Race Information 2021 Race Date: August 13-14th
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Runner Tent Set-Up: Friday, August 13 beginning at 2:00 PM
Runner Check-In: Fri, August 13, 4:00-6:40 PM
Pre-Race Meeting with RD: Fri, August 13, 6:40 PM
Race Starts (ALL races): Fri, August 13, 7:00 PM
6-Hr Ends: Sat, August 14, 1:00 AM (Awards presented immediately.)
12-Hr Ends: Sat, August 14, 7:00 AM (Awards presented immediately.)
24-Hr Ends: Sat, August 14, 7:00 PM (Awards presented immediately.)
How the different distances work...
6 hours, 12 hours & 24 hours
There are 3 different races in the Anchor Down Ultras, which include 6 hour, 12 hour and 24 hour timed events. All 3 races start promptly at 7:00 PM and end respective to their length, with the 24 hour event lasting until 7:00 PM on the following day, Saturday. The rules are simple. Run as many loops of the 2.45 mile course as possible in the allotted time. Take a break when you want to, rest when you must, or keep pounding the pavement and trail. You can drop out at any time during the race when and if you've had enough. Only full 2.45 mile loops of the entire course count towards your total distance. Runners will be ranked higher as they cover more and more loops, and time will only be used in the event of a tie. An example (with more simple math) of what the results might look like is below:
1st Place: 104 miles, 23 hours, 55 minutes and 2 seconds
2nd Place: 102 miles, 22 hours, 40 minutes and 43 seconds
3rd Place: 92 miles, 23 hours, 19 minutes and 19 seconds
4th Place: 88 miles, 23 hours, 50 minutes and 10 seconds
5th Place: 88 miles, 23 hours, 55 minutes and 2 seconds
6th Place: 74 miles, 18 hours, 49 minutes and 17 seconds
7th Place: 68 miles, 21 hours, 15 minutes and 24 seconds
...and so on and so forth.
The Anchor Down Ultras begins, ends and stays within the beautiful Colt State Park, sitting on Narragansett Bay of Bristol, Rhode Island.
For directions to the park, please click here. The address for Colt State Park is Route 114, Bristol, Rhode Island 02809. Once in the park, follow race signs to staging area. See maps at the bottom of this page for reference.
All runners in the 6 hour race that cover more than 19.6 miles (8 laps) will receive a finisher's medal.
All runners in the 12 hour race that cover more than 39.2 miles (16 laps) will receive a finisher's medal.
All runners in the 24 hour race that cover more than 49 miles (20 laps) will receive a finisher's medal.
All runners in the 24 hour event that cover more than 100 miles will receive a custom belt buckle to commemorate the achievement in addition to a medal.
The top performer in each age group will be honored with trophies, with age groups set as the following:
Open Division: 0-39
Masters Division: 40-59
Grand Masters Division: 60+
The overall male and female champion of all three races will also be honored with trophies.
Help us host Little Rhody's longest races and make sure our runners have an amazing experience!
Sign up for volunteering by using the volunteer sign-up form.
This race is meant to challenge you and push you to your limit. Also, there's nothing like Rhode Island in the summer, and that's why race organizers decided on August.
That being said, it's AUGUST. It's most likely going to be hot, humid and challenging conditions. The average high is 82 degrees, and the average low is 64 degrees at this time of the year. The course is seaside, so there is a potential for wind, although at this time of year we usually luck-out and have a calm day. Race organizers reserve the right to change course direction minimize the impact of any race-day wind by sending runners onto course with the wind at their backs.
The race is professional chip timed. A large TV updates competitors on their lap count each time they cross the timing station at the main staging area.
All registered runners get a high-tech wicking short sleeve shirt as part of their registration to commemorate this inaugural event.
If we have extra shirts available, they'll be for sale on race-day for $15 on a first-come, first-serve basis. All funds raised through merchandise sales go directly into the race equipment budget for next year so we can continue to improve on our staging area setup.
