Abe’s Trail Trek – Drake Lake

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November 14, 2020

Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA
10149 County Highway 11
Chandlerville, Illinois   62627

 

 

On Line Registration Link

 

Based on your comments and Tri Smarter standards of quality we have moved Abe’s Trail Trek from Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site to what the locals call Panther Creek.

Panther Creek (Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area (JEPC)), one of central Illinois’ largest public access areas — a a mosaic of mature forest land, agricultural land, grassland and rare hill prairie that is home to a rich assortment of wildlife.

Please do not fear there is NO Hunting in the area we will be running on Race Day. The Site Manager assures us we are safe to run without arrows flying or Blaze Orange needed.

 

Covid 19 News 

Abe’s Trail Trek and Covid 19 in 2020

Keeping You Safe

We completely understand any hesitation or concerns you may have about running with Covid 19 on all our minds.

So please read the following and know that your safety is priority #1 in all aspects of planning and Race Day Execution.

We have met or exceeded all safety protocols for Permit Approval from IDNR, with previous Safety Procedures approval from IDPH and all within the Governors Covid 19 Guidelines

We have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep you, all volunteers and race staff safe and were recently recognized nationally for our Success at hosting 3 Triathlons in July with no reported issues of Covid 19 among 360 athletes. All went home Safe and Healthy.

We were the 1st in Illinois and one of 1st in Nation to host Triathlons under the Safe Return to Racing Protocols from USAT, USOC, CDC and WHO.

We will use all we learned for Abe’s Trail Trek and a high level summary includes:

  • Masks Required for all Racers (not when running), Volunteers, Staff and Spectators
  • Mandatory temperature check and Covid 19 screening questions for all racers
  • Designated arrival and race start times with a rolling run start providing distance between runners
  • Limited contact points at Start, on trail, water stops and Finish
  • Social Distancing at all times at the venue, keeping 6 feet apart and ask all family members/spectators to keep the group to less than 50 people and with 30 feet separation of groups
  • No Awards Ceremony or Finisher Action to eliminate congregation and contact points
  • No posted results, results will be immediately available on line and Top 3 winners announced after every event
  • Immediate presentation of awards at Awards Table with minimal contact – No mailed awards
  • Pre-packaged food to go
  • Revised water stops with no cups, only sealed bottled water and HEED from Cooler or from FIZZ Tabs
  • Absolutely No Littering of Water Bottles, Use the Trash Cans or You Will Trash This Race
  • Limited Family and Spectators within reason, group must include less than 50 people and keeping 30 feet apart from other groups
  • More Toilets with Spacing, Hand Wash Stations and Hand Sanitizer and Disinfectant Wipes Available On Site for All to Use
  • Be Aware of your surroundings and limit Spitting and Snot Rockets only when alone on the Trails
  • Do Not Litter
  • Racer Self Reliance

Above is the Summary but be assured all the details were considered for your Safe and Enjoyable Trail Run or Walk.

There are many changes to the events and how they must be held to keep everyone safe. We will keep the website updated as things develop so please keep checking the site.

Stay Well and Train Smart

 

The New Fun Stuff for 2020

Again for 2020 and beyond we offer a unique natural Illinois venue, courses and one-of-a-kind Awards, finisher Long Sleeve Race Shirts, Finisher Medals for All Runners, Disposable Bib/Timing Chip and a challenge for all levels

Courses are mainly rolling, double track trails through Jim Edgar Panther Creek with many features to add to the thrill and challenge of trail running. There are lakeside trails, ups, downs, prairies, creek crossings, wildlife and Illinois nature few ever see since you need to leave the vehicle and enter the woods.

All courses use the trails of Drake Lake and the interior of the site for true forest Immersion, or Nature Therapy as science now labels what we love, running in the woods

All entrants will receive a Bib/Timing Chip, Long Sleeve Custom Shirt, Finisher medals, On Course Support and Awards with Food and Drink to go.

Subway is providing food after your event.

Register early!  We cannot guarantee a shirt if registering after midnight on November 8

 

Active Refund

Please visit this link to read about a new program that will Refund Your entry fee if You choose to Cancel your race 48 hours before planned Race Start. It is not a Race Cancellation Program, it is a Racer Cancellation Program.

