AUGUST 19-?, 2023
A trail party with no definitive end?! YES, PLEASE!! Join us on Saturday August 19, 2023 at Stokes State Forest for THE BACKYARD SQUATCH! Every hour on the hour, runners will complete the 4.166667 loop. This will go on every hour on the hour until there is only one runner left standing! This trail party is capped at 80 runners, so snag your spot by registering ASAP! The Backyard Squatch is a BRONZE TICKET EVENT. This means that the winner of the Backyard Squatch earns a ticket to the Capital Backyard Ultra in Virginia in May.
TRAIL PARTY DETAILS
We will be following the Big's Backyard Ultra Rules:
Each loop starts precisely 1 hour after the last
3, 2 and 1 minute warnings will be given prior to the start of each hour
All competitors must start at the bell (no late starts)
Runners who do not make the start will be eliminated, even if they are only 10 seconds late
Except for toilet breaks, competitors may not leave the course until each loop is completed
Each loop must be completed in the same direction for the entire race
No non-competitors are allowed on the course (including eliminated runners and supporters)
No personal aid or support is allowed during a loop (no crewing during a loop)
Each loop must be completed within an hour to be counted, including the final lap
Bring 1 NEW pair of socks to the race. No, this isn't Barkley; we will be hosting a sock-drive at the race! We are partnering with "Soxcess" who distributes new socks to those in need around New Jersey. Since 2018, we have donated over 2,000 pairs of socks to Soxcess. Did you know that socks are the number one requested item at homeless shelters? Invite your friends and families to participate in our sock-drive!!
TRAIL PARTY LOCATION
Please use the following address: 1 Coursen Road, Branchville, NJ and this GPS LINK to get to the park. When you enter the park, the park office is on your left. Continue straight on Coursen Road ALL the way to the end, without making any turns. When you reach the end of Coursen Road at the "T", turn right and park in the large paved parking lot for Stony Lake. The start/finish is at the Stony Picnic Area where there is a large covered pavilion and real restrooms.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Start time: 9am
Race HQ is at the Stony Day Use Area at Stokes State Forest in Branchville, NJ. The start/finish area, aid station, portajohns, washing station and parking lot are all located here. There is a large covered pavilion and plenty of picnic areas with a lot of grass real estate to have your own individual setup. Runners are allowed a crew but pacers are a major no-no. You are welcome to bring a tent and individual setup but we encourage you to keep it reasonable (don't bring the kitchen sink!). Power outlets are not available, so please plan on bringing your own power source, if needed. We will have a full aid station at the start/finish area that will be serving the full menu of ultra-fare standards! Along with water, food will include cheese quesadillas, ramen, pb&j, bananas, pierogis, watermelon, oranges, chips, pretzels etc etc etc!
Safety first! Here is a list of required gear items that ALL runners must have with them:
Headlamp or handheld light for night time road miles
Red blinking light to be attached to your back for night time road miles --WE WILL SUPPLY YOU WITH THIS AT CHECK-IN
This is NOT an easy course, and it's also not an extremely difficult course. This is a moderate course that very closely replicates the trails at Big's Backyard Ultra in TN! The trail course is 100% singletrack and does have rocks and roots. The road course is NOT flat! Between the hours of 6am-8pm, runners will complete the 4.166667 mile trail lollipop course. This course has 400 ft of elevation gain and is 100% singletrack. The trail course is a lollipop and follows the Blue Mountain Trail and makes a right on Lead Mine Trail, then a left on Coursen Road and another left to get back on the Blue Mountain Trail to return to the start/finish. Between the hours of 8pm-6am, runners will complete the 4.166667 road out and back that also has 400 ft of elevation gain. The road course is an out and back on Coursen Road.
Our Volunteer Dream Team will bring all of the Trail Magic to the Aid Station! We will have hot food, plenty of snacks as well as water and Skratch Hydration. As always, we will have a large assortment of gluten-free and vegan options. Aid Station may include the following: fruit, ice pops, GF fruit snacks, granola bars, GF oreos, GF pretzels, GF tortilla chips, GF corn tortillas, quesadillas, bacon, pierogies, ramen, veggie broth etc.
