Rhode Island Trail Classic
11-Hour Ultra & 15 Mile Trail Race
Sunup to Sundown
Vin Gormley Trail
October 14th, 2023 - Charlestown, Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Trail Classic is presented to you by the same crew that hosts the Anchor Down Ultra, in Bristol, Rhode Island. We are passionate about endurance races that are true to the traditions of trail and ultra-running. We proudly present the Rhode Island Trail Classic, "A Long Day in the Woods", this October 14th, 2023, featuring an 11-hour ultramarathon and a 15 mile race on what we think are the most beautiful trails in The Ocean State.
This little-known jewel of a trail circumnavigates Lake Watchaug in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Nestled in the woods of Burlingame State Park, these paths have played host to hikers and runners alike for decades, including the "Lil Rhody Runaround" by the Westerly Track Club. But perhaps no one loved these woods more than the trail's namesake, John Vincent Gormley, a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club and local hiking legend. Mr. Gormley spent countless hours clearing and maintaining the yellow trail loop, eventually having the trail named in his honor. The Rhode Island Trail Classic is to be held on the 7.5 mile mixed-terrain loop that is now known as the Vin Gormley Trail. Learn more about this trail, it's history and our course here.
We invite trail-runners, novice and experienced alike, to challenge themselves to "a long day in the woods." The Rhode Island Trail Classic features two divisions, the 11-Hour Timed Ultra and the 15-mile "fun run."
The 11-hour ultra is a sun-up to sun-down running race, with 11-hours on the clock to complete as many 7.5 mile loops as possible on the Vin Gormley Trail. Runners who can complete 2 loops or more (15 miles) will be rewarded with a truly unique token of the achievement, commensurate with the amount of loops they have completed.
New in 2023 we're also offering a 15-mile trail race for runners looking for a more traditional trail-race structure rather than the timed ultra.
RACE DATE, TIME &
There are two opportunities to pick up your bib before it's time to run.
Early Pickup: Oct. 13, 2023
4:00 - 6:00 PM at Wakefield Running Company, 20 Main Street, Belmont Market Plaza, Wakefield, RI
Race-Day Pickup: Oct. 14, 2023
5:00 - 6:50 AM at Burlingame Campground, 159 Klondike Road, Charlestown, RI 02813
*Pre-registered minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. The parent/guardian must sign a waiver on behalf of the minor at packet pickup.
October 14th, 2023
15-Mile starts at 7:00 AM
11-Hour Ultra starts at 7:05 AM
(Packet Pickup opens at 5:00 AM)
Burlingame State Campgrounds
159 Klondike Road
Charlestown, Rhode Island 02813
For directions, please see THIS LINK.
We'll award our top 3 overall finishers in both the men's & women's races.
We'll award the top 2 finishers in each of the following age divisions in both the men's & women's races: Open 0-39, Masters 40-59, Grand Masters 60-79, Senior Grand Masters 80+
All 15-mile race and ultra finishers who cover at least two loops (15 miles) will receive a wood-carved finisher's medal with a coin that denotes the distance that the athlete covered during their time on the trail.
RACE LAYOUT MAP
Please use the map below to get your bearing for race morning. You'll arrive and meet the Race Greeter on your way to race parking. It's a short (3 minute) walk over to the race staging area. Here you can set-up a canopy, put out a few chairs for you and your crew (if applicable) and get ready for your race. Bathrooms will be easily accessible.
The race will start and end on Four Boulders Road at the Center Rotary of the campground. Simply follow signs to race parking once you arrive on race morning, and we'll get you to where you need to be for the start of the race.
15-Mile Race Structure:
The 15-Mile Trail Race is a traditional trail race giving runners a chance to compete against other athletes with plans of doing just 2 loops of the Vin Gormley Trail. The race will be chip timed. Runners will be ranked in the order in which they finish the 2 loops.
11-Hour Ultra Race Time Considerations and Rules:
The RITC 11-Hour division aims to provide athletes a chance to challenge themselves against "a long day in the woods". Whether a runner's goal is two loops (15 miles) or 8 loops ( 60 miles), the athlete is to complete as many full Vin Gormley Trail loops as possible before the sun sets at 6:00 PM, with 11-hours of open course.
