It's a great race. I did it for the first time last year. The organization is top notch. The course is relatively flat. The trails aren't overly technical, but with leaves on the ground, footing can be tricky. The 50 is 4 loops and there are 3 or 4 aid stations that are very well stocked and run. Anything else you're looking for?<br><br>
I ran it last year too, my first 50 miler. You can read my really long race report <a href="http://trailmonsterrunning.blogspot.com/2007/11/stone-cat-50-mile-trail-race-report.html" target="_blank">HERE</a>.<br><br>
I actually found the relative flatness to be a challenging aspect, after 6 hours with very little variation in my stride (because there were no big ups or downs) I began to get stiff and tired. Being my only 50 miler I can't compare it to others, but compared to other shorter trail races I've done (Escarpment, 7 Sisters) it's a pretty easy course.<br><br>
There are 2 aid stations out on the course and one at the end/beginning of each lap, so pretty much every 4 miles. Tons of food and good support from volunteers, but beware, it's easy to spend too much time at the aid stations. That was one of my weaknesses, I had others.<br><br>
RD - <a href="http://www.mainetrackclub.com/pinelandfarms.html" target="_blank">Pineland Farms Trail Challenge</a>
This was my first 50 too (3rd ultra overall). For a first timer, I highly recommend it. The course was perfectly suited for a first timer (imo). It was slightly rolling elevation but nothing big (up or down). Was told they added more single track last year than previous years which mentally broke up the course too. The runners kinda got strung out (as they do in ultras) but I was almost always within sight of someone. In fact, I saw more people in this 50 miler than I did in my 50k.<br><br>
It will also give you a bit of mental security since it is a loop course and you can make clothing/food adjustments easier each time around. The GAC volunteers and aid stations were GREAT (thanks Fast Freddy again for loaning me a flashlight)!<br><br>
oh...and the finishers prize was top notch....<br><br>
my rather long winded (2 part) race report is here, half-way down the page:<br><a href="http://journals.aol.com/dironstarr/a-running-fool/" target="_blank">http://journals.aol.com/dironstarr/a-running-fool/</a>
old school, here's a link to my rr from last year:<br><br><a href="http://community.active.com/message/159128#159128" target="_blank">http://community.active.com/message/159128#159128</a><br><br>
had ctmarathoner and i had planned on the 50 miler, but dropped down to the marathon b/c we did jfk the following week. definitely recommend this race - 50 miler or marathon. great time, great runner-friendly organizers. you'll have a blast!
This race would be a great first 50. It was my second 50 last year. So many folks run it that you will likely have someone you know from the net but have never met in person to chat with the whole way.<br><br>
The course is flatter than some, so be very very disciplined with yourself and force yourself to take appropriate walk breaks, even if you are sure that you don't need them, and stay on the food, too. I got in a bit of trouble and had a very rough time at the end because I was neglecting food and walking in the early goings. Bottomed out hard.<br><br>
I found that the four-lap format, with an aid station at one-third and two-thirds the way through the loop, broke up the race very nicely.<br><br>
Lastly, the finisher's awards are amazing. Marathon runners got a nice hoody and 50-milers got a red windbreaker with embroidered logo on the chest, the kind of thing you might expect for an age-group win at another race. Especially if it's your first, you will wear this thing with pride.