Race Rules

Just a few rules to make sure we all have a fun and SAFE time.  Failure to obey these rules will result in disqualification.

  • Stay on course and on trail.  Do not cut any switchbacks, take any shortcuts, or leave the trail for any reason.
    • Going off trail creates a negative ecological impact.  So if there is an obstacle in your path go through it, over it, or under it.  If there is mud, get muddy.  If there is water, get wet.  If there is a tree down, find a way over it.  This isn’t just about the environment.  It’s about challenging yourself.
    • Study the course maps and be prepared before the race begins.
  • Obey all traffic laws and yield to motorists.  We will be running for about 5 miles on a gravel road.  Stay to the side and yield to traffic!  This is for your safety, the safety of motorists, and for the integrity of our event.
  • Be respectful and courteous of each other.  If you need to pass another runner you must announce your intent to do so.  If you are being passed, step aside and let the other runner by when you feel safe enough to do so.
  • Be respectful of campers and hikers.  We do not have exclusive access to any part of the race course.  There will be hikers and campers.  You represent yourselves, Next Opportunity Events, and the larger trail running community; so be polite and share the trails with our fellow adventurers.
  • Be respectful to and obey all race volunteers.  Thank the aid station crews and obey the orders of the course marshals.  They want you to have a great time, but above all they want you to be safe.  Obey their instruction or be disqualified.
  • Take nothing.  Leave nothing.  Leave no trace of your presence in the Red River Gorge by taking any trash out with you.  Do not pick or otherwise deface any plant life.  We want this forest to look just like it did pre-race when we leave on Saturday night.  Any runner caught littering in the forest will be disqualified.
  • BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS.  The cliffs in the Red River Gorge are beautiful but dangerous.  STAY ON COURSE and proceed with extreme caution when near any cliffs.
  • Leave no injured runner behind.  Help your fellow competitors.  If you come upon an injured runner, help them if you can or run to the nearest race official.  Tell the race official the injured runner’s location, bib number, and nature of the injury.
  • All runners must carry their own hydration system.  Rough is a "cupless" race.  That means that we will not have any cups available to you at aid stations.  You must carry your own cup, bottle, or bladder to hold fluids.  This approach accomplishes two things:  this reduces the amount of waste created by our race and it forces you as the participant to have fluids with you at all times to mitigate the risk of dehydration.  No runner will be allowed to start the race without the capacity to carry at least 20 ounces of fluid.  If you come into any aid station and don't have a fluid container you will be pulled from the race and disqualified.
  • No crews or pacers will be allowed.
  • All runners must check in and check out of every aid station.  This is for your safety so we don't leave anyone out on the trails.  This will also ensure the integrity of our race.  Any runner who fails to check in/out of any aid station will not receive an official finish time.  No awards will be issued until we have verified that you checked in and out of every aid station and therefore ran the entire course.
  • Anything left behind after the race will be donated to charity.  Any personal items left behind after the event will be kept for 30 days then donated to charity.  We WILL NOT mail or ship anything back to you under any circumstances.  Please keep track of your personal belongings during the event.
  • No pets are allowed at the race.  This includes dogs on or off leash.  Per regulations related to our USATF event sanction and Next Opportunity insurance policies pets are prohibited on the race course and at the race site for the duration of that event.  This includes on the race course, all aid stations, and Koomer Ridge Campground.  We love our doggies, but they'll have to miss out on Rough.
  • All aid station and finish line cut-offs will be strictly enforced.  Any runner not out of an aid station before that aid station's cut-off will be pulled from the course and given a DNF as his or her finish time.  If a runner disregards race volunteers' instructions to stop running after a cut-off, the runner will be disqualified.  Any runner regardless of distance or circumstance not through the finish line by 5pm exactly according to the official race clock will be disqualified.  Runners who miss the finish line cut-off will receive a DNF as his or her finish time and will not receive a finisher award.  No exceptions. 

A STRICT 10-HOUR COURSE CUT-OFF WILL BE ENFORCED FOR THE ENTIRE EVENT!!!!!  That means that every runner (50k and 25k) needs to be off the course by 5pm.