Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the subject headings below to get answers to the questions we think you may have. If you have a question we don’t address below, please drop us a line and we’ll get you an answer.

General Event Info

  • What time will the event(s) start and end?
  • Will the event be held if there is inclement weather?
  • What is the cost of the event?
  • What do I get if I register and/or finish? In other words, what kind of swag will I get for my registration fee?
  • Are there awards for fastest finishers?
  • What is your cancellation policy regarding registration fees?
  • Will we be hiking all night?
  • Will you really enforce the time limits of 10 hours for the marathoners and 20 hours for the 50 milers?
  • Is this walking only? Can I do a combination of running and walking or run the whole course?
  • Is this a good event for someone who wants to do a marathon or an ultra marathon?
  • Is there a minimum or maximum age to participate?
  • Where can I follow the event on social media?

Location/Course

  • Where will this event be held?
  • Can you provide directions to the starting line?
  • Is the course out and back, a loop, or one way?
  • How difficult will the course be?
  • Will you be providing food and/or drinks along the course?
  • Will there be toilets on the course?

Gear

  • What should I plan to bring on the walk?
  • What kind of shoes should I hike in?

Training

  • What kind of shape do I need to be in for this? (i.e. Can a beginner handle this?)
  • What kind of training should I be doing to prepare?

Charities

  • Which charities will benefit?
  • How much will the charities receive?

Sponsors

  • Can I/my company be a sponsor?
  • What do sponsors get for their contribution?

Volunteers

  • Can I be a volunteer?
  • How long would I have to volunteer?
  • What do volunteers get for their contribution?
  • Will volunteers get to do the Expedition?

50in20

  • Whose bright idea was this?
General Event Info

What time will the event(s) start and end?
The event will begin at 10:00 a.m. for all participants. For those doing the marathon distance (26.2m), that means they’d need to finish by 8:00 p.m. The event would officially end at 6:00 a.m. for our 50 milers.

Will the event be held if there is inclement weather?
Yep, it is an Expedition after all. The event will only be postponed if there is a weather emergency.

What is the cost of the event?
The registration fees are:

Palmetto Expedition Marathon Walkers (26.2 miles in 10 hours)

  • $40 – before January 1, 2018
  • $50 – January 1 to March 31
  • $60 – April 1 to Day of Event (t-shirts and medals not guaranteed)

Palmetto Expedition Ultra Walkers (50 miles in 20 hours)

  • $60 – before January 1, 2018
  • $80 – January 1 to March 31
  • $100 – April 1 to Day of Event (t-shirts and medals not guaranteed)

What do I get if I register and/or finish? In other words, what kind of swag will I get for my registration fee?
All registrants will get a couple of Palmetto Expedition stickers by mail shortly after registering to use as they please. We’d encourage you to put them on your vehicle, a favorite water bottle, or other visible place. Seeing the sticker will encourage you to keep training and it will also let people know about your upcoming challenge so they can support you!

When you pick up your race packet, you’ll also get:

  • Palmetto Expedition t-shirt
  • Race bib

When you finish your event (marathon or full Expedition), you’ll get:

  • Medal specific to your event (marathon distance hikers will get a marathon medal and 50 milers will get an “Ultra” Palmetto Expedition medal)

NOTE: If you don’t finish the event, you don’t get the medal. Sorry…

Are there awards for fastest finishers?
No. Not giving awards leaves more money for our supported charities.

What is your cancellation policy regarding registration fees?
We understand that things happen that can keep you from participating after you’ve registered. While we do not offer refunds, we do offer the option of deferment where you can participate next year instead. Below are the steps to defer if it becomes necessary:

  • Inform us via email at info@palmettoexpedition.com that you need to defer until 2019. Please make sure to include the name you used to register. You must notify us BEFORE RACE DAY (by midnight April 27).
  • Once deferred, you will not be able to pick up your race packet for the 2018 race (t-shirt and bib)
  • Participants that are in a deferral status are not automatically registered for the succeeding year
  • Contact us again after May 31, 2018 at info@palmettoexpedition.com to receive your deferral code
  • Deferred participants must not register for next year’s event until they have a deferral code. We are not able to offer refunds when a participant is eligible for a deferral code but registers on their own.
  • All participants who are eligible to defer are guaranteed entry into the succeeding race as long as they have followed the directions, completed the online liability waiver and paid the $25 admin fee by February 28, 2019.
  • The deferments are only valid for one (1) year – the year following the date of original event registration.
  • All complimentary entries and discounted race entry fees are not eligible for deferral.

Will we be hiking all night?
That depends on you, doesn’t it? Assuming our start time above (10:00 a.m.) holds, our marathoners should finish no later than 8:00 p.m. If you’re doing the full Expedition (50m) and you’re a fast walker or you mix walking and running, you might finish at some point during the night without having to go all the way through. If you walk with a slower pace, you could feasibly walk all night and finish just before the 6:00 a.m. cutoff.

Will you really enforce the time limits of 10 hours for the marathoners and 20 hours for the 50 milers?
The short answer for both is – Yes.

