Latest reviews by scott snell

(2018)
"2018 Twisted Branch 100k"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I ran the 2018 Twisted Branch 100k as a replacement race for the Eastern States 100 miler which was cancelled this year. As disappointing as that was, the good to come from the situation was that I discovered a new trail race that I may have never run otherwise. And what a great trail race it was! TB 100k has pretty much everything that I look for in a trail race: great organization, beautiful scenery along the course, well stocked aid stations, awesome volunteers, an encouraging community, and terrain that won't let you become bored. While it is primarily trail, the course does have some short intermittent road sections that connect the trail sections. It's a point to point race so that adds a bit more to the logistics for the runners and spectators, but the race organizers did a great job of providing shuttles and maps of checkpoints. While the course was not easy, I would also say the terrain was not the most challenging I've run either. It may be a tough first 100k for beginning trail runners, but by no means would I discourage any first time 100k runners from making this their first go at the distance.

Here's the link to my full race report: https://scottcsnell.blogspot.com/2018/09/2018-twisted-branch-100k.html

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(2018)
"Fat Sass Switchback Challenge 6 Hour Event"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This was the inaugural year of the Fat Sass Switchback Challenge. The race offered runners 5k, 3 hour, or 6 hour event options. It was managed as a "fat ass" style event, which typically means no entry fee, no swag, and no support. However, in place of an entry fee the race organizers asked that runners donate to a local charity. They also provided water so there was some aid there. Additionally, a community aid station was designated for runners to contribute to which turned out to be pretty well stocked with most of the standard ultra fare.

I want to address some of the average to lower scores I gave for the event. For T-shirts/swag the score really wasn't applicable as it was a no frills, "fat ass" style event, but the race organizers did have a swag for individual purchase table set up. What was there was cool, but not included with the entry fee of $0. Aid stations, same story again. It wasn't expected to be provided by the organizers in this format, but the the community aid station donated by runners was pretty dang well stocked. Scenery: it was a pretty area following some nice trails, but seeing the same slightly longer than one mile loop for 27 miles over the course of six hours gets a bit old. I likely would have rated it higher if I had run the 5k option. The parking in the actual park was pretty limited, but the lot just across the street had plenty spots.

Read my full race report at: https://scottcsnell.blogspot.com/2018/08/2018-fat-sass-switchback-challenge-six.html

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(2018)
"Two Years, Two Buckles"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Worlds End Ultramarathon is an extremely well organized event that showcases some of the best of what the PA Wilds have to offer. If you're traveling and need overnight accommodations, I recommend camping at Worlds End State Park. It is a short drive from the campgrounds to the start finish area of the race. Just be sure to reserve far in advance as the sites fill up quickly with runners.

The trails that this race uses are rugged, technical, and not for beginning trail runners in my opinion. With the 19 hour cutoff that the race officials enforce, if you don't make decent time throughout the day you may get pulled from the course. If you're just getting into trail running, I'd suggest giving the 50k a try before going all in for the 100k distance. As brutal as the trails are, they will take you to some of the most beautiful vistas at the top of the climbs (of which there are many) and past many scenic creeks and small falls.

After two consecutive years of running the 100k distance, I have no complaints about this race and highly recommend it to any trail runners looking for a challenging and beautiful single loop course.

Read my full race report at http://scottcsnell.blogspot.com/2018/07/2018-worlds-end-100k.html

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(2018)
"Then and Now"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Since I knew I had very little room for improvement, I figured my best chance to better my time would be to simply push myself closer to that proverbial red line for as long as I could. Considering I felt like I was pushing that way for the most part the race last year other than the early big climbs, that seemed like a good place to start. So that was my plan, attack the climbs from the start and hammer the downhills harder than last year. The plan started off working well. I cranked out a good pace on the short paved section (a little over a mile) of the course from the start to the trailhead. Then I hit the first climb, Humble Hill, a gain of roughly 1300 feet over the course of a little under two miles. I pushed myself hard for this first climb, a stark difference from last year where I tried to reserve my legs during this first climb for the next four big climbs that I knew lay ahead over the remainder of the 50k course. After the climb, I hammered the downhill trying not to even consider the possibility of blowing my quads out.

Read my full race report at https://scottcsnell.blogspot.com/2018/06/2018-hyner-view-trail-challenge-50k.html

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(2018)
"Then and Now"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Since I knew I had very little room for improvement, I figured my best chance to better my time would be to simply push myself closer to that proverbial red line for as long as I could. Considering I felt like I was pushing that way for the most part the race last year other than the early big climbs, that seemed like a good place to start. So that was my plan, attack the climbs from the start and hammer the downhills harder than last year. The plan started off working well. I cranked out a good pace on the short paved section (a little over a mile) of the course from the start to the trailhead. Then I hit the first climb, Humble Hill, a gain of roughly 1300 feet over the course of a little under two miles. I pushed myself hard for this first climb, a stark difference from last year where I tried to reserve my legs during this first climb for the next four big climbs that I knew lay ahead over the remainder of the 50k course. After the climb, I hammered the downhill trying not to even consider the possibility of blowing my quads out.

Read my full race report at https://scottcsnell.blogspot.com/2018/06/2018-hyner-view-trail-challenge-50k.html

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