Race Doc

CHICOT CHALLENGE 20 Mile Trail Race & Relay
Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana
March 18, 2023 8:00 am (solo); 8:30 am (relay)


Thinking about Chicot Challenge over the last few weekends and how much fun we have out there, we have been trying to find ways to let more folks take part in the fun.  So, I have decided to make it a little more interesting, while keeping the spirit of this race an "end of the season trail party". 

There will be a solo 20 mile race and a 20 mile trail relay where you can have teams with up to 4 members.  The relay will be one big group - regardless of whether you have a team of 2 or a team of 4, you have to find the best combination that will work for you.  The legs for the relay will be:  (approximately) - 4 miles, 4 miles, 8 miles, 4 miles.  Some legs are a bit longer than mentioned, some a bit shorter, but that will give you a general idea.


Whichever team finishes the 20 mile relay first will win $200 cash in prize money - regardless of team size  - so it will be interesting to see how the teams are structured to see who takes first place.  The twist is that the least number of team members you have (you choose anywhere from 2 - 4 members), the more money each team member makes.  It's $200 total for the first team, so a speedy team of 2 could earn each of its members $100 if they are able to take first place.   The relay will begin at 8:30 am and the teams have 5.5 hours, or until 2 pm to finish. This is a 16 minute per mile pace.  Easy peasy.

First place male and female in the 20 miler will each win $150 cash and a free entry into the next years race, with 2nd and third place male and female for the 20 miler each getting a free entry into the 2023 race.  Depending on how this race grows, we may be able to go deeper with prize money in the future.  The 20 miler will begin at 8:00 am, and the cutoff is 2pm.

Style points - because I know some of our trail running friends like a good excuse to dress up!  Top costume for a solo runner gets $50 cash, and top team costume gets $50 cash.

This will be a traditional Paix Running race, with each finisher getting a good quality medal (newly designed for 2023), and a race shirt.  We will also be cooking at the finishers pavilion, so there will be food and drink served all day long.

BUT!  The course itself is SELF SUPPORTED!  We will be doing minimal marking - but it will be daytime so you will be able to see the orange blazes on the trees.  The only aid that will be on the course will be an unmanned water stop at mile 8.  So, if you are running the 20 miler, you have to be prepared to carry enough fluid to make it the first 8 miles, then the last 12 miles.  And your nutrition is your responsibility.  Seriously, we run this loop all of the time carrying everything we need, and we somehow manage to survive.  You will too, as long as you plan accordingly.  Relay teams will be responsible for supporting their runners as they have in the years past.

The start/finish pavilion will be stocked with plenty of food and drinks for after the race for everyone to take advantage of.

  • Only one of your team members can be on the trail at a time.
  • You decide the distance each runner is covering, but the MAX team size is 4. As long as AS A TEAM you cover 20 miles, how you choose to do it is up to you.
  • Since the distances are shortened, NO PACERS, unless the runner is under 12 years old, then a pacer is allowed.

  1. 4 MILE TRAIL HEAD (North Landing)
  2. 8 MILE MARKER (East Landing)
  3. 16 MILE MARKER  (Your team will have to park on the road and hike a short way in on the emergency exit path to reach this one.)

The exchange points are going to be handled on the honor system.  The next runner in line for your team CAN NOT begin running until they make physical contact with their runner who is coming in from their leg.  Chest bump, sweaty hug, secret handshake - whatever.  Don’t cheat people.

The time cut off for this event is 2:00 pm. So 5.5hours for the relay and 6 hours for the solo loop.  That is an average of a 16 minute pace.  Keep this in mind when choosing your team members.  The race will start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday for the solo loopers, 8:30 am for the relay, and ends at 2:00 pm. for all runners.  We will have plenty of hot food, and cold beer at the Pavilion for when you finish your race.


The ONLY aid provided on this loop is an unmanned water station at mile 8. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR NUTRITION ON THE COURSE. This is an old school race where you are expected to be self-sufficient. If you need aid at the exchange points, it will be provided by any crew you may have.  There will be water available at an unmanned aid station at mile 8, but no food will be on the course. This is a cup free race, so plan accordingly.   Carry your own water and nutrition needs.  

The trail will be minimally marked with contractor flags and light signage.  It will be daytime when you run, so the orange blazes on the trail will be obvious.


Dogs are allowed in the park but must be leashed and well controlled. Any reports of dogs off leash or causing problems, and the dog will have to be removed from the park. I understand you love your dogs, I think they are pretty cool too, but this event is not for them, it is for the runners and their people. If the dogs get in the way of the people, the dogs need to leave.

No refund.
No rollovers to next year.
No transfers to another person.
No mailing of shirts or packets before or after the event.  Even if you offer to pay shipping.
No.  Just don't.  If you are signing up for a trail race, I am assuming along with the desire to do
an ultra distance event also comes a love and respect for nature.  I love all of the road runners
who are coming over to the "dark side" and giving trail running a chance.  BUT when you are out
there on the trail, you are a visitor in nature.  Be a polite guest and pack out your trash to the
finish line.  There, we will be happy to dispose of it for you.  I am seeing more and more
litter at races I participate in, and as RD, I have a ZERO tolerance policy.  I am hoping this event will lure more road runners onto the trails.  Please remember this is NOT a road marathon.  This is nature.  Don’t drop your Gu packets, etc. on the trail.  Be good and carry it with you to the next exchange.

 If registering a team, you will have to register your entire team at the same time.  For those of you without a team, follow the Chicot Challenge page on Facebook and as the event nears, we will try to match you guys up. You are welcome to use the event FB to plead your case for potential team members.

Pro tip: Do NOT enter "Chicot State Park" into your GPS for directions - it will bring you to a secluded part of the park with an old convention center - nowhere near the start. Instead, enter the park address into your GPS - 3469 Chicot Park Rd. Ville Platte,La. This will get you to the front gate. Or, you really could just follow the brown state park signs, they are pretty easy to follow.

Check the registration tab - it will take you to the URUltra site for all of the details.

Yeah, you won’t get these, but it would be cool if each team came up with a theme, team name, costume or something.  It won’t get you anything but our laughs, but it would make the whole event even more fun.  


  1. Can runners split their portion of the race? For instance, can Runner A run the first ten miles, let Runner B take over, and Runner A does another 10 miles later on? Or must each runner only run one leg?

    1. I am so sorry I am just seeing this. The runners can break down the loops as they see fit for their team. As long as the team as a whole covers the 100 miles, that is all that matters. :-)

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