This weekend, close to 200 runners will take on the very first edition of the Eastern States 100, held in central Pennsylvania. Just as the famous Western States 100 travels across quintessential western terrain—snowy ridges, dusty canyons, and smooth trails—the Eastern States 100 looks like it will provide a pretty thorough representation of East Coast trail running, including, according to the race directors, “miles of hills, rocky hollows, diverse forest, and endless views.” About 95 percent of the course is singletrack, and it’s one big loop, starting and finishing at Little Pine State Park.
There’s no such thing as an easy 100-mile race, but even by the standards of ultramarathons, the Eastern States 100 looks tough, which boasts more than 20,000 feet of elevation gain. “Congratulations on qualifying for what may be the most challenging ultramarathon in the east,” warns the medical guide. Despite the difficult terrain and the remote location, the race filled quickly, and it drew runners from 22 states and from as far away as Japan.
Below are a few more photos of what the runners can look forward to (all photos from the Eastern States 100 website). We’re excited to hear how it goes!