Gravel Smasher Information

You asked for it and you got it!

The Pumpkin Holler Gravel Smasher is held alongside the Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd 100-mile running race. The Gravel Smasher shares the road with the 100 mile runners as they are finishing thier final loop.

The Pumpkin Holler Gravel Smasher is an introductory course into gravel riding. This is the ride for you if it is your first endurance gravel event or an experienced gravel smasher. This ride is all about the fun and challenge of just finishing. Aid stations every 4-6 miles will provide just what you nee to finish this race!

Gravel Smasher shirts will be provided on a first-registered basis. Shirts are limited so sign up early to insure you get one. Everyone who makes the cut-off of 2:00pm and crosses the finish line will get a finishers' award.

Finish line activities include campfires, food, ample aid station supplies, music, and spontaneous dance parties.

Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd runners will be on the course during the Gravel Smasher. They may not be perfectly sane after 24+ hours of running. Cheer them on with yells, chants, and other encouragement.

Schedule

Key times for the Pumpkin Holler Gravel Grider race are:

  • Sunday, Oct 18th
    • 6:30am – On-site Registration (cash or check only) & Packet Pickup
    • 8:00am – Gravel Smasher (Rolling) Start
    • 2:00pm – Cut-off for all Runners and Cyclists
    • 2:30pm – Gravel Smasher Awards Ceremony

Awards

The Gravel Smasher awards ceremony will be at 2:30pm. Awards will be given for:

  • Finisher awards to anyone who makes the 2:00pm cut-off and crosses the finish line
  • Top 3 Men 39 and Under
  • Top 3 Men 40 and Over
  • Top 3 Women

On Course Support

Aid Stations are available every 4-6 miles on the course. Supplies may be limited based on number of runners still on the course. All will have water, Gatorade, and grab-and-go food available. You will also have a chance to sample "endurance" runner food (aka - "wow! I can't belive this food spread" food).

Most aid stations will be located on the left side of the road for runners. Please use caution as you approach the aid stations. There will be runners, volunteers, and vehicles on the course. Please dismount and walk your bike across the road to the aid station.

The course intersections are marked (yes, we heard your feedback from 2019). Maps and GPX files are available to assist with navigation on the course page.

If you must, the aid-stations are your bail-out spots. You may have to walk your bike a few miles to the nearest aid station. There will be at least one support vehicle on the course, primarily for bail-out rides to the start line.

Gravel Smashers are welcome to bring family and friends for support. However, this support can only be provided at the “crew” locations described in the course description.

Parking

The roads in and out of Eagle Bluff will be in use by the 100 Mile runners so we ask our gravel friends to be cautious driving and riding in and around the resort. Review the Eagle Bluff section on the home page for directions. We want you to stay off the main path in the campground for the runners.

Packet pickup will be held under a tent near the Eagle Bluff convenience store and the shower facilities starting at 6:30am. Parking is available in the grass campground area just to the north of the convenience store.

The Gravel Grinder start line is below this area by the river. You can access the start line using the staircase by the shower facility or one of the gravel roads leading to river.

Rolling Start

The Gravel Smasher has a rolling start from the start/finish area to a safe location on the gravel roads. A race director will escort smashers onto Highway 10, across the bridge, and to a safe point on E 690 Rd. Do not pass the escort vehicle until the director has given the secret signal (most likely, waving an orange flag and a cowbell).

Gravel Smashing Rules

We want your experience at the Pumpkin Holler Gravel Smasher to be the best possible. For your safety, the safety of others and to ensure we can continue this event we have a few rules to follow.

  • Rule #1 - Leave No Trash On The Course. If you bring it in, you must take it out. There are trash cans at every aid station and roving support vehicles. Anyone caught littering will be disqualified. Anyone. This entire course is on county roads along the banks of the scenic Illinois River and the perimeter of the Nickel Preserve. We do not want to jeopardize our ability to utilize this area. Littering includes gel tear-off tabs, banana peels, candy wrappers and other trash (organic or not).
  • Rule #2 - Appreciate the volunteers. Many volunteers were up before you preparing for the day. Many will stay out longer cleaning up. Most will do both. Rude or disrespectful behavior towards a volunteer, staff or race director will get you disqualified.
  • Rule #3 – No short-cuts. If you find yourself off course return to the last location you know you were on the course and continue on. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. We don't charge extra for bonus miles, but you don't get credit either.
  • Rule #4 - Have fun!

Additional Rules

  • Race bib/number must be worn on the front of your shirt or bike and must be visible at all times.
  • Gravel smashers are responsible for the actions of their support crew and must convey these rules - and penaties - to their team.
  • Gravel smashers receiving aid from crews outside of the designated crew access points are subject to disqualification.
  • Gravel smashers accepting a ride for any reason are deemed out of the race and may not re-enter the course.
  • Stashing supplies along the course is forbidden.
  • Any gravel smasher dropping out must immediately notify the nearest aid station captain or race management at the start/finish area.
  • Medical personnel, race directors, and aid station captains have the right to pull a gravel smasher if they feel they may be a danger to himself/herself or others.
  • Cut-off times are non-negotiable.
  • All gravel smashers and crew will abide by the directions of race management.
  • Violations of any rule will be grounds for disqualification.
  • All decisions of race management are final.

Crew Rules

  • All race rules also apply to support crew, family, and friends.
  • Crew support is allowed at four designated crew-access points:
    • Start/Finish
    • 'Dem Idiots
    • Savannah Corner
    • Hard Up Ahead
  • The preferred driving route to each approved-access aid station is available on the course map
  • Crew vehicles are strictly prohibited from entering the course - unless there is a medical emergency or mechanical failure.
  • Crew members must stay within 100 yards of the designated crew-access aid stations while providing physical support.
  • Crew members must not interfere with other race participants.
  • Gravel smashers are responsible for the actions of their crew. Crew member violations of rules may result in disqualification of the gravel smasher(s).