How-to Weeknight-Forest-Run

Reason for

Weeknight Forest Runs are a different type of trail running race. To make the event efficient and possible, racers, volunteers and organizers need to follow an always improving process. The process is different than in other races, so this is a valuable guide.

What is different

We are aiming for small price comparable to one lunch expense. Our goal is to have the price of approximately 10$ + tax.
To accommodate the small prices we want to have small footprint, few volunteers, few organizers.
The weeknight races have an open start window. That is - you come to the race, warm up and run when you are ready. There is no common start, no last minute rush. When you are ready - go! This allows the following benefits:
  • The race course does not have to be designed to accommodate large flow of people in the beginning. We can start you on the smallest trail there is!
  • Little amount of port-a-potties is needed. It is likely that  the park's bathrooms will be sufficient.
  • There is little elbowing or not-being-able to pass situations.
To accommodate the open start window and the wish to have small footprint, we are using an orienteering rooted specialized timing system named Sport Ident (SI).

Timing system

The SI timing works the following way: you get to carry around a small "finger stick" or "epunch" that you put into "controls" located along the route. The control beeps and records your time at the control.
There are several control (cell phone sized electronic bricks) types:
  • Clear - deletes everything from epunch
  • Check - validates epunch to be empty
  • Start - first control on course, records only if empty epunch (never start without doing Clear)
  • Usual controls - along the course. Either alone or in pairs. Only one at a site needs to be "punched"
  • Finish control - records finish time.
It might sound complicated, but it should be easy after trying it out on a demonstration course (and we will set that up if many new runners are coming).
The epunches are somewhat expensive and we are planning to reuse them for several runners; please return your rented epunch as soon as possible.


  1. Register online.
    1. Or not. On-site registration will be available, but online registered runners will have preference. We want to enable the "I figured out I have time, so I went to run" race experience, but till everything is ironed out, it might be stressful.
  2. Arrive some time before your start
  3. Warm up
  4. Take a look around
    1. at the start and finish
    2. at the demonstration course
  5. Register if you did not register online
  6. Sign the waiver and get the epunch
    1. Do Clear-and-check 
    2. if you do a demonstration course
      1. Download results
      2. Do clear-and-check again
  7. Go to the start.
  8. Go!
  9. Follow the flagging around the course. If you see an orienteering marker, punch the control there.
    1. Trail markings are described here
  10. Punch the finish control.
  11. Go to the results tent:
    1. put the epunch in the download device
    2. say your name
    3. take the printout
      1. validate your name
    4. give back the epunch
    5. see the results
  12. Hang around to see how other people are running
  13. Drink some water
  14. Go home
  15. See results
    1. Results will be published before next day 8AM.


We are looking for any feedback to improve the race experience. If you liked something - let us know. If you didn't - let us know and we will try to repair.


This document will be updated quite often. Last update: 6/17/2015.

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