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Rootrock Trail Run - 5K/10K/Half Marathon

Sat October 19, 2024 at Briar Chapel in Chapel Hill, NC Directions

Race Day Info Email to Racers on 10/17/23

Hello Rootrock Trail Runners,

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Rootrock Trail Run coming up this Saturday, October 21st at Briar Chapel in Chapel Hill, NC!  Prepare for an awesome day on the trails, as you and over 200 fellow athletes run 5K, 10K, or Half Marathon along scenic, forest covered courses that include a mixture of smooth and flowing dirt trails, root and rock strewn single-track, and challenging hill climbs.  Excitement is brewing and the countdown is on - LET'S GO! 

Below is the race info email, which contains logistical and safety details for the race.  This message is long but should answer most questions you might have.  Please take a few minutes to read.

Schedule of Events:

Staging Area:  Pavilion at Great Meadow Park at Briar Chapel (161 Salt Cedar Ln, Chapel Hill, NC 27516)

THURSDAY, 10/19/23

  • 4pm–6pm:  Optional Early Check-in / Packet Pick-up @ Fleet Feet Carrboro (310 E Main St #120, Carrboro, NC 27510).  Fleet Feet is offering 10% off any purchase when you check-in on 10/19 and if you bring in your bib into their shop after the race on 10/21 or 10/22 - NICE and Thank You Fleet Feet!

SATURDAY, 10/21/23

  • 7:15am–9:15am:  Check-in / Packet Pick-up (check-in only if you did not pick up packet on Thursday)
  • 8:20am:  Half Marathon Pre-Race Brief
  • 8:30am:  Half Marathon Start
  • 8:50am:  10K Pre-Race Brief
  • 9:00am:  10K Start
  • 9:20am:  5K Pre-Race Brief
  • 9:30am:  5K Start
  • 10am–12:30pm:  Post-Race Food/Beverage
  • 10:45am:  Awards/Giveaways (5K/10K)
  • 11am:  FREE Kids ‘Race for Treasure’ (kids 11-U)
  • 11:15am:  Push Up Contest (top 2 M/F win prizes.  All who participate receive swag.)
  • 11:45am:  Awards/Giveaways (Half Marathon

Race Day Weather:  As of Tuesday, October 17 @ 6am, the weather forecast for race day is predicted to be mostly sunny, with moderate winds 10-15 mph, low temps in the mid 40s and high temps in the mid 60s – great running weather!  Of course, the forecast can always change as we get closer to race day, so please check the weather the day before and come prepared for the elements.   

Course Conditions:  The trails are currently in great shape and we do not see anything in this week's forecast that will cause any adverse conditions.  We may get a little rain on Friday, but the trails will be very dry leading into Friday so any rain we do receive should soak in nicely.  We will send another email on Thursday or Friday with race reminders/updates and an updated forecast.    

Volunteers:  Our events rely on the generous support from volunteers and we can still use the help of a few more volunteers, mostly at aid stations.  The shifts are 2-3.5 hours long between the hours of 7:45am-11:45am.  Volunteers have a front row seat to all the action, get a race tee, free food, $15 off a future Roadless Races event, and our sincere appreciation.  Plus, volunteering is easy and fun!  If any of your friends/family would like to volunteer, please ask them to SIGN UP HERE.

Registration:  If you have friends or family that have not signed up yet but intend to race, please let them know that online registration will close at 9pm on Friday, 10/20.  Race day registration will be available for an extra $10.  Register HERE.

Start List:  CLICK HERE to view the list of registered racers.

Early Check-in/Packet Pick-up (Optional):  Optional early check-in/packet pick-up will be available at the Fleet Feet Carrboro store on Thursday, 10/19 from 4pm-6pm (301 E. Main Street, Carrboro, NC 27510).  At check-in you will receive your bib number (with timing chip) and your race t-shirt.  Racers may pick up packets for other racers.  Fleet Feet is offering a 10% discount on any purchases during 10/19 check-in and on race weekend 10/21 and 10/22.  If you are checking-in on Thursday, you DO NOT need to check-in on race day.

Race Day Check-in/Packet Pick-Up:  If you do not check-in early on Thursday, check-in/packet pick-up will be available at the staging area from 7:15am-9:15am on race day, Sat, 10/21. 

Arrival:  Please arrive early to help alleviate backups.  It takes time to park, check-in, use the bathroom, warm up, and attend the pre-race brief.  If you are checking in on race day (did not check-in on Thur), we recommend arriving 45-60 min before your start time and if you check-in on Thursday, we recommend arriving 30-45 min before your start time.     

Directions and Address of Staging Area at Great Meadow Park:  161 Salt Cedar Ln, Chapel Hill, NC 27516  

  • Briar Chapel is located off Rt. 15/501, which is 15 minutes south of downtown Chapel Hill.
  • From 15/501, take Andrew Store Rd west for approximately 1 mile.
  • Turn right onto Granite Mill Blvd (2nd Briar Chapel entrance) and follow the Race Parking signs.
  • Park and follow the signs to check-in.

