After 10 successful years, RD Terri Hayes has turned over the reigns to A1 Ultra Events. The atmosphere of the event is very social, laid-back, and fun. Whispering Pines still won't have an entry fee. However, donations are appreciated to cover expenses of food, user fees, finisher's awards, etc. After expenses are met, a donation will be made to the park.
Whispering Pines has something for everyone of all ages, all abilities, all speeds, walkers, and runners. The 12-Hour Run/Walk is from 7am until 7pm and the 6-Hour Run/Walk will start at 9am until 3pm. The course will follow a 5-mile trail loop beginning and ending at the Pavilion by Parking Lot B and the playground. There is parking and restrooms near the pavilion and additional parking nearby. Participants will run and/or walk the loop as many times as they want during the timeframe.
The course will be marked with directional arrows at the turns and orange flagging ribbon. There are many trails in the park, so it is important to pay attention to the course markings. It is entirely on both single-track and double-track trails with the exception of two paved roads within the park that are crossed each loop. The trails wind through the woods and are shaded, packed sand or pine-needle covered, with some gentle ups-and-downs. At the completion of each loop, participants should cross the timing mat.
Participants choose how long or how far they want to go, and they get credit for whatever distance they complete. Runners can take a break at any time, leave the course, return, and run some more, just let the race timer know what you are doing.
An aid station will be set up at the Start/Finish line with a wide variety of hot and cold food and drinks.
Check-in will start one hour prior to the start of the event you are registered for.
Directions to start: Follow Highway 44 West/ West Main Street, through Inverness. At the intersection of Highway 44 and Forest Drive/Pleasant Grove Road/ CR 581, turn right on Forest Drive and drive about 1/4 mile to park entrance. At the stop sign, turn left and follow the road to the sign for Parking Lot B.
Inverness has few motels. There is the Central Motel about 3 miles from the start. There is also a Holiday Inn Express 4 miles from the start on Highway 44 West. Camping is available at Holder Mine Campground in the Withlacoochee State Forest, about 4 miles from the start and Mutual Mine Campground about 6.5 miles. There are several motels at the I-75/Hwy 44 junction, Wildwood, about 16 miles from the start. No one is allowed to stay in Whispering Pines Park overnight.
Event's current local time: 8:33 PM ET