Sat, Jan 13|
Ocala National Forest
65+ miles. 24 hours. The clock is ticking...
Time & Location
Jan 13, 2024, 4:00 PM – Jan 14, 2024, 5:00 PM
Ocala National Forest, Rodman Rd, Fort McCoy, FL 32134, USA
About the Event
Operation OCALA 2014
Distance: 65+ miles
Brief Time: 1600 hrs Saturday 13 Jan 2024 (you will not be permitted to start if you miss the brief)
Start Time: 1700 hrs Event Start.
Start Location: Florida Trail Rodman ATV Trailhead, Fort McCoy
Finish Time: Sunday 1700hrs 14 Jan 2023
The Ocala National Forest is home 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 must complete the 65+ mile route, including 5 checkpoints, within 24 hours, following the Florida Trail, while carrying a minimum of 25lbs.
Candidates will meet at Rodman Trailhead prior to 1600 hrs where they will leave their cars and receive an event brief and kit check.
Anything you do not wish to carry should be left in their cars. Valuables should not be left in vehicles.
At 1700 hrs, candidates will be released to navigate south along the world famous Florida Trail and attempt to complete the Operation OCALA course within 24 hours.
Candidates who voluntarily withdraw / quit are not guaranteed a ride back to the start point until after the end of the event. Candidates could be at a checkpoint after withdrawing / quitting for several hours. Plan accordingly (warm clothes etc).
There will be checkpoint locations every 15+/- miles with water and basic food (bananas, cookies etc). Candidates will be able to withdraw / quit at these checkpoints.
At the finish (Palermo Pizza), candidates will receive pizza and beer. Candidates finishing in under 24 hours will also earn the highly sought-after 'GBF Operation OCALA' dog tags.
The FIRST male and the FIRST female will earn the Gold GBF Op OCALA Dog Tag.
- Dress. Candidates are reminded this is a 24 hour event covering significant distance with temperatures between 24F and 94F over the past three events. Changes of clothes and spare socks are recommended.
The list below is a mandatory kit list and must be with you on the route. 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.
- Backpack (waterproof inner-bags)
- Hydration bladder(s) (minimum 1 gallon or 3 litres)
- Rations (food) minimum of 3 energy / candy bars
- $10 cash x 3
- Hi-visibility jacket
- Emergency shelter
- Head Torch (spare batteries)
- Spare Flashlight
- Fully charged mobile phone
- Charger for phone
- Personal First Aid Kit
This list is suggested.
- Walking poles
- Water purification tablets
- Blister kit
- Bear spray
- Bear bell
- Bug spray
- Pocket knife
We advise you to have a sleeping bag and spare clothes in your car so you can rest before you drive anywhere.
- Voluntary Withdrawal. Candidates are permitted to withdraw from the event at the checkpoints. There is no guarantee of transport back to the start until the end of the event.
- Replen. There will be checkpoints every 15+/- miles with water and basic snacks where candidates should refill their water.
- Rations. Candidates must have a minimum of 3 x energy / candy bars as emergency rations. Candidates' food should be high-energy, high-calorie food you can eat while moving.
- Water. Candidates should carry enough water to get them between each checkpoint. The use of hydration bladders is encouraged. Water can be topped up at checkpoints.
- Medical. A personal medical kit is required by every candidate. If GBF staff deems a candidate unfit to continue, they will be withdrawn from the event for their own safety. If you require immediate medical assistance, 911 must be called.
- Transport. Candidates are advised to be dropped off and picked up where possible for safety reasons. Transport for successful candidates, from the finish, back to the start, is included in the entry fee.
- Support Crews. Support Crews are not allowed to offer any physical support. See Rules below. Support Crews are allowed to collect you if / when you withdraw / quit.
- Parking. Candidates who wish to leave their cars are kindly requested to park at the start location (Rodman ATV Trailhead). Parking is done at the owner's risk. THIS photo advises you where to park.
- Wildlife. Ocala National Forest is home to wonderful wildlife. Snakes, spiders, bears and much more call the National Forest home. Familiarise yourself with the following documents prior to arriving: Be Bear Aware and Florida Trail.
Weight. Your pack must weigh a minimum of 25 lbs at all times. Your pack will be weighed at the start and may be weighed at checkpoints and the finish. It must weigh a minimum of 25 lbs at all times.
- Route. The rough route on AllTrails is here: Operation OCALA route. This is only a rough guide. You should follow the Orange Blazes on the trees and the Florida Trail using any means possible. You should also look at these resources: Florida Hikes, Florida Trail Association.
- Checkpoints. There will be FIVE checkpoints on the route, roughly 15 miles apart. At each checkpoint you must punch your checkpoint card (issued at the start).
Every candidate MUST check in at every checkpoint, even if they don’t wish to stop there.
If candidates are very far behind the time, they will be informed and advised to stop.
Op OCALA CP 1 (Unmanned)
- Prizes. The winning male and winning female will receive a Gold GBF personalised GBF Dog Tag. Every finisher under 24 hours will receive a personalised GBF Dog Tag.
Sat 13 JAN 24
1600: Final Briefing and Kit Check at Start Point.
1700: Candidates will be released to start.
Sun 14 JAN 24
1700: Operation complete and all individuals and teams off the trail.
Command and Signal
GBF HQ - 9419939432.
Location Tracking. You will text your location every two hours, to GBF HQ.
Until 1st May $195
Until 1st July $205
Until 1st September $215
Until 1st November $225
Until Event Day $245
Deferral. You may defer your entry once only.
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.
1. Ruck Weight. Minimum of 25 lbs at all times.
2. Weight Type. The weight cannot be rocks or anything that can be disposed of and then collected later in the trail (stones etc).
3. Assistance. This is a solo, self-sufficient event. Drop bags or any other assistance is not permitted. You must carry what you require for the duration of the event. Moral support at checkpoints is permitted. Only candidates undertaking Operation OCALA are permitted on the trail. If candidates receive outside assistance (food, liquids, clothes etc) that is not from GBF HQ, they will fail. Carry what you require.
4. Route Distance. Those earning the Dog Tag must prove their route and distance (65+ miles) using GPS (watch, phone, etc).
5. Route Selection. Candidates must follow the Florida Trail and avoid using roads unless they are withdrawing and/or are in an emergency.
6. Checkpoints. Candidates MUST visit all FIVE Operation OCALA checkpoints.
7. Transport. No transportation is allowed to help you gain the advantage.
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$245.00Tax: +$17.15 Tax