The Wild Oak Trail 100 - "Hot" TWOT
October 12, 2013
The Wild Oak Trail 100
February 8, 2014
Starting Time: 8 AM
Current Participants List
If you don't know about TWOT or Hot TWOT, please learn more about them before you consider participating. Each is a tough run. For more about what this event is like, be sure to see 2013 results and all time finishers list.
TWOT is run each year, weather permitting, on the second Saturday in February. "Hot TWOT" is held in the warmer weather of early October - it is scheduled for the second Saturday of that month each year.
If you want to run TWOT or Hot TWOT, please e-mail Dennis Herr at email@example.com. Remember this run is "semi-invitational." Requests to enter TWOT should be sent in after January 1, and if you want to get in to Hot TWOT, then your email should be sent after September 1.
From Dennis Herr:
[Updated for 2013]
Wild Oak will have a similar format to prior years - still no fee and limited aid. It's a 100 miler again, but people can do 1, 2, 3 or all 4 loops. Each loop is "25 miles" (probably closer to 27 now). Runners absolutely need to be able to find their own way, because the course won't be marked.
Hot TWOT is semi-invitational. I want people who have a low to zero (preferably zero) probability of getting lost. Bring a map, and bring the course narrative below. If this is your first time running the TWOT loop, you have two choices. 1) Run the first loop with someone who knows the course, and learn it. 2) Prepare to get lost at some point, because you will. The Wild Oak Trail is more defined and better marked than it used to be, but there are still places where it is tricky to follow if you haven't seen it before. The Wild Oak Trail is blazed white, so stay on the white trail at all times.
Those runners who think they are going to run 100 should plan to start at 8 AM on Friday. The direction for the 100 miler will be counterclockwise, so we can better account for you. Runners may bring two bags that will be dropped out at the two trail access points on the course for their use during their four loops. We can't guarantee that the bags will be monitored at all times, so don't leave anything you can't bear to lose in them. Aid otherwise on the course, if we are out there to provide any at all, will be very limited. See the course narrative below for instructions on water sources on the course.
Runners trying to run 100 should plan to finish in less than 48 hours. 8 AM Sunday is the cut-off. Runners trying to run 100 should also remember that only 11 runners have ever finished either the TWOT or Hot TWOT 100 over the course of the last 12 years. See: All time results. Runners who do finish the 100 will get a either a jar of Sue Herr's famous homemade apple sauce (while supplies last) or a jar of apple butter. What better race swag could you hope for, and what more incentive to finish could you want?
The runners who want to come out for one or two loops should plan to start at 8 AM on Saturday. The Saturday runners will not get bags out on the course, but will receive aid at Camp Todd and at the FDR 96 road crossing on their first loop.
I'm limited to 70 people. That's the number the Forest Service allows without a permit. Our main problem is going to be parking, so runners are encouraged to carpool if at all possible. The small lot at the trail head will fill quickly, but there is space on the side of the road less than a quarter mile away from the trail head.
E-mail Dennis Herr at firstname.lastname@example.org
DIRECTIONS TO TRAILHEAD:
I-81 to Exit 240 then Rte 257 West to Bridgewater. Left on Main St.
(Rte 42). Right on Rte 727 (right after crossing bridge). Six miles
on 727 to Sangerville. Left on Rte 730. Six miles on 730. Right on
Rte 718. One mile on 718. Cross cement bridge, do a right-left
dogleg onto FDR 95. 0.1 mile on 95 to trailhead parking lot on the right.
Parking: There is limited parking in the small lot right at the trail head, and then other parking back down FDR 95 at its junction with Tillman Road, roughly 100 yards from the parking lot entrance. Do NOT park in front of the entrance to the girl scout camp, which you will pass just before the road junction on your way in. And do NOT park in front of any gates! See Dennis for clarification if you arrive and have questions regarding the parking. PLEASE car pool if possible, as parking can be tight if we get too many vehicles!
View from Big Bald
Cantrell would call this entire trail a candyass trail. In fact, it's so
easy my grandmother could do it and she's dead.
The entire trail is marked with white blazes painted on the trees and
light gray plastic diamonds nailed to the trees and a few yellow
diamonds. The turns are not marked. This narrative is for the
clock-wise direction. It's your choice as to which direction you
want to run. (How many courses give you that option?)
From the parking lot, go a quarter mile on the trail to a split and go left.
