The Hitchcock Experience 100 mile, 50 mile, and half marathon

You may never look at an Iowa race the same again.

  • Saturday – Sunday, December 14-15, 2019
  • 5 a.m. 100 mile, 101K The Hard Way (half), and Half Marathon; 9 p.m. 50 mile and 101K The Hard Way (50M part)
  • Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek, IA

Registration: Opens January 1, 2019!

Quick Stats

We’re going to change your view of what an Iowa race looks like!

  • Race Date: Saturday-Sunday, December 14-15, 2019
  • Location: Hitchcock Nature Center
  • Start Time: 5 a.m. 100M, 101K The Hard Way (half part) & 1/2 Marathon; 9 p.m. 50M
  • Registration: Opens January 1, 2019
  • Early Bird Entry Fees:
    • 100M: $175
    • 101K The Hard Way: $140
    • 50M: $90
    • Half Marathon: $75
  • Registration cap: 125 total runners

Race Details

Cornfields. Flat.

Start a conversation with anybody on their impression of the landscape in Iowa or Nebraska, and these are the two most likely things you’ll hear. Welcome to the Hitchcock 100 Experience. We’re going to change your view of what an Iowa race looks like!

Located just outside of Council Bluffs, the Hitchcock Nature Center is the gracious host to your “must run” ultra in the Midwest. The G.O.A.T.z have partnered with the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board and Hitchcock Nature Center to bring you a challenging and scenic course through the hills and bluffs of the area Lewis & Clark and early settlers named “Council Bluffs”.  The course consists of single track to fire road size trail and a small amount of maintenance road–all running through the trees and along the ridges of Hitchcock Nature Center. And although not rocky/technical, you may find yourself wondering, “How did all these hills get to Iowa?”.

The Numbers
  • Hitchcock Nature Center is 30 minutes northeast of Omaha, NE
  • Field Limit is 125 runners
  • 100M = 8 laps
  • 101K The Hard Way = Half Marathon THEN the 50M
  • 50M = 4 laps
  • Half Marathon = 1 lap with an out and back
  • Surface is single track to fire road-size trail and a small amount of maintenance road
  • Elevation change per loop = approximately 4,928’
Distances

The Hitchcock Experience is a 100 mile, 101K The Hard Wy, 50 mile, and half marathon race.

Date & Start Times

The Hitchcock Experience is Saturday – Sunday, December 14-15, 2019. Start times are as follows:

  • 100M & Half Marathon: 5 a.m.
  • 50M: 9 p.m. (Yes, this is a NIGHT START)
Cut-off Times
  • 100 Miles: 34 hours
  • 101K The Hard Way: 34 hours
  • 50 Miles: 18 hours
  • 13.1 Miles: Just do it.
Pacers

Hundred milers only will be allowed a single pacer at the beginning of the 5th lap (after 50 miles completed).  

Timing

The Hitchcock Experience is timed by Be About Race Timing.

Awards
  • Top male and female in each distance
  • All runners receive a finisher’s award upon completion of their race. 100-mile finishers will also receive a special finishers jacket.
Transfers & Refunds

We have a no transfer, no refund policy.

Travel & Lodging

There are a number of hotels within 15 minutes of Hitchcock Nature Center. Check here for a Google map of hotels in the area.

Park Pass

Get your day or annual pass here.

Course Info

The races are run on a 12.5 mile loop on the hills and ridges of the Hitchcock Nature Center with three aid stations available per loop. There will be a slight addition of mileage at the beginning of the course for the half marathon runners only.

100M, 101K The Hard Way, & 50M Map

Click here for a PDF of the 100M, 101K, and 50M course. The half marathon follows the same course with the exception that they have an out-and-back at the beginning that is not shown on the map.

Virtual Maps

You have two methods to check out your loops.

  1. Google My Maps contains a static map of the 50 and 100 mile loops; there is a brief out-and-back addition at the beginning of the race for the half marathon that is not listed.
  2. Elevate My Race contains interactive maps. At Elevate My Race, you can see elevation change for the race as well as follow the course virtually.
Aid Stations

Each loop contains three fully stocked and manned aid stations. A fourth water stop will be located near mile 9.5 of each loop.

