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SUNDAY AUGUST 11, 2024

It's time to GET STOKED AT STOKES! This Trail Party is at the beautiful Stokes State Forest in Branchville, NJ. Join us on Sunday August 11, 2024 for the Thunder Chicken Squatch! Runners and hikers of all ages and paces can sign up for the 10K 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

THUNDER CHICKEN

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!

CHARITY PARTNER

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. 

REGISTRATION

10K - $45

17M - $70

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • Bib & safety pins

  • Swag item

  • Handcrafted Finishers' Medal

  • Aid Stations with water, Skratch and snacks 

  • Awards for top 3 male, female and non-binary

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 

10K & 17M start time: 9am

Check-in: 8:15am-8:45am

17M Cut-off at the 7.65M Aid Station: 11:20am

(no on-course cutoff for the 10K)

Race cut-off for both events: 3pm

 

We have a 6 hour cut-off for both events. This comes out to about 21 minutes per mile for folks who are completing the 17M. Our Sweepers will leave the start/finish area at behind the last 17M runners/hikers to start making their way around the course to take down the course markers.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Much of the 17M and 10K course is very technical - this means that there are a lot of rocks and roots! Trekking poles could be helpful for some folks. We recommend a sturdy pair of trail shoes that have good grip/lugs. There is about 1,500 ft of gain in the 17 mile loop. There is about 600 ft gain in the 10K loop; the course is a bit long, closer to 6.6 miles!

AID STATIONS

17 Milers: the start/finish area will have water and snacks. There will be an aid station with water and snacks at the Steam 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.

10K: the start/finish area will have water and snacks. There will be a water-only aid station at Shotwell Road, mile 3.

COURSE MARKINGS

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. The 10K course will have additional ribbons to aid with navigation. To learn more about how we mark the course and what the ribbons and signs look like, squatch on over to the Sassquad Trail School to watch the information video about our course markings!

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!

REGISTRATION

10K - $45

17M - $65

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.

COURSE MAP

All of our race courses are available to view online. We have also made .gpx files available for download so you can add it to your watch or device. 

10K elevation profile.png
17m elevation profile.png

Q: What's so great about Stokes State Forest?

Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now! History is happening ... at Stokes... and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world! In the greatest city in the world!

Q: Can I bring my dog?

A: Sorry, but Einstein has to stay at home for this race. Our liability insurance does not cover dogs at our events; thank you for understanding!

Q: 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?

A: 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.

Q: Thanks for answering my questions... Do you have any other advice?

A: Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da da da dat dat da ya da! Da da da dat da dat da da da da ya da da da dat dat da ya da!

Q: Will there be an aid station at the park for me to get food or water?

A: WERK! WERK! Yup! We'll have a full station and a water-only aid station on the 17M course. There is a water-only  aid station for the 10Kers.

Q: Tell me about the SWAG!

A: 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.

Q: Can I sign my kids up for the Trail Party?

A: Yes! We want the WHOLE family to come out to our events! We have a special discount code for families registering 3 or more Squatches in the same household. Please email us (trailpartydirector@sassquadtrailrunning.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 your kiddos before during and after the race. We only have 1 search-party and they're already out there looking for Sasquatch.

Q: What's the story behind "Thunder Chicken"?

A: It's the call-sign for one of our runners who is active-duty Army!

Q: Can I have a pacer?

A: As with all of our events, Squatchers over the age of 60 and AWD (athletes with disabilities) can have a pacer/guide at any time. Please fill out the pacer registration form ahead of time and be sure to pick-up a pacer bib during check-in! Pacers are not allowed for other runners and hikers without prior approval from the Trail Party Director.

Q: Are there restrooms at the start/finish area?

A: There are restrooms at the start/finish area. 

Q: I'm military. What code can I use to save 50%?

A: Please use the code THUNDERCHICKEN

Q: I don't feel like reading the course description. Will the course be marked?

A: 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.

Q: I can't come to the Trail Party anymore, can I get a refund?

A: Like many other race organizations, we do not offer refunds for our events. Please take the time to double check your calendar before registering for a Trail Party. Please understand that we do not offer refunds under any circumstances. If you notify us via email (not through social media, text or phone call) more than 45 days from the date of the Trail Party, we will extend a deferral to any of our events that fall within one calendar year of the Trail Party that you were registered for. If you sustain an injury less than 45 days from the race date, we will extend a deferral if you come to that race to volunteer for at least 4 hours. The race credit is the amount that you paid for the race (not including UltraSignUp fees) so you will need to cover any difference in fees; refunds will not be issued if the deferred event costs less than your race credit. You can only defer one time so please doublecheck that you can make the race you're deferring to.

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