Parking:  Park along the neighborhood streets of Briar Chapel, adjacent to Great Meadow Park.  SEE MAP below with parking areas.  Please arrive early and carpool, if bringing family or friends. Some of the streets at Briar Chapel are narrow so PLEASE PARK ON ONE SIDE OF THE STEET ONLY.  There are several entrances to Briar Chapel but we suggest using the entrance off Andrew Store Rd.  After entering Briar Chapel, follow the signs for Race Parking.  If and when all the space fills up near the staging area, you can park @ Woods Charter School (160 Woodland Grove Lane, Chapel Hill, NC 27516), which is a 8-minute walk to the staging area.  Thank you, Woods Charter! 

Restrooms/Portajohns:  Restroom facilities will be available at the pavilion and portajohns will be located near the pavilion.

Pre-Race Brief:  The pre-race brief will begin 10 minutes before your race start time and will take place at the race start near the pavilion.    

Race Start:  The Half Marathon will begin at 8:30am, the 10K at 9am, and the 5K at 9:30am.

Race Courses:  Briar Chapel has 20+ miles of AWESOME single-track, and some of the best trails in the Triangle.  There are some easy, flat mellow areas but many of the trails at Briar Chapel offer a fun challenge and include plenty of rocks, roots, and hills.  We would categorize most of the trails at Briar Chapel as moderately technical.  Some of the trails on the half marathon course, in the western territory, are decidedly more technical, with more roots, rocks, and hill climbs.  Each of the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon, one-loop race courses, starts with .3 miles of downhill pavement running, perfect for separating the field of runners.  After that, runners hit the trails, and stay on the trails, except for a few road crossings and short paved sections.

  • 5K:  CLICK HERE to view the course description, map, and elevation profile. 
  • 10K:  CLICK HERE to view course description, map, and elevation profile.
  • Half Marathon:  CLICK HERE to view the course description, map, and elevation profile.

Race Strategy/Trail Etiquette:  While there are plenty of passing opportunities on the trails at Briar Chapel, many of the single-track trails are narrow and passing may be difficult.  So, it is suggested that you factor this into your race strategy.  At the beginning of the race, there is about .3 miles of wide pavement before entering the single-track.  So, it is recommended that you place yourself appropriately at the start line, with faster racers near the front, mid pack racers near the middle, and ‘back of pack’ runners near the rear.  Also, proper trail etiquette should be practiced.  Overtaking racers should use audible signals such as ‘passing on your left’ or ‘passing on your right’ and, when possible, slower racers should allow them to pass.  Keep in mind, however, that it is the responsibility of the overtaking racer to pass safely.  

Course Marking:  The course will be marked with red, yellow, or pink laminated arrows at all turns or areas of decision and pint surveyor’s tape tied to branches between points of decision.  Arrows will be tied to trees or stapled to wooden stakes.  There are some minor social trails at Briar Chapel that lead to homes or down to a stream.  Do not turn off the main trail if you do not see an arrow.  Before road crossings, you will see a CAUTION – ROAD CROSSING sign.  Most road crossings will be staffed with Course Marshals, but some will not.  PLEASE BE CAREFUL AT ROAD CROSSINGS AND LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING ANY ROAD.  

Splits and Merges:  There are two splits and two merges on this course.  The splits and merges will be marked with signage.     

  • Split #1 @ 1.6M - HM runners turn left and 10K/5K runners turn right.
  • Split #2 @ 1.8M - 10K runners turn left and 5K runners turn right.
  • Merge #1 @ 9.6M (HM) / 2.6M (10K) – HM and 10K runners will merge back together.
  • Merge #2 @ 12.7M (HM), 5.7M (10K), and 2.75M (5K) - 5K runners will merge back with HM/10K runners with .5 miles left in the race     

Mile Markers:  Yellow mile markers will be located at every aid station as well as one mile from the finish and ½ mile from the finish.  

Aid Stations:  Remember to STAY HYDRATED.  Aid stations will be stocked with water and Gatorade.  Use the cups provided or carry a camelback or handheld water bottle.  GU energy gel will be available at A2, A3, A4, and A5 for the half marathon.  The Half Marathon has seven aid stations spaced 1.2-2.2 miles from each other.  The 10K has three aid stations spaced 1.2-2.1 miles from each other.  The 5K course has one aid station at mile 1.6.  First aid kits and emergency communication will be available at each aid station.  An aid station will also be positioned at the finish.

NO IN-EAR EARPHONES or LOUD AUDIBLE MUSIC:  The use of in-ear EARPHONES or LOUD AUDIBLE MUSIC that restricts hearing is not permitted during any Roadless Races event.  Why, you may ask?  Well, for the following three reasons:

  • Safety – we need to look out for each other!  Our courses are held on trails in remote areas.  If someone gets injured out on the trails, we rely on racers to notify us so we can activate emergency response.  Racers must be alert at all times.  
  • Courtesy – trail races are very different than road races.  Passing is usually not a problem in road races but passing can be a challenge on single-track hiking trails.  To pass safely, trail etiquette suggests using audible signals such as passing on your left.  Passing someone who can’t hear you is difficult and frustrating.
  • Community – at Roadless Races we strive to build community.  Please use your time with us to unleash yourself from your device, enjoy the sounds of nature, talk to people, make some friends, and have fun.    

