Q: How did you determine the Head Starts?
A: We primarily used the WMA Age Grading Calculator that is widely accepted in running. This tool will score running performances by taking out any age and gender biases. We then made some minor adjustments to aid the youngest runners. This was to accommodate for the length of the race. We also had to put all runners in start times that were on a one minute intervals. Finally we compared our head starts to that of the Dipsea Race for some validation. Note: 2018 head starts will be reviewed for any adjustments and announced prior to the race.
Q: Will I get hurt by runners passing?
A: No. There will be lots of passing in the race, but we communicate clearly to runners the importance of sportsmanship and safety on the trails. We will also staff the trails with ample volunteers.
Q: Your head starts stink!
A: Well, that is not really question. We did our best to equalize this race and remove age and gender bias. We always value the opinion of our runners, but we will not make changes to the head starts based on runner emails.
Q: Can I start with a friend/child/parent?
A: Not exactly. Runners must start in the corral they are assigned. Anyone switching corrals will impact the results. If your start time is before your friend or child, you can start the race with your group and then wait for your child's group to start further down the trail.
Q: Can I push over old people and knock down little kids when I pass them?
A: No. That would make you an ass (see the "Jerk Rules"). Passing runners is one of the challenges of the Medoc Spring Race. You need to be strategic in finding the best time to make a pass that is safe for both you and your fellow runners.
Q: Can I block the path for a runner trying to pass me?
A: No. This is not a track event where you block the inside lane from a passing runner. This is a trail race and faster runners will be behind you. It is your job to get to the finish line before them. It is their job to pass you. You should only use your legs to get you their first. . . not elbows.
Q: Can I wear headphones?
A: No. And we will not budge on this rule. 99% of runners will get passed, or will be passed in the race. All runners need to be able to easily hear everything going on around them. This is for the safety of everyone involved. Because each starting group is small we will be able to check every runner. Don't try to sneak it by us, you will get caught. Thank you for understanding the importance of this rule.
Q: Can I walk?
A: Yes! In fact many of our youngest and oldest runners will employ a mixture of running and walking to complete the race.
Q: How are the trails?
A: Medoc Mountain State park has a mixture of trails. At some point the trails are wide and at others it is a single track. The elevation varies and there are some steep hills; most are short, but there is one challenging hill on the summit side (about 0.3 miles). The terrain is smooth by trail standards, with limited rocks and roots. Like any trail race, runners should take extra care with their foot placement during the race.
Q: Will the course be clearly marked?
A: Yes. Runners will know they are on the race course at all times and any turns will be clearly marked.
Q: Is it safe for my child to run?
A: That depends on your child's fitness level. To do seven miles of trails they should at least be able to run eight miles on the roads. This can be done with proper training. If your child has the endurance to run the distance, they will be safe on the trails. We will have volunteers on the course and aid stations should they need to stop. Don't forget that an eight year old won the 100th Dipsea race.
Q: I'm not fast. Why would I want to run?
A: To experience a race that is completely different. You will have a chance to be mixed in with runners of all ages and ability levels. It is fun and exciting race and gives you a perspective that you have never seen.
Q: I'm a young local elite. Why would I want to run?
A: To prove you are fast and not just young. This race gives you a chance to see how you really stack up against everybody. That old man that gets an award after you went home. . . he is fast. . . and he thinks he can take you!
Q: I'm a kid. Why would I want to run?
A: To lead the race! You will jump out ahead of the crowd and try to hold them off. Sure, the race is a little long at seven plus miles, but here is your chance to prove your can kick some ass on the trails!
Q: I'm a master's runner. Why would I want to run?
A: To show the young studs how racing is supposed to be run. You may be getting older, but you are not slowing down. Ask these so called elites to come catch you!
Q: I'm a female runner. Why would I want to race?
A: To even the playing field. This is your chance to get to the finish line before anyone else. The men will spend the first 2-5 miles just chasing you down. Let them try to stop you!
Q: Are their Age Group Awards?
A: No. The handicapped start times removes the need for age groups. We will award prizes to the top 50 overall. This is not a bad thing. Our approach to awards will still recognize runners through all ranges of age and gender. If the race grows to a larger size than we anticipate we reserve the right to add additional awards.
Q: You talk a lot about the Dipsea Race, are you affiliated with them?
A: No. the Dipsea Race is built on over 100 years of history. We admire what they have developed, and think it is a great way to add excitement back in to racing. If we can capture just a fraction of the magic that Dipsea has, we will consider our event a great success.