Directions to Packet Pick-up (Friday, September 1, 5-8 PM)
Packet pick-up location will be the race start/finish, at the Damscus town park gazebo (see below for directions).
(Packet pick-up may also occur race morning at the starting location 5:30 - 6:30 AM.)
Direction to the Start/Finish area
From the South: Drive North on I-81 to exit 19. Turn Right at the bottom of the exit onto Hw 58 East. Drive 10.3 miles on Hw 58 into Damascus. You will see a red caboose (as Hw 58 turns left); stay straight and park near the gazebo. Be aware that there is some road construction on Hw 58 and you will have some delays. The race starts on time, regardless of the traffic!
From the North: Drive South on I-81 to exit 29. Turn Left at the bottom of the ramp onto Hw 91 South, following Hw 91 for ~12.2 miles to Damascus. At the stop sign (in Damascus), turn Right onto Hw 58 West (Laurel St) and drive ~ 0.5 miles. Turn left beside the red caboose; park near the gazebo.
Crew Directions (follow link)
Please link to Crew Directions to get directions. Please be aware that several of the aid stations will be very crowded on small gravel roads. Also, the gravel roads can be very rough (washouts, etc). Drive at your own risk. If you can do without a crew, please consider doing so. If multiple crews can carpool for racers that generally run about the same pace, please do so. I will NOT have print-outs of crew directions for runners and crew.
Cell phone coverage in Damascus may be unreliable. Do not count on cell phone coverage at the start and definitely not during the race (on the race course).
Check in on race morning by 6:45
Check in on race morning at the starting line (even if you picked up your packet the night before). If you do not check in, you will not be counted as an official entrant (and your results will not be recorded) and you will not be eligible for placement awards.
There is very limited parking at the race start/finish and there is a time limit on using that parking. In the past, the First Baptist Church has generously allowed us to park in their parking lot (they have given us permission to use their parking lot for 2017). Also the town of Damascus has additional parking near the river (additional parking). And of course, there is long term parking by the library.
Right by the race start (Damascus Gazebo) there is a parking area designated for volunteers. It will be marked off by traffic cones; please do not park in this area, volunteers need to pull in close to load aid station supplies.
If you drop out of the race, PLEASE make sure an aid station worker writes it down so we don’t start a search for you.
There will be cut-offs at various aid stations. If you do not leave the aid station by the cut-off you will be pulled from the race. Cut-offs are different for the various distances. The cut-offs for the 50 mile route are generous initially but get tougher as the race progresses. This is a challenging course to complete in 12 hours! We have a finishing rate in the 70s for the 50 mile event, largely due to the time cut-offs (and potential heat!!).
Drop Bags will be allowed for 30 mile and 50 mile entrants. Bags dropped at the race start will be taken to the Skulls Gap Aid Station. 30 mile entrants will pass this once & 50 mile entrants will use this aid station twice. Drop bags must be marked with the runner's bib number on color duct tape (usually red for 50 milers and silver for 30 milers). Tape will be available at registration
We will try to return drop bags to the start as soon as possible but it may not occur until the end of the race. If you leave something at the race, it will be given away or thrown away.
We will not have someone at the major road crossings. You are responsible for stopping for cars; the roads will not be closed! You are responsible for your safety!
The trails will be marked with streamers (flagging- pink with black polka dots) approximately every ¼ mile and more frequently near turns. In town, the course will be marked with cones or streamers. The VA Creeper Trail will not be marked. We have had course vandalism in the past and we have had few people go off course even where vandalism did not occur. Runners must pay attention and look for turns.
Some runners are confused as they return into Damascus. When the trail hits the pavement, continue running down hill. Cross Hw 58 (Douglas Dr), and continue until the road dead ends at a T-intersection. Turn left, and when the road ends at the Creeper Trail, turn right. This will be marked, but some runners have a hard time seeing the markers in town.
Crews are allowed to bring dogs; however, they must be kept on leash and away from the actual aid stations (and start/finish gazebo). Also, please ensure that they are not in the runners' way. Tired runners are not very nimble and could easily be tripped up by dogs and leashes.
Iron Mountain Man/Woman Competition
If you are interested in competing for the Iron Mountain Man/Woman Award, you are responsible for letting finish line volunteers know. Your 5 minutes start as soon as you cross the line regardless of when you actually start doing the exercises.
There is a public bathroom at the far end of the park (near the caboose). It has a couple of toilets and a sink. Given the pre-run ritual of many runners, I have additional port-a-potties behind the bathroom. If there is a line for the bathroom, please walk around the building and there will probably be an available port-a-pottie.
If you want to freshen up after the race you can soak in the adjacent river or sponge off in the sink in the public bathroom. There are no public showers.
Please see the FAQ page for answers to questions not addressed on this page before you contact the race director. Feel free to contact him if you have a question, but please look for the answer on this website first.