“I love the Beast. I actually look forward to the Beast showing up, because every time he does, I handle him better. I get him more under my control.”
Lisa Smith-Batchen, in Born to Run
“… continue until you discover that hurting isn’t that big a deal.”
Scott Jurek in Eat and Run
Hello Hurt the Dirt trail runners.
We’re just a few days away from the first trail race ever held at Seidman Park, one of the premier running trails in West Michigan. On June 16 you’ll have a chance to experience the Hurt, push beyond the Hurt, and just hurt the dirt (and love it). For 112 of you – a whopping 56% of the field – you’ll take your first step on the path to trail running addiction. While Seidman Park is more challenging than a road course, it is wicked fast right now with really only one 20-yard stretch of sand. The course is hard-packed with nice rolling hills, plenty of room to pass and a fast flow. Keep your feet up as there are a number of roots.
Thanks for helping sell out the Hurt. Increased revenue is nice (no one gets rich on trail races by the way), but what’s most important is it proves trail running has a bright future in West Michigan, with incredible growth as shown at Gazelle Sports’ Dirty Herd, Switchback Endurance (Yankee Springs runs), our recent Zombie Dash night trail run at Robinette’s and Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Races which feature trail running wherever possible. We also are blessed with a strong commitment to local trail running by our Title sponsor Patagonia Footwear as well as Gold sponsor Gazelle Sports, in addition to New Balance, 8th Day Gym, and Swiftwick socks.
We want to highlight Patagonia Footwear’s commitment in particular to The Hurt as they have come up with a prize package of epic proportions: over $5,000 worth of prizes, including 16 pairs of trail running shoes. Sick. The fact they are locally owned by Wolverine Worldwide means they aren’t going anywhere. Be sure to check out their sweet Lounge at the race and demo some of their shoes. Thanks a lot guys.
We also want to draw attention to our charity partner, Alternatives in Motion. Alternatives in Motion strives to provide quality used wheelchairs and routine wheelchair repair services to those in financial need in order to promote healthy, independent, and active lifestyles. Consider donating to them or volunteering. Find out more on their site. Thanks to Alternatives in Motion for all its volunteers and thanks to all of our other volunteers as well. If you can spare the breath, say thank you as you are going by.
The start/finish is at Kent County Conservation League (KCCL) due to lack of parking at Seidman. See the map on our Race Information page or search for 8461 Conservation St NE and Green Tree Ln NE, Ada, 49301. Coming from the west, look for the entrance on your left, just before Green Tree Lane, 600 meters east of Seidman’s south parking lot. Parking is $3. This helps cover the cost of the land and building we are renting. If you give us a $5, we can give the $2 change to Alternatives in Motion if you are okay with that.
KCCL will be open during the race so please watch for cars entering the drive near the start and finish as you run.
Note the change in start times and addition of a separate wave for the Half.
4:30-7:30 pm Friday. Early check in at Gazelle Sports in Grand Rapids (2930 28th ST).
(Free Red Bull available at early check-in only.)
6:45-7:40 am Saturday check in at Kent County Conservation League
7:45 am Announcements
8:00 am 5k starts
8:05 am 10k starts
8:10 am Half starts
9:15 AND 10:30ish kids fun run starts
So why do we start the Half last and not first? It’s because the 5k runs a short loop and if we start them last, they will likely end up on the same section of the trail at the same time as everyone else. Major cluster. If we start the 5k first, most of them will clear the short course before the rest of you catch up. Maybe next time we’ll start the Half a lot earlier but we like the energy of everyone together at the start since people will be finishing at different times.
If you are curious who you are running with (or against, depending on your mentality), here is the list of racers. Age groups are determined by your age on June 16. Color change signifies new age group (generally 29 and under, 30-39, and 40 and over give the most even distribution). A special welcome to those of you driving in from Illinois, Indiana and Ontario. We can now say we have an international field, but fortunately for you no Kenyans!
Please note your bib # and provide that at check-in to keep the process moving quickly. Also confirm that all the information is correct. Email me asap if it is not.
This prize list is subject to change, but represents a behemoth set of gear for such a small trail run – over $8,000 in total including 22 new pairs of trail shoes! We’re lucky to have great sponsors. Our prize structure is determined by budget, sponsor prizes, and how age groups divide out, with the top prizes going to top finishers of the half marathon. We are able to go three and four deep and offer some really substantial prizes. Patagonia Footwear is also offering free $10 music download cards to all 200 racers as well! (sorry waitlisters, not enough for you).
Because of its specialized nature, 8th Day Gym’s six introductory memberships ($200 each) are available to any top finisher in place of their prize. The remainder of these memberships will be raffled off to those interested who email me at email@example.com (your email subscribes you to 8th Day Gym’s enewsletter list; you may unsubscribe at anytime). I’ll announce winners on Saturday.
