Monday, June 30, 2008

Special Grand Slam for 2008

The details is here - Steve's email

The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning award is recognition for those who complete four of the oldest 100 mile trail runs in the U.S. The "Slam" consists of officially finishing the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run all in the same year. The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Award was established in 1986, when Tom Green was the first finisher.

The first one in the series Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run was canceled last week for this year because of the fire and smoke at the course. This raised a question how the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning can be continued this year.

Steve Baugh met with the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Committee at Sunday night (6/29). They came up with the solution.

First grand slammers are allowed to withdraw by 7/16 prior to Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run and get full refund ($80).

For those willing to continue the pursuit,

"We are pleased to offer an alternative run which would be the 4th leg of the Grand Slam for 2008. The Arkansas Traveller 100 will be the official alternative for the 2008 slam. It will be held on Oct 4th & 5th, four weeks after the Wasatch Front 100. The Arkansas Traveller is a quality 100-mile run with a rich tradition and history. 2008 will be their 18th running. You can print off an entry form by going to We are appreciative of Chrissy and Stan Ferguson, the AT 100 Race Directors, for their willingness to allow any slammers to continue with their quest to complete the 2008 Grand Slam. They will also allow us to have time at their awards ceremony to recognize successful Grand Slammers on their accomplishment."

Arkansas Traveller 100 is not in my wish list of epic-like courses, but the course is only one out and back course. I actually would like to do it at least once in future. I should consider doing it now as part of my Grand Slam of Ultrarunning this year.

The problem should be more about race conflict, travel expense (for a Traveller), and family approval. I have Dick Collins' Firetrails 50M a week later, while there is Rio Del Lago 100M a week before. I have not signed up the latter yet, but it's the run I'd like to do year after year. Btw, today is the last day for the lowest entry fee of Rio Del Lago 100M. It will be $15 more from $210 right now!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

List of Epic-like (P2P, etc) Trail Races

Just like hiking, I am fascinated with such epic-like trail running without going through the same section of trails more than once. Don't know if there is a name for such running courses because point-to-point or P2P seems appropriate but might be be limited as seen below when some courses have loops.

Listers from Ultrarunning List gave me a few such races. Combining with those what I know, I compiled the following list. Most of them are point-to-point (P2P) and some others have non-repetitive loops.

090214? Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail 118 Miles One big loop
Alternates CW and CCW each year. (Thanks BMarysdad)

090404 American River 50 Miles P2P
From Sacramento to Auburn on the American River trail - 27 mile pavement and 23 mile dirt trail.

090425? Zane Grey Highline Trail 50 Miles P2P
Along Highline Trail around Payson, AZ 85541.

090516 Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run Loops
"actually is a loop course but still quite epic" (Thanks Bedford W. Boyce, Jr.)
It is always on the same weekend as my backyard Ohlone Wilderness 50K (see below). Also after running part of its typical rocky trails in Old Dominion 100M last week, I found some difficulty to persuade myself to take on the ankle twisting challenge :-(

090517? Ohlone Wilderness 50K P2P
From Fremont to Livermore via Sunol on the Ohlone Wilderness trail.

090613? Laurel Highlands 70 Miles P2P
"The 70.5 mile race traverses the entire Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in southwestern Pennsylvania."

090613? Pittsfield Peaks Ultra Challenge 53 Miles A few distinct loops
"Start will be at Amee Farm and the finish will be at Riverside Farm."
"Race course will be on country roads, logging roads, NFS roads, snowmobile trails, and rugged single track trails" with 14,005ft climb. (Thanks Sherpa John Lacroix)

080615-21 Desert R.A.T.S. 7 day P2P stage run
"Run from Grand Junction, Colorado to the world famous Moab, Utah along the beautiful 148-mile Kokopelli's trail. Distances will range from day to day between 9 and 50 miles." (Thanks Peter Bakwin)

080628 Western States 100 Miles P2P
From Squaw Valley to Auburn on the Western States Trail.

080711 Hardrock 100 Miles One big loop
Start/Finish at Silverton, CO. Alternates CW and CCW directions each year. In 2008, the course will be run clockwise - a big loop through the San Juan Mountains of beautiful southwest Colorado: Silverton - Ophir - Telluride - Ouray - Sherman (Lake City) - Silverton

