Course Layout: The course comprises two loops that only overlap for a couple miles total. The 50k runners will complete the 20.3 M loop FIRST and the 10.8 M loop SECOND. All loops will be run in a CLOCKWISE direction for 2018.
Overview map (Clockwise):
Distances: Four distances, something for everyone: 50k, 20.3 M, 10.8 M. If you do not want to run 20 or 31 miles, you are welcome to join in on the fun by completing a stunning and runnable moderately difficult 10.8 mile loop through the lower portions of the hills including a trip through the breathtaking Reynolds Creek ‘red canyon.’
Age Limits: Pickled Feet Ultra Running reserves the right to deny entry into the race based on age (youth). To enter the 10.8 Mile, kids 18 and under must have parental approval (and on-course supervision if young or inexperienced enough); as a rule, kids under 18 will not be allowed to register for the 50k or 20.3 Mile. We know there are kids who could be exceptions to this exclusion. If you are a parent of a kid who wants to run a longer distance, email email@example.com and let’s talk.
Packet Pickup: Packet pickup will be held the week of the race (schedule will be posted on the sidebar over there). Race morning packet pickup will be available starting at 6:00 am. Your race numbers will not be included in your race packets. We will hand them out with timing chips on race morning when you check in at the start.
Start/Finish: Main trailhead on Wilson Creek Road off Hwy 78, Owyhee County, Idaho. Directions to the Start. 50k and 20 Mile start at 7:30 am; 10 mile starts at 9:00 am; 5 mile starts at 10:00 am.
Parking & Carpooling: You may have to park as far as a half mile away from the race start depending on when you arrive and how well everyone does with carpooling. We will have a shuttle on hand that can be used if you have to park in one of the further lots (or you can just jog the half mile to warm up). Please carpool because parking will be limited! Thank you. The outskirts of the Nampa Rec Center on 12th Ave. Rd. is a good place to park and carpool. PLEASE follow the directions of the parking monitors on race morning and park where they tell you to. We have to ensure adequate egress for emergency vehicles if necessary. It is possible you will have to park up to a half mile away from the race HQ, so plan accordingly.
Check In at Start and Aid Stations: At the run start, you will be required to check in so that we know exactly who we have on the course. You will not receive your race number and timing chip until you check in *at the race start* (race numbers will not be in race packets if you go to packet pickup early), so please get there in plenty of time to check in and to pin your number on. This can take a long time with gloves on.
Your Responsibilities as a Runner: 1.) Stay on and run the marked course and 2.) Check IN with each aid station. They are keeping track of who is on the course at all times. Don’t just blow into town and expect someone to recognize your magnanimous presence; YOU must engage the Aid Station volunteer. Failure to be accounted for at each checkpoint could result in a DQ or massive search and rescue effort, which YOU will be responsible for paying for. Also, if your motivation fades into the fog, and you would rather just curl up with a pillow somewhere else, let the aid station head honcho know of your departure from the game. Failure to tell the Aid Station that you are DNF-ing could also result in expensive search efforts.
If you are a 50k runner, it is especially important to check IN from the first loop and check OUT on the second loop so that we know who is continuing and who is dropping at 20 miles…not that anyone will be dropping, right? This is standard operating procedure for any trail ultramarathon. Our highest priority for this run is accounting for everyone at the end of the day.
Pacers: If you are a 50K runner, you may choose to have a pacer join up with you at the 20.3 mile point in the race (Paradise Aid Station) for the 10.8 mile second loop. During race-morning registration, the pacer must fill out this Wilson Creek Pacer Waiver or print beforehand and bring it with you. In return for the waiver, we’ll give you a pacer bib # that will have the same number as your runner.
- Pacers may not “mule” or carry anything from the runner.
- Pacers must accompany their runner AT ALL TIMES (unless in case of emergency to leave the runner to get help).
- Pacers must wear their bib # given to them in exchange for filling out the waiver at all times on the course.
Aid: 50k runners will have 5 aid stations. The 20.3 M loop has two aid stations. If you are running the 50k, you refuel at Paradise (the start/finish aid station at mile 20.3) and then head out on the 10.8 M loop. The 10.8 milers have two aid stations. You need to have at least 2 water bottles or a hydration pack along. This is not your fall road marathon that has fully stocked aid stations every mile. 50k and 20 mile runners are advised to bring traction devices and/or trekking poles, an emergency whistle, space blanket, a headlamp, extra layers, and a knowledge of the course. You are pretty remote out there.
