Black Hill 100M Pre-Race Thoughts
Six days from now I’ll hopefully be reaching the turnaround of the Black Hills 100M. Tapering is once again making me go crazy. I thought I’d put a few thoughts together in the calm before the storm.
Info about the race:
The race takes place in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. The route starts in Sturgis and runs south along the Centennial Trail for 50M before turning around and coming back to Sturgis along the same trail. The course is almost exclusively single track and ‘ATV’ trail. The elevation ranges between 3500-5500 feet.
Here’s an elevation profile of the first 50M.
The second half is back in the opposite direction. The total elevation gain for the 100M is a bit more that 16,000 feet. So there's a lot of up and down.
A little background info:
I was actually born in Sturgis, and I have tons of family in the nearby vicinity, so this is sort of a homecoming race. I’m really looking forward to visiting family and the Black Hills, while doing what I love. It will be a bit surreal, though. The race starts in a small park that I remember from summer visits to my Grandmother’s during my childhood. I remember Easter Egg hunts, and the time my cousin choked on a lifesaver and was given the Heimlich maneuver.
Over the past couple of years I’ve been back to visit family a number of times. On these visits, I ran on a lot of the course. On more than one occasion I thought to myself, “Someone should really put on an ultra around here. It’s beautiful”. Finally, someone felt the same way. It really is an ideal location. Plus, I get to run past the ‘town’ of Nemo along the way. I love that place. It’s my favorite fishing spot on the planet, as well as the namesake of one of my best friends.
Nemo on the right. He is NOT named after the fish. Nemo's dog, Floyd, is on the left.
Predictions/What to expect:
This is the inaugural running of this race, but I have no doubt the team of RD’s have their shit together. I have no concerns about that. My dad will be my crew. He’s an ex-pat, so I will be kept to a tight schedule. My friend Luke will be my pacer for all 50 of the last miles. Luke’s a fast runner and a good friend, but we tend to make some ill-advised decisions when we go running sometimes. We’ll make for an interesting team for sure.
As far as a prediction. I’ll just say I’m hoping for a 100M PR. That means I’m hoping to run faster than I did in Leadville last year. The lower elevation will be in my favor, and there’s slightly less climbing, but the course should overall be more technical. It also has the possibility of being much hotter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 90 degrees out there.
What I’m really looking forward to is seeing my Grandpa at the finish. The Old-timer has promised to stay up and watch me finish. I’ll try my best not to keep him up too late.
Me and my Grandpa Bud (I let him borrow a pair of overalls for the picture).