For the marathon, you have 10 hours to complete the event or you don’t receive the completion medal. Since that may sound harsh, let’s put this into perspective. To walk 26.2 miles in 10 hours, you’ll need to walk an average speed of 2.62 mph. The average human walking speed is 3.1 mph. If you walk the average human walking speed and don’t stop, you would finish in 8 hours and 27 minutes. This would allow you an hour and a half to stop completely (for rest, food, bathroom, etc.). If you walk just slightly faster, either naturally or intentionally, you have even more rest time. Keep in mind that this event is intended to be a challenge. The distance is one aspect of the challenge and the time restriction, the other aspect of the challenge, is to prevent you from resting for long periods of time. Is it really medal-worthy if you have the option of taking a four hour nap in the middle of it?

Regarding the 50 milers, we have to keep in mind the span of this event. One concern is that people who walk beyond 20 hours are getting into some pretty exhausting territory. Your legs are tired, weak, and prone to falling or sprain. You’re so exhausted mentally that you may find yourself wandering off-trail unintentionally. We don’t want anyone getting hurt. Another concern is that the event can’t go on indefinitely. It just isn’t fair to the volunteers who are giving their time to make this event fun for all of us. The final reason is similar to what I mentioned above for the marathoners – the time restriction is part of the challenge. Is it a challenge if you can get a full night’s sleep in the middle of it?

To walk 50 miles in 20 hours, you’ll need to walk an average speed of 2.5 mph. Again, the average human walking speed is 3.1 mph. If you walk the average human walking speed and don’t stop, you would finish in 16 hours and 8 minutes. This allows you almost four hours to stop completely (for rest, food, bathroom, etc.). If you walk just slightly faster, either naturally or intentionally, you have even more rest time.

Given that it is 20 consecutive hours plus set up and breakdown, we’ll have to stop supporting walkers 20 hours after the start. We also plan to make one last ATV ride over the full course at that point to pick up any participants who just couldn’t make the cutoff. Can we force you to stop? Of course not. Just understand that we’ll offer you the ride back to the starting line at that point and if you choose not to take it, you’re no longer a race participant and you’re on your own. Neither of us want that so plan on finishing in under 20 hours.

Is this walking only? Can I do a combination of running and walking or run the whole course?
As long as your feet are your only mode of transportation, you can do the event however you like – run, walk, crawl, or a combination of all three. You just have to finish it within the allotted time restrictions to create the challenge.

Is this a good event for someone who wants to run a marathon or an ultra marathon?
Yes, as long as the runner understands a few things. First, we aren’t timing this event in such a way that it can serve as a qualifier for other events. Second, this event caters to the walking challenge.

Many marathons and ultras put time restrictions to prevent participants from walking the full event thus minimizing crowding for serious runners. Our event turns that on its head. We’re making an event for walkers and our time restrictions are there to keep the hike challenging. If you understand that there will be a lot of walkers, both on your run out and after the turnaround point, you should be fine. This could be a particularly good event for someone who wants to test their running limits or someone who is training for a marathon or ultra. If you want to test your ability to run 26.2 or 50 miles (or some shorter distance), you could run as far as you can and walk the balance. Then, you’ll know where you stand with your fitness and you’ll have a better sense of whether you really want to do that marathon or ultra.

Is there a minimum or maximum age to participate?
Yes, the Expedition is open to ages 16 and up as long as parents authorize their minor to participate by signing a waiver of liability. Parents should understand that we cannot be responsible for their teenager. If a parent is not walking with them throughout the event, the child could find themselves alone on the trail at times.

Of course there’s no maximum age! In fact, we’d love to have an octogenarian finish the full 50 mile Expedition! If we do, we (Adam and Griffin) promise to take them to dinner.

Where can I follow the event on social media?
We’re glad you asked! Check us out on Facebook (@PalmettoExpedition) and Instagram (@palmetto_expedition). If you use Strava for exercise/training, feel free to join our training group.

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Location/Course

Where will this event be held?
The Palmetto Trail’s Lake Moultrie Passage

Can you provide directions to the starting line?
We sure can. The event will start and finish at the Amos Lee Gourdine Boat Ramp, Russel Store Rd, St Stephen, SC 29479 (Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/FtnsgPjgqun)

Is the course out and back, a loop, or one way?
The start and finish line will be near the center of the course. You will start and head southeast for roughly one-quarter of your chosen distance and then turn around back to the starting line where you will have completed roughly half your distance. You will keep going past the starting line for another quarter of your distance before turning around for the final quarter and end up finishing back at the starting line.

How difficult will the course be?
Since this event is catering to walkers and the Expedition is a long-distance event, we’ve worked with the Palmetto Conservation Foundation to identify terrain that is as flat as possible – the Lake Moultrie Passage. This Passage is a very flat trail with almost no elevation change. The main challenge is the distance and the time limit, not the terrain.

Will you be providing food and/or drinks along the course?
Yes, to some extent we will. We’re still determining the types of snack foods and drinks to provide as well as how many stations we’ll need but we will have some available. We will NOT be providing meals. It’s important that you come prepared to be (mostly) self-sufficient. You’ll want to eat foods that you know your body can handle and that give you energy. As the saying goes, “nothing new on race day” or you might pay the price with stomach/intestinal discontent. We want to give you hydration and snack options but this is a 10-20 hour event and you’re going to want more than snack foods. You’re going to want more (or different) things than what we have. Prepare accordingly.

