North Country Trail Relay…63 Miles of beautiful Michigan trails!
June 10, 2017 at 6:30AM
Welcome to the 2017 North Country Trail Relay (NCTR), organized by Groove City Events. The race is run on the North Country National Scenic Trail, which is a footpath that currently stretches 2,880 miles from New York State to North Dakota. The section of the trail we will be using for the race runs through the Huron-Manistee National Forest.
Prior to the race, we will e-mail a copy of the final directions and a set of maps to the team captains. We will not have any extra copies of the maps or directions at packet pickup. Team captains will pick up packets at a time and place to be announced and prior to the start on race day from 5:45 a.m. – 6:30 a.m. Shirts and bib numbers for the entire team will be in one packet. At 6:15 a.m. we will have announcements on any last minute updates. The race will start at 6:30 a.m. Each team will be given a set of the same number; runners are required to wear their team number while running. Shirts are limited but we will do our best to accommodate size changes after the race.
Runners must yield the trail to hikers; if you come up on a hiker from behind let them know you are approaching. Bikers are required to yield the trail to foot travel, however proceed with caution as some bikers do not always follow trail etiquette. Follow the trail markings; it is marked with painted rectangular blue blazes. There are some sections of the trail still marked with the old gray or blue nailed-on diamonds (the previous markings in the Manistee National Forest). The beginning and ending of leg 1, the beginning of leg 2 and the last 0.4 miles of the race run on a spur trail;
these sections are marked in white paint. A turn is indicated through the use of two blazes — one placed 2 inches above the other and offset in the direction of the turn. The sections of the trail that run on roads are marked in the same manner as the trail.
However, since the correct direction for the road sections is less obvious than when running on the trail additional information is included for those sections. We are guests of the Huron-Manistee National Forest and want to return so please help us leave a good impression. Do not litter. You must carry any trash such as gel wrappers to the end of the leg with you.
Some of the exchange locations have restroom facilities; make use of them as you encounter them. Boardwalks can be very slippery; use caution when crossing. Runners will cross a number of busy roads. RUNNERS MUST YIELD TO TRAFFIC AT ALL TIMES. We will be monitoring some of the busy road crossings; individuals that fail to wait for traffic will have their entire team disqualified.
Park only on the right side of the road past the exchange point in the direction of the race flow unless directed otherwise. Reset your vehicle odometer at the various corners in the instructions. This will help locate trailheads that are not easily seen.
Completed team rosters with a signed waiver for each participant is due at the time of Packet Pickup. Participant details are required to be updated for team roster changes on the online registration site. Last minutes changes can be communicated at time of Packet Pickup.
Runner exchange is at the designated Start/Stop exchange shown on the course maps and directions. Some exchanges are located next to private property, please be courteous and refrain from trespassing. Please do not stand in the middle of the road at exchange points while waiting for a runner to complete their leg.
Each participant will receive a finisher gift. Awards will be given to Top 3 teams to finish without weighted time adjustment, and Top 3 teams finishing with time adjustment.
Weighted Time Adjustment will be calculated as follows: women 13%, men and women age 14 – 5%, age 15 – 5%, age 16 – 3%, age 17 – 1%; men and women 40 – 49 years old 1% for each year over 39, and men and women over 49 years, 10% plus 1.5% for each year over 49 years.
Results will be posted at the finish area throughout the course of the event.
You must display the NCTR vehicle permit on the dashboard of your vehicle. You are limited to one vehicle per team. The safety of runners is of the utmost concern. In some sections runners and vehicles will be sharing the road. Please use caution and reduce speed at exchange point, areas where the trail crosses the road, or sections where runners and vehicles will be sharing the road. There is plenty of time to get to each of the exchange points while driving at the posted speed limits. Runners have the right of way at all times when relay automobiles and runners are in the same area.
Injured/Lost/Aid to Runner
An injured runner may be replaced by another team member. If the injured runner recovers, they may re-enter the race based on their team Captain’s direction. This is a self-monitored event so participants and teams are responsible for their own safety and should use good judgement.
