The 2016 Santa Cruz Island 23 + K is set for Saturday in the Fall (TBD) . Search and Rescue volunteers will sign you in between 5am and 5:45 am at Island Packers 1691 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura (at Ventura Harbor) and provide you with your race materials including race number and grab bag. If you're an early bird get there at 5. If you procrastinate, get there at 5:30. You can bring change of clothes and other personal items that can fit in a day pack (please mark your bags) as the Island Packers Boat will be assigned to the race event for the whole day. You can get to your change of clothes (for the finish party) that will be delivered to the finish.
We will depart at 6am Sharp. Allow plenty of time to park your car and get signed in. We can't wait for late arrivals.
Remember, we have about a 1 to 1.5 hour, private boat ride to Scorpion Harbor. The giant boat holds 146 passengers and is very stable. You can go to Island Packers website to check out the boat "Islander." www.islandpackers.com
Please to be sure and thank Island Packers on race day for their transportation support.
Scorpion Harbor, is on the east end of Santa Cruz Island. We will be greeted by NPS Rangers who will help us with the 5 minute island briefing-orientation. The race will begin at sea level and the rugged trail will climb to 1407 feet in about 3 miles. We encourage runners to run with water bladders or waist packs with bottles. We will have four aid stations with water and emergency medical care only.
This is an "eco-race" and want to make sure there is no trash left on the trails (goo, wrappers etc).
Please carry out all water bottles and even micro trash..
The course is demanding and runners must be in excellent condition and have trail running experience. This is not a course for a first time trail racer. This is not a walk course. After the 3 mile mark the trail continues a back and forth rugged ascent and decent- ascent pattern until mile 6 at which time you will reach the second 1400 foot peak (the views are awesome). This first six miles is the toughest on your cardio. There are many places on the trail in these first 6 miles where runners will have to walk to avoid twisted ankles. You will be challenged the first 6 miles and may not like us. Bear with the course, the payoff is huge with incredible Island Wilderness.
There will be a 4:10 hour cut-off time.
We can't stress enough that this is a rugged, but one of a kind trail run.
Trail Tips from our Official Course Designer and Runner:
"The trail run from Scorpion to Prisoners Cove is 14 + miles and a great challenge, if you are in good shape. The first 2 ½ miles are up a steep rocky, dirt, 10 foot wide path and that is where you will gain approx. 1000 feet in elevation. The trail then becomes a single track wilderness trail and the rocks become more difficult, but not something you have to climb over. (I walked the first 3 mile hill and my running partner Dave ran the entire way) There are a few exposed areas where you might want to pay attention as to not fall off a steep hillside and get scratched up, but nothing fatal.
While the trail is a great single track with awesome views, it is not smooth. This is a extreme off-road Eco-Trail run that is hard all the way to the finish.
As you top out at 1410 foot level ,you descend down a few hundred feet and the trail is slightly rocky and eroded. This also was an area where I walked but Dave ran. Fall here and you will pay the price on an ankle. Once you get to the bottom of this short down hill, the half marathon trail course is a piece of cake. At about 4.6 miles, it becomes a nice, dirt, Ranger access road (with a trail feeling) that winds along the ridge line continuing west with views of the Pacific Ocean and other Channel Islands. This part of the course is undulating, but all runable.
At the 7 3/4 mile mark you will max out at about 1488 feet in elevation. This is the area of the Navy Radar Site.
After this area, you will be normally running down the dirt, NPS Ranger access-path. Its wide and averages 15 to 25 feet. You will eventually climb 6 more hills between the Radar Site and the finish, but you are generally running down slope.
We will have four aid stations during the run. However, we really want runners to take at least one water bottle with them in a waist-hip type holder or a bladder. The interior portion of the race at the higher elevations can be 85 degrees when the start and finish at the coast is 65-70 degrees.
At mile 10.9 you will top out at your steepest mountain pass. The elevation will be about 1252 feet above sea level. The view of the Pacific is endless. Watch out, you will head downhill from this point and many people say the last 2 miles down to the finish is as hard as the first two mile climb fromthe start. The final race finish will be on the trail, at about 353 feet above the ocean. It will be on a gentle upper meadow that is above Prisoners Harbor. Once you cross the actual finish line you will be given some water and can cool down as you walk about 300 yards to the actual Prisoners Harbor Day Use Area.
We will provide finisher medals, lunch, water, lunch, beer and wine to everyone at the day use area below the finish line. You can retrieve any of your day packs with clothes, your own snacks etc at the day use area.
If you are in piss-pour shape, old, like me, the run will take 3 1/2 hours. If you are in great trail running shape, like our CRFC partners Dave, Joe and Randy, a 2 1/2 hour run is possible (maybe). Look at the times from last year. We have to cut off the course at 4 hours and 10 minutes for safety.
Here are the course stats:
Max Altittude gain about 1502 feet.
Max Slope Uphill 22.6%.
Average Slope: 7.9% Uphill and 8.8% Downhill.
Total altitude gain 3297 feet.