Refund Info

This Question is getting asked often enough to post this ANSWER

Tri Smarter will not cancel your race unless the Governor moves us out of Phase 4 therefore giving us no choice but to adhere to his guidelines.

Under the Refund Program if you cancel 48 before the event for any reason you get your money back.  Tri Harder will know if the event will be cancelled 48 hours out and will notify all racers so you can review your options under the Refund Program.

 

Covid Screening Questions Asked of All Racers Before Racing on Saturday

Attached is the Springfield Clinic Triage Protocol.

The most important questions:

  • Have you been tested for COVID-19?

o   If “yes”, was it positive or negative?

  • Have you had any cold or flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days?

o   Fever, if above 100.5 racer cannot race

o   Loss of taste or smell

o   Cough

o   Shortness of Breath

o   Headache

o   Fatigue

  • Have you been exposed to someone with confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19?
  • If yes to any of these, these racers should be flagged and not allowed to participate. A number of people have been tested by this point so if they have a negative test, they can still race if they can document the negative test result

 

Please read the Covid Race Polices Tab on this webpage. It is required reading and covers the revisions to water stops and Runner Self Reliance.

In addition please read the sections under the Information Tab on this webpage. It is required reading.

 

Abe’s Trail Trek at Drake Lake 2020

New this year besides the Venue of Panther Creek at Drake Lake, are the Amazing Courses, New Custom Shirts, Finisher Medals for all Distances, New Awards and Nature Made Awards and more you need to experience firsthand on the trails.

We have been working with the site manager and have created all new courses for the 5k, Quarter Marathon and Half Marathon Trail Runs that showcase the interior of this Illinois Gem.

All courses include groomed double track trails with many features that will provide a challenging and enjoyable run through this beautiful site.

Features include lakeside runs, hills, valleys, creek crossings, wildlife and the chance to see a part of this site many never see since you have to get out of your car to enjoy the nature.

In addition to new courses we will have new shirts, new food vendors and much more to bring this classic event back to the grandeur of the past years.

Although this is the 9th year all courses are new and will challenge you no matter which distance you participate, the 5k, Quarter Marathon (6.55 mile) or Half Marathon.

We offer more awards for the 5k, unique handmade awards for the Quarter Marathon and Half Marathon and Finisher Medals for all Runners.

All runners get a custom; Bib/Timing Chip, Long Sleeve T-shirt, Finisher Medals, On Course Support and Trails not typical for central Illinois.

The Fastest Overall Males and Females for the Quarter and Half Marathon receive Wine from West of Wise Winery.

Come help us hit the 300 runners goal and be part of this epic event at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (Panther Creek).

 

Entry Fees

Half Marathon – $72                                                                 $82 race day

Quarter Marathon/10k Run – $54                                             $64 race day

5k Fun Run/Walk – $47                                                            $57 race day

On Line registration is open at link above.

The final shirt order will be placed at 6:00am on Monday before the races so please plan ahead.  Any registrations received after that time and day will not be guaranteed a shirt.

 

 

START TIMES

8:00 am Half Marathon Trail Run
8:45 am – Quarter Marathon/10k Trail Run
9:30 am – 5k Fun Run/Walk

Please check out all the details at www.trismrtr.com

 

COURSE MAPS, INFORMATION & MARKING

5k Map
The 5k race follows the Yellow 3.1mile Course. The 5K course is 3.1 miles but different from previous years, so enjoy the challenge. There are ups/downs, creeks, prairie and woods to Trek through.

10k/Quarter Marathon Map
The 10k/Quarter Marathon Course will follow the Orange markings for the 6.55 mile Course.

All 10K runners will complete one loop of the 10k/6.55 mile course that offers ups/downs, creeks, prairie and woods to Trek through.

Half Marathon Map
The Half Marathon will follow the Orange Course for 2 loops Trekking ascents, descents, prairie, trees, and turns.

