“Grit, endurance, temporary loss of sanity. You might need all of these if you want to attempt Grindstone. If you want to finish, well, just keep in mind this is, without a doubt, the hardest 100 miler east of the 100th meridian. Now that you’re hooked, Grindstone is going to be an incredible adventure for each and every entrant. From the beautiful start/finish location at Camp Shenandoah to the monster climbs and the solitude of single track ridge running, you just can’t beat Grindstone… but you can try!”
– Race Director (Clark Zealand) –
Course Description (Wikipedia)
Grindstone 100 miler is an annual 101.85 mile long ultramarathon that takes place on trails in Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, usually the first weekend of October. The race starts at Camp Shenandoah, a local camp of the Boy Scouts of America. Beginning at Camp Shenandoah, this out-n-back course ascends and descends Little North Mountain before climbing over 2400 ft (740m) in 4 miles (6.4km) to the summit of Elliott Knob. The course then proceeds north following the ridge-line of the Great North Mountain range, crossing over to and following the Wild Oak Trail before continuing north to the summit of Reddish Knob. Runners continue north to Briery Branch Gap before retracing their steps (without summiting Elliott & Reddish) back along the course to Camp Shenandoah. Runners climb a cumulative total of 23,200 feet (7,140m) and descend a total of 23,200 feet (7,140m) on mountain trails before reaching the finish.
The aid station break down
My race plan, a little high for the A goal, but I took the chance
The loop from/to the Start and FInish area
“The magic four-letter acronym has been in my head every single day since I first let its 10,000m of climb – and another 10,000m of descent – batter my quads like a stampede of really annoyed hippos last year. I’ll attempt the 104-mile mountain race around western Europe’s highest peak, the monstrous Mont Blanc” – Damian Hall
Since I did TDS in 2014, I had been dreaming to come back to the Alps to do UTMB. The Alps was always a magical place for me, and this summer I was lucky that I got the lottery to participate into UTMB and better yet, I was able to stay in the Alps for 2.5 weeks. As much as happy and giddy up I was, I was pretty nervous. With over 10 km elevation gain in 170 km distance, this race was beyond my imagination.
Situated within the Navajo Nation, Monument Valley boasts amazing formations that reach over 1,000 feet into the sky and draw your gaze in wonderment. You will likely recognize these formations or “monuments” from the hundreds of movies that have been filmed in this desert backdrop over the years. Vibrant colors and dramatic shadows cast along the valley floor will give you a sense of becoming “in tune” with nature, experiencing the same inclusion with the natural world that the Native Americans have practiced for generations. Running becomes less of an activity and more of an intrinsic way in which to absorb the landscape.
This race will begin on Friday and will start off heading south on a long out-and-back leg to the remote and sacred Mystery Valley and up onto Weatherill Mesa to the turnaround point overlooking the entire central valley. After returning through race headquarters (approx mile 36), the route then takes you directly over to the Hogan aid station in the central valley (mile 40). From here, you will do a 4.5 mile loop through the North Window overlook, then a 9.5 mile loop that takes you past the Totem Poles, several arches, and some petroglyphs. You will then climb up onto Mitchell Mesa and turnaround at an overlook directly above the starting line (mile 59) with views into the north and central valleys. You will then run the Arches and North Window loops in reverse direction before departing for the north valley at mile 79. This last section of the course takes you along side the East Mitten, Brigham’s Tomb, Stagecoach, Big Chief, and Sentinel Mesa formations before leading you home to the finish line.
THE DATE IS APROX
Grit, endurance, temporary loss of sanity. You might need all of these if you want to attempt Grindstone. If you want to finish, well, just keep in mind this is, without a doubt, the hardest 100 miler east of the 100th meridian.
Now that you’re hooked, Grindstone is going to be an incredible adventure for each and every entrant. From the beautiful start/finish location at Camp Shenandoah to the monster climbs and the solitude of single track ridge running, you just can’t beat Grindstone… but you can try!
Come and join us for a wonderful event and experience what this 100 mile course has to offer you. It will be an experience you’ll never forget!
Grindstone is event #4 in the Beast Series
|23,200 / 23,200 ft
|$225 before July 1 – $250 before August 1 $295 thereafter