Q: This race sounds dangerous. How will you ensure my safety?
A: By writing up a really intense waiver form and telling you this race is dangerous and you probably shouldn’t run it. Like, there’s a decent chance you’ll get lost in the woods and eaten by bears. Let us be clear, running this race is an awful idea. In fact, if you asked this question, please don’t come. One of the way stations is guarded by a dragon.
Q: Will there be cool swag?
A: No. We give all our proceeds to the Orono Land Trust, so we skimp on swag. But feel free to wear costumes. That's like swag you gift to yourself.
Q: Will there be aid stations?
A: Where would we put the aid stations? I mean, we could put them at the way stations, I guess, but that would mean we have to carry more things back into the middle of the woods. Nah. You’re on your own. But there will be beer and n/a beverages at the end. That’s all the aid you need. Although, maybe you should bring a first aid kit. That dragon might make you wish you had some burn cream or something.
Q: What’s the super-secret surprise rule?
A: It’s a pony.
Q: That’s not a rule, that’s an animal.
A: You’re an animal.
Q: Do I really have to read the entire rulebook?
A: Only if you want to do well. You could try to print it out and eat it, making it become part of the fabric of your being, but we suggest reading the rule book is the best way to inform your race strategy. If reading isn't your bag (then you haven't read this far already), and you are just in it for the fun (which is strongly encouraged), the abbreviated TLDR rule summary at the beginning of the rulebook will prevent you from getting disqualified (mostly).
Q: Isn't there a youtube video or something?
A: May we suggest this one as the best summary of the TUCARD rulebook to date.
Q: What about trespassing?
A: What about it? Please obey all laws and municipal ordinances. If you are going to build a shed, get a permit. There are no penalties for your route unless you are on pavement. If you want to learn more about why Maine’s Private Land Ethic is incredible and needs to be stewarded forever, please check out this blog post by Andrew Hill Legal LLC:
Short of it : if you decide to plot a route over someone’s (unposted) land, you aren’t breaking any laws, but if you hurt yourself, you can’t hold them liable. Unless they set booby traps. So. Beware of booby traps. Always sound advice. Be nice to people and their stuff. FYI, running through someone's house to cut a corner IS against the rules, unless they invite you in. So, standard vampire rules.
Q: The start and end points this year are only 0.5 miles apart. Is the race super short this year?
A: Who are you calling short?! TUCARD contains multitudes and exists on several parallel dimensions simultaneously. It's not even measurable. That being said, the distance between the start and end circles have not been a good predictor of how long racers have traveled in the past. You can count on that tradition continuing.
Q: Since this is a benefit for the Orono Land Trust, is that a clue as to where the way stations will be?
A: That’s ridiculous.
Q: How long will the race take? I have a prior commitment at 4 pm.
A: It could take a while, depending. How long exactly is kind of up to you! You should probably bring water and snacks and stuff.
Q: Will there be a shuttle to get us back to the start to get our stuff?
A: No. This race is about logistics. You can figure it out. We believe in you.
Q: Can we have support sherpas?
A: Sure. You can have non-racers carry your stuff around. You just have to carry all of YOU around, but if you want someone to do a gear drop with a hang-glider at the top of Chick Hill, that’s cool. I mean, it’d be weird, because there isn’t a way station anywhere near there, but you do you.
Q: What is the official course record?
A: Depeche Mode’s “Violator” (1990) in vinyl LP.
Q: How will the new rules be released from now until race day?
Q: How will I KNOW that new rules have been released from now until race day?
A: If you register, you will be sent an email alerting you to any changes as they happen (to the address you used for registration, unless someone make a tragic typo—sorry Jessica C-R! We still owe you for that year). Upon registration, you will also be given access to a google map that updates automatically as race features are released. If you aren't registered, then you have to check the webpage on your own recognizance, although the public map on the website is kinda useless for advanced planning.
Q: What’s to stop people from cheating? Like, what if they say they were running when they were actually using a fat bike with pedal-powered wings?
A: Yeah, it’s possible you could cheat. But we’d be really disappointed in you. If we know your parents, we’ll tell them what you did, and they’ll be disappointed in you too. If someone tells us you cheated, you’ll be disqualified, and we’ll confiscate your flying fat bike, because that sounds totally awesome and we want it.
Q: Is there a rain date?
A: Ha ha ha ha ha! You’re funny. Oh, but I really do hope it rains. That would be EPIC!!
Q: Are you just doing this insanity because you wanted to organize a trail race, but you are too lazy to put up trail markers and worry about people getting lost?
A: Maybe. Shut up.
Q: What's up with the weird unicorn theme?
A: Do not insult the Sparkle Pony. It will only lead to tragedy.
Q: How do you pronounce “TUCARD”?
A: Like this: “tucard”.
Q: If I have a flying fat bike, will I win?
A: At life.
Q: You all are clearly insane. Is there a way I can avoid you in case whatever you have is communicable?
A: Yes. Don’t follow “Marsh Island Trail Runners” on Strava and don’t join us for any of our weekly MITR evening runs on Mondays at 5:30 pm at the Caribou Bog Conservation Area during the snow-free seasons. Also we generally do our shopping on Tuesdays at the Old Town Hannaford.
Infrequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s my name again?
Q: Can we have more complicated rules next year?
Q: If you plant bird seed, does it grow into a bird? And if it does, what do you feed it?
Q: Why does the pony sparkle?
Q: How much ground would a groundhog hog if a groundhog could hog ground?
Q: What are the race organizers smoking and where can I find some?