Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions about the Race

Do you just run around for 8 hours?

We have a 3.11 mile “long course” and a 1.89 mile “short course”. You can run whichever you please as many times as you can (or want). The person and team with the most mileage wins. You can take breaks, showers, swim, eat, or whatever during the event as well. The plan is up to you!

How is my distance tracked?

You will have a timing chip, just as you would in most standard distance-specific races. As you cross various mats on the course, it will keep track. There is a 3.11 mile “long course” and a 1.89 mile “short course”. To receive credit for a long course lap, you MUST cross the mat at the far end of that course. If you do not, it will be marked as the short course no matter how far you went on that lap. If you are running as part of a team, your chip will be shared. Make sure to take the chip with you when it is your turn!

Is the course flat?

Kind of. Parts of both the long course and the short course utilize the Towpath – this part is flat. The rest is flat-to-rolling. Except for the hill. What? Both the long course and short course have a short but significantly steep hill (Robert calls this “Bulldog’s Revenge”) about a third of a mile before you reach the the tent village at the start/finish.

What type of surface should we expect?

Both the long course and the short course are a combination of pavement (sidewalk mostly) and dirt towpath, with one section of true trail – the hill (“Bulldog’s Revenge”). Additionally, the long course has about a quarter mile of true trail after the short course splits off.

Is the course closed to non-participants?

No! The course utilizes sidewalks and a major multi-use path (called “the Towpath”) through the Butler University campus. Aside from the trail sections, the entire course is open to pedestrians and bicycles. And these folks may not know that there’s a race going on – so be aware and be kind! Additionally, one section of the course crosses driveways into various Butler parking lots. Saturdays in summer are a low-traffic days, but be very aware.

If I wanted to do a “run a lap / walk a lap” system, would that be allowed or would I clog things up for those that are really serious about this sort of thing?

Not at all! In fact, we expect to have a lot of walkers –  especially during the second half of the event. No issues here. As always, stay to the right and let faster folks pass you.

Are you a fast person? Say “on your left” and pass when it is safe. Courtesy is the name of the game. And watch for oncoming traffic!

Will there be an aid station with ultra-type foods?

There will be an aid station in Tent Village at the start/finish with ice, water, Gatorade, bars, gels (probably Gu), oranges, crackers, cookies, and probably peanut butter sandwiches. Basic ultra fare. Heat does funny things to food, though… chocolate melts, for example… so as always, come prepared with what you want.

There will also be a water-only station on the course as well.

Runners are encouraged to bring their own coolers, food, and beverages as you wish. Part of the fun of fixed duration endurance events is having a big picnic!

What would someone need to have with them for an 8 hour event?

Our suggestions: Sunscreen! Special food and drink items, cooler, clothing options (in case of weather, heat, etc.), a hat, a bandana or two, a towel, maybe a few friends or so to support, folding chairs to rest… anything you would take to a long relay race. Many people, especially teams, will set up canopies (aka “tents”, but not really camping tents). Bring one or see if someone will let you share!

“8 hours during Indiana summer” probably means heat and humidity. And that may mean chafing. Bring your favorite anti-chafe solutions and reapply regularly. It can be helpful to have a “blister kit” and other first aid remedies. Sunscreen for sure. Bug spray may be helpful, especially for those not currently running. Ticks and deerflies aren’t an issue, but sometimes mosquitos and gnats can be. Especially at the end of the day.

Although the race will supply electrolyte drink (Gatorade), if you use electrolyte tablets during training, bring those.

And don’t forget the sunscreen!

Can I set up a table/area for myself with supplies and goodies?

Yes! We call it “tent village”: a campsite-looking area (albeit with canopies instead of sleeping tents) with everyone sharing space, etc. No charge to bring your own canopies (10 x 10 maximum size). Location will be assigned based on date of registration. You can also set up a table and chairs in addition to, or instead of, a canopy. Your choice!

Just remember that at the end of the day, whatever you bring in, you need to take back out. Including trash.

Note: It is an open area that will not be secure. Runners take care of each other, but please take normal precautions with valuables.

Is there a minimum distance required for each team member?

Participants on Teams MUST complete at least one Short Course or Long Course lap.

For crews, how long will we be able to provide race support to our runner(s)?

8 HOURS! Race support is allowed throughout the race. Bicycles are allowed (for support, not for participants!), but please be courteous to runners and other users of the Towpath.

Are pacers allowed?

