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  1. Carefully read the descriptions and warnings concerning this trail.
    • The trail is long, rocky, steep, remote, and difficult;
    • Watch every footfall or you will trip & fall many times;
    • Carefully walk through the water at creek crossings; - DO NOT try to jump from rock to rock at creek crossings;
    • There are only a few access points to enter the trail;
    • Finding and rescuing injured runners will be very difficult;
    • Finding and rescuing lost runners will be very difficult if not impossible;
    • Appropriately train for a 50k or longer distance trail run;
    • Bring appropriate nutrition & hydration supplies.

  2. You must sign the race difficulty acknowledgment, assumption of risk, and waiver and release form. By signing the form, you acknowledge that you have read the warnings concerning these runs; that you have read these safety instructions regarding these runs; that you are in good health and have properly trained for these runs; and that you fully agree to the terms of the race difficulty acknowledgement, assumption of risk, and waiver and release form.

  3. You must sign in, provide emergency info, and get a bib number so we can track you.
    • Sign in before you begin the run;
    • Provide your name, home city, cell number, and emergency number;
    • Obtain a bib number;
    • You must wear the bib number at all times during the run;
    • Check in at every aid station;
    • Aid stations are at Little Mo. River, Blaylock Creek, and Turnaround;
    • Blaylock Creek Aid Station is the fun run Turnaround;
    • If you drop out of the race, you must return to the start & sign out;
    • This is the only way we can track all runners.

  4. After completing the run or dropping out of the race, you must sign out before leaving the Big Fork Community Center (otherwise we will conclude you are lost and on the course).
    • If you fail to sign out after completing the race or after dropping out of the race, we will conclude that you are on the course, or injured, or lost, and we will call out search and rescue officials to look for you;
    • If we send search and rescue officials to look for you, YOU WILL RECEIVE THE SEARCH AND RESCUE BILL.

  5. Familiarize yourself with the ABF Trail before attempting either run.
    • Carefully read Tim Ernst's description of the ABF trail in his book Arkansas Hiking Trails at pages 168-170;
    • Tim Ernst has given us permission to give each runner a copy of the map and ABF trail description contained in Arkansas Hiking Trails;
    • We recommend hiking the trail using Tim Ernst's map and trail description before attempting the run;
    • Tim Ernst's description begins at the south trailhead and ends at the Little Mo. River (it DOES NOT include the first Mtn. (Missouri Mtn.));
    • These runs begin at the north trailhead, go south, and then return.

  6. Stay on the trail by following the white blazes.
    • White blazes on trees mark the trail;
    • Blazes are approximately 75 to 150 yards apart (oftentimes closer);
    • Double blazes indicate a turn in the trail;
    • The higher blaze in a double blaze marking indicates the direction of the turn in the trail;
    • If you run more than 200 yards without seeing a white blaze (either in front of you or behind you), you are most likely off the trail;
    • If this is your first time on the ABF, run with others who have experience running the ABF trail;
    • If you get lost and are off the trail, it will be very difficult to find you;

  7. If you no longer see white blazes (in front of you or behind you), stop and back track to where you last saw white blazes and then continue on the course following the white blazes.

  8. Count the mountains during the run in order to know where you are on the course. We recommend counting mountains between aid stations as follows:
    • 1 mountain between start and 1st aid station
    • 4 mountains between 1st aid station and 2nd aid station
    • 3 mountains between 2st aid station and 3rd aid station
    • Once you start up the first mountain (in either direction) you will be on single track trail (never on road) until you complete all 8 mountains.(for the fun-runners 5 mountains instead of 8)

  9. Bring a fanny pack or backpack, cell phone, small flashlight, small lighter, an emergency change of clothes, and a rain poncho.
    • Unless you are an experienced, fast, competitive ultra runner, the marathon is more like a 6 to 8 hour hike than a race;
    • The mountains are so steep, even the fastest runners walk up them;
    • There is some cell phone service on the top of most of the mountains;
    • If you get lost, you must be prepared to spend the night in the forest;
    • Bring a fanny pack or back pack containing the emergency supplies needed to spend the night in the forest;
    • Trust us on this, a small fanny pack or backpack with emergency supplies won't slow you down on this run, but the supplies they contain may save your life if you get lost in the forest;
    • If you get lost and darkness comes, you should find a campsite, put on warm, dry clothes, your rain poncho and build a fire to stay warm using your lighter;

  10. If we believe a runner is lost or injured on the trail, we will contact the Polk County, Arkansas Emergency responders and attempt to find the lost or injured runner but there is no guarantee the runner will be located.

  11. These are dangerous trail runs for experienced, well prepared trail runners. Be honest with yourself, if you do not meet these criteria, do not attempt either of these runs.