You'll be returning on the right branch many hours later. Go another
quarter mile, cross the road and pick up the trail on the other side
and a few yards uphill. Go a half mile to the bridge. Follow the trail
PAST the bridge and then switch back to the bridge. DO NOT CUT
DOWN THE BANK DIRECTLY TO THE BRIDGE. The reason will be
obvious when you see the bank. Cross the bridge. Turn right. Go 30
yards and turn left at the trail sign. Go approximately 3.5 miles to
another split in the trail. You can go either way. (How many courses
give you that option not once but twice per loop or 8x in 100 miles?)
Go another quarter mile or so to the junction with the North River
Campground Road coming in from the right. Go left. The next 2.5
miles is easy road running. Once the trail resumes, go about a mile to
the Dowells Draft Trail/FDR96 sign at the top of a little hill. Turn right
and descend (more or less) for a little more than 2 miles to FDR96.
(The sign says 3 miles, but it's wrong.)
Cross the road and ascend for 1.5 miles on a gentle grade to the first
of 2 old tank traps. Right after crossing the first tank trap, there is an
obscure little trail going down the bank to the right to a little waterfall
on the Mitchell Branch. This is one of 3 water sources on the trail.
The other 2 are the 2 stream crossings. Continue climbing on a steep
grade for more than 0.5 miles to a pond. Skirt the pond on the right side and turn right near the back of the pond. Continue climbing
for more than 0.5 mile to the top of Big Bald. Descend for less than
a mile to the junction with the Hiner Spring Trail coming in from the
left. Go straight. Descend another 1.5 mile to Camp Todd. Cross
the road. Cross the river and climb for 3 mile to the top of Little Bald.
Make an ACUTE right turn at the trail signs. DO NOT GO STRAIGHT
ON THE LITTLE BALD KNOB ROAD. Anstr has an excellent picture
on the Web site illustrating this turn. (Here is another picture.) Descend(more or less) for 3 miles
and turn right 30 yards BEFORE reaching the Grooms Ridge Trail/FDR101
sign. Descend (more or less)another 2 mile to the Little Skidmore Trail.
Do a 10 yard left-right dogleg at the sign. Descend (more or less)
another 2 miles to the parking lot.
The 34 mile loop goes like this: Follow the course narrative for the clockwise direction to Big Bald Knob.
Descend off of Big Bald for 0.8 miles and turn left at the Wilderness sign (if it's there - it may be lying on the ground). Go 1.2 miles to the headwaters
of Ramsey's Draft (no sign here). The trail comes to an indistinct "T" at this point. Turn right. Go 0.25 miles to the Hardscrabble Knob Trail branching off to the left. Go straight at this point. Go another mile to the junction with the Shenandoah Mt. Trail (another indistinct "T" and no sign). Turn right and go 3 miles to FDR 95 (dirt/gravel road). Turn right again and go 4.2 miles to Camp Todd (the sign is on your right). Turn left, cross the river, and you're now back on Wild Oak heading for Little Bald Knob.
Who is Invited
Since this is a semi-invitational, here are some guidelines to help you
determine if you are "invited". Actually, most of the following determines
who is not invited.
If you are even the least bit worried or concerned about getting lost,
- If you have questions, don't come.
- If you need a crew, don't come.
- If you need toilet paper, don't come.
- If you expect to be pampered in any way shape or form, don't come.
- If you're a whiner, don't come.
- If you're a freeloader, don't come.
- If you're seeking fame and/or fortune, don't come.
- If you're thinking about writing a report about your experience at
Wild Oak, don't come.
- If you crave abuse, if you yearn for abuse, if you are addicted to abuse
in any way shape or form (be it physical, mental, sexual, verbal,
mathematical, artistic or whatevah) BY ALL MEANS, BE MY GUEST.
(This applies to abusees only. Abusers are not welcome. The only
abuser allowed is the trail.)
Comment from Anstr:
This is not a race. Expect nothing that you would get at a race. Do expect, however, a fantastic, challenging trail. It will likely be very cold and there will probably be snow on the ground. The course will not be marked and if you have a crew, he or she can't see you very often at all. This is absolutely not for everyone, but for the right people this is a fantastic experience. This is not a VHTRC event. All the credit (and liability) goes to Dennis.
Wild Oak Trail Information
2001 Racers Take Break During Relentless Assault of First Hill