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65 miles with 13,500' of gain in 19 hours.
No crews. No pacers. Mandatory kit.
A true PA wilderness experience.
If you enjoy working hard to reach amazing vistas, then the Black Forest 100k is the trail race for you! Reaching some of these beautiful vistas requires climbing elevation gains of over 1,000ft in under a mile! The Black Forest Trail may be the most challenging and rewarding trail in Pennsylvania. We will take you on a spectacular lollipop loop through and above the west side of Pine Creek Gorge with astounding views of the surrounding peaks and valleys and an assortment of forest types ranging from Pine Plantations, giant Hemlocks and Red Spruce.
Some are calling this race the little brother of Eastern States 100...the Eastern States 100 lite edition if you will. If the 100 mile distance and summer heat isn't your cup of tea but you're looking for a challenge, this may be the race for you.
To keep upfront costs lower for our runners, we will have finisher buckles available for $25.
There is a Service Requirement to be able to participate in this race, which consists of 8 hours service in either a) an aid station at an ultra, b) directing an ultra, or c) work on a trail used by an ultra. The service should be completed and submitted by race day. If you have a scheduled service day beyond race day, we will accept those hours if you tell us ahead of time. The window for performing the service begins one year prior to race day.
** Please download the service requirement form below.
To qualify, you must have run a trail race that a) is no shorter than 31 miles in distance and b) has at least 4,000ft or more of elevation gain. A 50k race must be completed in 9 hours or less. Any race over a 50k must be completed within the advertised cutoff time. No timed races or road races.
For safety reasons, we do not permit novice runners to enter this race.
The entire 65 mile course traverses remote wilderness in the Sproul and Tiadaghton State Forests with the largest civilization crossing at Slate Run - a remote community that's so small that it doesn't even have a population census (though 50 sounds about right). On top of this, we only provide 5 aid stations with stretches as far as 13 miles between them. No hand holding in this race. Did we mention you only have 19 hours to complete this doozy of an ultra and the midnight start? Leave your crews or pacers at home, you won't get to use them. Not counting the toughness of the terrain and climbs, you can see why we are limiting this race to the more experienced.
Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.
We will allow drop bag access at every aid station. Make sure your bag, box, or whatever you use is easily identifiable, labeled properly, and weatherproof.
In order to ensure the safety of each participant, everyone must have at their disposal all the mandatory equipment on the list, detailed below.
The Black Forest Trail is BLAZED ORANGE. The trail connecting the start to the BFT will be marked with orange ribbon. Aid Station 2 and 4 are not directly on the Black Forest Trail, so you will need to follow the orange arrow signs and orange ribbon to access those aid stations. Any major turns will also be marked with arrows and/or orange ribbon to keep you on track.
As it is in many ultramarathons, the Black Forest Ultra 100k has its own rules and practices. Please read carefully the race rules and warnings before the competition.
No unofficial runners – No bandits allowed.
No course cutting – Follow the marked course at all times – it will be clearly marked with orange survey ribbon (and with reflective tape), directional arrows, and the occasional orange ground flag. If you depart the marked course, you must return to the point of departure before continuing. Cutting the switchbacks is cheating, and leaving the beaten path to avoid mud or water is just bad trail karma – please don’t.
Mandatory gear – Keep your mandatory kit on you at all times.
Optional race aids – Hiking poles, headphones, GPS devices, heart rate monitors, and similar devices are allowed – but ONLY IF you use them safely and responsibly (so you are aware of what’s around you and not a danger to yourself or others).
No unauthorized crew support or aid drops – This is a no crew and no pacer race. You must be self sufficient for the entire race.
Pets – We love trail dogs, but not during a race. Please no pets on the course. (Pets are welcome at the start/finish area, but they must be under control and they must be on a leash while within the state park.)
Do not litter – You can either carry your trash or dispose of it at the aid stations. We are operating under permits from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and litter could threaten future permits. Anyone caught intentionally littering along the trail will be disqualified.
Passing other trail users – The course uses many popular hiking trails, so please be respectful of all trail users and yield as needed. Be careful, courteous, patient, and safe while passing competitors or other trail users. Communicate your intentions clearly (“Passing on your left”), and remember that it’s a long run.
When nature calls – No port-a-johns folks. If you have to pee, find a tree. Anything else, squat like a bear.
Accountability – We’ll be tracking your progress around the course – it’s your responsibility to make sure your race bib is visible, and to check yourself IN and OUT of each aid station (even if you are just passing through without stopping). The communications team at the aid station will record your arrival and departure, and relay your progress to race headquarters.
Cut-off times – Aid station captains will strictly enforce the cut-off times that are posted for designated aid stations (see aid station planner). Aid station captains also have the authority to pull you from the course if it is clear that you are physically unable to continue in a safe manner. Their decisions are final, and if you refuse to vacate the course when directed, you’ll be disqualified.
Dropping out of the race – If you can’t complete the race, you must notify an aid station captain and surrender your race bib, which will officially withdraw you from the race. If you leave the race and don’t show up at the next aid station within a reasonable time, we’ll assume you’re lost and will notify authorities. This could threaten the race’s future permits. Leaving a race without informing an aid station captain means automatic disqualification and restriction from entry in future races.
If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.Questions?
Additional race information can be found at http://blackforestultra.com.
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