about every 3-6 miles so this race is in-line with many others. I'd like to have 2 more unmanned aid stations, but the problem we have with Clinton Lake is there are no other public access spots for extra aid stations. It's all private land around the State Recreation Area (and DNR doesn't assist with the aid stations or supplies for the race). I'll see about hiking in early on Saturday morning and placing a few 1-gallon water jugs at 2 spots on the course--then runners could fill their water bottles between the full stations.

Anonymous said...

Well say what you want I still think you're a stud, of course not a Farmdale stud though.......