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The course is marked with flags and ribbons. There are also right-turn, left-turn, straight ahead, and wrong way signs. The course is designed so that you can follow it using the Park Department’s blazes on the trees, except on the out-and-backs to Bunker Hill/Goodwin Loop and Sanders Mound. The trail will be marked with reflectors during the night portion of the 100-mile race. You must have a headlamp or flashlight in order to see these. The Park has also marked the trail with mile markers, so please pay attention to those also. They are true measured miles and not GPS miles, so you will be slightly off on your mileage if you are wearing a GPS.
This, of course, is a trail race. Part of a trail race is making your way on the course. We will do our BEST to mark the course and think like a trail runner, but please familiarize yourself with the course beforehand.
In addition to signs, flags and ribbons, runners should also watch for the white, blue and red blazes on the trails. The westerly, out-bound portion of the course is marked with BLUE blazes. A one-mile detour along the Clinton Lake shoreline will be marked with RED blazes. When the course turns back east toward Lands End, it will be marked with WHITE blazes.
In addition to the white, blue and red blazes on the westerly, easterly and shoreline trails, you may see trails marked with both white and blue or red and blue blazes. These are “connector trails.” Do not follow them. They will be marked with wrong-way signs and/or ribbons, but in case the signs get knocked over or vandalized, please know you should follow only SINGLE white, blue or red blazes as shown in the photos.
100-mile and 50-mile races: You’ll begin at the Start/Finish and run about an eighth of a mile to the trailhead for the blue-blazed trail. Make a left turn onto the blue-blazed trail and follow it a couple hundred yards to the Sanders Mound trail. You’ll take a left and do a quick 1.1 mile out-and-back to the top of Sanders Mound where you will find a bucket of trinkets, pick one each time you run the mound, you give it to the Lands End aid station captain or if you prefer you hold onto them until the end of the race and give them to the RD. After you descend the Mound you will get back on the blue-blazed trail and head for the Lands End aid station.
From Lands End you’ll take the Red-blazed shoreline trail until it meets back up with the blue-blazed trail. The blue-blazed trail will turn into the white-blazed trail 3.5 miles from Lands End at a point known as Cactus Ridge.
The white-blazed trail will take you to the West Park Road aid station. From there, leave the trails and follow the signs, flags and ribbons along West Park Road, staying on the grass, to Bunker Hill. This is the Goodwin Loop. Complete the 2.5-mile Goodwin Loop, which includes a traverse of Bunker Hill, and return to the West Park Road aid station. You’ll then continue on the white-blazed trail back to the Lands End aid station.
Leaving Lands End you will continue on the white-blazed trail back to the Start/Finish aid station. This completes one loop of the course.
Marathon: Marathon runners will follow the same course as the 50- and 100-mile runners, but they will run an additional 1.2 miles at the beginning of the race.
Big Loop: At the Start/Finish aid station, runners will have completed 25 miles (26.2 for marathoners)—what we call the “Big Loop.” Hundred-milers repeat the Big Loop three more times and 50-milers one more time.
When the trails cross: The white-blazed trail and the blue-blazed trail cross at several points on the course. The crossings will be heavily marked and signed, but it is your responsibility to read and heed the markers, signs, and white, blue and red blazes to stay on course.
The Hawk is a fully-staffed race with three aid stations manned by experienced UltraRunners. Aid stations will offer Tailwind Nutrition, Water, Coke, Mountain Dew and Ginger-ale. We serve Honey Stinger gels, chews and waffles and S-caps as our additional electrolyte. Typical aid station food includes but is not limited to: Oranges, bananas, watermelon, pringles, pretzels, oreo cookies, nutter butters, M&M's, Peanut M&M's, ginger chews, boiled potatoes, peanut butter wraps, Nutella wraps, and turkey wraps. Each aid station will offer a variety of homemade soup and other warm food on the overnight hours. If you have a "special needs diet," please contact the RD and we will do our best to accommodate you at the Start/Finish aid station. Following are the locations and distances runners will hit aid stations as they traverse the 25-mile course (26.2 for marathoners).
AID STATION - CUT OFFS
The 100 and 50-mile races have a Sunday 10:00 am cut off for runners leaving the West Park Road aid station, after completing the Bunker Hill/Goodwin loop. This is at mile 88 for the 100-mile runners and mile 38 for the 50-mile runners.
The cut off for Lands End aid station is Sunday 12 pm, noon. This is at mile 93.5 for the 100-mile runners and 43.5 for the 50-mile runners.
To stay in the race, you must have left the aid station by the above cut off times. Volunteers will breakdown the aid station at that time, and depart. Runners continuing on their own accord past the cutoffs, and not arriving at the Start/Finish on or before the 2 pm cutoff, will not be eligible for the finisher awards.