From the Race Director of Mind-The-Ducks 12 Hour
I have been there myself - I thought I will die from boredom circling around old MTD race course for many hours. But to my surprise - I had lot more fun doing it that I ever imagined. Afterwards I realized that there is a huge difference between running in circles by yourself during long training run vs. during race with many other racers around you. During typical ultra marathon it is not uncommon not to see another runner for hours during later stages of the race. Here is list of advantages that short looped course have based on my own and other runners experiences:
- While this is a 12 hour race, there is no minimum required amount of time to be on the course, nor will you DNF (did not finish) if you do not run the entire 12 hours. One complete lap of the course qualifies you for an official finish. You can run as long or as short as you want, depending on your personal goals.
- Next aid station is less than a mile away (so is potty)!
- No heavy hydration packs or hand held water bottles are needed.
- There are always runners around you.
- It is easier for your support team.
- It is easy to self-support - bring your own cooler, tent, chair, and/or other supplies and set up your personal aid station that you can visit every lap.
- You will see the race leaders throughout the race. You will start the race in the same pack with the race leaders, you will see the race leaders thoughout the day and you can finish at the same time as the race leaders. You might even have a chance to talk to the race leaders thoughout the race. In most other races, the race leaders might have left the finish area before you finish.
- Since the course is on a closed loop - it is safe. You will not be running on roads with traffic or crossing busy intersections.
- It is spectator friendly - do you have family and friends who want to see you complete your first marathon or ultra marathon? About one quarter of the course is visible to spectators at any given place on the course.
- Here are two comments that Jillian Harrington she posted in MTD Facebook group abour running old MTD course:
- There were a couple of ladies at the last Mind The Ducks (2012) that had never run further than a 5K. They ended up completing their first marathon distance that day, and watching their friend that they came with win the womens event!
- The other thing that I like about MTD is that there is no judgment - were all equal because we're running in circles! I know that person has 30 laps more than me, but they are still cheering me on, and I'm cheering them on - it's great like that!!