Although difficult, the ADU is new-ultrarunner friendly due to the accessibility of its aid stations. The main aid station will double as the race staging area, or in other words, the start/finish where you will begin and end every 2.45-mile loop. This will allow runners to set up a tent/chair with their personal supplies, but still have access to the support provided by race staff.
At the main staging area, we'll have items like the following:
- GU Energy Gel
- GU Hydration Mix
- Coke & Mountain Dew
- Caffeine Tabs
- Salt Tablets
- Peanut Butter and Jelly
- Pizza (at roughly 11-12:00 PM, therefore 4-5 hours into all races) (we'll order a few gluten-free pies as well)
- Salted Potatoes
- Kool Aid
- Ginger Ale
- Peanut Butter (on spoons)
- Coffee (caffeinated)
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Fresh Orange Slices
- Apple Slices
The secondary aid station will be at the halfway mark of each loop, or at roughly the 1.25 mile mark. This aid station will only have water and Ramen noodles. For the 24 hour, this aid station will have cooling ice.
Although Colt State Park is often beautifully moonlit at night, there are darker sections of course, including the trail section, where headlamps will be necessary. All runners are expected to carry headlamps or flashlights for these moments.
If we have a well-lit evening overlooking the water, we anticipate many of you will begin to know the course enough to leave your headlamps back at our staging area. That's fine, but it is mandatory that all runners start ( as defined as the first 2 loops) the races with lighting until you feel as if you can go without it.
Runner "On-Site Rule"
As the competitive nature of the ADU has quickly grown, attracting athletes from around the country, race management has decided to adopt an "On-Site Rule." Due to the loop-style nature of this race, runners can take advantage of down time, soaking up a few minutes of rest in their tent or taking advantage of a support crew member that has some encouraging words. Regardless the reason, there are opportunities to get "off course" and still be competing in the ADU. The "On-Site Rule" simply requires that all athletes remain on-site during the event.
Remaining on-site is defined within the following parameters:
At any given moment during the race, a runner may leave the course and take advantage of their campsite in the "Runner Tent Area". Runner must exit and enter course only through opening in fence at the edge of the main staging area, adjacent to the Coggeshall Aid Station.
Runners may not leave the course at any other portion of the course while the race is in progress, or they risk disqualification at race management's discretion. If a wrong-turn is taken, runner must turn around and re-enter the course at the point of exit, and resume the race.
Runners may not leave the ADU race course or staging area while competing in the event. Leaving the premises will result in disqualification.
Please note that motor-homes are NOT allowed in the park for ADU, as they've been allowed in the past. This is to take effect for the 2018 ADU and beyond.
he Anchor Down Ultra allow "pacers" in the second half of both the 12 hour and 24 hour events. (No 6-Hour pacers allowed.) In other words, you may have a running friend join you to help you keep pace, make goal and stay in the race.
Pacers can arrive at any time before sunset (if they choose to stay through the night) or after sunrise. However, they may NOT start aiding a competitor until 6 hours into the 12 hour event, or 12 hours into the 24 hour event. Pacers must wear a pacer wrist band given to every 12 hour and 24 hour runner at check-in. Each 12 or 24 hour runner is given only one pacer wrist band, as only one pacer is allowed. Runners may not rotate in and out different pacers. Pacers must wear wrist band at all times to be identified by race and park staff.
***Please note, a pacer DOES count as a spectator as well, per the overnight spectator limit of 2. In other words, if your pacer is there for the overnight portion of the event, they must ALSO wear a spectator wrist band showing that they have credential to be in the park overnight. Therefore, a pacer DOES count towards each athlete's 2-spectator max on the overnight portion of the event.
Pacers cannot access aid station food/water/supplies and are asked to keep a distance from aid stations. With 200 runners to monitor, the mission of race-management is to create a successful environment for our 200 ADU runners. As a pacer, you are there to reassure the success of your athlete, as is race management. Having pacers "crowd" aid stations takes away from our staff's ability to give our full attention to each runner as they come in from each lap. Therefore, as a pacer, please bring/carry your own hydration/nutrition and plan for your food/water needs. Your own nutritional and running supplies may be kept with your gear in Tent Village, just behind the main aid station, which you can access while your ADU athlete stops for aid.
