The start/finish line is located at the Camp Lapihio Headquarters. Each loop begins and ends at the south door of the headquarters building.
The course is essentially a 12.5-mile lap in Umstead Park that you repeat eight times to reach 100 miles.
You go counter-clockwise around the course:
- You start at Race Headquarters and run the first part of the Headquarters Spur.
- Then make a right turn and run out the Airport Spur.
- You turn around and run back the Airport Spur.
- Then you run the remainder of the Headquarters Spur, which leads to the large loop.
- You then run around the loop and finish the lap by returning to Race Headquarters via the Headquarters Spur.
We'll have signs at all junctions to help guide you.
The Headquarters Spur (orange) is 1.85 miles long. This spur allows you to see fellow runners up to 5.3 miles behind and in front of you.
The Airport Spur is .75-mile long, and branches off the Headquarters Spur at the 0.6 mile point of each loop. The Airport Spur is run only on the outbound leg of a lap.
The course has been rolled with a calibrated wheel and is USATF certified.
The course is along a running, biking, and horse trail. The trail width varies between 8 and 15 feet and the footing is excellent. There is no single track trail on the course. All creek crossings are on permanent bridges.
The course is an outstanding running surface. However, on the vehicle access road portion of the course leading into Camp Lapihio/Race Headquarters (.4 mile), there is larger crushed gravel that is typical for automotive traffic.
The picture below is a typical part of the gravel trail. While you might be running fast enough to need that SLOW sign, it's really for the mountain bikers who might be coming AT you down the hill at warp speed. Stay alert!
In the picture below you can see that some of the trail has less gravel than other parts. A heavy rain can turn these parts a bit muddy, so be prepared.
Here are more pictures of the course, courtesy of Ben Dillon.
The course is rolling hills with a total of 8,000 feet of climb over the 100 miles (1,000 feet per loop). The entire course is runnable for front-runners with nicely spaced hills. Getting lost, even for a short time, will be difficult (but not impossible). By day the course will be well marked, and at night the course will be marked with colored, Umstead 100 Logo direction signs and glow sticks.
We continue to recommend a light trail type shoe, but a well cushioned, regular running shoe will do fine on this surface. We also recommend gaiters to keep the grit out of your shoes. (Which might help prevent blisters.)
Traffic on the Course
On the majority of the course there is no motor vehicular traffic except the rare official park vehicle. There is .4 mile of the course with very light park traffic that consists primarily of race/crew vehicles. There will probably be some bicycle traffic and a few horses on the trail during the day.