RUNNER RULES – Runners in this event must abide by the following rules:
- No unofficial runners – No bandits (or unregistered pacers) allowed.
- Bib Placement – You can pin your bib to your shirt or pants or pack, and we don’t care if you fold it, BUT the entire number must be clearly visible from the front (and right-side-up). If we can’t tell who you are as you approach, we reserve the right to stop you until you fix it.
- No course cutting – Follow the marked course at all times – it will be clearly marked with orange survey ribbon, directional arrows, and with reflective tape after AS8. If you depart the marked course, you must return to the point of departure before continuing. Cutting the switchbacks is cheating, and leaving the beaten path to avoid mud or water is just bad trail karma – please don’t.
- Mandatory gear – A headlamp or similar lighting is mandatory when running before daybreak and after dark. Make sure you’re carrying a light or have it in a drop bag or with your crew before you think you’ll need it – because you’ll need it before you think you do. Emergency blanket is also mandatory.
- Optional race aids: Hiking poles, headphones, GPS devices, heart rate monitors, and similar devices are allowed — but ONLY IF you use them safely and responsibly (so you are aware of what’s around you and not a danger to yourself or others). NOT ALLOWED: any kind of speaker that broadcasts music loud enough to be heard by the person next to you — it’s rude, and we will disqualify you for it.
- No unauthorized crew support or aid drops – Crew access and drop bags are allowed only at designated aid stations. No one is allowed to drop or store supplies along the race route, and runners are not allowed aid between checkpoints unless it is an emergency.
- Pets – We love trail dogs, but not during a race. Please no pets on the course. Pets are welcome as part of your crew, and at the start/finish area, but they must be under control and they must be on a leash while within the state park. If your pet is disruptive, we may ask that you remove them from the area.
- Do not litter – You can either carry your trash or dispose of it at the aid stations. We are operating under permits from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and litter could threaten future permits. Anyone caught intentionally littering along the trail will be disqualified.
- Passing other trail users – The course uses many popular hiking trails and bridle (horse) trails, so please be respectful of all trail users and yield as needed. Be careful, courteous, patient, and safe while passing competitors or other trail users. Communicate your intentions clearly (“Passing on your left”), and remember that it’s a long run.
- Accountability – We’ll be tracking your progress around the course – it’s your responsibility to make sure your race bib is visible, and to check yourself (and your pacer) IN and OUT of each aid station (even if you are just passing through without stopping). The communications team at the aid station will record your arrival and departure, and relay your progress to race headquarters.
- Cut-off times – Aid station captains will strictly enforce the cut-off times that are posted for designated aid stations (see aid station chart). Cut-off times are departure times, NOT arrival times. If you’re not out of the station by the cut-off, your race is over. Aid station captains also have the authority to pull you from the course if it is clear that you are physically unable to continue in a safe manner. Their decisions are final, and if you refuse to vacate the course when directed, you’ll be disqualified.
- Dropping out of the race – If you can’t complete the race, you must notify an aid station captain and surrender your race bib, which will officially withdraw you from the race. If you leave the race and don’t show up at the next aid station within a reasonable time, we’ll assume you’re lost and will notify authorities. This could threaten the race’s future permits. Leaving a race without informing an aid station captain means automatic disqualification and possible restriction from entry into future races.
PACER RULES – Runners may use pacers, according to the following rules:
- Pacers must register – Complete an emergency contact and waiver form at the aid station you are going to pick up your runner at before running, and wear the pacer bib you receive there while you are on the course.
- Pacer starts – Pacers may enter the course at AS7 Hyner Run, AS10 Slate Run, AS13 Blackwell, and AS15 Barrens.
One pacer at a time – Standard practice, one pacer per runner at a time. End of story.
- No “muling” – Pacers are there for safety and moral encouragement – not to help carry your stuff (or you). They can help you at aid stations just as your crew would, but they aren’t allowed to carry water, food, or other supplies for you or physically assist you in any way out on the trail. They may run beside you or behind you, but not in front of you – this is your race, not theirs.
- Accountability – Pacers must check in and out with the aid station communication crews at each station just as the runners do. We’re just as concerned about their safety and accountability, so we need to know who is out on the course at any time.
- Pacers may use aid stations – Pacers are free to use the aid stations they visit with their runner.
CREW RULES – A crew can be an important part of your race effort, and they are welcome for runners, according to the following rules:
- Crew support only at designated aid stations – Your crew can help you in pretty much any way, but ONLY while you are checked in at one of the five crew-accessible aid stations. Crews are ONLY PERMITTED at the Start/Finish Line, AS3 Little Pine Bottom, AS7 Hyner Run, AS10 Slate Run, AS13 Blackwell, and AS15 Barrens.
- One crew vehicle per runner – Parking is limited at many of the remote aid stations, and some of the access roads are narrow and dusty. It will be nicer – and safer – for everyone if there are fewer vehicles moving about. Each runner will be issued one and only one crew vehicle pass that must be displayed.
- Aid Station flow – Aid stations can be busy places, and it’s important that runners have a clear route in and out, with easy and quick access to the station. Please find an out-of-the-way place (but within 50 yards of the station) for your crew activities so you don’t add to the congestion, and please obey the instructions of the Aid Station Captain – the station is their space and their responsibility.
- Do Not Disturb the Communications Team – The Communications Team is there to ensure the safety and whereabouts of each runner. They are not there for you to answer if your runner has checked in at an aid station. There will be an assigned volunteer at each crewed aid station that can answer any questions you may have if time and circumstances permit it.
- Crews may volunteer – We’re really one big trail family when it comes down to it. Crews are free to help other runners if they want to, or to help out the aid station crew (if it’s alright with the aid station captain.)
SAFETY RULES – It’s a wild backwoods Pennsylvania mountain trail – of course it can be dangerous! That’s one of the reasons we love it, but we really don’t want anyone to get hurt, so we expect you to take some reasonable precautions, and to know what to do if something does go wrong.
- If you get injured – Stay on the trail and wait to inform another runner that you are injured and ask that they notify race officials at the next aid station. Cell phone service is very limited on the course, but there will be a communications team at each aid station that can talk to race headquarters and to a centrally-located ambulance/EMT crew. If you need help, that aid station communication team is your fastest and most reliable answer – go to the nearest aid station (forward or back) or relay the message to them.
- You are a pedestrian – You must obey all laws pertaining to road pedestrian crossings; vehicles have the right-of-way at all times. Before you cross any road, remember what your mother told you and look both ways.