  • The Lodge aka Beacon of Hope/Despair (start/finish). Drop bags, crew access, pacer pickup
  • Ralph’s (the campground) at approximately 3.65 miles. Named in honor of Ralph Hohneke, who has so graciously allowed us to run on his property on race weekend. Crew access and pacer pickup is available here.
  • The Oasis at approximately 6.75 miles. The Oasis is located on the west edge of the Hitchcock Nature Center. Note: There is absolutely NO crew access at the Oasis.
  • Loess Hills Nordic Ski Patrol (9.5 miles). This “UNOFFICIAL” water stop will be minimally staffed by volunteers of the Loess Hills Nordic Ski Patrol. There will be water only at this location. Plan according at the Oasis and DO NOT expect food or other calories here.
  • Our aid stations will make every effort to limit waste. Cups will be limited to soft drinks and hot soups or drinks. Because of this all runners must carry a bottle or hydration pack. This is not optional.

Aid Station Preference:

In addition to average ordinary ultra race staples, our Aid Station captains are given free rein to make the aid station theirs. You will find a variety of other food choices throughout the race, which may include grilled cheese, other soups, pancakes, bacon, etc.

Note: we will do our best to provide you with a variety of food options throughout your race, however, all items listed here may be not available each trip through. Please understand and adjust to what is available at the time you visit. We cannot accommodate special dietary needs for each of our runners. If you have a special requirement, please be sure to keep it in your drop bag or with a crew member.

Aid stations will have the following food and drink options:

  • Water, Tailwind, Coke, Sprite, Ginger Ale, miscellaneous hot drinks
  • Hot soups, broth, quesadillas, peanut butter sandwiches, chips, and more

Note: we will do our best to provide you with a variety of food options throughout your race, however, all items listed here may be not available each trip through. Please understand and adjust to what is available at the time you visit. We cannot accommodate special dietary needs for each of our runners. If you have a special requirement, please be sure to keep it in your drop bag or with a crew member.

Drop Bags

Due to overcrowding in the downstairs Lodge area and congestion in the upstairs conference room (packet pickup area) that affects race management and the ski patrol taking care of runners, we implement the following at the Start/Finish:

  1. All drop bags will be kept outside on the lower level by the aid station in a walled shelter. Please mark your bags appropriately for ease of retrieval. Of course this does not mean you can’t bring your bag into the lower level to change clothes or take care of any issues, but the bags need to be stored outside in the designated area.
  2. The conference room on the upper level (packet pickup area) will be for race staff, official business and Ski Patrol ONLY. We kindly ask that crew and family/friends do not congregate/sleep/hangout in this area.

The Lodge is the only drop bag location. We will not transport bags to any other aid station location. Crew may meet you at Ralph’s aid station if necessary. There is NO crew access at the Oasis.

Weather

Weather in December in the Midwest can be unpredictable. Average temps are highs in the mid to upper 30’s and lows in the mid to upper 20’s, however, you should come prepared for any temperature range and any weather condition.

Photos

Race photos are always available here!

Race Director

ron ruhs

Race Director:

Roh Ruhs: ron@goatz.org

Packet Pickup

Early Packet Pickup

Race Day Packet Pickup

  • ​Sunday, December 14, 2019
  • 3:45 – 4:30 a.m.
  • 6 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Hitchcock Nature Center (27792 Ski Hill Loop Road, Honey Creek, IA)

Race Day Schedule

  • Packet Pickup: 3:45-4:30 a.m.
  • Pre-race Announcements: 4:45 a.m.
  • Race Start Times:
    • 100M, Hitch Double/101K The Hard Way (1/2), & 1/2 Marathon: 5 a.m.
  • Packet Pickup: 6-8:30 p.m.
  • Pre-race Announcements: 8:45 a.m.
  • Race Start Times:
    • 50M: 9 p.m.
  • Final Cutoff for 100, 101K, and 50 miles:
    • Sunday, December 15 at 3 p.m.

