Entry open for FOTM 2019

November 8, 2018


$40 entry fee available through Dec. 31

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LITTLE ORLEANS, Md., November 8, 2018 — Entry has opened for the 2019 edition of the Fire on the Mountain 50K, staged entirely within Green Ridge State Forest in western Maryland.

The early entry fee, available now through Dec. 31, 2018, is $40. That’s $5 more than the early entry period in 2018, but this time early entry is extended by two additional weeks. The overwhelming majority of 2018 participants paid a $45 entry fee, so this is an opportunity to get in for less money this time around.

Photo by Kevin Spradlin
Runners at the start of a very foggy Fire on the Mountain 50K on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2018, at Point Lookout Overlook in Green Ridge State Forest near Little Orleans, Maryland.

Starting Jan. 1, 2019, the entry fee will increase to $50. Then the rate will increase one final time, starting June 1, 2019, through Oct. 28, to $60.

As in 2018, the entry fee includes the cost of the T-shirts. For the first time, however, event T-shirts must be earned. T-shirts will be distributed not at packet pick-up but, starting in 2019, runners who finish in 10 hours and 0 minutes or faster will receive their T-shirt along with a finisher’s premium.

“There will be a few other changes as well,” said race director Kevin Spradlin. “In past years, we have had only one hard cutoff time, that being a five-hour limit to reach the midway point at the oasis, at mile 16.4. Staring in 2019, you must reach Aid Station 2 in 2 hours and 45 minutes or less, then the midway point in 5 hours or less.”

Spradlin said runners who approach either cutoff time in the first half of the race will be closely monitored the rest of the way.

“While we want everyone to finish, runners have to understand that there is a flow to a certain event. I feel that allowing a pace of 18 minutes and 17 seconds per mile, which puts a runner finishing in 10 hours, is sufficient. If a runner is not making such forward progress, then the day’s logistical plan must be modified. In addition, slower efforts leave volunteers at remote outposts even longer.”

The event hopes to bring a few upgrades to the ninth running of the Fire on the Mountain 50K. One of the most visible changes will be the addition of a second portable toilet at “base camp,” which also is the finish line and the site for race-day packet pick-up.

The event also has its eye on a certain finisher’s premium and, with luck, the required deposit can be made by the end of the year. That will depend on early runner entries, Spradlin said.

Depending on how entry goes, event officials also want to add custom bib numbers — with a photo from the race course and each runner’s name. Volunteers also plan to bring back a post-race food option, which was nixed this year after so much food was left uneaten after the 2017 race.

“I also hope to hire a photography team in 2019,” Spradlin said. “We have had a couple of cameras on the course over the years, but there’s never been a concrete, focused photographic effort before. Anyone who stands at a trailhead and watches their runner has no idea what runners go through over the 32.8 miles of the race.”

Indeed, runners face rocks, roots, steep climbs and four-points-of-contact descents on the Long Pond (red) Trail. On the Big Run/Deep Run (green) Trail, there are more rocks and roots along with, in a wet year such as in 2018, more than three dozen stream crossings.

Spradlin said he’d also like to upgrade the awards for the top male and top female.



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