080719 Damn Wakely Dam Ultra P2P
"...a trail run through the Adirondack Park Wilderness of New York State along a remote and uninterrupted section of the Northville Placid Trial between Piseco Lake and Wakely Dam. There are no cross roads. There are no aid stations. Runners must be prepared to complete the entire 32.6 miles (52.5K) of rugged technical trail unassisted. It's just you, the trail and the company of like-minded runners." (Thanks Mike)

080727 Escarpment Trail 30Ks P2P
But maybe a bit too short to be epic (IMO). (Thanks Greg Goodson)

080802 Burning River 100 Miles P2P with some small loops
Starting at Squire’s Castle in Willoughby Hills, the run follows the scenic Cuyahoga River Valley Corridor and finishes in Cuyahoga Falls. It travels Northeast Ohio through several of the region’s most scenic areas, including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Cleveland Metroparks and the Metro Parks.

080809 Laurel Valley White Water Run P2P
31, 35, 40 Miles. A "spectacular, quad-busting,
unsupported" run in August in SC. The entry fee is only $25 to cover all the cost. (Thanks Mike Day)

080816 Where's Waldo 100K Almost a big loop
I DNSed last year between Cool Night 12hr, long driving, and Cascade Crest 100 Miles (Thanks Peter Fish)

080823 Cascade Crest 100 Miles One big loop
Start/Finish at Easton, WA, featuring 10am start, Goat Peak, Rail Trail Tunnel, Trail from the Hell, Cardiac Needles, etc with only 15 aid stations.

080829 UTMB 166K One big loop
Ultra Tour du Mount Blanc

080905 Superior Trail 100 Miles P2P
Along the Superior Hiking Trail From Gooseberry Falls State Park to Caribou Highlands Lodge in Minnesota.

080906 Wasatch Front 100 Miles P2P
"The Wasatch 100 is a point-to-point race that traverses the heart of the central Wasatch Mountains, one of the most beautiful ranges of the Rocky Mountains."
"The run stretches from Layton, Utah to The Homestead in Midway, Utah and covers some of the most beautiful scenery the Wasatch Mountains have to offer."

080907-13 Tuscarora Trail 252 7 day P2P stage run
Start in PA, through MA, WV, and finish in VA. If it is 252 Miles, then its $500 entry fee should be fine based on the West Coast race fee standard, though East Coast usually has lower entry fee. (Thanks Peter Bakwin)

080913 Plain 100 Miles Two distinct loops (55 and 45+ miles)

080913 Angeles Crest 100 Miles P2P
From Wrightwood to Pasadena in San Gabriel Mountains, California

080920 PCTR Skyline to the Sea 50K P2P
On the 30 mile Skyline to the Sea trail in California, "from the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains at Saratoga Gap through Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the oldest park in California (est. 1902), and ends at the Pacific Ocean at Waddell Beach. It travels through tall redwoods and high chaparral along the way."

080927 Great Eastern Endurance Run 100K Loops
The name of the event tells everything! (Thanks Bedford W. Boyce, Jr.)

081101 Mountain Masochist Trail Run 50 Miles P2P
"The race begins at the James River Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway (mile 63.6) and finishes in Montebello. National Geographic Map #789 (Lexington / Blue Ridge Mts.) is the best topographic map for the area." (Thanks John Price)

081108 The Great North Walk 100 Miles P2P
On part of the 250K Great North Walk in Australia from Teralba on Lake Macquarie to Patonga on spectacular Broken Bay.

081108 Pinhoti 100 Miles P2P
Starting in Heflin, AL on the unmolested Pinhoti single track
trail and finish on the rubberized track in the Sylacauga High School
Football Stadium.

081122 JFK 50 Mile P2P
The largest ultrarunning event in USA with 1,078 finisher in 2007. Could not find the course details from the web site :-( (Thanks John Price)

081207 HIGH DESERT 50K One big loop
"Very run able desert course, some challenges but a very fast course." (Thanks Chris)

081207? Hellgate 100K P2P
66 Miles and 13,500ft climb according to Keith Knipling Race Report: 2007 Hellgate 100K. See how he decided that Garmin 305 for 50 miles or shorter and Polar S625X for 100 miles. (Thanks John Price)

Some of them are outside US. I think I might be able to afford to going some day.

I know there are P2P road ultras - Keys 100, Badwater 135 Miles,
Spartatholon, Mother Road 100 Miles. However, I prefer to stay at trails since I was an avid hiker before taking on ultra/trail running.

I marked my favorite with