Safety for runners and race volunteers, care for the park and its inhabitants and fair competition drive these rules. Stay alert! Watch your footing along these trails. Some may be wet, muddy or rutted—and maybe a combination of the three --and certain sections have rock outcroppings and Cypress "knees" to navigate. These can cause injury. Keep your eyes open for animals and poison ivy, too! Respect for the environment at Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and the privacy and property of the people who own homesteads within the park boundaries round out these rules. (Yes, there are a few privately owned camps here.) Everyone will be expected to take each rule seriously and to display courtesy, good taste and sportsmanship at all times. Leave no footprint behind; carry all trash and recyclables with you and dispose of appropriately. Race marshals will be traversing the route on all-terrain vehicles throughout race day to monitor the course and assist runners as needed.
Notice: You will be running through a natural area where many species of wild animals reside. As such, participation in this race can be dangerous. Stay alert, remain on the course at all times and do not confront animals if you encounter them during the race. Be patient if you have to stop and wait; a race marshal will be along to assist.
Transportation to the Starting Line and Pre-Race Orientation
Runners in the 50 kilometer and 25 kilometer races will be driven to each race's starting line at Gate 12. (You must be at the park at least an hour to 1 1/4 hours before your race start to pick-up your race packet and catch your ride.) At the starting location, prior to the "gun", an important race and safety orientation will be presented by the race director or race timer. Participation is required. 50 mile runners will start their race at 6:00am at race headquarters and should arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the race start to pick-up race packets and particpate in pre-race orientation. An option (and recommendation) is to attend the general orientation meeting at packet pick-up on Friday afternoon, February 16th, at 5:00pm. In addition to a race-specific review, the story of the Fakahatchee, its history and what animals and plants call the park home will be presented by the park manager. Anyone missing their required session on Saturday or the option on Friday will NOT be allowed to race. No exceptions.
The race number must be worn on the front of the body and be visible at all times. Runners not properly displaying numbers will be stopped until the situation is corrected. Changing or removing a shirt? Be certain that the number remains properly displayed.
Each competitor will be given a whistle that must be carried at all times. If an animal is encountered that does not move out of the way, sound the whistle. It may motivate the animal to move. If not, continue to blow the whistle. This signal will be considered a call for help, no matter the purpose. Race marshals on the course will respond to the signal when they hear it. (Further details to be provided at the pre-race orientation meetings.)
If possible, go to the nearest aid station. Most aid stations will be equipped with communications equipment and basic first aid kits. Volunteers will assist and call for support as appropriate. If incapacitated, use the whistle. Race marshals will respond as promptly as possible.
25 kilometer race begins at 9:00am. Runners have until 7:00pm to complete the course.
50 kilometer race begins at 7:30am. Runners have until 7:30pm to complete the course.
50 mile race begins at 6:00am. Runners have until 8:30pm to complete the course, but must also be on Janes Scenic Drive by 6:30pm or he/she will be pulled from the course.
If you choose to drop for any reason, go to the nearest aid station if at all possible, or simply wait for a marshal. Aid station volunteers will radio race marshals to assist your exit from the course.
Pacers and crew are not allowed on the course. Runners should be prepared to receive support only from the aid stations and their own drop bags.
Headphones, ear-phones, i-Pods and the like will NOT be allowed on the course. Runners must remain alert and focused on their surroundings at all times. Cell phones may be carried but will not have reception in some sections of the course.
LEAVE NO TRACE BEHIND. If you don't find a trash receptacle, carry it with you until you do. The Fakahatchee is pristine; let's leave it that way.
Runners will be allowed to use trekking poles during the race.
Florida State Parks have their own list of rules. Click on the following link to view them: Florida State Park Rules
Specific race-day emergency contact information will be provided at orientation.