Will there be first aid?
Yes, there will. We’re still determining how many first aid stations we’ll need but we will have them. We also plan to have volunteers who will patrol the course on bikes and/or ATVs to help if someone is injured. Still, you’ll want to bring blister pads, pain reliever, and other miscellaneous first aid items so you aren’t waiting on help if you start feeling pain. We’ll provide all participants a recommended gear list well in advance of the event.

Will there be toilets on the course?
Yes but we’re still working out the details of how many and their locations. However, as you’ve probably experienced at a concert, fair, or parade, portable toilets can be questionable. We’d suggest you bring a small roll/pack of toilet paper in your backpack just in case. You may get to the toilet to find it’s out of TP or that someone is occupying it for an unreasonable length of time. While it’s never preferred, if you’re prepared to walk far off the trail to go, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

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Gear

What should I plan to bring on the walk?
We ask that you come prepared to walk (mostly) independently. We recognize that you can’t carry enough water to last you the full 10-20 hours but you can bring a water bottle and keep a liter or two at all times between refill stations. You may not want to carry enough food for the full event but you can bring your meals (we can’t feed everyone three meals) and a few snacks to keep your energy up. Similarly, if you get a wicked blister a mile from a first aid station, that’s going to really suck.

With that in mind, here’s what we’d suggest at a minimum but feel free to add other items that are specific to your needs for a 10-20 hour endurance event:

  • Lightweight backpack
  • 1-2 liter water bottle
  • Any medication you take
  • Portable, non-refrigerated meals (1-2 for marathoners, 2-4 for 50 milers)
  • Snacks (enough to snack at least once per hour)
  • First aid kit with pain reliever, blister pads/tape, bandages, etc.
  • Trail map – shouldn’t be necessary but if you accidentally wander off-trail, you will appreciate having it.
  • Extra socks – if your feet get wet or blistered, you will appreciate a fresh pair
  • Poncho – the event is rain or shine
  • Layers of insulation – In April, it should be warm but it will almost certainly be cold at some point during the walk. Have layers to manage through very cold to warm temperatures.

Optional but suggested items:

  • Walking sticks
  • Hat/cap
  • Bandana

What kind of shoes should I hike in?
Details coming soon.

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Training

What kind of shape do I need to be in for this? (i.e. Can a beginner handle this?)
You’ll want to train well in advance of the Expedition. To help you prepare, we’ve worked with a long-distance coach to develop a training plan. Review the plan and decide for yourself, in consultation with your physician, trainer, or other expert to determine if you are physically able to complete the event.

What kind of training should I be doing to prepare?
As noted above, you’ll want to train well in advance of the Expedition. To help you prepare, we’ve worked with a long-distance coach to develop a training plan. Our training plan is a guide only and ultimately, you are responsible for your own event preparation and safety. Please consult with with your physician, trainer, or other expert to determine if you are ready to complete the event.

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Charities

Which charities will benefit?
We’re big fans of The Palmetto Trail so we partnered up with the Palmetto Conservation Foundation to serve as the fiscal sponsor and primary charity to receive the proceeds from this event. We also intend to contribute to South Carolina’s State Parks.

How much will the charities receive?
The amount we’re able to give depends on how much money we raise through race registration fees and event sponsors. All money after expenses will be donated to the Palmetto Conservation Foundation and South Carolina’s State Parks. We will make every attempt to keep expenses to a minimum in order to maximize the charitable contributions. No one at 50in20 is being paid from the money earned.

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Sponsors

Can I/my company be a sponsor?
Absolutely, we would love that! To contact us about sponsorship options, visit the Sponsor the Palmetto Expedition page.

What do sponsors get for their contribution?
Visit the Sponsor the Palmetto Expedition page for details.

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Volunteers

Can I be a volunteer?
Of course you can! We’re still working out all of the details for our volunteers but if you think you’d want to help out in some way, let us know here.

How long would I have to volunteer?
This is a detail we’re working out but given the length of the event, our initial thoughts are that we’d ask volunteers to help for four hours per shift (preferred) with a minimum of two hours. If you’d like to help longer, all the better!

What do volunteers get for their contribution?
That’s a good question and we’re not 100% sure yet. Here are a few things we’re considering but if you have other suggestions, let us know in the comments area of the volunteer form.

  • We’ll send you a few Palmetto Expedition stickers as soon as you sign up as a volunteer
  • We hope to have a “Volunteers Night” meetup where we can socialize and have food and drink at no cost to the volunteers
  • We plan to provide volunteers a swag bag with a Palmetto Expedition t-shirt and other goodies to be determined
  • We plan to recognize our volunteers on this website (and other places, if possible)
  • Volunteers will get our undying appreciation!

Will volunteers get to do the Expedition?
If at all possible, yes. We’re working on logistics and will give our volunteers a definitive answer as quickly as possible.

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50in20

Whose bright idea was this?
Believe it or not, these knuckleheads…

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