Race: Mohican 100
Runner: Sarah Forman
Race Date: 6/19/2021
Location: Loudonville, OH
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/5502480634
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
1. Running through the thunderstorm at 4am! It was crazy to be running through lightning, thunder and torrential rain which turned the trail into a river, but it’s an experience that I won’t soon forget!
2. Running the last 14 miles with my 71 year old Dad pacing me on Father’s Day!
3. The people! Everyone was friendly and willing to help each other out when you needed it.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
There were sections of the course that were very technical and had a ton of rocks and roots so my toes got pretty banged up!
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
There was a short section about 13 miles into the race, where we were re-routed on a section of the trail that was filled with down trees and stream crossings. The trees were so big that we had to literally give them a full body hug while climbing over. Near the end up this section there was a 20-foot hand over hand climb on tree roots to get out of the ravine!
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
I think that I managed everything really well in this race. I stayed on top of my nutrition, blister management (at least until the storm hit!), positive self talk, hydration and electrolytes. I was able to check in with myself every mile or so to make sure I was still sweating and not getting dehydrated. That was the most important factor for me in this race because of the humidity. I really enjoyed having my family there to crew for me the entire race. My husband made it to every aid station that he could with our 3 year old and 8 year old daughters. It lifted my spirits to see them, especially later in the race. Also, my Dad paced me the last 14 miles of the race which was a highlight since it was Father’s Day!
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Be ready for any kind of weather! During the day on Saturday, it was very humid with some light rain. A strong thunderstorm with torrential rain came through at about 4am on Sunday morning. I was at about 75 miles and my pacer and I were on a particularly hilly section of the course. We pushed through the rain for about an hour and half, during which time her headlamp died! I was very happy to have a strong waist light and my raincoat during this section! The last part of the race ended up getting up to around 86 degrees and 100% humidity. Also, train for lots of climbing, about 13,000 ft total. There were so many switchbacks and every section of the course had long and sometimes steep climbs, especially in the section from Covered Bridge to Hickory Ridge.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Next time, I’ll pace myself better at the beginning of the race so to give myself an extra cushion of time in case the weather turns and slows me down later in the race. I also learned that it would be beneficial to bring an extra pair of shoes that are a half size larger for later in the race. My feet swelled a lot after getting soaked during the storm and they didn’t fit into the 2nd pair of shoes that I brought with me. I ended up wearing one pair of shoes for the entire race.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
The course is very technical in some sections with a lot of rocks and roots. Make sure to give the footing your complete focus. I took two hard falls during these sections in the last 5 miles after looking away from the ground only for a few seconds. There is also a hand over hand climb in the first half of the race that was actually a lot of fun to experience!
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Yes! It’s a loop course through Mohican State Park in Ohio. There are several waterfalls that we ran next to, beautiful trees, lots of hills, all single track.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
Yes! The course is 95% on single track trails and includes about 13,000 feet of climbing.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
This race has been held for over 30 years and is really well run!
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
I signed up about 4 months before the race and stayed at the Mohican Lodge with my family the night before the race which was only 15 minutes away from the starting line.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
At the majority of the aid stations it was pretty standard fare but the Gorge Overlook aid station had vegan and gluten free options (vegan potato soup, chia seed pudding and ginger rice balls) which I was pretty excited about! There was also popsicles at the Covered Bridge aid station in the middle of the day which was a nice surprise on a hot day!
Weather and typical race conditions
Usually the weather for this race is hot and humid. This year was no different! It was around 86 degrees when I finished on Sunday and close to 100% humidity throughout the entire race. In several past years there has also been some strong storms that have come through, this year included.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?
I thought that having poles for the 2nd half of the race for some of the harder climbs was beneficial. I would also bring several changes of socks because your feet will get wet!
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
This was a 4 loop course (2 long loops of 27 miles and 2 short loops of 23 miles). I was able to see my crew 4 times per loop. There was no crew access at any of the aid stations for the last 13-15 miles of each loop though.
How’s the Swag?
It’s pretty basic. Each runner is given a cotton T-shirt and the option to buy tech shirts and hooded sweatshirts.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
I highly recommend this race! I ran it in the fall on a different course that was adjusted due to Covid restrictions and I also plan to run it again next year! So many runners come back year after year. It’s a tough course but it’s beautiful and the people that run this race are awesome.