Where and when is the Hairy Bison?

Where is it?
Harbison Stat Forest. I mean, we ARE the Harbison Trail Runners. Honestly, this should be obvious.
Harbison State Forest
5600 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC, 29212

When is it?
Saturday, November 17th, 2018

What is the Schedule?
PRE-RACE CEREMONY: 7:15am (Sharp)
START: 7:30am (Sharp)
YOGA: 10:00am
GIVEAWAYS: Every 15 minutes starting at 9:30am
RAFFLE: 10:30am
NAP: 2:00pm

When should I arrive?
6:30AM. Honestly, the run is becoming very popular. Show up earlier than that. Early birds get best parking. Might want to arrive closer to 6:00am.

Why so early?
You'll need to park, do whatever pre-race ritual you've cultivated, get your bib, sign a waiver, and get to the pre-race ceremony by 7:15am. You do not want to miss the not-to-be-missed pre-race ceremony.

Rain or Shine?
Yes. We are trail runners. Please.


Sign Up

How do I sign up?
Just RSVP for the event on the Harbison Trail Runners Facebook page. That's it.

What if I forget to RSVP?
Just show up (early for check-in) and run. Pretty easy, really. But we prefer the RSVP. It helps. Sheesh, we can't read your mind.

How much does it cost?
The blood, sweat, tears of your intense training.

How many American dollars?

When is packet pick-up?
FRIDAY EVENING: 6pm at the British Bulldog Pub EXPO.
RACE MORNING: 6:30am (or earlier)

WOAH, there's an EXPO?
Yup. Friday night at the British Bulldog you can sign your waiver, get your bib, pick up your pre-ordered club shirt, and buy a beer. AVOID THE SATURDAY MORNING RUSH.

But I do get a BIB, right?
Actually, yes. Come early on race day (Beginning at 6:00am) and get your free, unique bib, custom-created by a local graphic designer.



Where do I park?
Assuming you don't run to the forest, you can park your car in the Education Center Parking lot (as in previous years). Enter the forest go straight through the main gate. Follow the gravel road. Take your first right. This will take you to the education center parking lot. The later you arrive the worse the parking options. Don't tempt fate. 

Will there be people on hand to direct parking?

Does it cost money to park?

How much?
Parking is covered if you already have an annual parking pass. Daily parking passes cost $5. Annual passes cost $25. 

So where do I get these super-special parking pass things?
At the front parking lot, you'll find a bright yellow box. You can buy a daily pass there. Or, if you're lucky, a parking volunteer will hand you the daily pass envelope. You add your 5 bucks.

I am a sophisticated Web user, can't I buy an annual pass online before the race?
Of course. Thanks for asking. Just go buy an annual pass on the interweb cyber place.

Woah Chatzky, you said the Bison was FREE. What gives?
The Bison is free. Forever free. However, you must pay the Forestry Commission to park at Harbison Forest. Before you have a first-world meltdown over parking fees, consider that Harbison Forest is a working forest, supported only by logging revenue and user fees. So pay that parking fee with a smile on your face and song in your heart.


Bureaucratic Particulars

I have to sign something?

The sun rises in the East, taxes are due on April 15th, and races have waivers. Not even the Bison is immune. You must sign a waiver that says forever in perpetuity you are responsible for everything and anything that happens to you in the forest. That means everything north of a skinned knee is entirely your fault. This includes psychological damage. Also your fault.

When do I sign?
Sign either at the British Bulldog Friday evening at 6pm, or race day near the starting line (beginning at 6am).

Pack-In / Pack-Out
Leave the forest precisely as you found it. Leave no trace. This is non-negotiable, and your sacred duty as a steward of the forest.

Can I fight City Hall?
Not recommended.



What does it cost?
The Hairy Bison is utterly FREE and will always be.

I hear I will be PAID to run the Bison. Is this true?

For every outer loop you complete, you will collect a buffalo nickel. Run one loop (15k) and you earn five cents. Run two loops (30k) and you earn ten cents. We've done the math. You keep the coins. They "pay" your way into the post-race raffle.



What is the course like?
We run the standard Harbison "outer loop."

Surely there is an amazingly designed map, right?
Surely. View the boss course map.

How long is the outer loop?
Give or take 15k (9 miles).

So how do you get to 30k?
We consulted an array of scientists and civil engineers. After an exhaustive study, they recommended we run the loop twice. We then consulted an unemployed philosopher, who suggested we run the second loop backwards. We agreed (and gave him a few bucks for his trouble).

Where is the starting line?
We start in the field behind the Harbison Education Center.

Is there a pre-race briefing?
Yes. It starts promptly at 7:15am. It is the best pre-race briefing your ever attend. Hands down.

Do you hold any preview runs?
We hold 51 official preview runs each year, held each Saturday. You are without excuse.

Is there a course map?
Shockingly, yes. You can find it on this nifty website.

Is the course marked?
The course is marked as well as it ever has been. Which is to say, it is not marked, not even a little bit. You are gloriously on your own. We suggest finding a buddy. Or, consider getting lost part of the overall fun.

Is there a sweep?
Yep. But really, it's more of an informal sweeping situation. Best to not rely on it.

Do you offer pace groups?
We guess. Follow someone and you will finish at their pace.


