Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the history of the Bulldog 50K?
A: The Bulldog 50K Ultra Run was established in 1992 by RD. Ingrid Shattuck. In 1999, a 30K race was added to the venue. Nancy Shura-Dervin and her UltraLadies were behind the scenes supporters of the races so when Ingrid retired as R.D. in 2003, she passed the race on to Nancy and her co-RD, Larry Dervin. The original Bulldog 50K course crossed over a number of private properties creating some issues between property owners and state parks that led to the race course being re-designed in 2004 to a 50K/25K distance that now takes place completely inside Malibu Creek State Park.
Q: How accurate is the race mileage?
A: The race mileage(s) were established according to the Tom Harrison Trail Maps for Malibu State Park. These maps use mileages that are measured on foot using rolling devices. GPS devices show variable mileage ranges even among runners who stay together. The fault with these systems is that they are most accurate on flat courses that are in open spaces; in canyons, signals are often dropped and recovered during the runs and the device measures a straight line between the dropped points and the restored points. This means that GPS recordings are always show mileage that is shorter than the actual mileage.
Q: What is the elevation gain and loss?
A: Per Tom Harrison Maps, it has been estimated to be 4,000 ft. of gain and 4,000 feet of loss for the 25K Trail Run and 8,000 feet of gain and 8,000 feet of loss for the 50K Ultra Run.
Q: Why is the race limited to a certain number of entries?
A: The California State Parks limits the number of runners to protect the resources in our beautiful State Parks. Additionally, parking is extremely limited within the park; please CARPOOL!
Q: Can I register on race day?
A: There is no race day registration at Bulldog! By race day the aid supplies are bought and packed up based on the number of pre-entries. We are also not allowed to exceed the number of runners provided for in our park service permit. This is why we will not accept entries on race morning; no exceptions!
Q: Can I give (or sell) my entry to another person to use in my place?
A: Registration entries ARE NOT REFUNDABLE or TRANSFERABLE to another person or DEFERRABLE to another year.
Q: Can I change races? Can I change races on race day?
A: You may change races anytime before August 10 by notifying the R.D. You may move up from 25K to 50K provided you pay the difference in price. On race morning, you may switch from the 50K down to the 25K before the start of the races however 25K runners may not move up to the 50K on race morning.
Q: Can 50K runners drop down to the 25K AFTER the race start?
A: YES, new for 2014, 50K runners will be permitted to drop down to the 25K during the race with the following conditions:
#1) Runner must inform Aid Station #4 volunteers of their intention to drop down and have their race bib marked with a dash.
#2) At the finish line, immediately inform the volunteer that you are a 50K drop down.
#3) The difference between the 50K & 25K start times will be deducted from the runners actual finish time.
#4) Runner will not be eligible for overall or age division awards.
#5) Runner may not set course records of any kind.
#6) Runner will receive a 25K finisher medal.
#7) Runners 25K time will be recorded in the race results with an *, indicating they were 25K drop downs.
Q: Why do I need to carpool to the race?
A: Parking inside Malibu Creek State Park is extremely limited; there aren't enough parking spaces to accommodate all the runners. In addition to carpooling, please read the FAQs re: parking outside the park.
Q: Where do we park on race day?
FACEBOOK: Please use the Bulldog Trail Runs Facebook on our home page to arrange carpooling.
PARKING INSIDE THE PARK: Parking inside the park is $12.00 per vehicle at the gate. If you possess a state parks season pass, it is good for this event. National Parks passes are not good at State Parks. Please display all parking placards visibly on your dashboard at all times while parked inside the park.
We have a systematic plan to expedite parking. Please have your $12.00 parking fee ready before you approach the park. Please bring exact change. As you turn into the park entrance, you will be met by a race monitor who will collect the parking fee. You will move forward a short distance where another race monitor will give you a parking placard. Please remember to display your parking placard visibly on your dashboard. From there you will be instructed to follow the directions of the parking monitors who will guide you to the proper parking section. Please do not choose your own parking space; park only where they tell you to. This is the only way to insure that every space will be used and that you don't receive a parking violation for parking out of a space. 25K runners, please be aware that we will briefly stop traffic at 6:30AM, to allow the start of the 50K.