Parking Map

View Parking Map

Please arrive at your designated time and follow the parking volunteer instructions as to where to park. See the detailed information under the Packet Pickup heading below.   You can get a mask from the parking volunteer.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

5K

  • The 5k runners will begin in the parking lot to allow everyone to line up and more importantly get into a single file line going around the boat ramp and lake once you start.
  • Runners will Self Seed with faster runners starting first and with approx. 20 feet of spacing between runners
  • If you need to pass please pass quickly on the left while the to be passed runner slows down to allow the pass
  • There will be plenty of room to pass on the Double Track trails once in the woods so please use caution until the woods
  • Before the boat ramp you will pass the Shelter and can wave hi and by to your family and friends before your Trek into the woods.
  • Once around the boat ramp you turn right and follow the YELLOW Ribbons and Signs across the Drake Lake dam, into the woods to the creek crossing which might be wet or dry.
  • After crossing the creek you follow the YELLOW markings right on the trail to Geiss Pond.
  • At the pond parking lot you will pass the Toilets and the picnic shelter following the loop trail just past the shelter then turn around and head back on same trail.
  • You will continue less than a mile to the right turn up the hill to the highest point on the trail then head back down to the creek crossing.
  • Once across the creek you begin the climb out to the prairie trail leading to the descent into the valley behind Drake Lake.
  • Once the descent is complete you are below the dam and now need to climb up the hill to the Finish.
  • Water is at Start and miles .9, 1.7, 2.1 and Start/Finish at Geiss Pond Shelter.

 

6.55 Mile Loop – Quarter Marathon = 1 Loop

Half Marathon = 2 Loops

  • The Quarter Marathon and Half Marathon runners will begin in the parking lot to allow everyone to line up and more importantly get into a single file line going into the woods around Drake Lake.
  • Before entering the woods you will pass the Shelter and can wave hi and by to your family and friends before your Trek into the woods
  • Runners will Self Seed with faster runners starting first and with approx. 20 feet of spacing between runners
  • If you need to pass please pass quickly on the left while the to be passed runner slows down to allow the pass
  • There will be plenty of room to pass on the Double Track trails once in the woods so please use caution until the woods.
  • You now proceed on the trail around Drake Lake for about a mile to the 1st water stop.
  • Proceeding on the trail following Orange markings you will travel on minor rollers twisting and turning to water stop 2 and 3
  • You now leave the Drake Lake trail heading a few miles away to Geiss Pond going down a hill to the creek crossing, which may be wet or dry.
  • After crossing the creek you follow the Orange markings right on the trail to Geiss Pond.
  • At the pond parking lot you will pass the Toilets and the picnic shelter (water stop) following the loop trail just past the shelter then turn around and head back on same trail.
  • You will continue less than a mile to the right turn up the hill to the highest point on the trail then head back down to the creek crossing.
  • Once across the creek you begin the climb out to the prairie trail leading to the descent into the valley behind Drake Lake.
  • Once the descent is complete you are below the dam and now need to climb up the hill to the Finish.
  • Water is at the Start and miles .8, 2.4, 3.8, 5.0, 6.0 for the Quarter Marathon and the same plus miles 6.8, 8.4, 9.8, 11 and 12 and at the Start/Finish.  There will be Hammer HEED, gels, chips, pretzels, cola and Hammer Endurolytes at the stops.

 

Awards and Ceremony

Due to Covid 19 Concerns there will be no Awards Ceremony this year nor can we post the results at the site.

For 2020 the results will be posted immediately on line using the Results Link below.

Results Link

The Awards for the Top 3 Overall and Age Group Winners will be known by the volunteer and they will provide the awards while masked and gloved as will you since your no longer running and have a mask.

The Awards will be ready at the table and the Volunteer will check your race number and provide your Award.  They will not be providing your results nor answering questions.

5k awards will be given to the top 3 overall male and female runners.  Awards will also be given to the 1st place finisher in the following age groups for both male and female.  Under 14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, etc.

Quarter Marathon awards will be given to the top 3 overall male and female runners.  Awards will also be given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finisher in the following age groups for both male and female. Under 14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, etc.

Half Marathon awards will be given to the top 3 overall male and female runners. Awards will also be given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finisher in the following age groups for both male and female. Under 14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, etc.