Pacers are 100% not necessary for this event. This isn’t a 100 miler in the mountains. However, you are definitely welcome to invite company along for a few laps. Considerations:

  1. Please stick to “a few laps”. If someone is going to run with you for 8 hours, that person really should register.
  2. One at a time. Ok, actually, we won’t be hardcore and we won’t really count. Just remember, the course is open to everyone (which is one reason we allow pacers), so if you are traveling with a posse, you might be clogging the path for others.
  3. Please have extra supplies for your pacer. The aid stations are for participants.

 

Can we bring our own food and pets?

Pets are allowed but must stay within your “tent village space” or on a leash if outside your area.
Coolers and food are not only allowed, but encouraged.

What’s the deal about litter?

Just don’t do it. Lots of people who started their running career on roads (5ks up through marathons) are used to throwing their cups down next to aid stations. The ultra community is a little bit different – and this is not ok. Whatever trash you make… cups, gel wrappers, banana peels, coffee cups, whatever… needs to go into a trash receptacle or get carried out with you at the end of the day. Please don’t throw your cups down on the ground! If you do, many will likely wind up in the canal. As stated in the competition rules, anyone littering will be DQed from the event. And if you spot some accidental litter that’s clearly from a fellow racer, please pick it up. Karma is goodness.

We want to leave the campus of Butler University as nice as it was when we arrived. That’s neighborly. It’ll also help all of us get invited back next year. And please clean up your tent area at the end of the day. What you brought in needs to go back out with you. All of it. Please and thank you!

What happens if it rains?

You will get wet. Rain or shine, we’re ultrarunners and we run. The exception to this, of course, would be a heavy storm with lightning and/or fierce wind. Check the weather policy section on our race info page for details on how we’ll handle a storm passing through.

Rain coupled with heat and friction – that’s a good recipe for blisters or macerated feet (gross).  It is highly recommended that you pay extra attention to your feet if we get some rain. Body Glide, Trail Toes, or some other anti-chafe protection on your feet will help.

Gentle Reminder: please stake or weigh down your canopies so that a gust of wind doesn’t take out your stuff and everybody around you!

Do we need to bring headlamps, or will the trail be lit?

No. The race ends at 8:00 PM. In late July, the sun sets in Indianapolis after 9:00 PM.

What is the farthest anyone has gone in 8 hours?

You can find the course records on our Awards and Course Records page. There you will find the record for overall distance as well as Masters (40-49), Grand Masters (50-59), and Senior Masters (60+) categories.

Does this race “count” toward Marathon Maniacs or 50 State Qualification?

Provided you run, walk, skip, and/or crawl at least 26.2 miles within the 8 hour window that the course is open, YES, this event counts toward both Marathon Maniacs and 50 State Club qualification and statistics. There are other clubs out there too, so we can’t guarantee our event “counts”, but drop us a line and ask. Robert is happy to take a look at the club rules and give you guidance.

8 long course laps + 1 short course lap = 26.77 miles. That’s one way to do it.

You could also stick to the short course. 14 short course laps = 26.46 miles.

 

Questions about Facilities

Will food be sold on the property?

No, food will not be available for sale. Please plan ahead. Of course, you may have crew (or team members who aren’t currently running) bring you food.

Will tents be provided? Are there guidelines regarding tents?

Tents… and really, we mean canopies (tents without walls)… need to be provided by participants/teams.

Guidelines:

  1. Canopies should be 10×10 max. If you need more space, there will be ample space to spread out, but maybe not in the pre-organized tent village.
  2. You need to anchor your canopy with something! It can get breezy in Indiana, especially if a storm blows through. Unsecured canopies can cause serious damage to people and other people’s stuff. Don’t be “that group”.
  3. When you are done for the day and pack up your canopy, please collect your trash. Whatever you brought in with you, please take it out. We want to leave the grounds of Butler University as clean as they were when we arrived.

How is the layout of the Tent Village determined?

The “Tent Village” layout is solely determined by Carmel Road Racing Group and not first come first served. Your location will be shown to you during check-in.

Will non-runners be able to access the rec center?

Additional passes for the Butler Health & Recreation Complex will be available for friends and family.

How late will the rec center stay open?

The Butler Health & Recreation Complex will close to the public at 9 PM, but the wristband will allow participants to shower after the event. The center has agreed to keep staff late for our event.

Will the showers in the rec center be available when we get done at 8 PM?

Yes! Showers will be available all day and into the evening.