Frequently Asked Questions

Club Questions

    How can I join?

    Sign up online or download our mail-in form.

    What is an ultra marathon?

    An ultra-marathon is any race longer than a marathon (26.2 miles). Typical ultra distances are 50km (31.5 miles), 50 miles, 100km and 100 miles. We have runners who never ran an ultra before joining, and within one year, had completed 100-milers.

    Who are the Lawrence Trail Hawks?

    The Lawrence Trail Hawks, founded by Lawrence area trail and ultra runners, run on, promote and care for the Lawrence trails, including the Kansas River Trails (sometimes known as the Sand Rat trails), and the Clinton Lake North Shore Trails.

    We work with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, the Kansas Trails Council, and the Lawrence Mountain Bike Club to help keep the trails groomed and free of trash. We stage events, and help with other groups' events that meet our goals of promoting and caring for the trails.

    We take care of the trails, our fellow Trail Hawk members, and all others who have interest in the trails similar to our own. We might not do as much as we'd like, but we do what we can.

    We are trail running enthusiasts, and our members range from "I only run 1 mile a week" to "it's just a marathon."

    Are you a not for profit group?

    Yes. The Lawrence Trail Hawks trail running club is a registered non-profit with the State of Kansas. As a member of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) we are a 501(c)3 non-profit under that club’s group exemption. Any donation you make to the Lawrence Trail Hawks is tax deductible. If you have more questions please contact club board Trail Hawks Board.

    What are the benefits of membership?

    Member benefits include:

    • 10 percent discount off running shoes at Garry Gribbles' Running Sports (all locations)
    • 10 percent off at Francis Sporting Goods in Lawrence
    • 15 percent off online purchases at

    Also, you get all Trail Hawks gear at cost, and dramatically reduced entry fees for great Trail Hawks events like the Shoreline Shuffle 5K, Sander's Saunter 10k and more. Your dues are what helps us put these events on. Perhaps best of all, you get a cool Hawk name, bestowed on you by your fellow Hawks. Sorry, but there's no self-naming.

Run Questions

    How fast do you run?

    Our speeds typically are slow. A lot of us are slow runners, with a few speed demons. The shorter runs are usually faster than the longer runs. If speed is a concern for you, we can change the run tempo to accommodate.

    Do you run at night?

    Yes! During the winter, most group runs are at night so make sure you bring a head lamp or a handheld light. The trails ARE dark at night.

    How old must I be to run with the Trail Hawks?

    Runners of all ages are welcome. Under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, preferably a parent.

    I’m not a joiner. Can I run with the Hawks anyway?

    Sure thing. All our scheduled weekly runs are free. And you can get in on the Hawk Talk by joining our Lawrence Trail Hawks Yahoo e-mail group or our Facebook Page.

    I want to come run with you guys, what should I bring?

    We are a self-sufficient group. Each runner is expected to bring water, water-bottle/s (or hydration pack), food, salt tablets, etc. It is often hard for first-time distance runners to judge the amount of water/food they should bring. If you have any doubts it's always safer to bring more than less. Here is a guide which should help.

    Note: this guide is subject to change depending on weather conditions and from runner to runner.

    • under 10 miles: 1 water bottle and 1-2 gel packets (or food of similar calories)
    • 10-15 miles: 1-2 water bottles (or hydration pack) and 2-3 gel packets and 1-2 salt tablets
    • 15-20 miles: 2-3 water bottles (or hydration pack) and 2 gels and one energy bar and 3-4 salt tablets

    Please remember that this is a general guideline. Each runner has his or her own fueling needs. And more importantly weather conditions can make this guide fluctuate wildly.

    Do you guys run in the Winter?

    Yes! We run year round. Rain or sleet or snow. We're like the USPS. Only thing that keeps Hawks of the trail are tornadoes and lightning. One trick we often use to help our winter running (especially when it is icy) is to screw our shoes. We run in nice weather too.

    What is "screwing your shoes"?

    It’s inserting short, hex head screws into the lugs in the outsole (ie, the bottom) of the shoe For an excellent write up on how to do this, read Matt Carpenter's webpage, "The Screwed Shoe".

    How far do you run?

    Our distances vary. Our “Beginner Run” is every Monday, and ranges from 1-4 miles. Another Trail Hawks beginner-oriented trail run is our women-only "Gal-Gallop,” also between 1-4 miles. Our Wednesday Short-to-Middy Run goes from about 4 to 12 miles. The Saturday long run has gone as far as 40 miles. Not everyone runs the full distance, and some run further. No one who is new to the trails is ever left alone on them during our group runs. Check out our "runs page" for details and contact info.

Race Questions

    What's Pi Day?

    Pi Day is a holiday held to celebrate the mathematical constant π, 3.1415... It is held on March 14th (3/14). Get it? π (sometimes written pi) is a mathematical constant whose value is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space. source

    Why is the name of your race so long??

    1. For enhancing the nerdiness of the race. The abbreviation of the title is πR², the area of a circle.
    2. Alliteration is fun. River Rotation.

    Why isn't the race 3.1415... miles?

    Because I wanted it to be longer darnit! More fun. :)