Runners will be ranked higher as they cover more and more loops, and time will then be used to determine the ranking of athletes who have run the same amount of loops. In other words, the farther you run and the faster you do it, the better, just like any other running race. However, awards are custom to the amount of loops the athlete has finished, giving RITC competitors the opportunity to best their previous efforts on this course. An example of what results might look like is below:
1st Place: 60 Miles (8 Loops), 8 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds
2nd Place: 80 Miles (8 Loops), 9 hours, 47 minutes and 49 seconds
3rd Place: 52.5 Miles (7 Loops), 7 hours, 10 minutes and 13 seconds
4th Place: 52.5 Miles (7 Loops), 7 hours, 14 minutes and 59 seconds
5th Place: 52.5 Miles (7 Loops), 9 hours, 23 minutes and 18 seconds
...and so on and so forth.
Only full 7.5 mile loops of the Vin Gormley Trail count towards your total distance. To be considered a "finisher" of the RITC, you must run two or more loops, or 15 miles, within the 11 hours that the course is open. This makes the race very welcoming to more novice trail runners, while giving more experienced trail/ultra athletes the opportunity to gather and compete in Southern New England.
Per the request of the State of Rhode Island: Department of Environmental Management, all competitors and volunteers must wear at least 200 square inches of orange. Individuals not wearing orange will not be allowed to participate.
Anchor Down Ultra Qualification:
The Rhode Island Trail Classic 11-Hour Ultra division serves as one of the "Express Qualification Events" of the Anchor Down Ultra. For details on how to use the RI Trail Classic as a means of "Preferred Entry" to ADU, please see further information here.
Pacers are NOT allowed in the 15-Mile Race.
For runners in the 11-Hour Ultra, a pacer may join a runner after 1:05 PM in the afternoon, once the course has been open for 6 hours. Each runner is only allowed ONE pacer at a time. Multiple pacers may be used, but only individually. One pacer must exit the course before a runner's new pacer joins the course. Pacers must also obey the "Orange Rule", as described above.
Photos & History:
Welcome to the Vin Gormley Trail
The Vin Gormley Trail is a 7.5 mile loop around Lake Watchaug in Charlestown, Rhode Island. It is comprised of approximately 5 1/2 miles of trail, 1/2 mile of dirt roadway and 1 1/2miles of paved roadway.
Originally created by the Youth Conservation Corps in the 1960s, the 7.5 mile trail carved through Burlingame State Park was renamed in 1991 after local hiking legend John Vincent Gormley. Mr. Gormley spent over a decade maintaining the "yellow trail loop" around Watchaug Pond. He was a member of the Trails Committee of the Appalachian Mountain Club, and passionate about getting out and enjoying time in the woods of Rhode Island.
Our running community shares in the passion Mr. Gormley had for our trails and forests. As endurance athletes, we often revel in this passion by running miles and miles in the outdoor places that we love the most. Thanks to Mr. Gormley, this trail is one of the most iconic of the Ocean State, and one that we're excited to share with like-minded endurance athletes from the region and beyond.
Join us on Oct. 14th under Peak Foliage on the Vin Gormley Trail
Registration for the RITC is FINAL under all circumstances. There are NO REFUNDS and NO DEFERRALS. In the event that an athlete cannot make the RITC their bib can be transferred to another runner. A bib transfer request must be received one week prior to race weekend.
SPONSORS & PARTNERS
The RITC Course
Welcome to the Vin Gormley, Rhode Island's best single-track trail. At 7.5 miles per loop, the Vin Gormley is comprised of 5 1/2 miles of trail, 1/2 mile of dirt roadway and 1 1/2 miles of paved roadway.
The trail is very "runnable" for someone with trail running experience, but technical enough to be challenging and grinding as the hours rack up. There are a few "scramble" sections where you'll be slowed to a walk, even early in the race. The course has 393 feet of elevation gain per 7.5 mile loop.
The structure of the Rhode Island Trail Classic (RITC) is such that it gives runners, novice and experienced alike, a chance to push themselves on this historic trail. Athletes can simply run the 15-mile race to compete against other athletes for two loops, while others choose the 11-hour division to push themselves to compete as many loops as possible before nightfall, even potentially earning the coveted "preferred entry" to the Anchor Down Ultramarathon.
Aid is available at the start/finish line within the Burlingame State Campgrounds, as well as halfway through each loop at the Buckeye Brooke Aid Station. Therefore, 15 mile runners will have access to aid 3 times throughout their race, while 11-hour ultra competitors will have access to aid two times on every completed loop of the course.
Help us put on the RITC!
The Rhode Island Trail Classic offers a unique opportunity for novice and elite runners alike to explore their endurance on our Ocean State trails. Help us showcase the Vin Gormley Trail and provide the local running community with a long day in the woods of Rhode Island.
Sign up to volunteer here, and THANK YOU!