The entry form contains many details. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you still have other questions, email Chris Zepp or call 515.238.8559.
Q How does the Equalizer work?
A Multiply your actual distance by your Equalizer. If you run 30 miles and your Equalizer is 1.25, then 30 x 1.25 = 37.5 Equalized miles. See entry form.
Q Do I have to keep moving all the time?
A No, this is "go-as-you-please." You can stop for any reason, sleep if you like etc. If you take a break, tell your lap counter. Howerver the object is to go as far as you can, so the more you stay in motion, the farther you will go.
Q What if I want to stop participating before the 6 (or 12 or 24) hours have elapsed?
A That is your privilege, but you must report to your lap counter, so they know you have stopped.
Q Where is the race?
A At Gray's Lake. Gray's Lake Park is a public park. We have Parks Dept. permission to use it, but will share the path with walkers. The loop distance is 1.905 miles, and is certified by the Road Running Council of USA Track and Field. The certification number is IA02004-MF. The loop is lighted.
Q Can a friend run/walk with me?
A Yes. Family and friends may walk/run with you throughout some or all of the race. They will not be permitted to carry food or drink for you since this is your effort and that would provide an advantage over other runners. We would also ask that you be mindful of other runners and allow them the ability to pass easily if you have others with you.
Q Can I enter more than one distance?
A We would prefer you did not enter the 6 hour and decide to do 12 or 24 on race day. Not sure how many people would do that anyway. On the other hand, if you enter a longer race and decide you are not able to finish that distance, we will still likely list you at that distance in the race results instead of dropping you down to a shorter event if that is applicable.
Q Where is a good place to stay?
A There are many quality hotels within a few miles of Gray's Lake. Downtown Des Moines is located a mile or so North and East of Gray's Lake and has many hotels. South of Gray's Lake on Fleur Dr. are a number of hotels by the airport. All are within a couple miles of the race site.
Q I've never attempted this long of an event before. Any suggestions?
A Novices go too fast in the beginning, get worn out and then drop out. Plan to mix walking and running from the start. Keep the intensity down. Novices don't drink enough. Take in fluid so you have to urinate every hour or two. Expect to get tired. You can keep moving even when you are very tired. Your support crew is important, too. They can help you through the longer periods and through any aid or injury you may encounter.
Q Do you count partial laps at the end of the race?
A You get credit for each complete lap you finish (1.905 miles). You get no credit for partial laps. Near the end of the 6 hour (and again for the 12 and 24 hour) we'll set up a 1/8th mile segment marked with orange cones. As the clock winds down, you may not be able to do a full lap before time runs out, switch on to this 1/8th mile segment and get a 1/4 mile credit for each round trip. These 1/4 mile segments typically are important to the runner's finishing place.
Q What about toilets?
A There are Des Moines Parks Department maintained modern toilets about 50-100 feet from the start/finish line. In addition, there are modern toilets at the beach which is about 2/3 of the way around the loop. We expect these to be open all day and night, plus a couple of portapots on the southeast corner.
Q What if bad weather occurs?
A In general, we would expect to keep the clock running. Entrants can decide for themselves whether to stay on the course or seek shelter. If the weather warnings are extreme (for example, dangerous thunderstorms or tornados), we'll consider stopping or delaying the event. One year we delayed the start for an hour or so to let thunderstorms roll through.
Q May I put up a tent along the path?
A Yes, for all the event, but you can't overnight in the Park on Friday night. Most race participants have a small area marked out where they have a table, cooler, chair and such to aid them during the course of the day.
Q May I keep my clothing/supplies bag near the path?
A Yes, there is plenty of room.
Q Is power available for me to plug appliances into?
A There is the availability to charge small items such as phones or race trackers. It is limited to small items because it is the same breaker to our HQ tent and we cannot blow a fuse and lose the race clock, tracking computer, etc. We can’t plug in heaters, coffee makers, and things like that.