The trail is very well marked. If a runner goes off course, they may go back to the point where they went off course. The trail often times merges onto and off of an occasional two-track road, pay attention to the Blue Blaze markers – it can be very easy to run past the trail where it leaves the two-track.
If you choose, team participants may run together after the completion of leg 3. There is no biking the course with the runner. Carry plenty of fluids in your vehicle and maintain proper nutrition and hydration levels, as there are no official aid stations on the course and it can be a long hot day. A Hospitality Tent will be setup at the Freesoil exchange point, offering snacks, water, and Gatorade, however teams should still plan their own hydration and nutrition.
In the event of severe weather have your runner wait before starting the leg. You must sit the runner out in increments of 15 minutes. Report the lost time at the finish so the results can be adjusted accordingly. If the race committee feels that the weather poses too much risk to runner safety, the event will be canceled.
Teams deciding to drop-out of the race must notify one of the Committee contacts provided in the race packet.
- Marathon gas/convenience store located at the corner of M37 and M55, it opens at 5:00 a.m.
- Gas/convenience store in Wellston on M55 a few miles before your turn to the start, it opens at 5:00 a.m.
- On the way to Chicago Avenue (leg 3). The store is located in Brethren on High Bridge Road just north of Coates
- On the way to 3 Mile Road (leg 9) go left on Bass Lake road for about 1 mile to the Na-Tah-Ka party store
- On the way to the Wingleton Road (leg 11) just west of the corner of US-10 and Tyndall Road, food only no gas
A team may be disqualified and asked to discontinue the race if any of the following is observed by a race committee person or volunteer.
- Reckless driving, endangering runners, volunteers, spectators, or others.
- More than 1 vehicle at an exchange.
- Excessive speed.
- Failure to follow race instructions or course volunteer.
eams unable to complete the relay in under 11 hours (~11 min pace) will need to run concurrently to finish by 5:30 p.m. Teams running concurrently will not be eligible for awards. Concurrent running involves sending your outgoing runner off before your incoming runner arrives. Keep track of your time for each leg and turn it in at the finish so an accurate time can be posted. A form will be available in your race packet to keep track of runner leg times.
This event would not be possible without the help of the many individuals who have worked to make it successful: Kathy Bietau, Huron-Manistee National Forest, Baldwin Ranger District; American Land & Leisure who maintains the campground at the finish; the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians for allowing the event on sections of the trail that cross tribal land, and the Spirit of the Woods Chapter of the North Country Trail Association that is responsible for the section of the trail we are running on. Special thanks to the volunteers who make the event a success.
- Police: Emergency Dispatch 911
- Legs 1 – 6 run through Manistee County: Sheriff’s office – 231.723.8393
- Legs 7 – 12 run through Lake County: Sheriff’s office – 231.745.2712
- Manistee – West Shore Medical Center 231.398.1000
- Ludington – Memorial Medical Hospital: 888.742.7426
- Cadillac – Mercy Hospital: 800.336.3729
- Reed City – Spectrum Health-Reed City: 231.832.3271
DIRECTIONS TO GET TO THE START
FROM CADILLAC, MI: Follow M-55 west from US131 for 20.9 miles to the corner of M-37 and M-55
FROM THE INTERSECTION OF M-55 AND M-37
Head west on M-55 2.7 miles to N Warfield Rd. Turn right on N Warfield Rd for 5.0 miles to Coats Hwy. Turn left on Coats Hwy for 2.1 miles to Upper River Road. Turn right on Upper River Road. We will have parking attendants to direct you to parking; you may not park in the road.
FROM MANISTEE, MI
Follow M-55 east from US31 for 23.0 miles to N Warfield Rd. Turn left on N Warfield Rd for 5.0 miles to Coats Hwy. Turn left on Coats Hwy for 2.1 miles to Upper River Road. Turn right on Upper River Road. We will have parking attendants to direct you to parking; you may not park in the road.