Lean Horse 100

Marathon
Lean Horse 100

16 August 2019


Location:

Custer, Custer, South Dakota, Custer, SD, USA
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Organiser:

Royce Wuertzer

Overview

The Lean Horse Ultra Marathon is run in August every year in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was first run in 2005. It features a 100-mile race, a 50-mile race, a 50-kilometer race, and a 30-kilometer race. The course is held on the George S. Mickelson Trail. It was the 33rd sanctioned 100-mile race in the United States and is known as one of the easiest hundred mile races in the country.The Lean Horse 100 is considered to be one of the best first time ultra’s in the country because of the great running surface and gentle elevation changes. There are many things that have changed at the Lean Horse 100 over the years. But one thing that does not change is the "small town" feel of the race. The crew at Lean Horse wants to make sure that your ultra is the race that you will never forget. For more than ten years, the Lean Horse 100 has inspired runners of all abilities and from all walks of life, from all over the country and world to come to South Dakota to test themselves over the 30K, 50k, 50 mile, 100 mile, and 5 Person Relay distances.

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Course details

The Lean Horse Ultra Marathon is run in August every year in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was first run in 2005. It features a 100-mile race, a 50-mile race, a 50-kilometer race, and a 30-kilometer race. The course is held on the George S. Mickelson Trail. It was the 33rd sanctioned 100-mile race in the United States and is known as one of the easiest hundred mile races in the country.The Lean Horse 100 is considered to be one of the best first time ultra’s in the country because of the great running surface and gentle elevation changes. There are many things that have changed at the Lean Horse 100 over the years. But one thing that does not change is the "small town" feel of the race. The crew at Lean Horse wants to make sure that your ultra is the race that you will never forget. For more than ten years, the Lean Horse 100 has inspired runners of all abilities and from all walks of life, from all over the country and world to come to South Dakota to test themselves over the 30K, 50k, 50 mile, 100 mile, and 5 Person Relay distances.