Aid Stations

Are there any aid stations?
Yes. There is one aid station on the course. It is near the Boy Scout Camp just under half-way around the outer loop. Remember to pick up your buffalo nickel for the raffle. Remember to stop and enjoy the shenanigans there.

So this is some kind of crazy, epic aid station, yes?
Oh yes.

Different shenanigans every year?
Oh yes.

Will you take my bottle/gel/salt tabs/map/belt/backpack/spare socks to the Aid Station?
Yes. We are very nice that way. We'll bring your stuff from the start to the aid station and have it there waiting for you. We'll even bring it back to the start after the race. If you are running the 15k, this works well.

But wait, I'm running the 30k. What gives?
We'll break down the aid station while some people are running the second loop. Life, as they say, is not fair. So, if you are a 30k person, assume that your stuff may not be there your second time through and plan accordingly. 


Timing and Awards

Is the race timed?
Yes, we time the race, but you'll find no timing mats or timing chips anywhere. Rumor has it we'll have an actual clock this year. Deep breaths.

Do we get bibs?
Actually yes. Pick up your bib at the British Bulldog Friday evening (6pm) or at the starting line before the race. You will look like an official runner and everything. No two bibs are alike. All are hand-crafted keepers.

Are there awards?
The only awards given will be to the first male and female finisher of the full 30k. They will be crowned Mr. and Ms. Bison respectively. So, if you want an award, you have to WIN the long race outright. 

Come on, how about age group awards?
Ha ha ha. Nice try. No. 

So I get nothing for kicking butt in my age group?
Respect is worth more than gold and jewels.

Are results posted?
Yup. Right here on the Harbison Trail Runner's website.

When are results posted?
Dude, relax.


SWAG and Raffle

Do I get a finisher's shirt?
Nope. We do hand-out the pre-ordered club shirts at the Hairy Bison. We always order shirts in September, before the Bison.

I've heard there is a raffle. How does it work?
At the only aid station on the course, you pick up a buffalo Nickel. 15k runners will pass the aid station once and get one nickel. 30k runners pass it twice and thus get two nickels. Each nickel buys you a ticket for the grand raffle. And you can still keep the nickel.

So the Raffle is pretty great, right?

It has lots of great stuff?

So I'm guaranteed to get something then?
Come on, man. This is America, not Sweden. You may win something in the raffle. But then again, you might simply hang out for a while and get only the benefit of beautiful fellowship. 

No really, what do I get no matter what?
Ok honcho, everyone definitely gets:

  • A coupon for a free beer or $5 off an appetizer at the BRITISH BULLDOG.

  • Buffalo nickel(s) from the aid station.

  • The opportunity to bask in the company of the resplendent trail-running community on a glorious autumn day.

Who provides goodies for the raffle?
We have amazing sponsors for the raffle. STAY TUNED!

Will SWAG make me happy?
Temporarily, yes, especially if you get the freakin' great backpack. But ultimately, you'll feel empty inside again. This is solved by running on the trails more.


Killing Time Before the Raffle

I ran the 15k. What do I do while waiting for the raffle?
Glad you asked, here's a brief list:

  • Get your picture made with the one-and-only Bison.

  • Enjoy some deliciously autumnal post-run grub and soup.

  • Get a FREE massage.

  • Attend a real-deal YOGA class.

  • Peruse some of the vendor tables.

  • Become a member of Friends of Harbison State Forest.

  • Meet new people.

  • Volunteer a bit. We can always use the help.

  • Go get a bagel and come back.


Giving Back

What's the first thing I can bring?
Bring old shoes and clothes. We'll collect them and deliver them to migrant works in desperate need.

Seriously, what else can I give to defray the costs of the Hairy Bison?
Donate to the general fund (at the starting line). This helps us pay for race insurance, port-o-johns, and such. Give some $$ and we'll give you a Harbison Trail Runner magnet, sticker, or button (or all three).

What are some of the costs of putting on the Hairy Bison?
The Bison is a labor of love, but there are some real expenses. Chief among them are the insurance permit (minimum $200), Port-O-Johns ($200+), food and incidentals ($200+), Stickers, buttons, magnets ($$$). It adds up. But these costs are very easy to bear if everyone contributes a few bucks.

Can I volunteer?
Of course. Contact Rick Stroud or Dean Schuster on the Facebook and we'll hook you up.


After the Race

I just finished the race and I am hungry. What do I do?
Fortunately we've thought of this. We'll have soup, chili and drinks at the finish for you. Yummy!

I just finished the race and my back is sore. What do I do?
Might we suggest a FREE massage at the finishing area? 

I heard there's a post-race celebration. Is this true?
YES. We meet at the British Bulldog for lunch after the raffle. 

What if I have no money for beer?
Nonsense. Just use your FREE BEER coupon you received at the race, courtesy of the Bulldog.

How do I fight post-Bison depression?
Run Harbison on Sunday. 


Transcendent Miscellanea

What's this I hear about a live bison?
Every year, the Harbison Trail Runners gather the Saturday before Thanksgiving. They focus their good cheer and happy trail-running spirit toward the forest in hopes of summoning the Hairy Bison from the misty woods. If they are sincere and true, the Bison will grace us with a visit.

What is Rick Stroud really like?
Possessor of more arcane facts than you care to know, Rick is also a fine actor who has starred in such films as Platoon, and Spider-Man (the first one, with Toby Maguire, who was ok we guess). Check him out on IMDB under his stage name.