Friday, February 27, 2015

2015 Lake Martin 100 & 50 Mile Endurance Run and 27 Mile Fun Run

The Lake Martin 100 is less than a month away. To make things fun this year, Karl Meltzer is running the 100. This will likely be his 36 victory in a 100.
I think we have the best looking, hand crafted buckle I have seen.
As many of you know, the Second Annual Lake Martin 100 Mile Endurance Run is March 21 and 22. This is one of the best "First 100's" in the United States. There is also a 50 Mile and a 27 Mile Fun Run. Both are perfect for your fist attempt at ultra distance. Although the course is hilly, the 100 has about 12,000 feet of elevation gain, the 50 has 6,000 ft and the 27 mile about 3,100, that is an average of only 120 feet per mile. The thing that makes this elevation gain manageable for everyone is that almost all of the hills are less than 100 feet. The course is made up of a bunch of small hills. That's pretty gentle by almost any standard in the southeast. Plus, there is nothing technical anywhere on the course.
If you would like to learn more, here is a link to the Lake Martin 100 Website.
If you are thinking about signing up, Register today or Saturday. All entry fees increase on March 1.
Register at

Another thing that  makes the course easy for a first time ultra runner is the layout of aid stations. First, there are only 2 aid stations, yet you will never go more than 8 miles away from the next aid station stops. You may ask, how can that be. Well, the course is laid out in the shape of a figure "8" with one additional loop. Where the loops meet, at the red dots on the diagram below, is where the aid stations are located. The dot on the left is the Cabin Aid Station and Start/Finish. The red dot on the right is Heaven Hill Aid Station.

The race starts at the red dot on the left, the Cabin Aid Station. Runners, in effect, go over the top of the middle "0" to the red dot on the right. (the first aid station stop, Heaven Hill 1) They then circle around the "0" on the right and back to the red dot on the right. (the second aid station stop, Heaven Hill 2) Runners will then circle around the bottom of the middle "0" to the dot on the left (Cabin Aid Station 1) then around the "0" on the left and back to the red dot. (Cabin Aid Station 2) Race planning is a snap, especially since the Cabin Aid Station allows you to have anything you want at the aid station. That is, you or your crew place you drop bags where you want them or leave them in your car near the Cabin. We don't have to handle your bags so if you want to haul in an ice chest, feel free! Your supplies are never very far and you don't have to figure out where in 18 aid stations to put a critical item, like headlamps. There is no need to time running and walking cycles. The hills will tell you exactly when to walk and when to run.

For your crew, the drive from the Cabin AS to Heaven Hill AS is only about 3 miles. You may also
go to the Willow Point Cutoff Trailhead at the far north end of the course, only about 6 miles from the Cabin. Crew may also go to the Wilson Road Trailhead at the South end of the course, just 3 miles south of the Cabin. Crew can potentially meet their runner 6 times per 25 mile lap. (Crew is not allowed into Heaven Hill AS but Adamson Road Trailhead is just a few 100 yards away from the AS on the course and you may meet your runner there)

The course follow the the lake shore and meandering creeks for miles. The trails are 100% single track, carriage paths and gravel roadways most of which do not allow cars. The only paved section is the first 300 yards from the Cabin Start to the Green Way and the Stables Loop Trail. Returning to and leaving the Cabin Aid Station you will be on a sidewalk for about 300 yards, but that's it.
Here is a link to a Video of the 2014 LM100 Preview Runs on YouTube.
Below are pictures from along the course:

Start of the Lake View Trail near the Stables

The Big Way Trail

A section of trail along the South Loop

Along the Lakeside Trail

View from the trail.

Another section on the South Loop

Morning mist on Lake Martin

The SpringHouse Restaurant at Russell Crossroads. Just down the road from the start.

The Stables at Russell Crossroads.
 The next series of pictures were taken at the Preview Runs on the course.
A section of trail along the Lake View Trail
The Big Way Trail headed for Adamson Rd. Trailhead.

The Green Way Trail. This is one of the limited access roadways for electric vehicles, runners/hikers, bikes and horses only.
The 2-Day Loop Trail above the lake shore.

Another shot along one of many creek crossings on the 2-Day Loop

This is the Cabin at Russell Crossroads, location of the Start and Finish and the Cabin Aid Station.