12 October 2019
Pine Mountain represents one of the last great contiguous stretches of unfragmented forest in Kentucky. And while other parts of the region have been developed, strip-mined or heavily logged, Pine Mountain remains relatively untouched. Positioned at the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains, the mountain offers commanding views of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee. If ever there was a hope of preserving an ecological legacy for future generations of Kentuckians, this is it. The mountain has remained a refuge in the face of increasing human intrusion, mainly because it is a rugged nearly road-less mountain that is guarded by jutting sandstone cliffs, tangled rhododendron thickets and large, prehistoric land slides laden with car-sized boulders. Even when deer and turkey were driven out of most of the region, Pine Mountain remained a refuge for wildlife native to the area. Today the mountain serves as the travel corridor for black bear re-entering the state from Virginia and Tennessee. It provides habitat for the newly restored elk, and is the home of many species of native Kentucky flora dependent upon the unique physiographic and climatic conditions found only in the Appalachian highlands, and specifically on the Pine Mountain ridge line. Rose Pogonia, Frostweed, and the largest known populations of Yellow Wild Indigo in the Commonwealth are here for your discovery. Kentucky's only 100 mile trail race will take place on Pine Mountain, deep in the heart of central Appalachia. The out and back course, will wind along the rugged, rocky and remote Pine Mountain Scenic Trail through Pike and Letcher counties in southeastern Kentucky. The Pine Mountain Scenic Trail traces a razor's edge geological fault line along the southern Kentucky-Virginia border, stretching from Breaks Interstate Park to near Whitesburg, where it offers breathtaking views of Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee. This unique trail passes through dense forestland dotted with pioneer homesteads, cliffs, waterfalls, rock shelters, rhododendron thickets, caves, upland bogs and enormous sandstone boulders. Breached by only six roads in 110 miles, this is one of the most physically demanding trails in the East, and it remains a significant unprotected wilderness area.
The Cloudsplitter 100 takes place on a little known mountain deep in the heart of Central Appalachian coal country, where the Pine Mountain Scenic Trail follows a geological fault line along the Kentucky-Virginia border high above the raging Russell Fork River. This remote course winds along rough and rocky pioneer roads, traverses dense rhododendron thickets, crosses vast rock outcroppings, meanders along beautiful single track trails dotted with enormous sandstone boulders, rock shelters and pioneer homesteads, and offers spectacular views of Kentucky and Virginia from steep and rugged cliff lines. Only one road crosses the mountain along the entire length of the race course. This is one of the most difficult organized running events in the United States, and entry in this race should not be taken lightly. Due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of portions of the trail, the Cloudsplitter 100 differs substantially from other organized runs, and therefore adequate mental and physical preparation are of utmost importance to each runner, no matter which distance they choose to enter.
Pine Mountain Ridge Breaks Interstate Park Cumberland Gap National Historical ParkCumberland PlateauRussell Fork River
Bags may be dropped off at the Start/Finish in the morning. Drop bags will be shuttled from the Start/Finish to the Birch Knob Tower and Pound Gap Aid stations.
The aid stations will be well stocked with fluids and a variety of food. Fluids generally available are water, Heed, Coke, Mountain Dew, ginger ale and coffee. Endurolytes will be available at all aid stations. Food at aid stations will consist of orange slices, bananas, assorted cookies, trail mix, bite size candy bars, peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, turkey and cheese sandwiches, boiled potatoes with sea salt and small pretzels. When darkness falls, home made potato soup will be available for all runners as well as chicken broth.
Lodging is available at: Holiday Inn Express, Gateway Motel, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Hotel and Breaks Interstate Park.
All 100M runners receive a finisher buckle.
Pre-race Dinner will be served at the Elkhorn City Baptist Church at 7:00 p.m.