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FAQ

frequently asked questions

WHAT IS TRAIL RUNNING?
The quick (and probably snarky) answer is that trail running is....wait for it...running on a trail. But we explain it a little better here.

YOU GIVE AWAY FREE HOT DOGS, BUT I'M A VEGAN.
That's not really a question, but we will let you know that we always have vegan hot dogs available for our plant fueled runners!

IS THIS AN OCR (OBSTACLE COURSE RACE)?
Nope. We think Mother Nature has enough natural obstacles to throw at you, such as rocks, roots, downed trees, creek crossings, etc. We do not alter the trail in any way.

HOW MANY FREE BEERS DO I GET?
If you have a designated driver, then you can have as many as you can glug down your gullet. If you don't have a designated driver then you better take it easy. If you're under the legal age then, sorry, you can't have any.

CAN I RUN WITH MY DOG?
Absolutely! We just ask that you line up at the end of the starting corral for the sake of other non-K9 runners.

CAN MY CHILD RUN?
We're a bit concerned that you asked about your dog before you asked about your child, but we won't make a big deal out of it. We do offer Mini Monk trail runs geared specifically for children at our I Heart Momma and Thriller Trail Runs. If you think that your child has the ability to run in any of our races then we'll leave that up to you. You probably know your child's athletic ability better than us! We just require that the child's parent or guardian be present on the day of the trail run to sign a parental waiver and, of course, to cheer your child on!

CAN I RUN WITH MY STROLLER?
Yes and no. Because the trails have natural obstacles, like roots, rocks, creeks, etc., we only allow strollers at our I Heart Momma 5k, which takes place on a paved trail system.

WHAT IS THE TIME LIMIT FOR YOUR RACES? CAN I WALK?
The time limit for all of our races is sundown, since that is when the forest preserves close. We don't leave until every one of our Muddy Monkers has crossed the finish line...or until a forest preserve ranger runs us out of the place. So feel free to sprint, run, jog, walk, or crawl. This is America. You have the freedom to do the trail run however you want.

WHEN WILL I GET A PRE-RACE EMAIL?
We send pre-race emails to all registered runners one week before the race. The pre-race email will include course maps, directions, parking instructions, packet pick up info, and any other pertinent information. We don't like getting a lot of SPAM type emails, so we don't send any. We hope your inbox appreciates this!

ONLINE REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. CAN I STILL REGISTER?
If race day registration is available, we will update the race's website to reflect this. If we do offer race day registration then rest assured that we will have enough shirts, SWAG, beer, and food for you! If we do not mention that race day registration is available then that means the race has reached its permitted limit. Because we value our relationships with the local forest preserve districts, we cannot add more runners at that point.

DO YOU GIVE ANY MONEY TO CHARITY?
Yes! We are proud to partner with the Illinois Chapter of the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association. We donate a portion of the proceeds of every race (and 100% of the proceeds of the I Heart Momma) to PWSA. All of the money goes to help local families who are affected by Prader-Willi Syndrome.

WHEN AND WHERE WILL RESULTS BE POSTED?
We post results on our Facebook page immediately following the last runner crossing the finish line. We also update our results page as soon as we get home from cleaning up the trail.

WHEN AND WHERE WILL PHOTOS BE POSTED?
We post all of the photos on our Facebook page and Google+ page as soon as we get home from cleaning up the trail. And they are always free for you to download, tag yourself, print out and throw darts at...whatever floats your boat.

I GOT INJURED OR AM SICK OR CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE RUN. CAN I GET A REFUND?
Because of the nature of running events, we cannot offer refunds for any reason. We can, however, let you transfer your registration to another runner or transfer to another run (of equal or lesser registration price). Unlike the big companies out there, we don't charge for this. Just shoot us an email at hello@muddymonk.com and we'll take care of it for you.

DO YOU HAVE ANY EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES?
We are a grassroots organization that is run by our founders Art and Liz. They both work full time jobs and put on these trail runs as a service to the Chicago trail running community. Since we love our small, community vibe and want to keep it that way, we do not have any employment opportunities (which would mean raising registration prices or going corporate in order to pay for salaries, health care, 401ks, etc.). 

CAN I VOLUNTEER?
Absolutely! All volunteers get free food and beer (only if you're of legal age!), free SWAG, and 50% off any future Muddy Monk Trail Run. Shoot us an email at hello@muddymonk.com if you're interested. And: THANKS!

OK. I MIGHT VOLUNTEER. BUT WHAT WOULD I BE DOING?
We always need volunteers to help out in a few areas:

  • Packet pick up - before the race entailing handing out the bibs and shirts
  • Finish line - handing out the finisher's awards and calling out numbers to our timer
  • Photography - taking photos either on course or at the start/finish line (we provide the cameras)
  • Aid station - handing out water and cheering on our runners
  • Marshal - being at pivotal points on the trail pointing runners in the right direction

WHY ARE THE EVENTS CALLED "RUNS" INSTEAD OF "RACES"?
We like the idea of an event being called a "trail run" instead of a "trail race" because not everyone "races" in our events. Some people are there just to have a fun time on the trail, enjoy a few beers, and relax. Other people want to race and beat all their friends, relatives, and countrymen. We welcome all types of runners and we wanted our events, that is, our "runs," to reflect that in their name.

WHY ARE YOU CALLED "MUDDY MONK"?
Our founder, Art, studied religion in graduate school. While studying he got hooked on running in general and fell in love with trail running in particular. The name "Muddy Monk" is a homage to his past and present. We also love alliteration and monks carrying beers.