Total Altitude lost 3024 feet.
Good luck, enjoy the day in the park and don't complain to me if you get tired or hurt.
Remember there is free catered food, free beer and free wine at the finish. "
How to find Island Packers: #35 on the map
We can give you example of trails in the Santa Monica mountains for training. Contact us at our email.
The National Park is majestic, make sure you take in the sights. The remainder of the race is on trails that continue the pattern of hills and downhills. You will have an opportunity to see island wildlife including Fox and Bald Eagles. This is a Eco-Half Marathon.
The focus of the event is to enjoy the National Park and promote healthy activities, all while supporting local children's charities.
You will be rewarded with sports massages, great, free, catered lunch with tons of food by Aloha Steakhouse, free drinks, free wine from Opolo Wineries, free beer from Firestone Brewery.
But wait there is more the best Finisher Medal ever designed and even a dip in the ocean..
The boat will depart for Ventura at 1:30pm and arrive back at your car by 2:45 to 3:30 PM
Frequent Asked Questions:
Where do I show up Race day: Island Packers 1691 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura (at Ventura Harbor). For Directions: www.islandpackers.com
Car Parking: We have plenty of parking at the harbor. Do not leave valuables in the car. We are not responsible for theft.
Race Packet Pick Up: On RACE DAY rally on the grass area near the dock at Island Packers, 1691 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura (at Ventura Harbor). Show up between 5:15 and 5:45 AM and be ready to walk onto the boat with your packet. You will get a race briefing on the boat ride out to the Island. The boat leaves at 6:00 AM sharp. You snooze you lose
Google Earth Course Tour: We have a real cool Google Earth course tour where you can really see the whole course at birds eye view, up close. Email us at email@example.com and we will send you the file to open.
Cancellation: Our CRFC Attorney made us put this in ( just a little pun): There are no refunds. You can not resell or trade your entry to a friend. This includes if your dog stole your keys and you couldn't make it in time for the boat to leave the harbor. If a Tsunami or other act of God occurs we are just happy to be alive, no refund. IMPORTANT: There is no race plan B. If the Island Packers boat is unable to get to the island due to weather, no refund.
If it is pouring rain, we will likely still go. You will be miserable and have the best story to tell your friends or friend, or dog, for the rest of your life.
If the weather stops us from going to the island, you will have made a difference to a child with your donation and still get cool tee shirt and we will all have a wine and beer-fest at the harbor. So you get the idea, no refunds, this is 100% for charity.
IF YOU KNOW YOU ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE THE RACE, AND YOU HAVE ALREADY PAID. PLEASE E-MAIL US. WE WILL SEND YOU YOUR SHIRT AS A TOKEN OF YOUR DONATION AND WE WILL DO WHAT ANY GOOD CHARITY WOULD DO, WE WILL RESELL YOUR RUNNING SPOT TO SOMEONE ON THE 200 PERSON WAITING LIST.
THIS IS A FUND RAISER
What do I get for the entry fee: Cool T-Shirt, we take pride in our T-Shirt designs by graphic artist and runner Dave Kenney. A nice finisher medal to show off to your friends back at work on Monday. Bragging Rights, yes, a great Half-Marathon-Eco-14 mile trail run. It is unique and as rare as the Island Fox. Yes, this is the orginal Santa Cruz Island 14 mile Eco-Trail Run.
What else? A great, free, finisher party by our sponsors, beef, fish and vegi food wraps, salad, chips, cookies by Aloha Steakhouse, beer by Firestone Brewery and wine by Opolo Winery. We also have water, gatorade and sodas. Dolphin and Whale watching both ways out to the island. Finally you get the satisfaction to help children through this fundraiser... Last year people never stopped talking about the race finish party. We had great awards also.
Seasick: If you get seasick, the run should help you get your land legs. If you can't run after the boatride out and feel you can't start the race, you will be taken to Prisoner's Harbor with the race starting crew and enjoy the finishers lunch and party, maybe the free wine and beer will help.. You could also go out the day before on your own and camp, recover from that boat ride and start the race fresh on Saturday. You would have to let us know ahead of time for logistics and also arrange your own Island Packers one-way ride out on Friday. No refund. Last year not one person pulled out of the race for any boat ride or ocean issues.
Waiver: This is a trail run and a boat ride. You must have a signed liability release waiver from active.com at registration. Again, our Attorney made us do it.
Can I bother Island Packers or National Park Service with Questions: No. This is a CRFC Fundraiser Race. The National Park Service is not a sponsor of the race and does not have race details. Do not call Island Packers with race questions. They are gracious and donating a big chunk of the transportation for us, we don't want to bother them. So bother us, we have standby operators 24 hours a day to answer your emails (Okay maybe, a little time delay). We love email and running..
Camping: The island is open to camping, However, we encourage everyone to use the official race-day Island Packers transportation. If you will already be out at the island prior to the race. If you have your own sail boat, you must make prior arrangements with CRFC. We will get your waivers signed early and get you your race packets. There will be no sign-in registrations allowed at the island on race day. You will not receive a discount on your entry fee if you use self guided boat transportation or if you are already camping or used prior transportation. Camping is on your own.
