We are so excited to welcome you back to Wonderland Running’s wild n’ wonderful Wandering Idiot Festival of Hills 6, 12, and 24 Hour Trail Races. This is like no other race you have ever run! This is a loop course featuring hills, wildscapes, festivities, food, camping, and inexplicable goings-on... all in one of the most beautiful settings you will ever run in... a window into California as it once was.
Hills x N, where N = the number of hills.
Taking place on a stunningly beautiful 6,500-acre Coast Range wildscape preserve and farm animal sanctuary in Northern California, The Wandering Idiot is truly like no other race you will ever run.
Nestled beneath Snow Mountain Wilderness and Mendocino National Forest, you will run through pristine wildscapes with ancient oaks, seldom-visited valleys, and vast, breathtaking views. The course features an 8.2 mile loop with almost 2,000 feet of vert... because it’s a Festival of Hills!! Each loop begins and ends at a spacious, fully equipped hall with showers, restrooms, food, drink, and comfortable sleeping facilities. This race will dazzle the senses and stir the soul. There will be costumes, light tunnels, music, and mysterious goings-on that can only be experienced, not explained.
Your registration includes unlimited camping, a full pre-race dinner, fully stocked aid stations, showers, whimsical finishers awards, inscrutable shenanigans, and hills.
There will be cash prizes for the best costume as well as cash prizes for the winners of the women’s events! There will also be a best mystery achievement, which is dubious at best.
We are oh so excited to see you this coming April in what promises to be one of the most unique beautiful, unique, and memorable races you will ever run… so bring your endurance, your costumes, your sense of humor, and your sense of wonder to one of the most memorable races you will ever run!
These races take place on the ancestral lands taken from the Nomlaki and Patwin peoples, who lived upon and cared for these lands for thousands of years.
HERE IS THE OUTLINE OF EVENTS FOR THE WANDERING IDIOT FESTIVAL OF HILLS:
Friday, April 28, 2023:
- 1:00 PM: The ranch and camping opens for runners and crew
- 2:30 PM: Runner check-in & race packet pick-up begins
- 6:30 PM: Race overview & a PowerPoint presentation about stuff
- 7:30 PM: Dinner begins (taco bar!!!)
- 8:30 PM: Fire and Air Ceremony
- 10:30 PM: The Ranch Hall and Wandering Idiot Facilitators go night night... and maybe you should too!
Saturday, April 29, 2023:
- 6:00 AM: Ranch Hall is open, along with breakfast yummies and the costume photo booth!
- 7:45 AM: 24 Hour pre-race briefing
- 8:00 AM: The 24 Hour Race begins!
- 10:45 AM: 12 Hour pre-race briefing
- 11:00 AM: The 12 Hour Race begins!
- 1:45 PM: 6 Hour pre-race briefing
- 3:00 PM: The 6 Hour Race begins!
- 9:00 PM: Finish line cut-off for the 6 Hour Race
- 11:00 PM: Finish line cut-off for the 12 Hour Race
Sunday, April 30, 2023:
- 8:00 AM: Finish line cut-off for the 24 Hour Race
- 9:00 AM: Wandering Idiot Awards & Closing Ceremony
- 2:00 PM: Runners must be out of their campsites and departing
Best Costume Award:
There will be a cash prize for the best costume! Go ahead and be as whimsical, wild, or weird as you wish! To qualify for the best costume prize, you must wear your costume while on course for a minimum of six (6) hours.
Top Women’s Finishers Award:
This year the Wandering Idiot Festival of Hills will have cash prizes for the winners of the women’s events. Speed off now up a hill or three. You're fast... congratulations!
Mystery Achievement Award:
There will be a relatively useless prize for the best mystery achievement! The Mystery Achievement Award will be done by Wandering Idiot Facilitators via secret ballot upon the conclusion of all races. You will never be told why you won the award, though there is a very decent chance you might know in your heart why you earned it. Best wishes to all aspiring prize-getters from the Wandering Idiot Facilitators!
