I guess the fourth time’s the charm as I had a simply incredible run this year. I was spotting rainbows and unicorns all over the course last weekend. I feel giving you the details of that run though may undersell the difficultly if this race. I’m sure the 49% of the field who dropped wouldn’t agree that this was a walk in the park. My race reports from 2016, 2017, and 2019 are better representations of what you can expect. And frankly at this point not even my wife wants to read about me throwing my body against this course yet again. So I’m going to change things up a bit and give you on a more visual experience of this race.

Photo Journey of Eastern States

In the beginning, there was the start line. And it was good.
Here’s your first “Welcome to Eastern States” moment as you turn onto the first major climb.
Grinding up a hill halfway to AS2.
The bridge over Pine Creek just past AS#3.
Pretty foggy at the top of the next climb.
I was surprisingly able to run most of the uphill road segment right after leaving Lower Pine Bottom.
But not so much the single track hill immediately following.
The start of a completely chill 2 mile downhill section which is my favorite part of the course.
Road section couple miles out of Brown’s Run.
Creek crossing with Brown’s Run just through the trees.
Love ferns next to a trail. About a mile out from Happy Dutchman.
Just past Happy Dutchman AS.
Fuzzy Friends Club was out again this year right before Ritchie Road. And in the back Thar be Dragons.
Richie Road was rocking the best soundtrack on the course. Slim Shady coming in and It’s Tricky heading out. I got held for a minute so had a volunteer take this photo of me. Even though I look it, I didn’t feel delirious.
Hyner Run has the best vibe of all the aid stations. I always get goosebumps with the crews cheering me on as I roll in.
Through the bigfoot gate you go. It’s heavy and incredibly awkward to do by yourself so bring a friend.
Right before Dry Run. I had just finished the 48oz of fluids I had for this section about here so beware the risk. Only section I was even close to this happening.
Halfway House was very empty this year. . .
. . . as they moved the party 2 miles further along to Big Trail.
Then it got rather dark.
Cool rock formations toward the start of the climb out of Slate Run.
Unfortunately this pic is only worth 3 words (what is that?). Several miles past Algerines, the trail drops down. At the bottom you come across slimy moss covered rocks the size of small suit cases randomly scattered at about a 45 degree angle. This is what ES100 calls technical. Good luck not twisting an ankle with your blown quads and drooping eyelids.
There were a couple cool waterfalls on the way into Long Branch. At least they seemed cool in my sleep deprived state.
Lot of fog on the climb out Blackwell up to Gillespie Point. This climb sucks, but the view is great if you get here after dawn.
Landing lights lead you into Sky Top. I finally got here before sunrise!
Start of the 14th and final major climb of Eastern States. Barrens awaits.
Here’s the run in to the last aid station, Hacketts.
Eastern States’ mascots a mile from the finish were out cheering runners on.
RD giving me my fourth buckle. This one’s my favorite. (shhhh, don’t tell the other 3).

4 thoughts on “2021 Eastern States 100 Race Report”

  1. Congratulations on another ES100 finish! I really enjoy and appreciate your reports. The words and pictures provide a great glimpse into this race. I have a question about two pieces of gear and wonder if you can share. Since this race has technical and some highly runnable sections, what model trail shoes do you use? And two I noticed that you have a waist belt on so I amassuming you used two bottles to carry your fluids versus using one of those 2-liter bladders; is this correct and would you say it ws sufficient especially given the heat? Thanks so much in advance.

    1. I’m not a shoe guy and typically run in whatever “trail” shoe is on sale online for $50.

      I can fit two-24oz bottles in my waist belt. I ran out of fluids about a mile out of Dry Run last year and so will make sure I drink 10-12oz of water before heading out of Dry Run. Whatever method you use, I recommend carrying at least 45-50oz especially during the hotter portions of the day. Good luck!

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