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What's included

All of the events will begin at the Custer High School Track and Field complex located behind Custer Regional Hospital. Driving directions to the track from the center of Custer are as following:Head North on N. 5th Street 0.25 of a mile until you come to Montgomery Street, the Custer Elementary School is located on the Northeast side of the intersection.Turn East onto Montgomery Street and travel 0.40 of a mile to N. 10th Street, Custer Regional Hospital is located on the Northeast side of the intersection.Turn North onto N. 10th Street and travel 0.15 of a mile to Grunewaldt Drive, you will see the track complex in front of you. Please park in the parking lot located to the West of the track complex.The new course has been simplified tremendously for everyone participating (runners and crews). Crews will have more opportunities to aid and cheer on their runners on the trail while taking in the breath taking views of the Black Hills.Runners will begin and end on the track at the West end of the stadium.  At the start you will complete 3/4 of a lap on the track and then exit the track on the back stretch through a gate.  After exiting the track you will turn left into the parking lot running 0.06 of a mile to a path that leads to the Mickelson Trail.Once on the Mickelson Trail you will head North along the trail. There is a short section of pavement on the trail leaving Custer. (You will be traveling along the marathon and 1/2 marathon courses for one of our sister races named the Run Crazy Horse Marathon, that takes place on the first Sunday in October).You will have a steady climb until you reach the Mountain Aid Station. In this section you will be away from everything, running through one of my favorite sections of the trail. It is a beautiful mountain valley that you will climb. At the Mountain Aid Station there is a restroom.After you leave the Mountain Aid Station the climb flattens out, but continues until you reach the entry of Crazy Horse Monument. There is about a 1.5 mile section of the course where you will have a great view of the Crazy Horse Monument on your right. After passing through a tunnel under the entry for the monument, you will have a gradual descent to Hill City. You will then reach the Orville Aid Station. This aid station is the first Drop Bag location.You will continue the descent to Hill City. Once you reach Hill City, you will again run on a stretch of pavement through town, the trail turns onto a sidewalk.  We use the  trailhead as the Hill City Aid Station, it is located one block off of the trail. This aid station has a restroom with running water. Once the 50K runners leave the Hill City Aid Station you will travel North 0.50 miles to the 50K Turn Around. On the return trip you will skip the Hill City Aid Station and continue to Custer for the finish.Once you leave the Hill City Aid Station you will follow the trail along the 1880 Train Station for about 0.60 miles where you will have to cross Highway 16/385.  This is a busy intersection. We will have volunteers located there to help you cross the intersection safely during the day time. You will return to the gravel trail at this point and begin to climb again on your way to the High Country Aid Station. The High Country Aid Station is located just outside out the High Country Guest Ranch.You will continue the climb leaving High Country Aid Station but it will flatten out about halfway to Horse Creek Aid Station. You will be leaving the view of highways as the trail meanders through a mountain valley were you will begin to see more mountain streams and ponds, which all help to keep the air temperature cooler. At the Horse Creek Aid Station we will have a Port-a-Pot. This will be the second Drop Bag location. All 50 Mile runners will progress through the aid station for 0.10 of a mile to the 50 Mile Turn Around then begin your return trip to Custer.Now you will be running in my favorite part of the course. The trail will head down hill until you reach the Mystic Aid Station. You will travel through two former railroad tunnels, pass by several old mining camps/sights and see the true beauty of the Black Hills. The Mystic Aid Station does have a restroom and again is a trailhead.Leaving Mystic Aid Station you will follow Castle Creek for several miles. The trail will stay flat to slightly up, but again the beauty of the area will help to take your focus off of the trail. You will travel through the third tunnel on your journey and will see several small waterfalls in Castle Creek along the trail as you approach the Gimlet Aid Station. This aid station is located at the intersection of Mystic Road and Rochford Road.The gradual climb will continue to the Rochford Aid Station. The trail will follow near Rochford Road for most of this section and will cross several roads, so please be careful for crossing traffic. The aid station will be located at the trailhead just before the town of Rochford. You will need to turn off of the trail to enter the aid station. (Signs will be posted). There is a restroom at this aid station and it’s the third Drop Bag Location. (At this point, you will again be on a section of a sister race course, the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon. The sister marathon starts in the town of Rochford and then finishes in Deadwood. The marathon takes place on the first Sunday in June.)Following the next section of the course you will again leave the road side and work your way along a mountain valley with Rapid Creek running along the trail. And yes, the course still has a gentle climb through this section. You will pass through the last tunnel on the course in the middle of this section. There is a restroom located in this section at the Montana Mine sight (an information sign marks the location). The restroom is set just East of the trail near the dam. At this point the valley opens up on your approach to the Nahant Aid Station.The course will again follow the highway through the open valley to the DMTM Exchange Aid Station. The trail still climbs at this point, reaching the highest point of the course just short of the aid station. We will have a Port-A-Pot there along with the fourth Drop Bag location. The Turn Around for the 100 Mile course is located 0.70 of a mile past the DMTM Exchange Aid Station.You are now on your way back to Custer. We hope that you enjoy the return trip to the finish.We will follow the same course and instructions as provided above.

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The Mickelson Trail offers over 100 miles of South Dakota’s Hall of Fame rails-to-trails project. The Mickelson Trail was originally the Burlington Northern rail line that took trains from Edgemont, SD to the northern Black Hills and the gold mines of the Deadwood area. The trail transverses the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. The surface is primarily crushed limestone and gravel, so you will have a consistent running surface throughout the event. The trail is routinely groomed and maintained through out the year by a very dedicated staff who work for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. With the Mickelson Trail being a former railroad bed, the climbs along the course are gentle but can last for a few miles. For more detailed information regarding the Geoge S. Mickelson Trail please click here, Trail Info, to see a detailed description of every mile of the trail.

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16 August 2019


Location:

Custer, Custer, South Dakota, Custer, SD, USA
View map

Organiser:

Royce Wuertzer

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