Pacers may not mule for runners (aka carry the runners's gear or food.) However, pacers can provide shade for a runner (ie umbrella) or wet them down to minimize the effect of the heat as part of their joint race strategy. A pacer cannot physically help (hold, push, sturdy, etc) a runner at any time.
Lastly, we'd like to thank all of you out there that plan on pacing a runner at this year's Anchor Down Ultra. We share in the mission of making this a memorable adventure for our friends that are brave enough to toe the starting line.
Tents and Staging Area
The start and finish lines sit right on a field just yards from the trail where runners start and end each loop. This is just 200 yards or so from where runners will be allowed to park their cars.
This start and finish line will also serve as our staging area, so you can set up a tent and "anchor down" any gear you plan on needing for your event. You will pass by this staging area ever single loop, so you will have access to your equipment every 2.45 miles.
Please understand that this park is CLOSED at night, and the State of RI makes a special exception for our endurance event. There is no wandering throughout the park at night, Runners and pacers must be on course. Spectators must have wrist-bands (see spectator rules) and REMAIN AT TENT VILLAGE DURING THE OVERNIGHT PORTION OF THE EVENT. Not doing so is grounds for disqualification of the runner, as it jeopardizes the event's ability to use the park in future years.
PLEASE NOTE: No camp fires are allowed in Colt State Park.
"Midnight" Pizza Party
Running for 6, 12 or 24 hours is truly a journey, with high highs and low lows. From experience as both RDs and ultrarunners ourselves, we know that the late-night hours are some of the toughest in a race like this. Therefore, our race staff throws a "midnight" pizza party for you in the middle of the night (technically at around 11:00 PM) so that the runners from all three races get a large mental boost in one of the tougher stretches of their event.
At 11:00 PM, as you pass by the main staging, you'll notice the smell of fresh, delivered pizza to our little base camp. It will be something for us all to look forward to as you keep adding up those miles, putting one foot in front of the other. We'll order enough for everybody, so eat up, fuel up and RUN ON!
Inclement Weather Policy
Anchor Down Ultra is just that... an ULTRA. We will hold it rain, shine, and absolutely in extreme heat. Runners should be prepared for the challenges presented by this aspect of the race. That being said, there are circumstances in which case we may have to temporarily close the course due to life-threatening circumstances, most commonly, lightning.
In the case of lighting in the area. the RD will make the judgement if a temporary course closure is appropriate. In the event of a temporary course closure, the following guidelines are in place:
- Signage is posted at the main staging area that is visible as runners pass by the start/finish line each loop. Signage will indicate the liklihood of a incoming storm impacting the race with one of the following notes on the course condition: ALL CLEAR or STORMS IN AREA or CLOSURE LIKELY or CLOSED
- If the ALL CLEAR sign is up, there are no storms in the region at all. If the STORMS IN AREA sign is up there are storms approaching the greater region that are likely to impact the race at some point. If the CLOSURE LIKELY sign is up there are storms coming directly for Colt State Park. If the CLOSED sign is up, the course is closed until further notice.
- If any chance of storms are forecasted for the coming year's ADU course markers will be handed out at check-in. (*Their use is explained below.)
- Upon the decision of the course closure, both aid stations (on both sides of the course) will simultaneously sound air horns to notify runners that the course has been closed. At this moment no more forward motion counts towards distance gained on the runner's lap. At the moment the air horn is sounded runners are asked to stop at their current location and drop their *course marker into the ground to mark their position. At this point they are to take the shortest route back to either their vehicle at the main staging area, OR seek shelter in some of the structures close-by. The timing clock with stop immediately upon the sounding of the horn.
- The race RD will then notify all runners of the "all clear" and give a 20 minute warning before the re-opening of the course. At this time, runners will individually make their way back to their previous location at which the horn was sounded.
- The re-opening of the course will be sounded by air-horn, at which time the clock will be started again.
