Browsing: Race Reports

Stumbling through Rocksylvania at Eastern States 100

Somewhere I’ve seen Eastern States referred to as a “Massanutten 100 on Steroids.” The course is a work of art: one giant loop through the Tiadaghton State Forest with a scenic lakeside finish area in Little Pine State Park. Pine Creek Gorge, the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” cuts through the center.

Kunkel, Howard, Brave Humidity to Win 50-Mile Titles at Mountainback

Deep in the central Pennsylvania forest, past mile 20 where the route scuffs 1,300 feet upward across 3+ miles, a hanging fog thrust into the canopies of turning leaves adding an air of mystery. But it was here that steady tracks would burn away any uncertainty about who would dominate the action in the quest for top honors in the USA 50-Mile Road Championships.

Chasing After My Triple Crown of 200s Dream

Last August, I completed Bigfoot 200 and could not conceive of how my friends were going on to complete Tahoe 200 just three weeks later. The idea of doing back-to-back 200s seemed impossible to me at the time. Throwing in a third once seemed inconceivable. Several months later, I found myself feeling inquisitive and eager to find out if it was possible for me to accomplish the Triple Crown of 200s.

The Bear 100: Fall Colors on Display

The Bear 100, with its stunning scenery, lack of pavement, abundance of singletrack, and just plain difficulty has proven to be one of the most popular and compelling 100s in the nation. Fall colors are one of the race’s mainstays.

Siskiyou Out Back: Finding Unity

My Siskiyou Out Back experience was characterized by an overwhelming sense of unity. Not only was I with my lifelong hometown friends, but my mom and two college friends also joined me, and I have never felt closer to them than when we reunited at the finish line.

Sheep Mountain: 50 Miles Up High

Only the legendary San Juan Solstice has a higher average elevation for 50 miles, making Sheep Mountain the second highest 50-mile endurance run in America. The course has been described by its runners as “beautifully difficult.” How else could one describe a 50-mile course near 11,000 feet average elevation with around 10,000 feet of elevation gain?

Blissed Out at the Marlette Lake 50K

After 10+ years of only road racing, I had converted to mostly trail running and was looking for a race to help me transition from road racing to trail racing. I wanted a local race so I could practice on parts of the course and a scenic course so that if all failed and I ran horribly, at least it would be pretty. The Marlette Lake 50K fit my criteria perfectly.

Eastern States 100: “Rocksylvania”

In 2015 and 2016 I failed at my attempts to complete the Eastern States 100. Disappointed and in the throes of existential angst, I went to the finish line both times to watch people finish. What do these people have that I don’t?

Capt’n Karl’s Run at Pedernales Falls

The race starts with a bit of single track, and as much as I try to begin at the back, there are others who come in behind me and then bumble about in the rocks and high grass, passing me where there’s no room to do so. Race director Chris McWatters is standing at his post to send us down a mile out-n-back and this is a wide enough jeep road that finally allows all the poor trap-ees behind me to escape and sprint past.

Night Hawk 50K: Take-Backs Allowed

Summer in Kansas can get brutally hot and humid so that is why the Lawrence Trail Hawks came up with the Night Hawk. It’s a chance to run a trail ultra at night when summertime temps can be a bit cooler.

Hot Year at the Promise Land 50K

Many folks think that Promise Land is the best 50k in the East. Runners camp for free Friday night at the start/finish. We provide 100 pizzas for the runners and they bring all the desserts. After the pre-race briefing, we have a big bonfire and make s’mores. There is great fellowship that goes on before and after the race.

Deutschlandlauf, 820-Mile Stage Race Across Germany

Deutschlandlauf (translation: Germany Run) travels the length of Germany from north to south in a giant, S-shaped route, starting at sea level on the German island of Sylt at the Danish border, and ending at the highest point in Germany on the Austrian border—820 miles over 19 days.

Hotter Than Hell, Dusk to Dawn 10-Hour

Hotter than Hell, Dusk to Dawn is a night trail run that pits runners against the oppressive heat and humidity of a South Louisiana summer. The race starts at dusk on the middle weekend of July and ends ten hours later at dawn.

Fierce at My First 100-Miler: Burning River

My five-foot-one and barely-north-of-100-pound frame was patiently waiting in the shadow of a literal castle to embark on my first 100-mile adventure. Thoughts of “What will happen?” and “Can I even do it?” swirled through my mind.

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