- 10 Mile – 2 aid stations – miles 5, 7, and finish
- 20 Mile – 2 aid stations – miles 2.5, 13, and finish
- 50k – 5 aid stations – miles 2.5, 13, 20.3, 25.3, 27.3, and finish
Drop Bags: You are welcome to bring a drop bag to the start/finish area (mile 20.3 for 50k runners). None of the aid stations out on the course will have drop bag access. Be prepared to be out on the trail for 3-7 hours mostly self-supported with adequate winter clothing, water, and fuel.
Cutoff: 50k runners have until 3:00 pm (7.5 hours) to complete the first 20.3 mile loop in order to be allowed to continue onto the second 10.8 mile loop. For runner safety and consideration of our aid stations, we firmly enforce this cutoff.
Post Race: We will serve some hot food like soup or stew. You’ll also leave with a finisher’s prize worthy of Owyhee County and some other schwag from our sponsors. As this is a low-budget affair, please feel free to bring food or drinks you want to share with everyone at the finish. We will have a tent set up so you can get warm, and it’s always nice if someone brings some firewood and a burn barrel for ambiance. 🙂
Dogs: We strongly discourage the presence of dogs on the course, but if you insist on bringing your dog, they must be kept ON LEASH. We have seen cougar tracks on the course, and dogs attract hungry cougars. Also, trappers are known to work in the Wilson Creek area, and we don’t want a dog running off leash getting into a trap. It’s wild out there, and you don’t want to have to traipse around looking for your dog. Keeping track of 300+ people is a big enough concern. Plus, dogs on sometimes-crowded trails can sometimes be a hazard to other runners, especially when roaming off leash.
Changing Races, Refunds, Changing Races Mid-Event, Transfers, Roll Overs: See Register page.
Trail Conditions: These conditions will be re-updated the week of the race. We could see anything from temps in the 40s with egregious mud (like the 2012 race) to sub-zero, arctic conditions with wind and ice like you have never seen before (2013). Come prepared, mentally and physically. The Owyhees are spectacular this time of year. There may be icy spots that do not get much sun, and carrying along your microspikes (if it’s really icy, something with a metal spike is better than Yak Traks) would not be a wasted effort, as there is a lot of climbing and descending on possible ice. In the case of non-frozen conditions, the worst offender for mud is the main Wilson Creek Road, which the 50k and 20M-ers will be running from about mile 10-13. The 10 mile loop is 83% singletrack and the 50k is about 50/50 singletrack and rugged ATV doubletrack.
Course Markings: If you have not enjoyed the Wilson Creek recreation area, this is the perfect opportunity to come out and get introduced. Course markings will be shown at the pre-run briefings 15 minutes pre-run for each start time. Wilson Creek trails are highly braided and many are unmarked. Many of the trail splits come back together. Best rule is to stay on what you determine to be the main trail or trail that you were on (as can best be identified) unless there is a marking or my directions say otherwise. If you come to a main intersection that is not marked, that means the marking either got removed by someone or something, or that you have gotten off course. This is why carrying a map is a good idea so you can compare trail #s with the marked map in the event of missing course markings. If in doubt, backtrack to the last place you saw a course marking and then proceed, watching carefully; OR wait for the course sweep or another knowledgeable runner to come along to help you.
Things to Consider: Herds of wild horses populate(d) the hills in the Wilson Creek area. Admire but steer clear of them. If you see horses and they appear to be alarmingly interested in your presence, you should make whooping Indian war cries, which has proven to dissuade parading horses. Don’t ask how we know that. (I believe the horses were displaced after the Soda Fire of 2015). If you are lucky, you will see deer or foxes or coyotes in the early morning hours. Bikers, hikers, hunters, horse riders, ATV enthusiasts – these are the people you may encounter on the trails on a Saturday. Some of the grades especially on the descent from Wilson Peak can be very steep and especially hazardous if icy and/or muddy. Be cautious. We would feel very badly if anyone injured themselves. This run is a VOLUNTARY, predominantly self-supported, possibly solitary venture chosen by you. Do not participate if you are not 100 percent responsible and capable of taking care of yourself for an extended period of time (1-12 hours) in variable weather conditions in rugged terrain. Do not participate in this run if you are not in reasonable physical condition to spend hours on the trail climbing and descending; likewise, know when to quit. If you are not in the proper physical condition to undertake the 50k, please check your ego at the trailhead and sign up for the 10 mile race instead. Remember, we are warning you that this is a very tough run, and you are making the choice to participate. There is a possibility that the trails and roads will be aggravatingly and un-runnably slick, muddy, and treacherous. We (Pickled Feet Ultra Running, race organizers, volunteers) are not responsible for costs associated with search and rescue or any costs associated with your injuries or death. Be smart, use common sense, and be safe out there. Bring your sense of adventure and your good attitude, and leave your whining at home!