Approved for in person racing
The 2021 Vernal Equinox is approved for in person racing and will take place on the beautiful grounds of Majestic Farm in Batavia, OH. Majestic Farm is Cincinnati's premier equestrian facility with beautiful wooded trails, along with scenic paths along the woods, and around lakes. This is truly a unique venue! We have a solid COVID-19 plan in place and will follow all CDC, state of Ohio, American Trail Running Association, and International Trail Running Association guidelines.
24-12-8 Hour Run
The course is approximately 2 miles and traverses through wooded trails, lush growths and gorgeous meadows. Beautiful, smooth and fast trail. There is a large, charming, heated barn at start/finish of every loop. Superior swag with high quality shirts and custom finisher awards that are handmade in Ohio. Low contact food.Masks required at aid station/start/finish area and inside the barn. Staggered start. Limited spectator access. Belt buckles for those who run 100 miles in 24 hours. Parts of the proceeds benefits Project Congo, a charity founded by local resident, endurance athlete, and philanthropist, Dr Sylvia Gleason. Please check projectcongo.org and watch moving video about Dr Gleason’s work in Congo!
We offer three different events:
- 24 Hour (7 am - 7 am)
- 12 Hour (8 am - 8 pm)
- 8 Hour (8 am - 4 pm)
Empower Ultras is proud to be Trail Sisters approved race.
Equal Podium Spots
Equal Prize Money & Awards
Women’s specific swag & apparel. (no unisex t-shirts)
Menstrual products at all aid stations.
Equal opportunity/space for women on the starting line.
Empower Ultras was founded by two Middle-Aged, Midpack, Midwest Moms, Aneta (Nettie) Zeppettella and Jennifer Russo, who met through ultrarunning and over years gained a ton of experience finishing some of the hardest ultras on East Coast and beyond. Nettie has directed ultrarunning events as volunteer RD, and Jennifer has extensive marketing experience. We both want to empower you to try to push your limits and create your new adventures. Please join us. We will cheer for you with our whole hearts!
Nettie and Jennifer
Announcing AWD Division
Empower Ultras is super excited announce our new Athletes With Disability (AWD) division at the Vernal Equinox 24-12-8 hour run. This will be one of the area’s first races to recognize mobility and visually impaired athletes in their own division. The following guidelines have been adapted from Vermont 100 race. Thank you Amy Rusiecki, Kyle Robidoux, and Dee Char for your help and inspiration!
Criteria for AWD Entry
Criteria for entry into the 2020 Vernal Equinox AWD category is as follows:
AWDs must be able to run/walk/hike the course
Tethers may be used for athletes with a visual impairment
Leg prosthetics may be used for amputees.
Crutches, braces, or poles may be used if indicated/necessary, with approval from the RD.
Because of nature of Sycamore State Park trails, the course is not suitable for athletes in wheelchairs
AWD Entry Process
AWDs will follow the same registration process as the general registration, and will register for the distance race they plan to run on Ultrasignup.
AWD Division Breakdown
Based on International Paralympic Committee impairment descriptions, and following Vermont 100 categories, Vernal Equinox will recognize two types of AWD based on clearly defined eligible impairments: visually impaired and mobility impaired.
1. VISUAL IMPAIRED DIVISION
Individuals with vision impacted by an impairment of the eye structure, optical nerves or optical pathways, or the visual cortex, may be granted registration as an AWD but will not be allowed extended time on the course.
A couple things to note about our course for visually impaired athletes:
Course Markings: Vernal Equinox uses orange flags, orange streamers with reflective tape to mark the course. The course is 3-mile loop that will be repeated during the event. AWDs, with assistance from their guide as needed, must be able to follow the course as marked. Unfortunately we are not able make accommodations for athletes with visual impairments by altering the standard course markings.
Canines: In general, dogs are not allowed in Empower Ultras races. If an athlete with a visual impairment requires a guide dog, please contact race director for permission. Only guide dogs will be allowed on Vernal Equinox course.
2. MOBILITY IMPRAIRED DIVISION
Individuals with permanent physical disabilities that affect their ability to walk/run, may be granted registration as an AWD but will not be allowed extended time on the course.
Limb deficiency: Total or partial absence of bones or joints as a consequence of trauma (e.g. car accident), illness (e.g. bone cancer) or congenital limb deficiency (e.g. dysmelia).
Leg length difference: Bone shortening in one leg due to congenital deficiency or trauma.
Short stature: Reduced standing height due to abnormal dimensions of bones of upper and lower limbs or trunk, for example due to achondroplasia (dwarfism) or growth hormone dysfunction.
Unfortunately, due to course restrictions and safety concerns related to the trails in Sycamore State Park, this does not include:
Athletes in wheelchairs and duo teams in hand cycles, push-rim cycles, or racing wheelchairs. All AWDs must be fully ambulatory, the use of any mechanical device will not be allowed.
Rules for AWDs and Guides
AWDs and their guide(s) will follow the same rules as all participants:
Start times, Course, and Time Limits
• AWDs will start with the rest of the athletes for their race
• AWDs will run the same course as the rest of the athletes.
• The course time limit is the same for AWDs as for all participants for their race (24 hour, 12 Hour, 12 Hour Night, and 8 Hour)
• Guides are expected to follow the same rules as all other pacers.
• AWDs may be accompanied by one guide at a time to complete the race. Accommodations may be made if an AWD requires more than one guide at a time.
• Guide exchanges will take place at Start/Finish/ Main Aid Station
• Athletes are responsible for bringing their own guides to the race.
• Guides are not official entrants in the Vernal Equinox events and are not timed, scored, or listed in the official results. If a guide wants to be officially timed, scored and listed in results, they need to register as a participant including paying entry fees.
• Guides participate free of charge, but must sign a waiver prior to participation.
• Athlete and guide are regarded as a team and must be together at all times along the course.
• Guides must wear a GUIDE bib on the front and back of their outermost layer, kept visible at all times.
• Guides may not use a bicycle or other mechanical means of transport.
• Guides cannot pull the athlete, or propel the athlete forward by pushing.
• Guides cannot mule for the athlete, or run ahead to aid stations to fill water bottles or otherwise unfairly advantage their athlete.
• Guide may have a drop bag, separate from their athletes drop bag, at Main Aid Station.
• Assure that drop bags (the guide’s’ and AWD’s) are placed in the correct location in the staging area before the race start.
• Work with AWDs to ensure safety of the AWD. This includes communication between the AWD and guide to stay out of the way (typically running on the side of the trail/road) when being approached from behind by horses, faster runners, or officials on the course in order to avoid collisions.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and get familiar with our new AWD division. We are very excited to provide AWD division at Vernal Equinox and it is our hope that in disallowing extra time to complete the race (as well as other accommodations), we’re providing an opportunity for all abilities to compete on equal ground.
About Majestic Farm, the Race Host
Cincinnati’s own Majestic Farm is a state-of-the-art equestrian show facility offering exceptional training, boarding, instruction, and sales with knowledgeable and professional staff. E-mail: email@example.com
January 22 Update
We are working very hard to make this race happen. Due to the state permitting guidelines the event will not take place at Sycamore State Park this year, but we are diligently working to secure permits for an alternate location in SW Ohio. Please join our waitlist, and be assured that your credit card won't be charged until we have confirmed venue and all necessary permits to host this event. We hope to have this completed by the end of January.
No refunds, transfers, or deferrals.
Local time: 4:16 AM