top of page

2020 RTW Pre-Race Brief

2018-09-15 18.38.10.jpg

Greetings runners!

We are a little over a week out! First of all, let me say again, thank you for signing up for our race. You are all amazing, and April and I appreciate you coming out to support us and Ride To Walk more than ever. With the current state of the world, and COVID-19, we want to make your experience as safe as possible, while still allowing you to run to your heart’s content. Sorry this may be a little long. Think we can agree that this is a strange year. Please bear with me, and read this. There may be a quiz later. Please forgive me if you get it twice, I know I end up in some spam filters, so I’m going to use a couple of avenues to make sure you all get this vital communication.

The current wildfires burning in Northern California add another concern to the event. We are not in any active burn zones, but the smoke has reduced air quality in our area. We hope to be at least yellow or “moderate”, which means we can run without restriction. We are forecast to be orange or “unhealthy for sensitive groups” for the next couple of days. As long as we are not red, or “unhealthy”, we will be there, and you can run if you would like. If it happens to be an orange day, and you are in a sensitive group, please let me know. We'll work it out. We've only had one really bad day so far. I will continue to monitor air quality forecasts, and keep you posted as race day approaches. Praying that these fires get contained, more for the people affected than for our silly race.


Regarding COVID, here are some considerations for this year’s race:

  • If you are sick, or you or an immediate family member have been sick in the last two weeks, and have not had a negative COVID test, please stay home. We will issue you 100% credit for next year. Don’t take a chance. In fact, in you are uncomfortable coming for any reason, shoot me an email at, and I will gladly issue you 100% credit for next year and roll you into the virtual event for this year, no questions asked.

  • All runners and volunteers will be temperature checked, and pre-screened.

  • We will stagger the start to keep the crowd small. As of now, 100 milers will start promptly at noon, 24hr will start at 12:05, and 12hr and 6hr will start at 12:10. We will adjust the end time to match, so you get your full race in. Please be ready to jump in as soon as the first wave leaves, and maintain social distancing while waiting. Everyone please be in the “area” of the starting gate at 11:45 for a quick briefing. Later races, please gather at the starting area fifteen minutes prior to your start time.

  • While I’m not thinking it necessary at this time, we reserve the right to ask that you mask up for the start. You would then be able to remove your mask after the first corner as runners spread out a bit.

  • Please limit the number of people you bring with you. I’d prefer runners and volunteers only, but I’m not going to bust your chops if you bring someone to crew. I’d rather you not bring the whole family, though. Less crowds, less exposure, less risk. If they want to swing by and check in on you during your race, please feel free. I’d just rather not have 100 people hanging about the aid station for the whole weekend. Have any additional folks hang out at your “camp”.

  • Please space yourselves accordingly when setting up “camp” or pop-ups. Six feet is pretty easy to maintain. However, remember that space is at a premium, so it should be ok to set up pop-ups next to each other, and maintain "personal" distance with your neighbor.

  • There are two permanent restrooms with sinks, and two portables with a hand washing station. Please wash your hands regularly, and after each bathroom visit.

  • There will be several bottles of hand sanitizer about- feel free to apply liberally.

  • If you are just hanging around, please wear a mask. You do not need to wear a mask while running.

  • Move in a single direction through the aid station, and follow any marked directions.

  • The course is wide. Use it all and consider other people who might have different comfort levels with personal contact when passing.

  • Refrain from running with other runners not in your household.

  • Feel free to speak up if you are uncomfortable with any runner in your space, just be respectful.

  • Refrain from contact with other runners. You may be ok with hugs, but they may not. Have fun, and be friendly to your fellow racers- but respect personal space.

  • On the short two-way section of the course, refrain from "high-fives" or other personal contact. We appreciate your love and enthusiasm, but please keep your hands to yourself this year.

  • Refrain from spitting, "snot-rocketing", and any other bodily fluids on or around the course. Use the restroom, and tissues, you animals…

  • Help keep the restrooms clean. We have to clean up after you.

The Aid Station:

  • Be patient with us. Aid station stops may take an extra second or two- but it is for the protection of you and your fellow runners. If this will be a problem for you, please bring your own aid.

