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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just over 2 weeks out. Mid season back injury put me off track as far as fitness is concerned but I'm not all that far from where I want to be. Think I've got a handle on my nutrition strategy & pacing. My bike is pretty well sorted, I'm on a carbon Farley set up 29+ with a Rockshox RS1 up front. I've been running Bontrager XR2 29x3's but have had more puncture flats than I like (including my last ride where I needed to plug an almost brand new one :madman:) so I'm putting some Maxxis Chronicles on this weekend. No, it's not a particularly light bike but it's super comfortable & I'm really only racing myself. Goal time is sub 10 but I'm bringing lights in case things go sideways.

Who else is in? Any tips or course info to share? I've read every race report I can find & am studying the maps but the more info, the better!
 

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I'm in. My 4th time. Conditions are everything at SM. 2017 and 2018 were soggy messes and things slowed down dramatically.
The thing to know, that you've certainly learned by now, is that the race is essentially six climbs and six descents. The first climb is about 3/4 forest service road, then single track. It is steep and does a good job of stretching out the field. However, unless you are in the first 100 or so, you will likely get hung up in a bit of a conga line not far into the single track. Don't get frustrated -- it's a long day. The second climb will DEFINITELY result in a LONG hike-a-bike conga line... like 25-30 minutes or so. Again, don't get too frustrated. After you get down the second descent (which is MTB Heaven on Earth) things thin out dramatically, though when you pull into AS#2 you may think the world is a clusterf*ck again. From this point, it's all thinned out and you will have a blast. The third climb is forest service road with a luscious single-track down hill. The fourth climb is the most technical but also the shortest. The fifth climb is the big one. Once you leave AS#4 you begin the approach to the Death Climb -- 18 miles of psychological grit test. :) Just keep spinning and keep telling yourself how awesome life is. Pizza at AS#5 is kinda a surprise but sits just right before heading up and through the High Meadows (AKA THe Killing Fields) before heading down the longest descent of the day. The 6th climb is really just a repeat of half of the third, and then you have a chunky descent down to the campground.
The beer after the SM100 is always the best beer you will ever taste.
Enjoy it!!!
:)
See you there!
Matt E.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great description, thank you! No way I’ll be in the top 100 so no doubt I’ll be off the bike & hiking early on. I’ve heard the death climb really isn’t too bad but the 13 meadows or killing fiends afterward can be tough. I have a couple of buddies who do it single speed & they’ve given me some good advice, too. Looking forward to it for sure!
 

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I'm deciding last minute to add this race to my calendar. So I've got some studying up to do in the next two weeks! Will be my first time at this one and I've heard good things about it from others who have done it, so looking forward to it.
 

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After you get down the second descent (which is MTB Heaven on Earth) things thin out dramatically, though when you pull into AS#2 you may think the world is a clusterf*ck again.
That is absolutely the best way to describe it!

Just keep spinning and keep telling yourself how "awesome" life is.
FTFY lol

The beer after the SM100 is always the best beer you will ever taste.
Chris Scott always has the BEST beer. Well, except for that year at W101 but they've since found the loophole!
 

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Bit of an open question- but for those who have raced SM100 in the past- can someone ride this if they're in solid 50 mile race shape? I'm a Cat 1 but have been racing 4-6 hour XC races this season and have been placing well. Would SM100 be a disaster at this fitness level?
 

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Bit of an open question- but for those who have raced SM100 in the past- can someone ride this if they're in solid 50 mile race shape? I'm a Cat 1 but have been racing 4-6 hour XC races this season and have been placing well. Would SM100 be a disaster at this fitness level?
If you have a nutrition plan that you are confident you can extend, I bet you'd be OK, but I can guarantee you're going to hate yourself going up the 4th (of 6) climb and then when you get back down to AS#4 have to make the big decision that MANY people struggle with. "Can I go on?" Conditions are a big factor in this race and can dramatically impact your mood/willingness/conviction/confidence.
I've done lots of 100K MTB races, and the NUE 100 milers are WAY harder. There is a BIG difference in the muscular endurance demands. And again, the hardest part is convincing yourself that you're going to be OK and pressing on.
 

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If you have a nutrition plan that you are confident you can extend, I bet you'd be OK, but I can guarantee you're going to hate yourself going up the 4th (of 6) climb and then when you get back down to AS#4 have to make the big decision that MANY people struggle with. "Can I go on?" Conditions are a big factor in this race and can dramatically impact your mood/willingness/conviction/confidence.
I've done lots of 100K MTB races, and the NUE 100 milers are WAY harder. There is a BIG difference in the muscular endurance demands. And again, the hardest part is convincing yourself that you're going to be OK and pressing on.
Thanks MegaMustang, so it sounds like it'll be a world of suffering but should be doable?

