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Jade Belzberg Wednesday, 23 April 2014 07:56 TWEET COMMENTS 214

10 Quirky Summer Trail Races (+ Win NATHAN pack!) - Page 4

4. Try Running a Grand Slam

The Midwest Grand Slam, now in its second year, is an undertaking modeled after the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (which includes Western States, Vermont, Leadville and Wasatch 100-mile races). Complete four of five of the Midwest’s showcase 100-mile races in the same year, and you’ve got yourself a handmade stone trophy. Unlike the original Grand Slam, the Midwest Grand Slam races are easy to get into (no lotteries). Many also feature lower entry fees, free camping and, of course, geographic proximity to one another--all of which the Midwest Slam website suggests are "not insignificant in 'selling' your adventure to your significant other."

Last year, a hardy 28 runners completed the Slam. The following three are also all part of the 2014 Trail Runner Trophy Series.

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Starting line of the Mohican 100. Photo courtesy of Ryan O'Dell.

Following the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Kettle Moraine-100 weaves runners through prairies, marshes and pine forests in two different out-and-back portions. Rolling hills offer nearly 9,000 feet of elevation gain and loss by the end of the 100 miles.

 

Established more than 25 years ago, making it reportedly the fifth-oldest ultra race, the Mohican 100 course sprawls across Ohio’s oak-studded Mohican-Memorial National Forest. Running almost entirely on trail, racers should expect any kind of weather and temperature–the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather, hang around for a minute,”–however, most of the course is shaded by dense forest. Also of note, the race is a qualifier for Europe’s Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc.

 

This “groovy” race is the last of the Midwest GrandSlam’s 100-mile races. Check out the ‘Why Run Woodstock’ essay on the website (writes The Head Goat, “Put on the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album, Deja Vu and if it makes you smile, you will def­i­nitely want to join us at Run Woodstock”), but needless to say, this race is far-out.



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