Summary: Never Summer 100k is a challenging loop course, mountain race with extended periods of high alpine ridge running, two alpine peaks, and five alpine lakes, with much of its challenging terrain between 10,000-12,000 feet. Runners will run on a variety of terrain, from cross country, to jeep and logging roads, to alpine trail, and everything in between and often not very trail-like, leading runners across meadows and streams and likely seeing elk, moose and bighorn sheep. Come prepared for beautiful views but also trails that will challenge you to earn them!
Lessons Learned from Race Reports
- Cell service is limited, so make sure you as a runner and spectators/crew know where to go, rules, etc. Print runner handbook pre-race for directions.
- Cupless aid stations except for cups for soda but cups cannot be carried out of aid station
- All runners must have the capacity to carry a *minimum* of 20 oz of water, whether in a bottle or a hydration pack
- Crewing only allowed at aid stations, nowhere else along the course
- Hiking poles are allowed
- Watch for course markings at all times, especially turns, and know that the best looking trails aren’t always the course trails
- Other users on the trail like day hikers and horses, so be courteous and share the trail
- 3rd climb up to Diamond Peak goes straight up on seemingly no trail – be ready for steep!
- Section on the Yurt Trail is infamously slow, like 10 miles could take 4 hours because of the footing on loose talus
- Out and back section between aid stations 39.4 and 43.9 – expect the trail to be crowded to share the singletrack and be ready for a mental low if you’re doing the climbing and being passed by happy runners descending
- Have a plan for a headlamp if there’s a chance you’ll go beyond sunset (and there’s likely a very good chance!)
- Practice hiking, as you’re likely to do a lot of it
- Have warm clothes in a drop bag for running in the dark, as temps drop fast in Colorado once the sun goes down
- Also have warm clothes for post-race
- Expect to run hours slower than what you think you’d run a trail 100k in – many race reports indicate that the course was much more difficult than expected, not only because of the terrain, but also the climbs and the altitude
Total gain/loss: 13,000/13,000
Ft/mile gain: 202
Total climbs: 7 major climbs of 2×2000-2500ft, 3×1200-1700ft, 2×750-1000
Total aid stations: 9
Furthest distance apart: 11.4 miles
Locations: Miles 11.4, 17.2, 23.2, 29.4, 39.4, 43.9, 50.1, 55.8, 62
What’s available: Vfuel gel and sports drink, water and ice and an assortment of items depending on weather, what time of day, etc. including items like: Pretzels, potato chips, corn chips, fruit, cookies, M&M’s, gummy bears, soda, sandwich rolls, boiled potatoes, and later aid stations serving runners through the night will offer hot ramen, broth, and coffee/cocoa.
Access Locations: Miles 17.2, 29.4 (hike-in only), 50.1 (hike-in only), 55.8, 62, start/finish
Crew Directions (starting on page 11). Be sure to read crew and pacer rules.
Yes, pacers can start at Canadian (50.1) or Bockman Road (55.8). For runners over the age of 60, pacers can start at the Ruby Jewel aid station (29.4).
Western States 100 (must finish under 23 hours)
UTMB – Double check since UTMB rules keep changing!