Let's run trails at night!
Night Owl races are offered twice a year. In 2024 Winter Night Owl will take place on January 6 and Summer Night will be on June 1, 2024 is our 5th year and we will have special surprises for our 5 year finishers as well as a new medal design. Join us on January 6 in beautiful Caesar Creek State Park for a little night trail magic. Whether you are a seasoned ultra runner or just getting started on trails, this is a perfect way to experience the thrill of running through the woods at night. We are offering full marathon, half marathon and 10K distances. • Great Company • Excellent Food • Gorgeous trails! THIS IS A CUPLESS RACE! THERE WILL BE NO CUPS AT AID STATIONS. PLEASE CARRY A COLLAPSIBLE CUP WITH YOU to get drinks at aid stations. The course is a beautiful single track trail around Caesar Creek Lake (combination of yellow perimeter loop and red/green trail near Wellman Meadow). There will be different start times for the different distances to allow participants to spread out on the trail and experience the gorgeous sunset over the Caesar Creek Lake. All participants must carry mandatory gear: headlamp and/or waist light with extra batteries, water bottle (or bladder), collapsible cup, and fully charged cell phone. Finishers will receive cool owl medals that glow in the dark. All registered runners will receive high quality swag. We will have awards for top finishers in both genders.
There will be 4 aid stations on the course:
1. Wellman Meadow (10K turnaround point): it will be manned until all 10K runners come through, unmanned for the remainder of the night. Will have water and Tailwind.
2. Fifty Springs (manned and fully stocked aid station with water, tailwind and typical ultra fare (pretzels, trail mix, potato chips, PB&J, bananas, etc).
3. Day Lodge (water and tailwind and limited nutrition (granola bars and/or gels).
4. Start/Finish (fully stocked aid station with water, Tailwind, pretzels, potato chips, PB&J, hummus avocado wraps, and warm food (including vegan options).
Empower Ultras is proud to be a Trail Sisters approved race. We offer: Equal Podium Spots. Equal Prize Money & Awards. Women’s specific swag & apparel. (no unisex t-shirts). Menstrual products at all aid stations. Equal opportunity/space for women on the starting line.
Empower Ultras was founded by Aneta (Nettie) Zeppettella and Jennifer Russo, who met through ultrarunning and over years gained lots of experience, finishing some of the hardest ultras on the East Coast and beyond. Nettie has directed ultrarunning events for several years as a volunteer RD for a local club and Jennifer has extensive marketing experience. We want to empower you to try to push your limits and create your new adventures. Please join us. We will cheer for you with our whole hearts!
Register by December 1 to guarantee your awesome winter swag!
Runners of all races, ethnicities, and gender identities are welcome at Empower Ultras events and races. We are a women-owned and immigrant-owned company and inclusivity is very important to us. We encourage everyone, regardless of ability, age, body type, educational background, ethnicity, gender, gender expression/identity, nationality, political affiliation, race, religion, or any other demographic to participate in all our events. We support diverse groups through our donations. We are proud to offer Athletes With Disability divisions in our races. We are constantly learning and we encourage input into our efforts to improve diversity at our events.
Course and Cutoffs
Cutoffs are for safety of our runners and volunteers and will be strictly enforced.
Full Marathon cutoffs:
- Race starts at 4 pm. Runners will have 9 hours to complete the race (until 1 am).
- Runners will have to start loop 2 by 8:15 pm (4 hours 15 minutes to complete loop 1 (there will be daylight for the first three of the marathon race with sunset at 5:27 pm), 4 hours 45 minutes to complete loop 2. (Loop 2 will be done completely in the dark.)
Half Marathon cutoff:
- Half Marathon starts at 5:30 pm. Runners will have 7.5 hrs to complete the race.
- 10K starts at 6 pm, runners must complete the race by 1am.
Sunset is at 5:27 pm. Caesar Creek trails are heavily wooded and will get dark sooner. The course is mostly single track trail with rolling hills. There are no significant climbs on the course, but - especially back part of the marathon and half marathon loop - has a lot of back to back rollers. The level of difficulty is very weather dependent - if the trails are dry - they are pretty runnable, if we have a wet winter, the mud can be unrelenting. There can be heavy snow or ice too. Wear and carry proper gear
There will be some running on the wide shoulder of the road (North Clarksville (all distances) and Rt 73 (marathon and half) - please stay in the shoulder at all times and never run more then two people abreast as roads are open to car traffic. These violating this rule might be disqualified. You will need to climb over a short railing on St Rt 73 to get back on the trail (there will be a large sign and marking. We put the sign "Caution Runners on the Road right at the turn into the trail (over the railing)
Winners of our marathon race will receive a free entry to Winter Night Owl .
There will be no refunds. If we need to postpone the race, we will roll over all registrations to the new date or offer participants an opportunity to run a future Night Owl event.
Trail and ultrarunning wouldn't exist without the help of incredible volunteers. Please help us make this event successful. Volunteers can earn credit towards future Empower Ultras races.
Event's current local time: 3:27 PM CT