Finisher Medals for all runners will be provided in your packet at pickup

 

Timing

Your Bib/Chip will have a highlighted color swatch to remind you of your race color-coding and contain your timing Chip.

Please do not bend or remove the timing tag or you won’t be timed. Bibs/Chips are to placed in the trash after you cross the Finish Line.

Post Race

Unfortunately due to Covid 19 we cannot congregate or Hang Around after your Run.

When you cross the Finish Line please grab your own bottle of water, dispose of your bib/timing chip and pick up your pre-packaged food and drink to go.

Check the Results Link to see how you did and if applicable visit the Awards Table.  Top 3 Overall Winners and Age Group Winners will be immediately announced after race completion so listen to the DJ for your name if you think you did well.

Stay Well & See You Next Year

 

Packet Pickup Times and Procedure

Race Day – Nov. 14th

Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA

10149 County Highway 11

Chandlerville Il. 62627
Drake Lake Parking Lot

You can only pick up your packet on race day. We will accept sign ups at packet pickup and on race day but no shirt is guaranteed.

Procedure:

Upon arrival you will be instructed where to park by the parking volunteer and provided a mask if needed

You will 1st go to the Medical Table where your temperature will be taken and Covid 19 Questions asked

Upon successful completion you will be provided a Covid 19 Waiver and Release that must be signed and presented to the Packet Pickup Volunteers, do not hand it to them instead place the signed document in the box on the table.

Get your packet and verify you have a Bib/Timing Chip, Shirt, Finisher Medal, Gels if applicable and safety pins if needed.

 

Packet Pickup Arrival Times

Half Marathon – 6:45 am – 7:45 am   Race Start Time 8:00am

Quarter Marathon – 7:30am – 8:30am  Race Start Time 8:45am

5k – 8:15am – 9:15am  Race Start Time 9:30am

 

Race Day Parking

Race day parking will be in 4 areas at the Venue and your location is dependent on your Packet Pickup Time.  Parking areas include the main lot at Start/Finish, along the Left side of lake road after you turned around at the Parking Turn Around spot, Lot #2 along the lake road or the Lot #1 immediately off the main road on the lake road.

Please adhere to the set times or you will create a mess for yourself and many others.  You will have over an hour to get your packet and get yourself ready to run.

There will be a Volunteer leading parking so please follow their instructions.  They can provide you a mask if needed.

Due to staggered Start Times we estimate the Half Marathon runners will be parking in the Main lot at Start/Finish.

The Quarter Marathon runners will park along the left side of the road after turning around at the Parking Turn Around Spot or in Lot #2 along the venue road.

Please keep two wheels on grass and two on road and leave enough space for emergency vehicles to enter and exit if needed if you park along the road.

The 5k runners will park along the left side of the road after turning around at the Parking Turn Around Spot or in Lot #2 along the venue road or at the Lot #1 immediately off the main road.

Please keep two wheels on grass and two on road and leave enough space for emergency vehicles to enter and exit if needed if you park along the road.

Do Not Park on the Right Side of Road – You could block an emergency vehicle that may need in or out.

Follow the parking signs and volunteers directions.

Camping is available at the site for tents, campers, RV’s and cabins on site as are hotel rooms at River Bank Lodge in Petersburg.

 

Final Shirt Order

The shirt order will be placed at 8am on the Monday before the race.

If you want a shirt please register before 11pm Sunday night.

We will order some extras but they will go quick so if you want a shirt in your size register now.

On line registration will close Thursday the 11th at 11:00 pm.

You can still register at both packet pickups but no shirt or SWAG is guaranteed.

 

Race Day Additional Information

November 14, 2020

Abe’s Trail Trek 5k,Quarter Marathon/10K, Half Marathon

ALL EVENTS GO ON REGARDLESS OF WEATHER (lightning may delay the event start). YOU ARE A TRAIL RUNNER, NOT A ROAD RUNNER; WE GET WET, COLD, MUDDY and FALL DOWN (tuck and roll). HOWEVER, WE GET UP AND KEEP ON, KEEPIN’ ON.