No Dogs on the Course:  We love our furry friends, but for the safety of all racers (and dogs), they are not permitted on the race course.  Spectators are welcome to bring leashed and supervised dogs.

Photos:  Uber-talented professional photographer Mario Quivera will be at the race capturing images of the fun and friendly competition.  CLICK HERE to check out Mario’s photos from last year's Rootrock.  All photos will be available for FREE download a few days after the event.  Smile big! 

Chip Timing / Results:  The timing pros from Junction 311 are timing this race.  Timing chips will be affixed to the back of your race bib.  Please wear your bib on the front of your body, either on your torso or on your shorts.  Results will be posted on-site and on immediately following the conclusion of the event.   

Finisher Medal:  After you finish the race, grab your beautiful finisher medal – they are NICE!!!

Recovery and Medical:  UNC Orthopeadics’ top-notch team of sports medicine and physical therapy professionals will be on-site at the race offering their expert medical care to our athletes and assisting with any emergency response.  Stop by their tent after the race if you have any medical needs, want to talk about recovery, or just want to learn more about their services. Thank you, UNC Orthopaedics and UNC Sports Medicine Institute

Post-Race Food/Beverages:  Tasty post-race food such as sliders, bagels/peanut butter, hummus/veggies, fruit (bananas, apples, etc), trail bars, chips, cookies, trail mix, little cups of M&Ms, etc. will be available after the race – enjoy!  Beverages include water, Gatorade, soft drinks, and non-alcoholic craft beer from Athletic Brewing Company – NICE!  Food is complimentary for all racers and volunteers.  

Athletic Brewing Company – Craft Non-Alcoholic Beer:  A cold beer hits the spot after a race and now you can enjoy a tasty post-race craft beverage that doesn’t compromise your ability to stay sharp and healthy.  After the race, grab an Athletic Brewing Company beer and enjoy!  Also, take 10% off your first order of ABC beer when you order online using code RR10.  Thank you and cheers to Athletic Brewing Company!

FREE Kids Race for Treasure sponsored by Knoll at Briar Chapel:  At 11am, kids aged 11 and under are invited to participate in the Kids Race for Treasure.  Fun, Fun, Fun!!!!  All kids are welcome to participate, and parents are encouraged to line the 'race course' to cheer them on.  We will match kids in age groups (3-U, 4-5, 6-7, and 8-11) and have them run a short out and back ‘race’ in the large field near the staging area.  After running, kids can grab a prize (toys from the dollar store:) from the Treasure Chest!  Thank you to Knoll at Briar Chapel (the beautiful new apartment community on the eastern entrance to BC) for purchasing all the toys!  

Push-Up Contest and Running Swag from Brandon Jozwiak of Nest Realty:  Local real estate pro, Brandon Jozwiak from Nest Realty, has provided some sweet swag for us to give away at the push up contest, which will take place at 11:15am.  Yes, we said push up contest!  Anyone that participates in the contest will receive swag and the top two M/F participants who are left 'standing' at the end will win nice prizes, such as foam rollers or Goodr sunglasses.  A big THANK YOU to Brandon for generously supplying these this great swag. 

Coastal Credit Union $3/Racer Donation to Meals on Wheels:  Not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative, that provides member dividends, teller service 7 days a week, better rates, low fees, and safe/secure banking, Coastal Credit Union has been putting community over profit for over 50 years, and we are thrilled to partner with such an upstanding corporate citizen.  At this race, and at all our events, Coastal has committed to donate $3/racer to the local chapter of Meals on Wheels to support its mission of providing meals and connection to homebound seniors in need.  You rock, Coastal Credit Union – THANK YOU!  

Awards/Giveaways:  The 5K/10K awards ceremony will be at 10:45am and the Half Marathon awards at 11:45am.  Awards (1st-5th place pint glasses) and prizes (Fleet Feet gift certificates) will be presented to the top five M/F overall finishers in each distance.  We will announce the overall winners and ask them to come up to the podium for their awards.  Awards (1st-3rd place pint glasses) will be given to the top three M/F age group competitors for each distance.  Age groups include 13-Under, 14-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+.  Age group winners should pick up their pint glass from the awards table.  In addition to the awards, we have plenty of awesome swag to give away from Fleet Feet (THANK YOU, Feet Feet - Carrboro/Durham!)

Awesome Sponsors:  THANK YOU to all our generous sponsors for providing product, services, donations, and giveaways in support of grassroots racing and our community.  Please show your love and support our sponsors in any way you can.  Athletic Brewing Company, Brandon Jozwiak from Nest Realty, Coastal Credit Union, Fleet Feet – Carrboro/Durham, Knoll at Briar Chapel, and UNC Orthopaedics/UNC Sports Medicine Institute.

Whew, I know that was a lot – thank you for taking the time to read this message and THANK YOU for participating in the 3rd Annual Rootrock Trail Run.  

Prepare for an excellent day on the trails and see you this Sat.


Jim Harman
Race Director
Roadless Races

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