Saturday, Sep 26, 2020

The Squatchung Surprise

452 New Providence Road

Mountainside, NJ 6hrs, 5K, 3hrs

This Event Took Place Sat. Sep 26, 2020

Cancelled Event


We have an update on the Squatchung Surprise... Unfortunately, Union County is not issuing us the permit. They are doing ongoing trail work at the Watchung Reservation and are not giving out race permits for the summer/fall. This means that we have to cancel the 2021 Squatchung Surprise. Believe me, we are just as disappointed as you are!!! (Your credit card was not charged when you pre-registered for the Squatchung Surprise)

HOWEVER - we do have several other trail parties coming up - the newest one that we just announced is on August 28th at Stokes State Forest: THE BACKYARD SQUATCH ULTRA. That's right- it's the first ever backyard ultra in NJ! Complete the 4.167 mile course every hour on the hour or get eliminated! The race ends when there is only one runner left standing. Check it out here:

You can check out the rest of our events by visiting our website:

The Squatchung Surprise

Join us at the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside, New Jersey on Saturday October 2, 2021 for THE SQUATCHUNG SURPRISE! Inspired by legendary RD Sherpa John's TommyKnocker Ultra in Golden, Colorado, The Squatchung Surprise will test your endurance, speed and mental fortitude as your fate on the course is determined by the luck of the draw......

3H and 6H Race Details

The 6H starts at 10AM. Check-in from 8:30AM-9:30AM.
The 3H event starts at 1PM. Check-in from 11:30AM-12:30PM.

There are 4 different trail loops and a bucket of golf balls that match the color of each loop. Before each loop, a volunteer will reach into the bucket and pull out a golf ball to determine which loop you will run. Along with the 4 colored golf balls that correspond to the 4 different loops, there will also be a black golf ball. The black golf ball = "runner's choice". The runner gets to choose whichever loop he/she wants to complete. Our Volunteer Dream Team will keep track of the loops that you complete by adding stickers to a giant chart. This means that we need you to keep your bib visible at all times! The 3H/6H runners and hikers will repeat this process after every loop until 3PM.

At 3PM, runners will have to make a game-time decision! Take a chance and continue drawing golf balls OR or wait until 3:30PM for the 1/2 mile mini loop to open up. Runners have to choose one or the other! If you decide to continue drawing golf balls, you cannot go on the mini 1/2 mile loop. This means that if you get the long loop and are unable to complete it in the time remaining, that loop will not count towards your final mileage. If you draw a shorter loop and you finish with time remaining, you can continue tempting fate and drawing golf balls with the time remaining. "You get what you get, so don't get upset!" Any loop not completed before the timer ends, will not count. This year we are offering ONE charity-mulligan to all 6H/3H runners/hikers. You can choose to use your ONE charity-mulligan at any point in the race to do a re-draw if you pull a golf-ball you don’t like. You have to donate $20 cash to get the charity-mulligan. 100% of the proceeds from the charity mulligans will be used to purchase additional donations for Operation Chillout!

If you decide to run the mini 1/2 loop, you must wait until 3:30PM before you can begin racking up those 1/2 miles. Any loop not completed before the timer ends, will not count.


If you have run/hiked the Squatchung Surprise the in 2018 or 2019, you'll remember that every runner was given a Sassport that was used to verify their completed loops. In an effort to reduce as many "touch-points" as we can, we are no longer using the Sassport system. So what does this mean. It means that Sasquatch is trusting you. Yes, you. Sasquatch is trusting that you will not cheat, that you will not cut the course and that you will not be dishonest in the race. Don't be THAT runner that ruins it for everyone... Are we laying on the guilt-trip pretty hard right now? 100% yes. Without the Sassports in play, this means that the final results will be based on the sticker chart that will be updated by our Volunteer Dream Team.

Course Description

Check-in and the start/finish will be at the gravel lot at "The Loop" on WR Tracy Drive, Mountainside New Jersey. Follow signs for "The Loop Playground". There are 4 loops that vary in distance between 2 miles - 6ish miles. Each loop will have a distinct color that corresponds to the golf balls in the bucket. Everyone is guaranteed to run a different course as each runners' fate is determined by the luck of the draw! Runners will experience varied terrain on each of the loops; technical singletracks to easy doublewide trails. All runners will get to enjoy the scenic views around Lake Surprise.


Running for 3 or 6 hours not your thing? Don't worry, the Squatch has you covered! You can sign up for the 5K! Once you complete your 5K, you are finished and can sit back, relax and watch those other crazy runners keep going for hours. The "5K" starts at 9AM. Check-in from 8AM-8:30AM; must be checked-in by 8:30AM.

Does your mini-squatch want to run the main event? We want the WHOLE family to come out to our events! We have a special discount code for families registering 3 or more Squatches in the same household. Please email before you register so we can give you the code! Sassquad Trail Running is proud to offer 20% off all events to all active duty military and Veterans. Must provide proof of service. Please email before you register for an event so we can provide you with a discount code. NYNJ Trail Conference members can receive 10% off of registration; please email for the NYNJTC discount code!


Q: I can't come to the race, can I get a refund?
A: No. Unfortunately we do not offer refunds on the non-refundable registration fee.

