The following email was sent to participants. We’re posting it here as well in case folks need to reference it.
We have a few updates and items of interest to share, so please take a look at the list below. Some are more important than others, and all are worth noting, so please review this email in its entirety!
1) As mentioned in the course description on the website, some of your time will be spent on a gravel road. During peak tourist-times, it may be dusty as visitors drive past. We recommend having a buff or neck gaiter handy, just in case you’d like to cover your face.
2) The Fire Tower Trail Races are cupless, to reduce waste. We’ll have reusable cups for sale at the race for $5 each. We can only accept cash for this. (No cell signal means no Venmo!)
3) Current forecast suggests daytime temps in the low 70s. Parts of the course are beautifully wooded, while others are quite exposed and sunny. Lows will dip below 50, which may make for a chilly night for those camping. Plan accordingly!
4) Drop bags must be marked with your name, bib number, and distance. You can find your bib number on Ultrasignup here: https://ultrasignup.com/entrants_event.aspx?did=89211. They must be brought to the Start/Finish area by 7am.
5) This is a BIG park, and the far corners are accessed by gravel roads. It takes a while to get places. Parking spots are limited, and crew (100K only) and spectators are encouraged to car-pool when traveling through the park. Allow enough time to arrive without feeling rushed! All people in attendance are expected to drive with safety in mind.
6) Aid stations are the ONLY place where aid may be rendered by crew (100K only). Volunteers may assist throughout, and runners/pacers should always feel empowered to help one another. Please do not meet crew or spectators at roads or crossings to accept aid. If you do, you will be disqualified.
**If you experience an emergency, do what you need to do. Do not let this rule keep you from getting help.**
7) Our aid stations have porta-potties! Please do your best to limit your business to the bathrooms provided. If you need to use the woods, please step far off the trail and pack out any toilet paper you may have brought for just such an occasion. Do not, under any circumstances, leave this in the woods. Plan ahead.
8) St. Croix State Park, like most of the upper midwest, has black bears. They are reclusive, shy animals and you are unlikely to see them. Chances are good you’ve been sharing nature with bears for as long as you’ve been trail running (whether you knew it or not!), and if you’d like a refresher on what to do just in case you see one during your race, check out this handy rundown from the MN DNR: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/livingwith_wildlife/bears/encounters.html
And if you find yourself alone on the trail for long periods of time and feel a little spooked, please feel free to play music or a podcast out-loud, to provide some noise. There is little/no cell signal in the park, so you’ll want to download something ahead of time. Only do this if you’re alone; please allow other trail users to enjoy the space in peace.
9) Park passes are required. Remember to stop at the Visitor’s Center when you enter and purchase a pass, if you don’t already have one! Day passes are $7.
10) ENJOY the park! If you’ve brought family or friends, they’re welcome to explore all that St. Croix State Park has to offer. The park has a really neat history and some gorgeous natural features that are worth checking out! (Note: Please don’t confuse the Group Camp and Trail Center [where we have Race HQ] with the regular campgrounds [near the river]. They’re a couple miles apart!) There are various parking lots around the park where people can spectate parts of the race; however, this is a public park and we are guests, so do not crowd out the public from also using the park.
11) For participants and 100K crew alike, we highly recommend downloading the AVENZA MAPS app. This GPS app works with countless State Park maps and will show you on the map itself where you’re located, even if you don’t have cell signal. This can help you and your crew to re-orient yourselves in the event you go off-course – or just want to double-check! For more information, check out the MN DNR guide here: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mobile/geopdf/index.html
12) Finally, we’re having a cookout! There will be burgers (meat and veggie) and snacks at the finish, and you’re welcome to bring your own food as well. Water will be provided, and there will probably be some pop, NA beer, and tasty electrolyte drink on-hand. If you’d like something else to drink, please feel free to bring it! (Reminder: Our State Parks have a rule prohibiting alcohol. We’re not the boss of you, but be smart and be responsible. Our future success relies on our relationship with the MN State Parks!)
One last note: You’ll discover, on your way to the park, that it’s a bit of a drive from any stores or gas stations. Especially if you think you might be driving around the park a bunch, you’ll want to keep your car filled up with gas. It’s a 30-minute round-trip to the nearest gas station, and an hour and a half to Walmart and back for an extra blanket.
That just about does it! If you have any burning questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’ll do our best to come up with a great answer.
We’re so excited to see you all next weekend and can’t wait to watch you all kick some trail!
Jamison & Lisa