Race day registrations will be accepted but no shirt is guaranteed. No shirts or awards will be mailed. Slow down, hang out and enjoy the venue, bonfires, music and claim your award.

Racers must show their PHOTO ID to pick up packets. Remember to bring your picture ID for packet pickup.

NO ID, NO RACING, NO EXCEPTIONS. HARASSING VOLUNTEERS IS CAUSE FOR IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL BY RACE DIRECTOR. YOU CANNOT PICK UP ANYONE ELSES PACKET.

NO WIMPS OR WHINERS.

It is your responsibility to know your course. All attempts have been made to make your event safe and successful, however, only you can make this happen.  We have cleared trails, mitigated obstacles, installed directional signs and color coded course ribbons, briefed volunteers, posted maps, explained courses, provided safety personnel and done our best.

However, there may still be hazards on the course do to the dynamic nature of trail runs.

Your safety and success depends on knowing the courses and your abilities. Run fit, smart and be aware of the terrain.

Although this is a RRCA sanctioned event for everyone’s safety you will be running on the right and passing on the left unless directed otherwise by signage, volunteers or cones.  All courses are primarily double-track so they are fast and passing is possible.  Please remember to run on the right and pass on the left.

There are two areas on the courses where two-way traffic may occur. Signs will be posted alerting you to these areas.  Traffic could be coming and going so be aware.

Listening Devices & Distractions

Based on RRCA rules, no listening devices, dogs or strollers will be permitted on the courses. While these may aid your training, they make you and others around you unsafe on race day.  You will be disqualified if you choose to ignore the rule. Safety of everyone on the courses is our #1 goal. Keep your tunes for training. NO EXCEPTIONS, NO DEBATES, NO REFUNDS.

First Aid/Medical

Medical personnel will be running in all events. The Rescue Squad and Police will be on site and can be reached by calling 911.  You will be in Cass County for the event and cell phone reception is very weak and not consistent.

Hydration/Restrooms/Showers

Water and Hammer Nutrition HEED will be available at the Start, at water stops and at the Finish Line.

5k water stops are located at approx. mile .9, 1.7, 2.1 and Start/Finish.

Quarter Marathon water stops are approx. at mile .8, 2.4, 3.8, 5.0, 6.0 and Start/Finish

Half Marathon water stops are approx. at mile Start/Finish, .8, 2.4, 3.8, 5.0, 6.0, 6.8, 8.4, 9.8, 11.0, 12.0.

A Hammer gel will be provided to Half Marathon runners and will be available at water stops on the Half Marathon course.  There will also be chips, pretzels, bananas, and endurolytes at most stops.

Restrooms are located at the Start Line and at the Geiss Pond Parking lot and Shelter.

Showers are available at the site campgrounds. You will need to drive your own vehicle to the showers.

Beginner Information and Site Maps

While every attempt has been made to remove, clear and/or mark manmade or natural hazards, they still exist.  Be mindful of each step and look approximately 3-5 feet ahead at the trail.  This allows you to place your next step and avoid trip hazards.

Please review the Course Maps on the website and at the packet pickups.  It is your responsibility to know your course.

Courses

Please review the run course routes on the website map. There may be slight differences on race day, don’t fret it, roll with it. Volunteers will be present at all key points on the courses providing direction.

Since all courses are on trails there might be distance discrepancies. We have utilized a track and field wheel six times with four different runners, we have used GPS units in the spring and fall and we have ran and biked with GPS units and each time varying distances were achieved.

Bottom line distances may not be exact 5k, Quarter Marathon (10k) or Half Marathon but everyone in your event covered the same distance. We do not need to hear what your GPS stated, we have spent days reading GPS data, it varies. Welcome to trail running, we are casual and there are things we just accept and move on.

Course Hazards and You

It is your responsibility to know your course. All attempts have been made to make your event safe and successful, however, only you can make this happen.  We have cleared trails, mitigated or removed obstacles, installed directional signs and color-coded course ribbons, briefed volunteers, posted maps, explained courses, provided safety personnel and done our best. However, there may still be hazards on the course do to the dynamic nature of trail runs. Your safety and success depends on knowing the courses and your abilities. Run fit, smart and be aware of the terrain.