Q: Can I bring my dog?
A: Negative. Lassie has to stay home for this event.

Q: Can I sign my kids up for The Squatchung Surprise?
A: Yes! This is a family friendly event. However, YOU are responsible for your kids and need to run with them. Be sure to register your child separately and agree to the waiver for minors. Please keep track of Mikey, Chunk and Data before, during and after the race. We only have 1 search-party and they're already out there looking for Sasquatch.

Q: What's the weather like in Mountainside, NJ in September?
A: Hot and humid or maybe cool and rainy. Be ready for anything.

Q: Talk to me about the finishers' swag. What do I get to take home with me after the race? I want you to spill your guts, tell me everything!
A: Everything. OK, I'll talk! In third grade, I cheated on my history exam. In fourth grade, I stole my uncle Max's toupee and I glued it on my face when I was Moses in my Hebrew School play. In fifth grade, I knocked my sister Edie down the stairs and I blamed it on the dog... When my mom sent me to the summer camp for fat kids and then they served lunch I got nuts and I pigged out and they kicked me out! ...But the worst thing I ever done: I mixed up all this fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa - and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. And I never felt so bad in my entire life!

Q: What in the world are you talking about??!!
A: Oh, sorry. You wanted me to spill my guts! Anywayyyy, besides memories that will last a lifetime, every runner will receive a handcrafted wood medal and squatchtastic finishers item. We will have squatchy awards for the top 3 male and top 3 female runners who rack up the most miles, along with a few "superlative awards". We will give out the awards when the race ends. Swag will be given out during check-in.

Q: I want to sign up for the event, but I know I won't stay out there to run the entire time. Can I still sign up?
A: YES! If at any point you decide that you're finished running and you do not want to go out for another loop please tell a volunteer so we know that you are no longer out on the course.

Q: What will you have at the aid station?
A: We'll be serving fettucini alfredo, with a bottle of fettucine, a 1981........ Yeah right. We'll have pre-packaged items that should appeal to most runners: chips, granola bars, pretzels etc. etc. (If Chunk and Sloth register, we will be sure to have some Baby Ruths and Rocky Road Ice Cream) We will also have PowerBar Gels, courtesy of local runner and PowerBar Rep Eric Zaltas!

Q: I could get lost in a brown paper bag and I'm worried that I'm going to get lost in the woods. Will the course be marked?
A: Yes, the course will be marked! Remember to follow the ribbons that are the same color of the golf ball that you pulled.

Q: Speaking of directions, what’s the best address for me to use to get to the start/finish?
A: 452 New Providence Road, Mountainside New Jersey. Follow signs for "The Loop Playground".

Q: I don't want to run, are there any volunteer opportunities?
A: Yes! We always need Sassy Volunteers! Click the "Volunteer" button at the top of the page!

Be a hero...

Join the Sassy Volunteer Squad! We need help with check-in, course officials, sweeping the course and cleaning up. Register as a volunteer and we will shower you with gratitude and make sure you are well-fed all day long. Are you registered for a race that requires volunteer hours? We can sign-off on the hours that you log at The Squatchung Surprise! Volunteer to provide delicious food for the runners and we can sign-off on your prep time! We love our volunteer team and we are always looking to add more sassy members to the Volunteer Squad!

Squatchy Gear

We have a lot of squatchtastic gear available at the race! Gender-specific tees and tanks, hoodies, hats, buffs, mugs, silipints, stickers etc!!

The Watchung Reservation

Watchung Reservation is the largest nature reserve in Union County, New Jersey, United States. The trails run throughout Summit, Mountainside, Berkeley Heights, Scotch Plains, and Springfield. The reservation consists mainly of the upper valley of Blue Brook, between the ridges of First Watchung Mountain and Second Watchung Mountain. A dam near the headwaters of the creek creates Lake Surprise.

Sassquad Trail Running

We are a community of SASQUATCH-lovin' trail runners. Our goal is to provide FUN and challenging events for a reasonable cost and a worthy cause. We like to think that we have a good sense of humor, a full arsenal of sarcastic wit, useless trivia facts and a deep appreciation for cinematic masterpieces (as evidenced multiple times already). Follow us on Instagram @sassquadtrailrunning and like us on Facebook to get all of our Squatchy updates:

Operation Chillout

We are excited to announce that we will be partnering with OPERATION CHILLOUT again at this race. OPERATION CHILLOUT is an all-volunteer outreach dedicated to ending to the crisis of homelessness for veterans, men and women throughout New Jersey and parts of NE Pennsylvania. Proceeds from The Squatchung Surprise will be used to purchase warm clothing for Operation Chillout's Annual Winter Homeless Outreach. You can learn more about Operation Chillout here:

Sneaker Factory

Thank you to our friends at Sneaker Factory, NJ! Sneaker Factory supports Sassquad Trail Running on and off the trails to help make the events as squatchtastic as possible! The Sneaker Factory is NJ's source for all things running: New Jersey's oldest and most well-known running store, originally opened in Millburn in 1978. Stop by one of our three convenient neighborhood locations and let us help you find the "perfect ride for every stride." Millburn, Florham Park and Basking Ridge.

Event's current local time: 11:20 AM ET


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