- In the case of a course closure, up to 90 minutes of clock time will be added to the race/s that were impacted by the weather. In other words, the 6-hour, that was supposed to end at 1:00 AM, might get pushed to a finish time of 2:30 AM at the LATEST. Delays that are more than 90 minutes would simply be pushed out to the maximum time of 90 minutes. The new race-end time will be communicated to athletes at the re-opening of the course.
For the 24 hour runners, we'll make sure a misting system is set up as you pass by the staging area every lap. It will be set up as you pass by the main aid station and start/finish area, allowing you to choose to run through or by it each and every time you pass by, as the temperatures rise.
Anchor Down Ultra is held annually in Bristol, RI, a small, quaint ocean-side community. With only one real hotel in town (Bristol Harbor Inn) more modest accommodations can be found in the surrounding towns of Swansea, MA, Seekonk, MA, East Providence, RI and Providence RI. Often, competitors coming to the area and making a weekend out of their ultra-travels also choose to stay in Newport, RI, approximately 30 minutes away.
The State of Rhode Island is gracious enough to give us special use of Colt State Park during the over-night hours of the event. In cooperation with them in this effort, as of the 2018 event, we have been asked to limit over-night spectators to two individuals, per runner, max, during the overnight portion of the event. (THIS INCLUDES PACERS.) (See pacer rules above.)
All runners registered for the Anchor Down Ultra will be presented with two wrist bands at runner check-in, specifically for spectators. They will have an "S" on them, as well as the runners bib number. ANYONE IN THE PARK OVERNIGHT THAT IS NOT A VOLUNTEER OR STAFF MEMBER MUST HAVE ONE OF THESE WRIST BANDS ON. This is only for the overnight portion of the event. At sunrise, the park becomes open to the public again.. These wrist bands will act as "overnight passes".
Spectators must stay on-site, in the tent-village part of the park during the overnight portion of the event. Late arrival into the park, after sunset, will not be allowed for anyone. The gate will be closed and guarded by park staff immediately following sunset. Therefore, your spectators must already be on-site and have their wrist-bands on to be able to stay in tent village during the night hours of ADU. If a spectator is also pacing in the overnight portion of the race (12-hour runners only) they must also be wearing their pacing wrist-band, to be identified as a sanctioned pacer.
Please make sure your friends, family and spectators understand that there is absolutely no alcohol in Colt State Park. Please also make sure they know that they must be on-site before sundown, or wait to come on-site until sun-up. Also, motor-homes and campfires are strictly prohibited for ADU.
The ADU reaches capacity incredibly quick each year as the attention around the event from the ultra-endurance community grows. As a competitive event that takes months, and sometimes years to tackle, our mission is to make the competition as authentic and as fair as possible, to stay true to the sport of ultra-running. In that effort, we have adopted an NO EXCEPTION policy of NO REFUNDS, NO DEFERRALS (to next year's race) and NO TRANSFERS (to other athletes). Having any of these as options would allow athletes to "reserve" spots for the coming year's ADU. (We do process distance-transfers. See below.*)
Our registration procedure is simple:
Registration opens one January 2nd at 7:00 PM each year.
Once all races are at capacity, the wait lists are opened up.
We believe in a fair and honest wait-list system. Therefore, wait lists are only kept open until we believe there is at least a 70% chance of entry for the wait list applicant. In other words, if you've been allowed to register for a wait-list, your odds of entry into the ADU are very good.
Once the wait list odds of entry fall below 70%, the wait list is closed.
No later than 3/1 of each year, ALL wait list applicants will be notified if they are or are not in that year's ADU.
DO NOT WAIT TO REGISTER. Each year the ADU fills up sooner and sooner. In 2019 it was a matter of minutes. We get hundreds of requests for entry after the race reaches capacity. Once the wait list is closed, there is absolutely nothing we can do, as we maintain the integrity of the event and the competition in draws. Thank you for your understanding.
If you are looking to change your distance at the ADU (change from the 6-hour to the 12-hour, change from the 24-hour to the 12-hour, etc.) we DO allow such transfers. Please email our RD at to process the transfer. Please do so at least 10 days before the yearly ADU.