Harvey’s Guide to the 100 Mile Course
The course profile is here: 100 Mile Course Profile. The course map is here. A chart with the aid stations, mileage, cutoffs, crew and pacer access is here: 2013-100Mile Aid Stations, Mileage and Cutoffs
Section 1. Begin at the base of the ski basin, in front of the Bear River Bar and Grill. Proceed steeply up, up, up to the top of the gondola. We will use the most direct route possible (we will have this well marked). This is not the same route as the Run, Rabbit, Run 50, but will be steeper and more challenging – why the hare not? – you are ONE HUNDRED MILERS! Join the Chisholm Trail to Four Points Hut. Take Storm Peak Challenge Trail to the top and the Mount Werner Aid Station. No drop bags or crew access. This section is approximately 4.4 miles.
Section 2. This section is identical to that of the Run, Rabbit, Run 50. From the Mt. Werner Aid Station join Mountain View Trail (FS Trail 1032.) Descend the ridge off Mt. Werner with nice views of the meadows of Hogan Park to the south and the peaks of the Zirkel Wilderness to the north. This is beautiful single track, some of the nicest in Colorado. A short steep descent at the end of the Mountain View Trail will bring you to the trail junction with the Fish Creek Falls Trail (FS Trail 1102). Take a RIGHT onto FS Trail 1102 (heading east) to the festive Long Lake Aid Station. This is a drop bag aid station, but there is no crew access. This section is approximately 6.8 miles.
Section 3. Betsy says no way can you folks can come all the way to Steamboat and not see beautiful Fish Creek Falls Trail, so turn around the way you came for a little ways until you come back to the junction with Fish Creek Falls Trail (FS Trail 1102). Take the RIGHT FORK onto it. Go down, down, down through the canyon. The trail can be very rough and rocky and steep (over 25% gradient) in places but so what? – YOU’RE HUNDRED MILERS! (Seriously: use caution. Your chances of winning, or of finishing, will be significantly compromised should you suffer broken or mangled limbs, or worse). And who cares if you get a little wet! Anyway, its early, and you’re feeling pretty fresh, aren’t you? Eventually you’ll get to the trailhead. There will be a minimal aid station here (it may be water only). This section is about 6.1 miles Crew access is permitted and we MAY allow pacers through town, to Olympian Hall
Section 4. Proceed down Fish Creek Falls Road. This is one of the few paved sections of the course and is winding, rolling and narrow, and traffic often pays little attention. USE EXTREME CAUTION! PLEASE , NO HEADPHONES ON THIS SECTION! RUN AGAINST TRAFFIC! (These are actual rules!!) Turn left on Third Street, run through downtown Steamboat Springs, get on the Core Trail, cross the mighty Yampa River, and take the Core Trail to the base of the Howelson ski area and Olympian Hall, at 6699 feet, the lowest point of the course. Please pay attention: You will be crossing through the center of town and there will be a traffic light when you cross Lincoln (Steamboat’s main street)! We cannot stop traffic and so you may need to wait for the light to change green! We will have someone out there to guide runners through, but please pay attention! There’s lots of parking at the Howelson – Olympian Hall aid station. Crews and drop bags are welcome. This section is 4.0 miles.
Section 5. Welcome to beautiful Emerald Mountain! Okay, another climb. Take Blackmere Drive up, up, up. Why not? Heck, YOU ARE ONE HUNDRED MILE RUNNERS! Continue up Blackmere to the Lane of Pain (ouch!) to the steeply rolling Ridge Road and then the lovely the Ridge Trail. We will have an unmanned aid station here at the junction, with self-service water. Then down to Cow Creek Road, through the gate and to the aid station. This is mostly single track with some terrific views. Careful: some chelonians might start seeing some leporidae out here, and vice versa. This section is approximately 8.6 miles. Crew access at the parking lot, drop bags here as well. Stock up on water for the return; it’s a pretty long stretch to the next aid station.
Section 6. Turn left onto Cow Creek Road for about 2 miles to the intersection with the Beall Trail. Take the lovely Beall Trail up, up, up until it intersects with Ridge Road (where there will be water), turn right, and then reverse the previous section until you return to Olympian Hall. 12.2 miles. Plenty of parking and crew access. You may pick up your first real pacer here if you’re a Tortoise.
Section 7. This 4 mile section is the reverse of Section 4 to the Fish Creek Falls aid station. Again: Please pay attention: You will be crossing through the center of town and there will be a traffic light when you cross Lincoln (Steamboat’s main street)! Please pay attention! If you are a Tortoise and you have a pacer, they can guide you through. And no headphones please until you get on Fish Creek Falls Trail. AGAIN, RUN AGAINST TRAFFIC!! You are now almost at mile 47.
