Frequently Asked Questions

Are PCTR courses too challenging for first-time trail runners?
Although our courses are hilly and challenging, PCTR events are designed for the first-time trail runner. One of the great things about trail running is that you can hike the uphills and run the downhills. You don't need to be an experienced trail runner to enjoy our events. Just remember to bring a water bottle.

Can I get a refund or transfer my entry to another event?
Entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable to future PCTR events. As you can imagine, it is very expensive and time consuming to organize and produce a trail running event. Most costs (finishers’ shirts, insurance, permit fees, park monitors, preparation time, etc.) have been incurred well in advance. Even a small percentage of runners requesting refunds or transfers would prohibit us from holding the event. However, PCTR would be happy to send you a 75% or 50% entry coupon if you let us know at least 2 weeks or 48 hours before the event, respectively.

Can I have my shirt mailed?
Shirts are handed out at the event. Leftover shirts, if any, are given to event helpers.

When is the entrant list activated on the event page?
Generally, more than 50% of the runners sign up within the last 2 weeks. We typically post the list for the first time about 10 days out and update it several times as the majority of entries come in. With events like Headlands Hundred and the SF One Day, we list the entrants well in advance as they come in.

Can I change distances?
You can change your distance anytime before the event. Your bib number indicates the distance that you're running, so you must let us know what distance you’re running by runner check-in, at the latest. Please Contact Us if you'd like to change distances.

When are run-day instructions e-mailed to entrants?
We e-mail the run-day instructions the week of the event. If you haven't received the e-mail by 2 days before, please Contact Us.

Will I get lost?
We mark the course extremely well with bright ribbons. Very few runners get off course and, if they do, they realize fairly quickly that they missed an intersection. If you get off course, you should retrace your path until you find where you left the course and then continue along the marked course. Watch for our signature striped ribbons placed before an intersection indicating a turn to the same side. Review the course map, carry the course description, and read the run-day instructions. Don't follow other runners blindly.

How can I find out if an event might sell out?
We post a message to the Message Board and to the event page when there is a chance that an event will sell out.

Can I run as a bandit?
Running as a bandit (not registering) in organized events is inappropriate even though you don’t consume drinks or food. The organizers expend a tremendous amount of time and money for permits, park monitors, measuring and marking the course, insurance, and publicizing the event. Registered runners would not be able to enjoy the group experience if these efforts and costs were not made by the event organizers.

Trail Etiquette?
Please be courteous on the trail. If you're passing another runner or hiker, announce "on your left" as you approach.

May I wear headphones?
Headphones are allowed on dirt road sections only. Please do not wear headphones on single-track trail, while crossing paved roads, when getting aid at aid stations, or while crossing the finish line.

Are dogs allowed?
No dogs allowed on the course. Please don't leave pets in your vehicle.

Are baby joggers allowed?
All of our courses include sections of narrow trail and baby joggers aren’t allowed.

Does PCTR have a telephone number?
We organize 30 events with 9,500 runners each year. We try to provide all event information on the web site. Please Contact Us if you have specific questions regarding the event.

Are outside vendors/parties welcome at PCTR events?
We maintain a low-key atmosphere at our events and outside vendors/parties are not present.

Are PCTR events fundraisers for charities?
PCTR events emphasize the enjoyment of trail running and personal achievement with a low-key atmosphere. Although PCTR makes donations to charities and parks, we feel that organizing or promoting fundraisers would be inconsistent with PCTR's mission. Runners occasionally run to raise money for charities and they're welcome to do that, personally.

Why is the Elevation Gain different on the Elevation Profile chart?
We use an altimeter to measure Elevation Gain when we're wheeling the course. The Elevation Profile chart gives a general visual idea of the major climbs/descents. Please disregard the elevation change info within the Elevation Profile chart generated using Topo! Maps. The elevation gain/loss has significant cumulative errors from manually tracing the course with a mouse using the topo software program.

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