General Tso's Spicy 8K and Mild 3K

Thursday 25 December 2014 Noon
Educational institution near Ellicott City, MD

Everything seems to be closed on the 25th for some reason, so we thought we'd throw together an extremely low-key pair of afternoon running races using rolling neighborhood courses that will be familiar to many who have raced in Howard County, Maryland. Basically this is little more than some chalk marks, a few traffic cones, and a guy with a stopwatch. We may have a couple prizes and some fortune cookies for participants, but otherwise this is a "fat-a**"-style event: No fees, no awards, no wimps, no whiners. (More info on the nature of this crummy little event appears in the "Important notes & restrictions" section below.)

While we are planning to stage this race with minimal support, things would surely go a lot better with a few volunteers on hand, particularly to man the turnaround points and to work the finish line. If you'd be willing to help us out on the 25th, e-mail the non-race director!

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Date & time

Thursday 25 December 2014, with both races starting together at noon. Registration will be from, oh, let's say 11:30 to race time.


A familiar educational institution somewhere between Ellicott City and Columbia, Maryland. You may e-mail the non-race director to find out the exact location, but if you are capable of running in a burly manner, you should be able to figure it out on your own. Please note: There are no bathrooms at the race location.

Entry fee



Race day only, although you can always R.S.V.P. by e-mail (or via our Facebook event page) so that we'll have an idea of how many people to expect. All participants will be required to sign a waiver on race day. See the important notes & restrictions section to learn what you'll be agreeing to. (Runners under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian present to sign the waiver. Because of the minimally-supported nature of this event, we do not recommend it for younger runners.)

  course map


Our eight kilometer (4.971 mile) and three kilometer (1.864 mile) routes will be basic adaptations of the 5 mile and 2 mile courses at this location; they will be familiar to many runners in the Howard County area. Both courses are hilly out-and-back routes on quiet neighborhood roads, with a short bit on a sidewalk & path near the beginning and end.

The courses will likely be unmanned, but we plan to mark all turns and turnarounds with cones, chalk, and/or surveyor's flags. Miles/kilometers will likely not be marked unless we have extra time available.

Both races will use the same start/finish line. The 3K will turn around a little short of where the traditional 2 mile course turns around, and the 8K will turn around at the same place the 5 miler does.

Course measurement has been done via satellite imagery (no complaining, Peter!), following all tangents. You may run the tangents during the race, but you do so at your own risk, and for safety reasons we recommend that you run on the left side of the road, facing traffic.

Elevation profiles of the two courses appear below, and you can check out a larger version of the course map here.

8K elevation profile

3K elevation profile

Water stops

None. Please carry water with you if you think you'll need it during the race.


We promise nothing, although we may have something cheap for the overall male & female winners.

Post-race refreshments

In addition to water & cups, we expect to have fortune cookies for all finishers! We'll also have a few bananas and a few little bags of chips, but we might run out of those depending on the turnout.


Results will be tracked via the "finish card" method. (You'll be handed a card when you cross the finish line, and you'll fill out your card and turn it in.) Complete results will be published here and on a few other running sites. We may also try to take & upload some photos from the event!

Important notes/restrictions

  • You participate at your own risk and are 100% responsible for your own safety. This is a unofficial, unsponsored, unaffiliated non-event.
  • By taking part, you absolve the organizers, volunteers, and race site owners of any liability for anything that may happen.
  • There will be very little (if any) support out on the course. There may be no course marshals to direct you. Be prepared to fend for yourself.
  • Obviously, all of the roads are open to vehicular traffic.
  • No on-site medical assistance is available.
  • Running the race with personal listening devices, baby joggers, and/or dogs is not permitted. Violators will be disqualified (i.e. left out of the results).
  • Due to the minimally-supported nature of these races, this event is not recommended for younger runners or for anyone who likes to whine about poorly-organized events.
  • This race is also not recommended for anyone who would get in trouble with one's family for running some stupid race on a major religious holiday.

Severe weather

In the event of snow and/or ice, the run may be cancelled. We will aim to make any such decision on the previous evening, and we'll announce it via e-mail (to those who have R.S.V.P.ed) and here on the Web page. (See the National Weather Service forecast page for the area around the undisclosed location of the race.)


Contact non-race director Karsten Brown.

The General Tso's Web page is maintained by Karsten Brown.