Almost go time. This will be my fourth go at ES100. It’s been a long 2 year wait and I’m chomping at the bit to get back out there and run around Pine Creek. I’ll be interested to see how much of the course I remember. Even though I had already run it twice before, I was constantly being surprised in 2019 by the course. Not so much the hills as they’re permanently imprinted on your soul, but all the little things like the order of the aid stations.

Speaking of hills. Here are my 14 ranked climbs based on data from my 2019 race. This only accounts for about 2/3 of the total elevation gain so there’s still a decent amount rolling terrain in between these.

They decided to make a couple changes to the course this year. The smaller one was moving the aid station from one side of Slate Run manor across a bridge. The bigger one was eliminating the Halfway House and Calhoun aid stations and replacing them with Big Trail in between. The new mileages between the aid stations aren’t as big of a deal as the fact that there’s no drop bags at Big Trail. Halfway House was where I stashed most of my gear for the night in year’s past. Now I have to carry a headlamp all the way from Hyner Run, which will be at least an extra 2 hours. Not a huge deal by any stretch of the imagination.

2021 Runner Demographics

I’m always interested in the type of person who signs up for an ultra. These numbers were pulled from Ultrasignup based on who was signed up for the race 2 weeks out.

ES100 skews a little young and women are even more under represented than the typical 25% split.
15% of the runners are returning for another go at this course. You would think we would know better.

As far as my expectations for the race, I’m trying to keep them in check. I think I’m in a little better shape than I was 2 years ago and that race included 45 minutes completely wasted in Slate Run getting my chin patched up. The flip side is 100 miles is a long distance and you never know what can go wrong. The weather will probably be the biggest wildcard. Depending on which forecast I look at Saturday is either getting up to 90 with an overnight low of 70 or it’s going to be 80/60. Ten degrees may not sound like a lot, but that could easily be an hour on that course. Regardless, I feel good and am excited to get back out to the Wilds of PA.

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