Since everyone will finish the race at different times, we just held the raffle a few minutes ago. Here are the winners and you can pick up your prize before or after the race. Congratulations!
Patagonia Footwear Trail Running Shoe Certificate ($125) Michelle Leach (lucky dog)
Patagonia Footwear Trail Running Shoe Certificate ($125) Lynne Kuzmin (lucky dog)
Patagonia UnExpected Coffee Table Books ($49) Paula Thomas
Patagonia UnExpected Coffee Table Books ($49) Angelena Colon
Zanfel Poison Ivy Cream ($40) Melanie Homrich
Zanfel Poison Ivy Cream ($40) Terry Kischnick
Zanfel Poison Ivy Cream ($40) Joshua Hoepner
Zanfel Poison Ivy Cream ($40) Jeff VandenBerge
Zanfel Poison Ivy Cream ($40) Dave Levett
Zanfel Poison Ivy Cream ($40) Andrew Schoen
Swiftwick 12-inch compression socks ($35) Steve Peet
Swiftwick 12-inch compression socks ($35) Lydia Henning
Swiftwick tech shirt ($30) James Lynema
Swiftwick tech shirt ($30) Kara Kubont
Patagonia Let My People Go Surfing Books ($16) Ruth Wertz
Patagonia Let My People Go Surfing Books ($16) Joe Riley
Patagonia Let My People Go Surfing Books ($16) Emma Breen
Switchback Endurance Dirty Burg 10k comp entry, July 28, Cannonsburg Ski Area Samantha Lopes
With any trail race it is almost impossible to get an exact mileage unless you alter the start and finish for each distance, which is not feasible. We show distances as follows:
Half: 13.3 miles or 21.4k
The 5k course has been shortened by 0.2k to get it very close to 5k. In a survey of 5k respondents the majority preferred changing the route to get the race closer to 5k, which I think is ideal. 5kers will take a shorter route on the south/yellow loop by going left while 10k and half will go right. Please see the map to make sure you understand this. We will sign this and post a volunteer here as well.
It’s critical that you get familiar with your route. 10kers and half marathoners need to focus on the extra loop they must do to gain the appropriate distance (noted in red on the map). Click here for the three course maps. In almost all cases, you will be taking a right turn when you get to any intersection, staying on the main path all around the park. Exception: we will not be taking the round-about, flatter trails designed for novice cross-country skiers. You are not novice skiers! (These will be taped off.)
The course will be well marked with signs and orange tape blocking off trails, and staffed with volunteers at key intersections. We will also track laps for half marathoners (and 10kers to ensure all run the extra 2k loop) but please stay focused on whether you are on lap #2 or #3 and don’t just follow a 10ker to the finish (the brain does funny things under fatigue).
Aid stations with water, Gatorade, bananas, oranges, and sweet/salty snacks are located at the main trail intersection at the south bridge (1k, 7k, 9k, 13k and 19k marks) and north parking lot (4.3k, 10.3k and 16.3k marks). 5k runners can access the south bridge aid station at the 1k and 4k marks. USA Track & Field mandates an aid station every 5k and we are doubling that, but keep in mind there is none at the halfway mark, due to inaccessibility. Please carry your own fluids if you need them more often. We are ordering 300 bananas and 175 oranges but we cannot guarantee that all food items will be available at the end so carry some food/gels if it’s critical to your performance. An EMT from American Medical Response will be stationed at the south aid station/bridge.
Race time temps are forecasted in the 70s (near 90 later in the day). Based on race-time temps, a shady course and several aid stations along the way, we will keep the start times at 8:00/8:05/8:10 am.
The free kids’ run will start at 9:15 and around 10:30 to allow parents who run the race to also run the fun run. Each kid 10 or under receives a medal. If there are any parents not running with their kids who can volunteer to just stand along the bike path and trail to make sure kids stay safe, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may encounter park users during your run. Kent County Parks wants to remind racers that everyone has equal access to the trails so please alert non-racing patrons if approaching from behind with “on your left/right” and slow down if necessary to get around. The trail is wide so passing should be easy. The more we avoid conflicts, the more likely we are to race here this fall and/or next year.
Please keep in mind that south of the Honey Creek bridge you may encounter kids participating in the kids’ run between 9:15 and 11:00 am.
Please keep any trash such as gel wrappers on you until you get to one of the aid stations where we will have garbage bags. We ask you to also bring a water bottle for before and after the race to reduce cup waste. If you can commute to the race, this will save on parking costs as well as environmental impact. Also, we do not do race bags and ask sponsors to provide us with promotions via links that we will share in our race recap email.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks! A lot to get through, but hopefully everything is clear. Looking forward to Saturday!
Mark, for Greg, Matt and Brian