|A small creek crossing early on.|
I do not wear a GPS or a watch for races and I admit that I hit some later aid stations and was slightly dismayed to learn I wasn't as far along the course as I had expected. Of course, then I later learned that the course was 54.5 miles so that made me feel a bit better. The aid station people were all friendly and helpful and, as best I recall, the stations themselves were well-stocked with what you might need in this sort of event.
The "trail" parts of the course ranged from muddy grass areas to rooty forest areas. Footing was not as technical as in some races, but you did need to be careful. I took a bad spill coming down a hill (not picking my feet up) and had some near spills in the muddy grass area (feet going sideways.) There are a few creek crossings and one "major" one near the final turnaround that includes a rope to support yourself with. This last crossing was ironically refreshing because my feet were a bit hot and sore and the cold water was a temporary relief.
The last thirty or so yards of the course is a nasty hill climb up to the high school parking lot. It makes for a great spectator spot, but it's up to you whether to run or just hike this last stretch.
There were two drop bag locations at roughly the 1/3 and 2/3 points.
Given the low price, there are no finisher's awards promised, though the RD did later send out an e-mail offering to mail people one if they wished. I don't know if that will happen again. We did get a logoed flashlight that was appropriate with the first few miles in the dark on trails (though I carried a mini single-AAA battery flashlight that worked well enough. Plus, I stuck closely behind someone with a headlight for the predawn stretch, saving me from having to carry anything more substantial. The post-race food included pizza but I wasn't terribly hungry and didn't see any that were just cheese.
In summary, it was kind of a low-frills event, but justifiably so, given the low price of entry. For 2012, they have stated that the course will be adjusted to be closer to 50 miles. I don't think anyone particularly cared that it was long, though. It just lowered the cost per mile.
Stone Mill 50 Miler