Race Course (translated from the race website)
Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda (Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda Park), is located in the center of Bandung city, West Java, which is what is left from Natural Conservative Land. Taman Hutan Raya is also served as the lungs of Bandung city. It s located about 5 km (3 miles) from the Gedung Sate.
The trail marathon course is a 42 km course that would go through Bukit Bintang (Bintang Hill), a single track in Batu Lonceng, Kasur Cibodas Mountain, Cigombong, Maribaya, and Gua Belanda (the Dutch Cave). The course is 70% single track with 1549 m elevation gain (5082 ft)
We arrived in Bandung by train on Saturday late morning. I haven’t ride a train since like 25 years ago or so, and surprisingly it was very convenience and comfortable. But my friend and his family train’s car was not so much. After having a lunch and a little shop hopping, we went straight to the Taman Hutan Raya, where the expo was held to pick up my race package. It was also my first time to be in this “little jungle” close to the heart of Bandung city. It was pretty neat but it just seems too fabricated. The expo was not that big but they had a few trail gears and accessories booths, too bad they did not carry my favorites stuffs. Since I was worry about the marking, this would be my first trail race in Indonesia, so I went to the pre-race briefing. Surprisingly, there was not many people there, probably it was only less than 20 people. After the briefing, we went straight to the hotel. Before we went out for dinner in the hotel, I prepped up my race gears and nutrition, and I found out that I did not bring my running underwear. After smashing my head to the wall couple times and messaged with a bunch of friends, I concluded that running commando was inevitable. And to make tomorrow would be more interesting, we had thunderstorm and heavy rain all night. Perfect.
“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.
“This course is incredibly dangerous, not just due to the terrain but the potential for lightning, rock slides, and other severe hazards that could severely injure you or even worse.” – Dick Vincent, RD
This year was my third time in Escarpment Trail Race. I missed it last year since I was on the road trip to Colorado. And as usual, it was raining again. Probably it was me, not the weather fault. Probably 8 of 10 races that I ran this year were raining. But on the other hand, we had sans lightning. Also, this was the 40th Escarpment Trail Race, yeah older than me.