North Country Ultra
Distance: 50 miles
Start time: 7:30am
Race start/finish address: 3500 Udell Hills Road, Manistee MI
Course Description: The two 25-mile loops of the course are entirely on trails, mostly one-track and just a few portions of two-track trails. The ultra runs the same 25 mile loop that the marathon runners run other than the marathon runners have a 1.2 additional loop at the end. After a few hills at the start of the race it is mostly flat for the next 14 miles. The second half of the course is more challenging than the first half and a runner running the North Country Ultra should be training with hill repeats as part of their program.
Aid Stations: There are 15 aid stations that make up the ultra course. The first aid station is about 3.5 miles from the start, all other aid stations are no more than 4 miles from each other. All aid stations will have Gatorade, water, defizzed pop, fully stocked food items for your first and second loops, and every other aid station for the marathon will have GU.
Trail Markings: The ultra and marathon course will be marked every 150 to 200 ft with red flags. When you are running on the trails that the half marathon runners run you will also see yellow flags as those are the flags that the half marathon runners follow. In simple, if you are running the ultra and you do not see red flags within 150 ft you are on the wrong trail. To also assist you with ensuring you are on the right trails we will be using yellow caution tape to mark off trails that intersect course trails that way you won't be able to go down a trail because of the barriers that will be in place. Additional flags will be posted also at trail crossings to ensure you do not turn the wrong way.
Trail Posts: Every trail is marked by the US Forest Service and to help you better you will receive a small index sized map in your race packet with the ultra course along with the trail post numbers that the course follows. The trail posts (refer to the map) that correspond with the ultra course are as follows: Start (Big M Trail Head 3500 Udell Hills Rd, Manistee, MI) to #1, #2, #3, #14, #15, #1, #35, #34, #33, #30, #29, #28, #27, #26, #25, #24, #23, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #20, #19, #18, #17, #16, #1, #2, #3, #14, #15, #1, #2, #3, #14, #15, #1, #35, #34, #33, #30, #29, #28, #27, #26, #25, #24, #23, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #20, #19, #18, #17, #16, #1, #2, #3, #14, #15, #1. At post 30 is where the half marathon breaks from the ultra and marathon course and thus you will see yellow flags go one way and red flags go the other; ensure you follow the red flags. When you reach trail post 9 right after aid station #5 you will begin to see some of the half marathon runners that maybe out on the course. Post 9 is where the half marathon rejoins the marathon and ultra courses so you will begin to see yellow and red flags together and will see those two colors till you reach the finish. In most cases you won't but if there are any half marathon walkers you may encounter them. Aid station #6 and #7 are just ahead and when you reach aid station #6 you should be prepared for one of the toughest sections of the course until you get to aid station #7 and then things begin to go all down hill from there (course wise). After aid station #7 you are only a few miles from starting your second loop. You will repeat the entire course again until you reach the last downhill slope that you ran the first loop around that ends at the lodge and instead of looping back around, you'll cross the finish line and 50 miles!
Items to bring: For a list of items to bring to the race that will help you please refer to the FAQ's section of the North Country website.
Spectator areas: There are a total of 5 spectator areas for the ultra. The first is at the start/finish area and the others can be driven to by following the directions on the spectator/crew/pacer information also found on the FAQ page of the North Country website.
Pacers: For 2013 we are allowing pacers for the ultra only and for the second 25 mile loop only. There are 5 pacer pick up points along the course. Please refer to the pacer map and directions on the North Country website. We ask that only one pacer at a time be out on the course with you. You may have as many as 5 pacers, but again only 1 out on the course with you at a time. Pacers check in at the aid station which they will start from.
For any other information please refer to the North Country website.