Participants - Final instructions


Greetings! The Fools Run is only days away and plans are shaping up for a great day on the trails. The following message will help convey race information to you, help minimize my pre-race briefing, and hopefully answer any questions you might have.

I've run the course several times since the last update and its looking great. The course map shown on the website is accurate, except for one minor change (noted below.)

WELL-MARKED COURSE: I assure you that the course will be well-marked. The map is helpful, but you need not know the course to participate in the Fools Run.

BE PREPARED for wet weather and mud. The Sunday forecast (as of Wednesday night) calls for cool temperatures and a chance of rain, so be prepared for wet weather. Pine Hollow has no pavilion or chairs. Bring a folding chair to enjoy the post-race festivities at the finish line.

NO ALCOHOL is permitted (nor will be tolerated) at the Fools Run.

PARKING: The NPS has assured me that Pine Hollow gate will be opened by 6 AM. While there is plenty of parking space, you might arrive after Pine Hollow fills up. There are two other lots along Quick Rd: Crow Foot Gully and Little Meadow. It is a short walk from any of these lots - plan accordingly to arrive early.

(Note: All three of the parking lots are along the first 1/2 mile of the Fools Run course. 50k runners will have a chance to pass their vehicle at the start of the second loop.)


PACKET PICK-UP: Saturday, March 27, from 12-5 PM at the Vertical Runner in Hudson or Sunday, March 28, from 6:15-7:15 at Pine Hollow. Packets are not available prior to 12 PM on Saturday.

Pre-race briefing: 7:20 AM (at the starting line)
Race starts: 7:30 AM
Course closes: 4:30 PM (9 hour time limit)

VERTICAL RUNNER DISCOUNT: Use your bib number to receive a 15% discount on a purchase of trail shoes at the Vertical Runner store in Hudson. Offer expires on April 15. (To redeem your discount earlier, let the staff know your name.)

VOLUNTEERS: If you have family or friends who are volunteering, they should check-in on the roster at Pine Hollow on Sunday morning.


** RUNNER CHECK-IN and RAFFLE DRAWING: In addition to acket pick-up, there is a separate runner check-in at the starting line. The purpose is to ensure for complete runner accountability. Please check-in by showing your bib number (pinned visibly on front) to the starter, starting at 7:00 AM.

RAFFLE DRAWING: We will use the names on Starter's check-in roster to Raffle away two pairs of North Face trail shoes. Raffle winners will be posted post-race.

BIB NUMBERS DISPLAYED: Your bib number will be recorded at aid station checkpoints. To avoid delay, clearly display your bib number in front (Yes, you can fold your number as long as it is visible.)

BIB PULL-TAGS will be pulled at the finish line. Please do not discard.

50k/25k DECLARATION: All runners have selected a race distance - either 50k or 25k. Those registered for 50k can stop after 25k and receive a finishing time but are not eligible for 25k awards.

SPECIAL NOTE ON AWARDS: Awards are given to the top runners. To be eligible for race awards, you must finish the race you signed up for. (I.e. If you are in the 50k race and decide to stop after 25k, you are NOT ELIGIBLE to win the 25k race award.)

TRUXELL ROAD CROSSING: This road crossing is the most dangerous spot on the course. Runners DO NOT have right of way and should YIELD TO VEHICULAR TRAFFIC. A volunteer will be there to assist but they are not authorized to stop vehicular traffic.

WATER BOTTLES: In an effort to minimize paper waste, runners are encouraged to carry a water bottle. Aid station volunteers will be ready to refill your bottle with water or Heed and keep you moving down the trail.

The FIRST AID STATION is 5.2 MILES at Happy Days parking lot, then about every 3.5 miles thereafter. Plan accordingly. Click here for more aid station and checkpoint information.

AID STATIONS will be stocked with water, Heed (the carbohydrate/electrolyte beverage by Hammer Nutrition), cola, PB&J sandwiches, pretzels, and various other snack foods. If you want a special item, plan to carry yourself.

HAMMER GELS and ENDUROLYTES will be available at aid stations to 50k runners on their second 25k loop. Again, if you have special needs please plan to carry your own supplies.

COURSE HIGHLIGHTS: The course is 25k (15.7 miles) of unique trails starting and finishing at Pine Hollow. 50k runners will repeat an identical 25k loop to complete the entire 50k course. The color codes on the map indicate the order of trails. If you are new to the area, don't miss the Ledges Overlook near mile 10. A short alternate path will be marked to lead you to one of the most scenic views of the Cuyahoga Valley. After returning to Kendall Lake near the 12.5 mile mark, you will pass near Pine Hollow at the bottom of the sledding hill. This is good spot for spectators to watch the action. The course ends with the 3.5 miles of the Salt Run trail. Save some energy for the finish - The Fools Run is known for its final challenging ascent to the finish line at Pine Hollow.

COURSE CHANGES: The map on the website shows the current course. There is only one minor change at Haskell Run. The course will use the western half of Haskell Run, routing through the grass field in front of Happy Days lodge. This change avoids the driveway at the Lodge and will minimize the chance of running into park visitors at the kiosk. Use the grass field in both directions as you enter/exit the tunnel.

SHARE THE TRAILS: At all times we are guests of the CVNP and we do not have exclusive use of the trails. During your run, yield to other park visitors and please do not run over or endanger other users of the trail.

POST-RACE SOUP is provided to all participants. Please save the tear-off tag on your bib as your food coupon.

RESULTS will be posted on the website by Monday morning, April 6.

Please visit the website for useful information such as driving directions.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to seeing you this weekend. Please arrive early and in time for the pre-race briefing.

Lloyd Thomas
Race Director


- 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Overall, Man and Woman (6)
- 1st place age 40-49, Man and Woman (2)
- 1st place age 50-59, Man and Woman (2)
- 1st place age 60+, Man and Woman (2)


- 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Overall, Man and Woman (6)
- 1st place age 40-49, Man and Woman (2)
- 1st place age 50+, Man and Woman (2)

(Note: Limit one prize per person. OA awards precede age group awards.)