The course will be well-marked with neon pink/reflective ribbon. We have large red directional arrows at each of the turns. When you run at night, your headlamp will illuminate the reflective tape on the trail markers.
Welcome to Jurassic Park! JUST KIDDING! Stokes State Forest is home to a variety of critters (thankfully, no dinos). So this is your "nature disclaimer". Yes, there are bugs at Stokes, we do recommend bringing bug spray with you. Yes, there are Black Bears at Stokes. Here is what ya need to do if you see a bear during the race (this is from the NJ Dept of Environmental Protection): If you see a bear, make it aware of your presence and use common sense. Never approach the animal; observe it only from a distance. Clapping, talking, singing or making other noise lets the bear know you are nearby. Remain standing, avoid direct eye contact, back up slowly and speak in a calm, assertive voice if you encounter a bear at close range. Do not run.... More information on Bear Encounters.
VOLUNTEER DREAM TEAM
Our Volunteer Dream Team is what makes all of the Trail Magic happen! Join us as a Volunteer at this trail party as we support our squatchtastic running community. We have many Volunteer opportunities available such as Check-In, Aid Station Crew, Course Sweepers etc. Click here to Volunteer!
GETTING TO THE RACE
When you enter the park, the park office is on your left. Continue straight on Coursen Road ALL the way to the end, without making any turns. When you reach the end of Coursen Road at the "T", turn right and park in the large paved parking lot for Stony Lake. The start/finish is at the Stony Picnic Area where there is a large covered pavilion.
CREW / RUNNER SETUP
Runners are allowed a crew but pacers are a major no-no. You are welcome to bring a tent and individual setup but we encourage you to keep it reasonable (don't bring the kitchen sink!). Power outlets are not available, so please plan on bringing your own power source, if needed.
CAN I HAVE A PACER?
No pacers are allowed.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?
HOT. It's usually warm, in the high 80's / low 90's with high humidity. Be ready for the heat!
CAN I BRING MY DOG?
WILL I SEE SASQUATCH?
NO. Our insurance policy does not cover dogs at our races. Thanks for understanding.
CAN I SIGN MY KIDS UP?
We sure hope you do! Make sure you take a selfie with him if you see Squatchy out there!
WHAT WILL BE AT THE AID STATION?
WHAT ADDRESS SHOULD I USE TO GET TO THE PARK?
1 Coursen Road, Branchville, NJ.
WILL THE COURSE BE MARKED?
We will have bright colored ribbons along the course and plenty at all of the turns. We will also have large directional arrows at each turn. All markers have reflective tape so they will be easy to see at night when your headlamp shines on them.
Yes! We want the WHOLE family to come out to our events! Just understand that kids have the same rules as the adults, they have to finish each lap in an hour or less. We have a special discount code for families registering 3 or more Squatches in the same household. Please email us (email@example.com) before you register so we can give you the code! Once you have the code, be sure to register your child separately and agree to the waiver for minors. And make sure to keep track of little Sally before during and after the race. We only have 1 search-party and they're already out there looking for Sasquatch.
WILL I SEE ANY WILDLIFE?
Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallatica. Stokes State Forest is home to many critters, including black bears, deer, beavers and coyotes. Will you see anything while you're out there? Maybe?!
Along with water, food will include cheese quesadillas, ramen, pb&j, bananas, pierogis, watermelon, oranges, chips, pretzels etc etc etc!
ME AND MY FRIEND AREN'T REGISTERED FOR THE RACE, BUT WE'RE STILL PLANNING ON COMING TO RUN. WE WON'T EAT FROM THE AID STATION OR TAKE A MEDAL OR SWAG. THIS IS OKAY, RIGHT?
CAN I GET A REFUND?
We do not offer refunds for our non-refundable registration fee. Thank you for understanding!.
NO THIS IS NOT OKAY. This is called being a "race bandit" and it is stealing. Not paying for a race and running the race is stealing from the race organization (even if you're not taking food or swag). Don't do this at a Sassquad trail party or ANY other race. It's not okay. And if you hear about someone else doing this, call them out. If you bandit a race, you will be banned from registering for any of our Sassquad events.