Q. What do I get?
First and foremost, of course, you get the experience of running the race. You can't beat running the trails in Michigan in the fall. Add in our challenging, well-marked trails and well-stocked aid station, and you've got the perfect racing experience.
On top of that, however, there are a bunch of other great perks to registering for The Hungerford Games. Everyone who finishes will receive a hand-carved wooden medal, which will be branded on-site with our custom-made branding iron. Ultramarathoners who finish before sunset will receive a hand-crafted hiking stick. The top three finishers in every race will receive custom-carved trophies.
Every racer will receive the customary "swag bag", and we're pleased to be able to stock ours with some great stuff. We've got a long-sleeved technical tee, an assortment of sponsor products, coupons to area businesses, and anything else we can get our hands on for you!
Every year, we've also got a Great Games Giveaways; like our Facebook page for info on what we're totally just giving away!
Q. This is my first (choose one: half marathon, full marathon, ultramarathon). What do you recommend?
Train consistently and specifically, race intelligently, and have a blast. Or, more specifically:
Go at least ten miles in training, and do it at least twice. The course is tough, so start out conservatively up the hills on Woodward Ave. If you're feeling good after climbing the berm that puts you back on Skiberian, you can feel free to push the pace.
Taking nutrition on the run isn't so important for the half marathon, although you should practice drinking on your longer training runs to see if you find it beneficial.
You'll definitely want to make use of the aid stations and be comfortable drinking--and possibly eating--on the run. The toughest stretch of the course is from mile 6 to mile 8: the Power Lines. They're hilly, the footing is tough, and they just keep going.
Make sure to get some runs in of over twenty miles; you're going to be on your feet for a while, and your body will thank you for letting it adapt.
The course is actually a little less difficult than the half and the marathon--but there's fifty miles of it. In an ultra, nutrition, hydration, and logistics become paramount; just one thing going wrong can cause major difficulties. Make a list, check it twice, and practice using it; there are lots of good checklists online, and it doesn't hurt to have extra things along.
Make sure your crew studies the maps; they will be able to get to most or all of the aid stations, but will have to know the territory to get from point to point.
Q. Are pacers allowed?
Ultramarathoners may use a pacer beginning at the Mountain Bike Trailhead Spectator Parking area near the start of the second loop.
Q. Are iPods allowed?
Yes. Remember, while there is very little vehicular traffic on the course, you run at your own risk. If you're wearing a portable music device, please be aware of your surroundings and stay safe.
Q. What about dogs?
Unfortunately, we won't be able to accommodate any canine companions. Sorry!
Q. Tell me more about the "unique, hand-crafted finishers' medals and trophies".
Technically, that's not a question, but we'd be more than happy to talk about our medals and trophies.
This is one area that really sets The Hungerford Trail Races apart. We start with locally found wood. We're not cutting down any trees, but we're using trees that grew and lived in the area soil. We cut slices of that tree into slabs that serve as the base for our medals--so no two medals are exactly the same. When you cross the finish line, you'll have earned your own medal ceremony, where you'll receive that utterly unique hand-branded woodallion.
We're the only race in the world to celebrate your accomplishment in this way.
For the top three finishers of each gender in each race, we'll also have custom-made trophies. These also start off as locally-found wood, and are custom made exclusively for our race. Finish in the top three, and you'll be one of eighteen people in the world to own this trophy.
Finally, you ultramarathoners get your own challenge. Your race will begin at sunrise (7:39), and you have until sunset to complete the course. All ultramarathoners who finish before the sun sets at 7:32 will receive an Hungerford Ultramarathon Walking Stick, hand-crafted from locally found wood. You're invited to bring your walking stick back next year; every subsequent time you complete the ultra, you'll receive a notch on the stick. As the event grows older, we'll give special treatment to those ultramarathoners who are sporting five and ten notches.
Q. What about pit stops?
There will be plenty of Porta-Potties at the Start/Finish. Every single member of the racing committee has a horror story about long lines at bathrooms just before a race goes off; we have intentionally ordered plenty of them in hopes of avoiding this.
During the race, there will be porta-potties at Refueling Stations A & D. That means half marathoners will pass a pit stop twice (they pass Station A on the way out and on the way back). Marathoners will hit Porta-Potties three times (A, D, and then A again). Ultramarathoners will actually pass pit stops SEVEN times (A, D on the way out, D on the way back, A, D, D, and A).