FREE PARKING is available OUTSIDE THE PARK as follows:
Site#1: You may park on three corners of Las Virgenes Road and Mulholland Highway, on the dirt. Parking on these corners is "head-in-parking". Please note, there are some "no parking" signs posted in some sections. Some parallel street parking is also available on Mulholland Highway to the east of Las Virgenes Road (on the side toward the 101 freeway). Please use the crosswalks at the traffic signal to cross to the other side of the street; CHP will ticket.
SITE #2: There is plenty of parallel street parking on both sides of Mulholland Highway to the north of Las Virgenes Road. Just follow Las Virgenes Road to the north, cross over the bridge, and park on either side of the road.
SITE #3: There is a large Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area sign on the north side of Las Virgenes Road just east of Mulholland Highway (at the flashing light). There is a fairly good amount of space for parking here and at last inspection, there were no signs prohibiting parking. Please park in rows starting in the back of the lot, working toward the front of the lot; should accommodate about 50 cars with this method. From these corners, it is less than a 5-minute walk toward the west to enter Malibu Creek State Park.
SITE #4: There is quite a large shopping center at Albertson's Market down on Agoura Road, just west of Las Virgenes Road. You might consider CARPOOLING from this location.
Q: What is the weather typically like on race day?
A: In the past it has been clear, dry, and very hot. The temperature usually remains cool until around 8:30 to 9:00 AM then begins heating up. Afternoon race temperatures have ranged from 85F to 108F (29C - 42C). One important aspect of training for this race is to be properly heat acclimated.
Q: Is the course open to public use on race day?
A: A: Although the race is permitted to use the trail, the course is not closed to public use on race day. Runners should be aware that they may encounter other trail users including mountain bikers, hikers and other runners.
Q: How is the course marked?
A: The course will be marked on race day only! The markings will be chalk arrows on the ground and/or surveyors ribbon. There has been a history of tampering with course markings on race day; always keep your eyes alert to your surroundings.
Q: Will I get lost on the race course?
A: The race course is well marked with ribbons and a few arrows on the ground. The race has a history of tampering with course markings but this has been less of a problem since 2004 when we re-routed the course to stay completely inside Malibu Creek State Park. Runners who do find themselves off course have usually been led off course by the runner ahead of them; do not just blindly follow other runners. Stay altert and look for the ribbons and arrows. If you do go off course, you should retrace your path until you find where you left the course and then continue along the marked course.
Q: Is pacing allowed?
A: Runners may run with other runners, who are entered in the race, who are wearing race bibs, who do not enter the course at any point other than the start line, who do not leave the course at any point to re-enter the course at another point. All other pacing constitutes illegal pacing and will result in disqualification of the runner being paced. Pacing of runners via bicycle is forbidden. Pacing rules will be strictly enforced.
Q: Are crews allowed for the 50K?
A: Crews are not permitted for these events.
Q: Where can my family and friends watch the race?
A: Due to the need to keep aid stations open and accessible to emergency responders, we do not permit any runner crews or spectators at the Bulldog aid stations. The best place for family and friends is to wait for you at the finish line.
Q: Can I pre-run the course using the website map?
A: We don't recommend it. The course map is an approximate representation only. There are so many intersecting trails involved, you're bound to lose your way. The actual course will be clearly marked by race day.
Q: What are the requirements for carrying fluids?
A: All runners are required to carry one 20oz bottle or equivalent throughout the race. 50K runners are advised to carry at least 40oz of fluids. The race is held on remote fire roads/trails that limits access to water stations. Both races will be subject to distances of up to 5.6 hilly miles without access to water/aid. Temperatures in the canyons may exceed 100 degrees, therefore some middle-to-back-pack runners will need to carry more than two (2) bottles!
Q: Are there any water crossings which will cause my running shoes to get wet?
A: The 50K has one stream crossing in Tapia Park that you cross twice, just before aid stations #3 & #7. The 25K race has one stream crossing in Tapia Park before aid station #3. Most of the time you can jump from rock to rock; other times you have to wade through the water. It varies from year by year. The 25K crosses the stream once, the 50K crosses twice. NOTE: All runners must cross through the stream; running on Las Virgenes Road is prohibited during this event.