Race Location

Hitchcock Nature Center is located approximately 30 minutes northeast of Omaha, NE in Honey Creek, IA (27792 Ski Hill Loop
Honey Creek, IA 51542)

Directions

  • From Interstate I-29, take the Crescent exit and travel east to the Old Lincoln Highway and turn left (3-way stop T-intersection with a Casey’s General Store on the right). Hitchcock Nature Center is located 5 miles north of Crescent off of the Old Lincoln Highway.

Follow This Race

Follow the Hitchcock Experience on social media!

Registration

The Hitchcock Experience Registration has staggered registration openings.

  • 100 Miles: Opens at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2019
  • 50 Miles: Opens at 12:01 a.m. on February 8, 2019
  • “Hitch Double” 101K The Hard Way: Opens at 12:01 a.m. on April 15, 2019
  • 13.1 Miles: Opens at 9:00 p.m. on September 30. Availability is based solely on the number of 100 milers registered by 9/30

Entry Fees:

100M “Full Experience”:

  • ​January 1 – March 31 Early Bird: $175
  • April 1 – June 30: $185
  • July 1 – September 29: $195
  • September 30 – November 25: $210 (Registrations after November 25 will not be guaranteed a shirt.)

50M “Half Experience”:

  • February 8 – June 30: $90
  • July 1 – September 29: $95
  • September 30 – November 25: $105 (Registrations after November 25 will not be guaranteed a shirt.)

101K The Hard Way “Hitch Double”:

  • April 15 – June 30: $140
  • July 1 – September 29: $150
  • September 30 – November 25: $160 (Registrations after November 25 will not be guaranteed a shirt.)

Half Marathon “The Introduction”:

  • September 30 – November 25: $75

Swag:

More information coming soon!

Race Director:

Ron Ruhs: ron@goatz.org

Get Registered!

Registration: UltraSignup

What this race supports

Proceeds from the Hitchcock Experience will go toward a donation to the Hitchcock Nature Center. The GOATz are also committed to providing our time and energy to help better the Hitchcock trail system.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is this a good “first” 50M, 101K, or 100M race?

A very subjective question! As with anything, preparation will be the key. While not “technical”, Hitchcock does have far more elevation gain than one would expect. Training for hills will be paramount to a successful race at Hitchcock.

  • Can I have a pacer?

Pacers are allowed for 100 milers only at the start of the 5th lap (50 miles completed). Those runners may have one pacer at a time that can join them at the start/finish and/or the Campground aid station. Pacers may not mule for their runner.

  • Can I have drop bags brought to aid stations?

There will be a designated drop bag location at the start/finish only. However, crew can meet their runner at the Campground aid station with items for their runner.

  • Are there locations for spectators?

Spectators are welcome at the start/finish where they can see the runners finish and also start their next lap. There are several vantage points on the lodge deck, tower and patio area where runners come in. Friends and family are also welcome to see their runner at the Campground aid station. PLEASE BE ADVISED – ANYONE ASSISTING A RUNNER AT ANY PLACE OTHER THAN THE START/FINISH OR THE CAMPGROUND AID STATION MAY CAUSE THAT RUNNER TO BE DISQUALIFIED.

  • Can my crew meet me at the aid stations on course?

Crew may assist their runner at the start/finish and at the Campground aid station only. There will be absolutely no crew access at the Oasis aid station or the Nordic Ski Patrol location. This includes anyone walking/running to meet a runner at either location or bringing any item to them. As stated in the spectator section, ANYONE ASSISTING A RUNNER AT ANY PLACE OTHER THAN THE START/FINISH OR THE CAMPGROUND AID STATION MAY CAUSE THAT RUNNER TO BE DISQUALIFIED. 

  • How do I volunteer?

We would suggest that anyone who thinks they may want to volunteer to like the Hitchcock Experience Facebook page. All current race info will be posted there, along with volunteer information and a link to the volunteer signup page that will go live after the GOATz Trail Runs event in October. If you have any questions, feel free to use the contact link to get in touch with us!

Want to get involved?

You know what makes awesome races more awesome? VOLUNTEERS. We can't do it without them, nor would we want to. If you want to be a Taunter with us, we'll put you to work.