Anyone who completes at least one loop is a finisher... run, walk, dance, or crawl!! Yes, you are a finisher! Nice job, Wandering Idiot! All finishers will receive something you'll be proud to wear, and something else that you almost definitely don't want to wear. You're welcome.
The exact amount of the 2023 Wandering Idiot Festival Of Hills cash awards will be based upon final registration totals and will be announced at a later date. Best wishes to all aspiring prize-getters from the Wandering Idiot Facilitators!
HERE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT RULES FOR THE WANDERING IDIOT FESTIVAL OF HILLS:
- All runners must finish at least one loop in the time allotted for your event. If you do not, it will be considered a DNF.
- All runners finishing the same number of laps will place (be ranked) according to their finishing order among other runners finishing the same number of laps.
- No runners will be allowed to start a loop within one hour of their event's final finish cut-off time.
- Runners may use any aid, drop bags, or crew at the Ranch Hall or at their campsite. There will be no crew, pacers, or drop bags out on the course.
- The use of this private Ranch is a privilege. Please observe all rules of the Wandering Idiot Festival Of Hills, Wonderland Running, and the Ranch.
- DO NOT DISTURB OR APPROACH THE ANIMALS!!!
- You may NOT leave the course at any time during the race.
- When you are not on the course, you must stay either at the Ranch Hall or the Camping Area. Off limits areas will be provided via map to registered runners, and will be clearly marked on race weekend. PLEASE DO NOT WANDER OFF!
- Please make sure you read the entire waiver, course description, and race packet prior to coming to the Ranch. Any violation of the above rules may result in your disqualification form the race. Flagrant disregard for these rules will result in not being allowed back to this event. Thank you for your understanding in making this a safe, respectful, magical, and memorable Festival Of Hills!!!
There are absolutely no refunds or bib/registration transfers to other runners. There are absolutely no exceptions. If you must cancel your registration, and you do so more than 30 days prior to the race, you can elect to get a 50% credit toward next year’s Wandering Idiot Festival of Hills (2024). Please note: All cancellations must be done through your Ultrasignup account to receive the 50% race credit toward the 2024 Wandering Idiot Festival of Hills. Any cancellations that happen 30 days or less from the date of the race for which you are registered will receive no credit, no refund, and no transfer opportunity. There are no exceptions to this. If the 2023 Wandering Idiot Festival of Hills is cancelled for any reason (e.g. fire or fire hazard, severe weather, COVID restrictions, Acts of God, etc.), we will attempt to reschedule the Wandering Idiot Festival of Hills to another proximate 2023 date. In the event the Wandering Idiot Festival of Hills is cancelled and cannot be rescheduled in 2023, we will offer registered runners a 50% credit toward the 2024 Wandering Idiot Festival of Hills. Thank you for reading this and for understanding this.
~ Sean Harrasser (Wonderland Running)
Partners & Sponsors
Event Dates and Fees
|Event||6 hour race||12 hour race||24 hour race|
|Event Date||4/29/2023||4/29/2023||4/29/2023 - 4/30/2023|
|Fee Until 12/31/2022||$110.95||$176.85||$308.75|
|Fee After 1/1/2023||$130.95||$196.85||$328.75|
|Fee After 3/1/2023||$180.95||$246.85||$378.75|
Getting to the Start/Finish Line
The directions here are to Elk Creek, which is the nearest community to the Ranch on which the Wandering Idiot Festival of Hills will take place. This is close enough to the Ranch that you can properly plan your travels.
We are grateful for the privilege of using this private farm animal sanctuary and Coast Range foothills wildspace preserve for our event. Honoring that gratitude, the operation of the Ranch, and the privacy of those involved, we will be providing race-specific driving directions, gate access code, camping details, and a GPX file of the course directly to Wandering Idiot Festival of Hills registrants about three weeks prior to the race.