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Thanks MegaMustang, so it sounds like it'll be a world of suffering but should be doable?
If you've got the mental strength, then yes, it's doable! If you've been managing to compete in 6-hour XC races then you are familiar with at least some level of suffering. You can do it, if you think you can. (Saying this as someone who hasn't done this race before but will be, so take that for what it's worth.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I haven't done a 100 miler since 2015 (Hampshire 100) & I dropped out of that at about 70 miles on my singlespeed. I just wanted no part of the last lap & I had been fighting a flat since mile 3. I'm still kicking myself for dropping out of that race having finished it in 2014. A week later was D2R2 which is a killer 100+ mile gravel ride with around 13k of climbing. I was shot after that! Didn't ride for a couple of weeks.

I've done a 6hr race this year & plenty of 6+ hour rides to try to dial in effort/pacing & nutrition.I was incapacitated at the end of June due to nerve pain from a blown L5/S1 disc but I should be good to go although I haven't done near enough climbing. I'm going to suffer. I'm going to suffer hard & hit that dark place, no doubt but I know that going in & I know that barring injury, I can finish this. Not having ridden the course, I'm hoping for 10 hours but maybe 11 is more realistic, we'll see. I'm bringing lights to drop at aid 5 though, just in case.
 

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I think this year the choice will be even tougher than usual this year when you get to the intersection right after (unofficial AS 4.5) where the 100K folks will be taking a right and the 100M folks turn left toward the death climb...
 

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I haven't done a 100 miler since 2015 (Hampshire 100) & I dropped out of that at about 70 miles on my singlespeed. I just wanted no part of the last lap & I had been fighting a flat since mile 3. I'm still kicking myself for dropping out of that race having finished it in 2014. A week later was D2R2 which is a killer 100+ mile gravel ride with around 13k of climbing. I was shot after that! Didn't ride for a couple of weeks.

I've done a 6hr race this year & plenty of 6+ hour rides to try to dial in effort/pacing & nutrition.I was incapacitated at the end of June due to nerve pain from a blown L5/S1 disc but I should be good to go although I haven't done near enough climbing. I'm going to suffer. I'm going to suffer hard & hit that dark place, no doubt but I know that going in & I know that barring injury, I can finish this. Not having ridden the course, I'm hoping for 10 hours but maybe 11 is more realistic, we'll see. I'm bringing lights to drop at aid 5 though, just in case.
My 2015 Hampshire 100 on a SS. https://www.strava.com/activities/371052238
My first SM100 in 2017, also SS and just over 10hrs. https://www.strava.com/activities/1169465932

That should give you some data points to work from. I was more fit in 2017 than in 2015 (my first child was born the summer of 2014 and I wasn't riding much in 2015 as a result. IIRC, I turned the season odometer over to the 700's during H100 in 2015). I'm ~170lbs with a 2017 FTP of 260'ish. In 2015 it was probably another 50w lower.
 

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My 2015 Hampshire 100 on a SS. https://www.strava.com/activities/371052238
My first SM100 in 2017, also SS and just over 10hrs. https://www.strava.com/activities/1169465932

That should give you some data points to work from. I was more fit in 2017 than in 2015 (my first child was born the summer of 2014 and I wasn't riding much in 2015 as a result. IIRC, I turned the season odometer over to the 700's during H100 in 2015). I'm ~170lbs with a 2017 FTP of 260'ish. In 2015 it was probably another 50w lower.
What was your ss gearing for the two races?

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This will be my 8th SM100 in a row. Still chasing sub 8.5 hour time but my training hasn't been as good this year so I doubting it will be the year. But the weather is looking good and can make a world of difference.

When people ask if they can to the SM100 I always tell them that they can as long as they really want it. The time cut offs for the race are fairly easy since they want everyone to finish. Just remember ALWAYS keep moving forward! Doesn't matter if your walking, coasting or spinning just keep getting closer to the finish line. Most people that don't make the cut offs talk about sitting at aid stations for 30mins, get in and out with what you need.

As far as the course don't think to much about the death climb its not that bad and even has a downhills in it. 2nd climb is a hike a bike but really isn't that long.
 

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How efficient are the aid stations with drop bags, specifically aid 2? I will be using primarily drink mix for nutrition. I am considering carrying what I need with me to mix bottles until Aid 5 where I will have a drop bag, vs leaving a drop bag at Aid 2. I anticipate a roughly 11.5 hour finish time. Thanks!
 

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SM100 has some of the best Aid stations of any race I have ever done! With that said aid 2 can be very chaotic because it's not that far into the race and you come off a road section so you are usually in packs of riders. Typically they have all the drop bags out by number and all you have to do is say you have one and they will go find it for you. Advantage of using aid 2 is it is also aid 6 so you have two chances to get things out of drop bags.

I don't use drop bags anymore but the first few goes at it I would drop at aid 4 since it seems about midway when I need supplies and then drop lights at 5 before I knew I was fast enough to not need them. These days I just start with some shot bloks and grab whatever looks good at the aid stations for nutrition.
 
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