Categorized | Primary, Ultra Running Races

Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run

Posted on 12 May 2010

The Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run is a first class event (personal experience) The course provides offers runners a variety of terrain  (roads, single track trails, toe path, great scenery,  and some “nice” hills).   This is definitely not a pancake flat course!   Personally, I participated in this race last year and thoroughly enjoyed the event.

Race summary from race director, Joe Jurczyk.

This year’s Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run starts at 5AM on Saturday, July 31 at Squire;s Castle in Willoughby Hills, Ohio and finishes at 11AM, Sunday, August 1 in Downtown Cuyahoga Falls.  This is the Fourth Annual Burning River 100 and, this year, is the USATF 100 Mile Trail National Championship.  The race web site is located at http://www.burningriver100.org .  The race also has a group page on Facebook.

Being in the middle of the summer, the weather for the Burning River 100 is usually hot and humid.  (Personal note, yes it was steamy!)

How long has the current race director been handling the race, are they endurance sports athletes?  Joe Jurczyk has been the Race Director since the event’s inception.  He has run more than 75 marathons and ultramarathons.  He is also the co-director of the new XTERRA Trail Run Ohio Series, co-director of the Green Jewel 50K, and a co-founder of the ULTRA list on the Internet started in 1995.

He was the race director for the Mohican 100 (1996-2002) and the  founder/race director for the Buckeye Trail 50K and Winter Buckeye Trail 50K (1994 -2003),

What’s the entry fee and what does the athlete get with respect to shirt, medal, food, etc.   Is there unisex sizing for the race shirts?

There are different entry fees depending on the registration date:

$150 if postmarked by December 31, 2009

$175 if postmarked by May 31, 2010

$200 if postmarked by June 30, 2010

$225 thereafter

The fee includes a tech tee (gender-specific), finisher’s medal, pre-race dinner and post-race breakfast.

What makes the race memorable for athletes?   Any recent changes to the course, race, etc.?  The point-to-point course is moderately hilly and is mostly trail with a combination of dirt trail, towpath trail, all-purpose trail (asphalt) and road.  The first ten miles are mostly road and many runners go out too fast, thinking the whole course will be just as flat and fast.

Is there a pre-race/post-race dinner?   What kind of food/ assume pasta?  The pre-race dinner features pasta with a meat or meatless (vegetarian) sauce.

How has the growth been with the race?  The race has grown from 150 runners to an expected 250 runners this year.  (To date, there are 190 registered entrants.)

Where do most of the athlete’s come from for the race (what states)?  While about half of the runners are from Ohio, we also have a large number of runners (10+ each), from Maryland, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Is there an airport close to the venue? The Burning River 100 (start and finish) is approximately 30-45 minutes from Cleveland Hopkins Airport and the Akron Canton Airport.

Are there hotels close to the start? The race is located right across the street from the Cuyahoga Falls Sheraton Inn.  There are also numerous motels within fifteen minutes, located in Akron, Macedonia, and Cuyahoga Falls.

Is there anything in the area to keep the kids busy during the race or do I want to leave them home?  Local attractions for children include the Akron Zoo, Cleveland Zoo, and the Cleveland Children’s Museum.

In terms of logistics is the race a point to point or does the race start and finish in the same area?  If point to point, is there transportation back to the start for athletes?  The race is point-to-point, starting in Willoughby Hills and finishing in Cuyahoga Falls. Bus transportation to the start is available for runners for $10.  Crew and family may also drive to the Start but long-term parking is not available at the Start.  Cars left after the race begins will be towed.  There is free parking in Cuyahoga Falls city garages located near the Finish.

Are there an abundance of bathroom facilities or porto-potties at the start/finish and out on the course?  There are restroom facilities (restrooms or porta-potties) located at approximately half of the aid stations.

Are there any specific training idea’s to prepare the athlete for the race, based on the specific course terrain? The course is hilly, but not mountainous.  Runners would be strongly advised to train during warm/hot conditions.

Any traffic issues to be concerned about on the course?  While there are several road crossings during the run, the large crossings are well-marked for runners and traffic and several have volunteers to assist at the crossings.

Any advice for a first timer?  The best advice for a first-timer is not to go out too fast.  The first part of the race is unusually flat and the temperatures are often cool.  The course will not remain flat and the weather will likely not remain as mild for the rest of the race.

Aid stations, how many on the course, what are the specific items/products at the aid stations?  There will be 22 aid stations this year.  While each station will have much of the same food, many volunteers will bring their own special treats (bakery, sandwiches, etc.) and some later stations will have special cuisine as well.   For drinks, all aid stations will all have water, Gatorade, and Heed.

Is the course clearly marked, what is used?  The course is clearly marked with lime and ribbons.

While there is no pre-race meeting this year, registration and check-in will be available Friday, July 30 at the Natatorium in Cuyahoga Falls.  The pre-race dinner will also be served there from 3PM until 7PM.

Budget Items for summary of costs:

Race entry Fee: ($150-$225) + $10 bus transportation to Start

Hotel: $75-$200/night)

Are there grocery stores close by, if so how far from the start of the race?  There are grocery stores located within 5 minutes of the Start and Finish  of the race.

Will there be water and or coffee at the start of the race?  There will be water and Gatorade at the Start.

Is there cell phone coverage in the area? There is cell reception throughout the race but coverage is not available at all locations for all providers.

Is there a race photographer on the course? There is no official race photographer for the event, but literally hundreds of pictures will be taken and  available on the race web site after the race from various volunteers, crew members and race officials.

Why should an athlete consider this race?  The Burning River 100 features a unique point-to-point course which features three great park systems: the Cleveland Metroparks, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the MetroParks Serving Summit County.  Runners will be treated to a variety of sites throughout the race including Squire’s Castle, the Station Rd. Bridge and Train Station, Brandywine Falls, Boston Store, Kendal Hills and the Everett Covered Bridge.  The race features a great course, great scenery and great volunteers!!!

Joe is an experienced race director and athlete and it was clearly evident with my first experience at the race last year.   Yes, I will be back for sure this year.  Consider adding this race to your schedule!

2 Responses to “Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run”

  1. Wayne Kurtz says:

    I agree, 100 mile runs provide life long memories!

  2. HurtfulTruth says:

    To run 100 miles is incredible!

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