Section 8. Yeah, it was really beautiful, but whose idea was it to see that durn Fish Creek Falls Trail anyway, because, having seen it going down, now you gotta go back up it, and darn, it’s long and pretty nasty! Turn around, cursing us beneath your breaths, and go back the way you came – up, up, up. Then go to Long Lake. And then be nice those folks at the aid station. They’ve watched your drop bag like hawks and they’ll feed you and give you drink. Fresh horses! More whiskey! And another 6.1 miles under the belt.
Section 9. Gather yourself, load up on food and liquids, get out of the aid station, and join the Continental Divide Road (FR 310), turning left at the junction. Continue north, past Fish Creek Reservoir, on a rough, rolling jeep road. It’s more up than down. Much of this is at elevation of about two miles. Enjoy the thin air. After approximately 5 miles you will reach elevation 10,557, the nominal high point of the course. Continue down to the junction with Buffalo Pass Road and turn to the Summit Lake Aid Station. This stretch is about 5.5 miles. You can have a drop bag here. No crew access. Please, no crew vehicles on Buffalo Pass Road!
Section 10. Of course, like all smart bunnies and turtles you’ve been taking it easy and saving your legs, because now you’re going down Buffalo Pass Road (FR 360), and while it’s kind of a rough road and rolling at first, if you can’t run a lot of this, well, you just might be in trouble. Go down (west). And keep going down. After 7.6 miles or so you’ll see the Dry Lake Aid Station on the left. Turn there. Say hello, thank the volunteers, maybe change pacers, and have something to eat and drink. Meet your crew here.
Section 11. After you’ve rejuvenated yourself, an aid station volunteer will point you down Spring Creek Trail, which is very nice single track, through some very pretty and interesting flora, with wildflowers and jungle-like plants with big leaves – lots of which looks like nice munchies for turtles and rabbits. But don’t stop – you’re going down, mostly, anyway. Bridges take you across bubbling Spring Creek over a dozen times – there’s a peacefulness here – it’s quite lovely! Near the bottom of the trail you might get a little wet, but after 4.5 pleasant miles you emerge at Spring Creek Ponds aid station. If you’re a Tortoise, you can pick up a pacer here, but please note – there is no vehicle access to this aid station; access for crews and pacers is only through a one mile or so hike!
Section 12. Turn around and reverse Section 11, climbing the 4.5 miles of lovely Spring Creek Trail to the Dry Lake Aid Station, but as tired as you are, we don’t blame you for not noticing how pretty it is. Still – keep your wits about you! Tortoises, watch out for Hares, and Hares, watch out for Tortoises. And watch where you’re going on the single track! At the aid station, grunt hello, and eat and drink, and maybe change pacers.
Section 13. If you’re a Tortoise and you’re picking up another pacer, you can act tough and ask them – “You up for this? Cause you’re with me all the way to the finish! And it’s gonna get interesting!” Yup, it will. It’s a long, relentless, 7.6 mile climb up Buffalo Pass Road to the Summit Lake Aid Station. If you’re a Hare you may feel like a widdle, widdle, bunny wabbit, and if you’re a Tortoise you might want to crawl in your shell and hide. Try and enjoy the views. Whose idea was this, anyway? Remember: no crew vehicles on Buffalo Pass Road and no crew at the Summit Lake aid station.
Section 14. From the Summit Lake Aid Station head east until the junction with the Wyoming Trail (FS Trail 1101, also known as the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail). Go south on the Wyoming Trail. Stay on the rolling trail for about 6 miles, passing through high elevation forests and meadows, much of at two miles elevation. Keep breathing. Keep moving. No one has ever finished a one-hundred miler standing still, or, worse yet, lying on the side of the trail. Make your way to the four-way junction with the Percy Trail and turn right (west) on to Fish Creek Falls Trail, FS Trail 1102. Go another 1.7 miles or so to the Long Lake Aid Station. This section is about 8.2 miles.
Section 15. Drag yourself out of the aid station, continue on, reversing Section 2, veering left when you reach the junction with the Mountain View Trail (FS Trail 1032) and that beautiful Mountain View single track. You may see some of our Run, Rabbit, Run 50 mile bunnies out there and we’re sure they’ll cheer you on. Kind of forgot about that little climb up to the Mt. Werner Aid Station? Fuhgettaboutit! You’re tough! You’re a ONE HUNDRED MILER, and once you get to Mount Werner, it’s all downhill from there! This section is 6.8 miles.
Section 16. This is it! You’re almost done! It about 6 downhill miles to the finish, the same route as the Run, Rabbit Run 50, to right down in front of the Bear. Down Storm Peak Challenge, past Four Points Hut, to the Why Not road, to Burgess Creek. And to beer and pizza. And remember: The clock doesn’t stop until the Designated Hugger gives you the hug!
Congratulations. You’ve done an amazing thing.
About 8 miles paved, 68 miles of trails and the rest rough jeep roads. Figure about 103 miles, 20,191 feet ascent and 20,191 feet descent.
We’re not exactly pulling a rabbit out of a hat, but we won’t pretend we can estimate miles any better than that.