  • Consider using wide-mouth water bottles to speed up ice and fluid fills at the aid station. Take your lids off as you come into the aid station to speed up the process.

  • All aid station volunteers will wash and sanitize hands regularly, wear gloves, and wear masks.

  • Runners will hold their bottles under the water and Tailwind dispensers- Aid volunteers will push the button. We won't touch your gear, you won't touch ours.

  • Unfortunately, we can no longer be "cupless". We will use small, single serving cups to hand out food, so runners will not be reaching into food with bare hands. We will use packed single serving snacks where possible. Please do bring your own water bottles or cups, however, to minimize trash.

  • Please, only touch what you take, and take what you touch. Throw your trash in the nearest receptacle, or at us, just not anywhere on the course.

  • If you don’t see something, ask for it. We will make every effort to have it for you on the next loop. In the dead of the night, sometimes we forget to put out fresh fruit, or PB&J, etc.- feel free to ask us for anything you need. If we can get it, we will.

  • We’ll have hot broth, Cup ‘O Noodles, and coffee at night- just ask. We’ll also try to do some quesadillas, pancakes, etc. and order pizzas for dinner on Saturday night.

2020 Course.JPG

The Course:

  • No “turns” this year. We will run the same direction for the whole race. Slower traffic, please keep to the right, and pass on the left. Please don’t walk three or four abreast. Single up to the right when you hear “on your left”.

  • We measured .84, and that’s what we will use. Your mileage may vary. You are all running the same course, so results will be fair. No partial laps will be measured. Mike Melton has the final say when it comes to timing issues.

  • It should go without saying, but don’t cheat. There will be a second timing mat at the back of the course. Please cross it. Mike is a pro, and he will catch you if you cheat, and we will have to ask you to leave, and then mock you incessantly.

  • Please return your timing chip-- they are not cheap, and our timer didn’t get to time a lot of races this year. We’ll bill you for $20 for any non-returned chip, as per race registration.

  • Bring a light, if you are running overnight



  • Awards will be given immediately after each race. Please see us at the timing booth.

  • New races start at midnight and 6am, so you will have some fresh faces to run with.

  • If you finish an earlier race, and have to drive on the course for a short distance to exit, please use caution. Drive about 1.5 mph, and watch for runners. Yield to runners at all times, and obey volunteers. Watch the runner crossing on the road at the entrance.

  • Speaking of, be nice to our volunteers. We cannot do this without them. A little kindness goes a long way!

  • 100 Mile racers must have 80 miles in at the 24 hour mark in order to continue. No exceptions. You will then be given another 8 hours to get your 100. If you don’t have 80 miles, or don’t make it to 100, we will drop you down to the 24, so you don’t DNF- but you will not be eligible for awards in the 24.




Point Waze to Ride to Walk: 1630 CA-193, Lincoln, CA 95648, (Or if using maps, it might be 1630 Lincoln Newcastle Hwy, Lincoln CA 95648) and take the backroads if it is "traffic time". No maps? Ride to Walk is just east of Lincoln on Hwy 193. Take Hwy 65 north from I-80, take the Lincoln Blvd exit, and turn right on Ferrari Ranch, then right on McBean Parkway, which turns into 193. RTW is about a mile out of town on your right-hand side.

Thank you to our sponsors. I use and love them all:

  • Gold Country Run and Sport

  • Tailwind Nutrition

  • Honey Stinger

  • Prevail Botanicals

A huge thank you to our volunteers. We love that you give freely of your time so that others may succeed. You are the real stars here, and we appreciate you so much.

Lastly, thank you to Mike Melton of MCM Timing. He is the absolute best in the business, and you are going to be impressed. For a small race, we bring out the big guns for timing. Nicest guy you will meet, and he dances pretty great, too...

Again, we want you to succeed, whatever your goal. If there is something you need, but don’t see, please let us know. If it’s within our power, we will get it done. Feel free to text or call me- even during the race- or shoot me an email if you have any questions or requests. I can’t wait to see each of you out there!


Craig and April Simmons
Thunder Ultras

bottom of page