About The Race
The Race Against The Sun is back after a year off and ready to test even the toughest runners grit, endurance and sanity. Will anyone finish this year? RATS is established as probably the toughest race in Alabama with its 5% finisher rate. We are excited to be working closely in conjunction with Ruffner Mountain again this year. All of the proceeds from this race will go to the Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. This year we have two registration level, $30 for Ruffner Mountain members, and $60 for non-members. So, if you aren't a member already sign up for your yearly membership!
In order to register this year you have to have finished at least a 50k trail race in the last year. This is not a race for beginners. The challenge that awaits is physical, mental, and navigational. Since June 21st is the Summer Solstice we will celebrate with a night race on the shortest Saturday night of the year (June 20th). It will be hot, rugged, dark and challenging. The course will consist of four 9ish mile loops around Ruffner Mountain in Birmingham, AL. It may be 36 miles, it could be as much as 40 miles. The race will begin as soon as the sun sets at 8:00pm on Saturday June 20th. You will have until sunrise the next morning (5:37am) to complete the course. This event will NOT have elaborate aid stations, it is designed to be minimal and to really test the toughness of a runner. There will be one aid station midway through the 9 mile loop and it will contain at least water. The trails and terrain at Ruffner Mountain are difficult and challenging.
In addition to the entry fee runners must bring a bomber of beer for the post race pancake, bacon and beer breakfast.
Why Must I Bring a Bomber of Beer?
DON'T FORGET TO BRING A BOMBER OF BEER!
In previous years some people thought I was kidding. No Bomber, no start. There are several reasons we have this tradition.
1. Trail running and beer go together really well.
2. I wanted to give every runner something to look forward to when they quit.
3. We all like to try new things, so bring a beer that you would want to share with your friend.
When you finish or more likely quit, you will be able to pick a beer out of our ice water kiddie pool. Quit early and your selection will be much better. If for some reason you cannot do this (you are under 21) let me know and we will arrange something. A bomber of beer is a 22oz bottle. Locally in Birmingham you can go to Hop City where they have a find selection. If you cannot find a bomber of beer, you have no chance of navigating the race course.
The course will be the most difficult and challenging terrain at Ruffner Mountain. A course map will be available when you show up on race day. Be prepared for some of the course to be on trails that are not on the Ruffner Mountain trail map, or questionably even trails at all. Each loop will be somewhere between 9-10 miles. There will be points throughout the course where you will be asked to prove you were there and bring back evidence to the start. This could range from tearing out pages from a book to bringing back a colored rock to taking a selfie with the homeless man in the quarry. You will get these instructions at the beginning of every loop.
There will be an aid station at the start and finish of each loop. It will have typical aid station amenities. This will include, water, Gatorade, sweet and salty food, Vaseline. There will be a pancake, bacon and beer breakfast that will start around 2:30am. If you eat a pancake, bacon, or beer you are out of the race.
There will be an unmanned aid station on the course loop somewhere around halfway. This will have water and possibly some food if I can find anything in my pantry. Keep in mind the more food left out, the more likely you will have to fight the coyotes for it.
Wait list and Refunds
For those foolish enough, we will have a wait list for the event. For those smart enough to reconsider running the race, we will allow you to drop out. The money goes to Ruffner so no refunds you cheapskates.
Pacers and Drop Bags
Pacers are not allowed. If you need a pacer, catch the runner in front of you. Drop bags will be held at the start/finish line. Items that you may want to bring include but are not limited to: socks, shoes, headlamp batteries, a note pad and pen, salt pills, machete, towels, coyote repellent, bandages, teddy bear and lubricant. (note, please don't actually bring a machete)
Local time: 4:00 AM