Pacers for the ultra are allowed
This request has come up a few times and we found it challenging to give the right answer without being able to really sit down and assess how to allow crews and pacers down the two track trails. We have come up with a solution and have opened up 5 spots for crews and 5 spots for pacers. Please see the "crews, pacers and spectators map" on the course maps page on the North Country website. Up to 5 pacers will be allowed per runner, BUT, we ask that only one pacer be out at time on the course with his/her runner. Crews may position themselves at the 5 spots as well to provide additional need to the runners. Both directions and a course map is located once again on the course maps page on this website.
Spectator areas now defined with course maps and directions
As with the pacer blurb above we found it difficult to allow spectators on the two-track trails and really analyzed the trail roads maps. With that said, we are now allowing 2 spectator spots for the half marathon and 4 for the ultra and marathon all pretty evenly positioned throughout the race course. See the course maps and directions on the North Country website for more information.
More course marking/better course marking than 2011
We almost got it right in 2011 with the flags and we know we have to do even more this year. After 2011 the race director walked the entire 25 mile loop and the half marathon cut off portion, notes were taken and here are the results of that assessment. In 2012 we will once again be flagging yellow for the half marathon and red for the ultra and marathon runners. But, we will use caution tape that will string across ALL trails that are not part of the race course allowing you a clear vision of what trails your running on. We will also ensure that all course trails are flagged every 100 ft along with trails intersections clearly marked. The race director will personally review the entire course the week of the race after all course markings have been put in position and make any adjustments if needed.
More vegetarian options and aid stations and at post race
Now through race day in a continued effort to make the race more runner friendly we are going to enlist your help in building the menu for each and every aid station at North Country 2012. With more and more diet changes out there sometimes the standards are not good enough...we want better for our runners. Become a fan of our Facebook page and look for how to help build each of the aid stations with choices that appeal both to the vegetarian and non-vegetarian runners. Same thing for the post race party with more soup selections for vegetarians and more veggie burgers and other items for vegetarian runners. We will supply beef burgers and other items for our non-vegetarian runners as always.
Half Marathon time start adjustment
You may have noticed that the half marathon last year started at 8:10am which should have allowed not as much congestion on the course, but we still had a little more than what we wanted. We are moving the half marathon start ahead another 10 minutes to start at 8:20am (which is a full hour from the start of the marathon and 40 minutes from the ultra). This should allow all runners smooth and non congested trails.
Younger participants allowed in the half marathon along with new age groups
We keep seeing the sparkle in the eyes of the kids who watch their parents and family members run North Country each year. We love to see them cross the finish line when their runner turns that last corner and they waive them over to join them for the last few hundred yards, but now we want them to cross the line and be awarded their own finisher medal. In 2012 we are lowering the age of participation to 12 years old for the half marathon only. Along with the lowered age acceptance that means we now have two age groups below the age of 18; 12 - 14 and 15 - 17. We want North Country to be a family race as much as possible and again this only applies to the half marathon. Marathon and Ultra runners must be 18 years or older by race day to participate.