Anyone that thought this this was going to be an easy race just because it is in Alabama got a shock! The 16,100 feet of elevation gain is no joke. That is approximately 1000 feet more gain than the Leadville 100. The first 55 miles of the course were brutal. In fact the climb over Mt Cheaha (the highest mountain in Alabama) is one of the easiest sections in the first half. To make maters worse, I ran from about mile 44 to about 78 in the dark. That included the hardest climb in the race starting at about mile 65, up to the Pinnacle, gaining 900 ft. in one mile. Most of the last 15 miles were on dirt roads. That made the going a lot easier. The last 4 or so miles were on pavement. That was a nice change, you didn't have to watch every step.
The run begins in Heflin, Alabama, just North of Interstate 20, near the Georgia State line. The route follows the Talladega National Forest, climbs over Mt. Chehah, follows the crest of the Talladega Range and ends at Sylacauga High School Football Stadium.
The trail is 85% single track (rocks, roots and dirt all covered with a fresh layer of leaves, with numerous creek crossings thrown in just for fun), 11% dirt roads and 4% pavement.
The actual length of the course is 100.58 miles not 88. GPS just can't get all those switchbacks. I have to add 14% to all my training runs recorded with GPS.
Mile 100.1 - just about 800 yds form the finish.
The finishers award
A really nice gold and silver buckle
I had not removed my shoes and socks in
29 hours and 100.5 miles. My feet hurt!
The pile of supplies for my six drop bags.
The supplies I started the race carrying.
The best I can calculate the following is a list of what I ate in the 29 hour run:
26 Packages of Accel-Gel; 18 - 10oz bottles of Propentium by Hammer Products;
32 Enlyten electrolyte strips; 12 peanut butter and jelly 1/2 sandwiches: 6 bananas;
20+ Cookies; 10 mini 3 Musketeer bars; ? Jelly beans; 4 cups of soup;
3 Starbucks Double Shot drinks; One coup of real coffee.
? Gallons of water