Breakfast, Water, Lunch: Breakfast is on you. There is a galley with light snacks on the boat (bring some chump money). We will provide water at the start and at the four aid stations during the run. There will be food, water, beer and wine at the finish (all free).
We encourage you to run with your own water, as our four aid stations will be basic aid and have limited water for each runner. Due to the remoteness of the wilderness, we will not fill large water bottles or back pack bladders at aid stations.
Medical: We have paramedics at all four aid stations and a doctor at the start and finish of the race. Please seek care from any staff member.
Aid Station: We have water and first aid at the 4 first aid stations. Carry in your own trail-energy-food. It is mandatory that you carry out all trash. You will be disqualified for throwing any trash, including micro-trash such as goo tabs, peels, wrappers.
Timing: We will have a timed USA Track & Field course.
Course Numbers: You must have your course number visible on your shorts or front of shirt at all times.
You will get your numbers at sign in at Ventura Harbor.
Cut Off Time: We hate cut off times. We have to incorporate one into this race due to the boat ride back and logistics. You will have to finish within 4:00 hours. Our aid stations will advise you if you won't make the cut off. You will be taken to the finish area and can enjoy the festivities. Email us if you have cut off questions.
This is an extreme trail race and not for first time trail runners. Don't expect to do this if you are a trail walker. You won't make it. You have to practice for this run. We can set you up with comparable practice trails onthe mainland. You need to have your trail event mileage long run up to 12 or 13 miles already before race day.
Expected weather / Temps on race day will start out as a cool boat ride out (bring sweats,pullovers to leave in your bag). In 2011, we had fog at the start and in 15 minutes of running, blue skies. The Islander boat has interior (tables, benches) and exterior upper seating. The exterior can be windy and chilly if we have any fog. Normal race day can start at about 59-65 F. and will hit 80-85F in the upper , remote elevated mountain tops.
Last year it was nearly 80 at the summit and a cool 58 at the start.
Bathrooms: Yes. Wow, did we learn from last year. Read this three times to let it sink in. get it, Bathroom, "Sink In." Anyway, use the bathroom at the dock sign-in at Island Packers, and then use it again on the boat. Last year we had 100 runners use the outhouse at the start and it took 30 minutes to get everyone in and out of the bathroom. , the line was long at the start. No bathrooms mid course. Do not use toliet paper on the course.
Can I get a boat ride back to Scorpion from the finish: No the boat will go from Prisoners (the finish) to Ventura Harbor.
Pets, Bicycles: The National Park Service prohibits them.
Can I bring my own lunch: Of Course. But no fires or cooking. Put the food in your personal bag with your change of clothes, mark your bag..
Smoking: Do you even have to ask, No
Can I secure a campsite there? Where? At Scorpion campground, Yes from the National Park Service, subject to their reservations and availability. Go to their website. You have to have your race registration completed with us prior to race day and make arrangements with us so we dont count you as a no show at Ventura Harbor. We will get you your race number and a signed waiver before you camp. Contact us by email for more details on this option. We can take your camp gear to the finish, but you must leave the finish after the race and go with us back to Ventura. We can't get you back to Scorpion after the race.
Is this an official distance race or is it a ½ marathon. This is an timed race. It is generally listed in the half marathon race categories, except that ours is .9 miles longer than a city half marathon. Ending up at 14 miles. This odd-ball extra distance isn't becasue we are crazy, Okay a bit, but it is really because the course is located in the wilderness and dictated by existing trails.
Can I make arrangements to have my wife/ husband or friend come on the boat and join me at the finish. Yes, they have to sign up as a runner. Remember this is for charity, so fork out the money for your fan club..
Please have the courtesy to advise us via email that they are not running. We have an obligation to make sure we have them accounted-for as we move the Islander Boat from Scorpion to the finish area. They will see you start and finish and have full use of the finisher party we are sponsoring . Contact us by email if you have a non runner who is signed up..
Can I camp at the finish until the next day (Sunday) and take the boat back then? It is a three mile backpack trip to from the finish area to the Del Norte camp area above Prisoner's Harbor. So to be clear, from the race finish to the camp area is 3 miles up hill on foot only.
Yes, you can do it if you get a camper's permit from the National Park Service and make return transportation arrangements with Island Packers. You have to plan that early. Spaces fill up on the daily public boat trips, that's why we chartered the whole boat on race day. You are not given any credit for your race fee, so you will have to pay Island Packers for the return trip..
Finishers Party: We are lucky to be sponsored by so many wonderful supporters. First of all, Island Packers has been generous with providing their Islander Ship for transportation. The race lunch, food, beer and wine is supplied by Aloha Steakhouse, Opolo Winery and Firestone Brewery. It will be prepared prior to the race. Email us if you have a restricted diet (Vegetarian) . Not too many races have such a great ending to an epic run.