Course Marking

5K course follows high visibility YELLOW ribbons and signs

10K course follows ORANGE ribbons and signs

Half Marathon course follows ORANGE ribbons and signs

Finish Line Area

Please keep clear of the orange cones providing a pathway for the runners. There is ample viewing area to see your runners all along the course and Finish.

 

We look forward to seeing you in November. Keep in mind there is absolutely no hunting of any kind, at any time in this nature site. Come run fast in central Illinois. No blaze orange required.

Abe’s Trail Trek is being held to raise funds for Local Groups, Teams and the Local Rescue Squad and to maintain this Majestic Site.   Come join in the history of the site’s past and be a part of its future.

 

 

2021 Triathlons

Don’t forget to sign up for the Abe’s Mini and Pioneer Sprint Triathlons in May.

Abe’s Olympic, Stoneman and Route 66 Half Distance Triathlons in Springfield in July.

Moonlight Miles at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Sept.

Visit www.triharderpromotions.com for more specifics.

 

More About the Venue

The site, including the former Panther Creek Conservation Area, now totals 16,550 acres.  Formerly known as Site M, it was acquired by the State of Illinois from Commonwealth Edison after the company abandoned plans for a coal-fired power plant and cooling lake in Cass County.  Since 1993, IDNR has developed the site for conservation and recreation, adding hundreds of acres of native and cool season grasses, habitat strips and trees on former pasture, idling hundreds of other acres allowed to move towards forest through natural succession.

JEPC features hunting for deer, wild turkey and dove, upland species (pheasant, quail, woodcock, snipe and rabbit), furbearers (raccoon, opossum, red fox, gray fox, striped skunk and coyote) and squirrels.

Sport fishing opportunities are available at Gridley Lake (25 acres opened 1998), Prairie Lake (210 acres, opened 2002) and Drake Lake (35 acres opened in 2003). Several ponds within the site also have been renovated. Stream fishes include largemouth bass, bluegill and green sunfish, along with shiners, chubs and minnows, with muskie stocked in Prairie Lake. Northern pike have been added to Gridley Lake, which is also stocked for spring and fall trout fishing seasons.

The site has 24 miles of mountain bike trails, a three-mile hiking/jogging trail, 26 miles of equestrian trails, and extensive camping opportunities, including the Prairie Lake campground with 84 campsites and nine cabins available, along with a dedicated equestrian campground with 51 electric campsites.  Make campsite reservations at www.reserveamerica.com.

 

Approximate Distances according to Mapquest

Springfield to Panther Creek 41 minutes, 32 miles

Bloomington to Panther Creek 1:29, 83 miles

Chicago to Panther Creek 3:56, 218 miles

Peoria to Panther Creek 1:32, 72 miles

St. Louis to Panther Creek 2:09, 133 miles

 

Refund Policy

No refunds will be provided. At the discretion of the Race Director a Transfer arrangement may be possible. No last minute requests will be considered.

 

RACE SUMMARY

Half Marathon

Start Time

8:00am

Half Marathon FOLLOW HIGH VISIBILITY ORANGE RIBBONS AND SIGNS

 

Quarter/10K Marathon Trail Run

Start Time
8:45am

10K FOLLOW HIGH VISIBILITY ORANGE RIBBONS AND SIGNS.

 

5k Fun Run and Walk

Start Time

9:30am

FOLLOW HIGH VISIBILITY YELLOW RIBBONS AND SIGNS

 

Thank a Volunteer

And on behalf of the Race Staff, Thank You. See you next year. Trek On.

 Tri Smarter

Tri Smarter is a  501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law.

To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record.

The Tri Smarter website is located at www.trismrtr.com

This event is a fund raiser for the site, local rescue squad, EMS, Police and school and community groups.

Please send all training and racing questions to trismrtr@gmail.com and we will get them answered to help you become a faster, stronger, safer and healthier endurance athlete.

 

REMEMBER:

It’s not SWEAT. It’s LIQUID AWESOME
No Shotguns, only TRAIL RUNS
No blaze orange required, only blazing speed
Road runners look ahead to the road, trail runners look down to the trail