Time & Location
About the Event
Minimum Distance: 65 miles
Start Time: 0700hrs 27 Feb 2021 for pre-event brief and kit check
Start Location: Paisley
Finish Time: 1600hrs 28 Feb 2021
Finish Location: Paisley
The Ocala National Forest is the AO (Area of Operations) for Operation OCALA and the route follows the Florida Trail. Operation OCALA is a test of endurance, personal administration, fitness, navigation, and mental strength.
Candidates aim to complete the 65+/- mile route within 24 hours.
Candidates will meet at the finish location at 0700hrs where they will leave their cars and receive a final brief and kit check. Anything they do not wish to carry with them for the duration should be left in their cars. Valuables should not be left in vehicles. Candidates will be moved to the start location on GBF transport.
The coach will be boarded at 07:45 and depart at 08:00. If you miss the coach then you will have to self-drive to the start line (Rodman ATV Trailhead).
Once at the start point, candidates will be released and navigate south along the world famous Florida Trail and attempt to complete the course within 24 hours.
There will be checkpoint locations along the way every 15+/- miles where candidates will be able to replenish their water and eat some food. Candidates will also be able to VW (voluntarily withdraw) at these checkpoints if they are injured or don’t have the mental strength to continue.
At the finish, Candidates will be required to report to the FRV Checkpoint before being processed to the holding area where they will receive their Op OCALA t-shirt, free pizza and beer. Candidates finishing in under 24 hours will also receive the highly sought-after 'GBF Operation OCALA' dog tags.
- Dress. Candidates' dress will be a personal choice but they are reminded this is a 24 hour event covering significant distance. Changes of clothes may be desired and spare socks are essential. Having a spare set of clothes/shoes waiting for you in your car would be sensible. Hats, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts and long pants are recommended. Wet weather gear is also advised in case of inclement weather conditions.
- Equipment. This list is a suggestion and is not exhaustive. Backpack, waterproof inner-bags, compass, map, GPS, walking poles, head-torch, spare torch, enough batteries to last 16 hours, water purification tablets, blister kit, bear spray, bear bell, whistle, bug spray, chem-light/cyalume, pocket knife, emergency shelter or bivvy bag, charger for phone. We also advise you to have a sleeping system in your car so you can rest before you drive anywhere.
- Replen. There will be checkpoints every 15+/- miles with water and high-energy food where candidates should refill their water and eat some food. These checkpoints are for replenishing candidates water, not as their only source of water. Candidates should drink water throughout the operation.
- Rations. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 x chocolate bars as emergency rations. GBF suggests snickers bars and we advise taping them together so you can identify them as your emergency rations.
Candidates' main rations will be a personal choice but this is not an event to “watch your weight” - high-energy, high-calorie food is key. Food you can eat while moving is ideal.
- Water. Candidates must carry a minimum of 1 gallon of water but GBF advises 2 gallons. Candidates can use water purification tablets to make drinkable the local water sources in an emergency. The use of hydration bladders is encouraged to enable candidates to drink water while moving. Water can be topped up at checkpoints.
- Medical. A personal medical kit is required by every candidate. A 16.9 oz bottle of water must also be carried for emergencies. This water is for cleaning wounds, flushing out eyes, and general medical emergencies: it is not for drinking.
GBF will have medics on standby and local emergency services will be made aware of the operation, numbers involved and planned route. If any GBF staff deems a candidate is unfit to continue, they will be withdrawn from the event for their own safety.
- Transport. Candidates are advised to be dropped off and picked up where possible; this ensures candidates are not driving while tired. Alternatively, try to ride share and minimise the number of vehicles.
- Parking. Candidates who wish to leave their cars are requested to park at Paisley Mart, next to Palermo Pizza. We suggest letting the owner know you are parking for the Green Beret Fitness event, Operation OCALA. This location is also a gas station.
- Wildlife. Ocala National Forest is home to wonderful wildlife and you may encounter it during Operation OCALA. Snakes, spiders, bears and much more call the National Forest “home” and you will be visiting. Familiarise yourself with the following documents prior to arriving on location: Be Bear Aware and Florida Trail
- Checkpoints. There will be FOUR checkpoints on the route, roughly 15 miles apart.
- Prizes. The winning individual or team (maximum of 4) will recieve a 24k gold plated personalised GBF Dog Tag.
