AUGUST 5, 2023
It's time to GET STOKED AT STOKES! This Trail Party is at the beautiful Stokes State Forest in Branchville, NJ. Join us on Saturday August 5, 2023 for the Thunder Chicken Squatch! Runners and hikers of all ages and paces can sign up for the 7 mile loop or the 17 mile loop. We will be celebrating the men and women who have sacrificed so much to service our country by offering 50% off entries to all Active-Duty Military, National Guard, Reserves and Veterans! If you are in the Military or are a Veteran, please use the code THUNDERCHICKEN to save 50%! We will recognize all of our military runners/hikers before the race. Our post-race donation will go to our charity-partner, Operation Chillout, who will use the funds to purchase warm clothing for homeless veterans.
TRAIL PARTY DETAILS
So what exactly is... "Thunder Chicken"? We are so glad you asked! Long-story-short, one of our runners serves in the US Army and when we invited her on our podcast in 2021, we found out that her "call-sign" in the Army is THUNDER CHICKEN! And as we mentioned before, we are honoring our military runners/hikers with this trail party, so "Thunder Chicken" was the obvious choice for this race's name! You can check out that podcast episode HERE. The Thunder Chicken Story is at the 54 minute mark! Remember, if you are serving in the Armed Forces right now or you are a Veteran, please use the code THUNDER CHICKEN to save 50% as a small way for us to say thank-you!
We will be supporting our charity partner "Operation Chillout" who we have proudly partnered with since we started our race series in 2018. Operation Chillout provides warm clothing to homeless Veterans in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The donation from the Thunder Chicken Squatch Trail Party will go directly to Operation Chillout's annual summer collection drive which funds life-saving cases of bottled water for homeless veterans, men and women.
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 right. 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 left and park in the parking lot that is next to Kittle Field. If that parking lot is full, you can turn right at the "T" to park at the Stony Lake Parking Lot. Please allow a few extra minutes to walk from this parking lot to the Kittle Picnic Area, where the race start/finish is located. The start/finish is at the Kittle Picnic Area where there is a large covered pavilion, restrooms and plenty of picnic tables.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Start time: 9am
17M Cut-off at the 7.65M Aid Station: 11:20am
Race Cut-off: 3pm
We have a 6 hour cut-off for the 17 milers which comes out to about 21 minutes/mile. Our Sweepers will leave the start/finish area at behind the last runners/hikers to start making their way around the course to take down the course markers.
17M COURSE: From the Kittle Picnic Area, follow the brown-blazed Stony Brook Trail south until it meets the blue-blazed Blue Mountain Trail. Turn left on the Blue Mountain Trail. You will complete one full counter-clockwise loop returning to this trail junction before retracing your steps back to the start/finish area. There is about 1,500 ft of gain in the 17 mile loop.
7M Course: From the Kittle Picnic Area, follow the brown-blazed Stony Brook Trail north until it meets the blue-blazed Blue Mountain Trail. Turn left on the Blue Mountain Trail. Follow the Blue Mountain Trail around until you reach Stony Lake. Cross over Kittle Road and turn left on the brown-blazed Stony Brook Trail (you are now on the opposite end of the first trail you were on) and follow it back to the start/finish area. There is about 600 ft gain in the 7 mile loop.
It's always possible that the course could change before race day due to trail damage or trail reroutes. We will communicate any changes with registered runners as soon as we are notified about them.
17 Milers: the start/finish area will have water and snacks. There will be an aid station with water and snacks at the Stern Mill Camping Area, mile 7.65. Snacks include items like bananas, granola bars, fruit snacks etc. (and maybe ice pops if its hot!). The water-only aid station is at Shotwell Road, mile 13.5.
7 Milers: the start/finish area will have water and snacks. There will be a water-only aid station at Shotwell Road, mile 3.
Both events use the very well marked Blue Mountain Trail. We will only be adding large red directional arrows at each of the turns. Runners/hikers will use the existing blue blazes that are maintained by our friends at the New York New Jersey Trail Conference.
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 right. 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 left and park in the parking lot that is next to Kittle Field. If that parking lot is full, you can turn right at the "T" to park at the Stony Lake Parking Lot. Please allow a few extra minutes to walk from this parking lot to the Kittle Picnic Area, where the race start/finish is located.
CAN I HAVE A PACER?
No pacers are allowed.
I'M MILITARY. WHAT CODE CAN I USE TO SAVE 50%?
Please use the code THUNDERCHICKEN
CAN I BRING MY DOG?
WILL I SEE SASQUATCH?
NO. Our insurance policy does not cover dogs at our races. Thanks for understanding.
TELL ME ABOUT THE SWAG!
We sure hope you do! Make sure you take a selfie with him if you see Squatchy out there!
WILL THERE BE AN AID STATION?
WHAT ADDRESS SHOULD I USE TO GET TO THE PARK?
1 Coursen Road, Branchville, NJ.
WERK! WERK! Yup! We'll have a full station and a water-only aid station on the 17M course. There is no on-course aid station for the 7 milers, but there will be water and snacks at the start/finish area. See above for the specific locations of each aid station.
Were you paying attention when we told you the first time? Go ahead, sing Thomas Jefferson's song... "So what did I miss? What did I miss?!" All runners/hikers will get a handcrafted wood medal that's made locally in the Squatch Shop! Runners/hikers will also choose a swag item from our Squatch Shop.
CAN I REGISTER MY KIDS FOR THIS RACE?
YES! We love having families join us. If you are registering 3 or more squatches, please email us for a discount code! firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do you assume you're the smartest in the room? Soon that attitude may be your doom. It's always a good idea to be over-prepared. So read the course description and know that the course will be well-marked.
I DON'T FEEL LIKE READING THE COURSE DESCRIPTION. WILL THE COURSE BE MARKED?
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?
THANKS FOR ANSWERING MY QUESTIONS... DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER ADVICE?
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.
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