Q: Can I listen to my music during the race?
A: A: EARPHONES /BUDS are strongly discouraged at RRCA sanctioned events. Their use presents a serious hazard to runners participating in street races where emergency vehicles enter the course and may not be heard by runners who are listening to music. Although VCHM is a trail run, it is remotely possible that runners may encounter emergency vehicles on the course. Likewise, runners may encounter other trail users in the form of hikers, mountain bikers, horses and riders, park rangers on ATVs, as well as wildlife, including rattlesnakes. The wearing of earphones/buds would make it difficult to impossible for you to hear an emergency vehicle approaching from behind, the shout of a biker, or a verbal warning of a snake ahead. It would be difficult to impossible to enforce a ban on earphones/ear buds at the Valley Crest Half Marathon however their use Is discouraged for the aforementioned reasons. If you choose to wear earphones/buds, you should be aware that this aforementioned reasons. If you choose to wear earphones/buds you should be aware that it will increase the burden of your liability should you be involved in an accident/altercation during the course of the race. If you do wear earphones/ear buds, we request that you consider only plugging in "one ear" so you may be more likely to hear what is going on around you and that you please remove the earphones/buds entirely at the start line so you may hear the instructions given and remove them entirely as you approach the finish line so you may hear the instructions given.
Q: Is there a problem with rattlesnakes?
A: There are rattlesnakes in the Santa Monica Mountains along with other assorted creatures. However, there has never been a reported problem in the run's history. Use caution and always look where you are going. FYI, in hot, sunny weather, snakes tend to rest in the shady parts of the trail! There is also some Poison Oak on the trail especially around the MASH site and around the creek crossing -- so be careful.
Q: What are the rules about dogs?
A: State Park Rules - NO dogs on trails, and no dogs will be permitted in camp on race day.
Q: Can I leave drop bags?
A: 50K runners may have a drop bag at the MCSP/Craggs Road aid station (approx. mile 15.3). Your drop bag must be securely tied and labeled in black permanent marker with your race number. Marker pens will be available on race morning at the drop bag table. Bags will be returned to the finish line at approximately 11:00AM. We will NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR VALUABLES or any items not picked up after the race. There will be no drop bags for the 25K race.
Q: What about the Swag?
The Bulldog features technical race shirts, finisher medals and awards three-deep in ten-year age divisions.
The 25K gives awards for overall male & female plus 1st, 2nd, 3rd male & female in each of 10-year age divisions.<.p>
The 50K being a RRCA Regional Championship Race gives awards for overall male & female plus 1st, 2nd, 3rd male & female in each of 10-year age divisions plus Masters male & female (40+) plus Grand Masters male & female (50+) and Senior Masters (60+).
Awards, medals and shirts must be claimed on race day; they will not be mailed.
Q: Will there be any training runs on the course?
A: There will be three or four group training runs scheduled on the race course. These runs will be unsupported; all runners must carry their own provisions. Information will be posted on the "Latest Info" page to announce the dates.
Q: When is the awards ceremony?
A: Awards for the 25K will be given at approximately 10:30AM; the 50K awards will start at approximately 11:30AM. Awards must be claimed in person; they will not be mailed.
Q: When are race day instructions mailed to participants?
A: If you used online registration, it will generate an immediate email race confirmation from Active followed by a second email from Active containing race day instructions from the race director. If you used mail registration, your entry will be entered in the online system as an offline registration which will generate the same two emails described above. Please print your race confirmation email and bring it to the bib pick up table on race morning. Some runners don't receive the emails from Active; you might need to check your SPAM FOLDER. A final email will come from Active with updated instructions from the race director. The final email will be sent approximately 7-10 days before the event.
Q: What is trail etiquette?
A: Trail etiquette is universal among trail users. Right-of-way etiquette is equestrians have first right-of-way, followed by hikers/runners, followed by cyclists. Please be courteous on the trail. If you're passing another runner or hiker, announce "on your left" and the pass when safe.
Q: How do I contact the race director?
A: By mail:
PO Box 17900
Encino, CA 91416