Sat 27 Feb 21
0700: Final Briefing and Kit Check in Paisley, FL.
0800: Transport to Start Point (Rodman ATV Trail).
before 1000: Depending on numbers, teams will be set off at intervals.
Sun 28 Feb 21
1600: Operation complete and all teams must be back at the finish location.
Command and Signal
GBF HQ - 9419939432
Candidates will be required to send their LocStat (Location Status) to GBF HQ every 2 hours, depending on cell service. Every team MUST also check in at every checkpoint, even if they don’t wish to stop there.
- How many miles is it? Approximately 65 miles.
- What weight do we need to carry? The pack must be a minimum of 25 lbs but the kit you have is more important.
- What is the minimum team size? GBF advises no less than two people per team. Individuals will be allowed to enter as solo candidates but must sign a waiver that acknowledges the additional risk they are taking.
- What do we get if we finish in under 24hours? Teams finishing in under 24 hours will receive the coveted GBF Operation OCALA Dog Tags: these can be attached to your ruck and added with future events.
- How long do we have if we just want to complete it? The final teams must be at the finish checkpoint by 1600hrs (4pm) on Sunday 28 February. Teams who are not keeping this pace will be informed at checkpoints. If the teams fail to increase their pace to enable a completion before 1600 hrs, they will be withdrawn from the event at the next checkpoint.
Candidates will arrive at the finish location (Paisley) for the final brief and kit check. Once complete, candidates will leave their own cars and be moved to the start location (Rodman ATV Trailhead) in GBF transport or get a ride with family/friends.
After disembarking, teams will check-in with staff, navigate themselves to the ground, and complete any last minute admin. GBF staff will then set teams off at intervals depending on numbers.
Teams will move south following the Florida Trail which is marked by orange paint on trees and the ‘Florida Trail’ signs. Speed over Ground will be determined by the teams.
Along the route, approximately every 15+/- miles, checkpoints will be manned by GBF staff. These checkpoints will offer bottled water and high energy snacks (cookies, candy etc).
Once at the end of the trail, teams will check-in at the final checkpoint and their clock will stop. From this point teams can go to their car to get clean clothes and move east along the road to the FRV at Palermo Pizza And Italian Restaurant.
Teams will be offered pizza and beer and collect their t-shirts. Teams finishing in under 24 hours will also receive the Green Beret Fitness Operation OCALA dog-tags.
Weight. The kit you are carrying in your backpack is the priority. Once you have all your kit packed and your water filled, the pack must weigh no less than 25 lbs.
Kit List. The list below is a mandatory kit list and must be with you on the route. This list is not exhaustive and the ‘equipment’ paragraph above gives more details. Failure to produce the following items during the final kit check may result in GBF staff refusing to let you start, with no refund in costs.
- Bivvy bag / emergency shelter
- 1 Gallon water (for drinking)
- 16.9 oz water for emergencies
- Emergency rations (2 candy bars minimum)
- Personal First Aid Kit (to include blister care)
- Fully charged Mobile Phone in waterproof bag
- Head torch and 2 x spare batteries
- Hand Sanitizer
- Hi-visibility jacket (ideally orange for hunting season)
- 2 x yellow cyalume, 2 x red cyalume (must last a minimum of 12 hours each)
Maximum: For safety reasons, a maximum of 55 candidates will be allowed to compete in Operation OCALA.
Minimum: This event requires a minimum of 30 people. If the event is cancelled, your money will be refunded.
*EVENT MINIMUM HAS BEEN PASSED. This event will go ahead.
T-shirts: T-shirt orders will be placed on Thursday 11 February. Any orders after this date will not recieve a t-shirt.
Refunds. Refunds will be in the form of a GBF voucher for future events. Refunds within 30 days of an event will not be possible.
Additional Information. The following documents may be useful:
- Be Bear Aware - information about bears and storing, disposing of, and carrying food in Ocala National Forest.
- Florida Trail - informative PDF about the whole Florida Trail including a map (Ground in General).
- Forest Service Interactive Map - find Ocala National Forest and the red/white line heading north to south is the Florida Trail.
- Forest Service Map PDF Download - you can download these maps in PDF to produce a mapbook.
- Staying Safe Around Bears - What Should I Do if I See a Bear?
- Operation OCALA$195+$13.65 Tax+$5.22 Service fee$195+$13.65 Tax+$5.22 Service fee0$0