Photo Credit: Randy Ericksen Register The Black Hills 100 Ultra Marathon , held on the Centennial #89 Trail in the Black Hills of South Dakota, features 4 distances: 100 Mile, 50 Mile, 50 Kilometer and 30 Kilometer

RACE OVERVIEW

The Black Hills 100 is a challenging ultramarathon held on the Centennial Trail (Trail #89) in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota. Featuring over 16,000 feet of elevation gain for the 100M event, the race follows an out and back course, beginning and ending in legendary Sturgis, SD. What the Black Hills lack in altitude, they make up for in relentless hills that offer a unique challenge compared to other western ultras.

Course Overview

  • Surface: Dirt, rocks, single-track trail, double-track ATV trail, as little pavement as possible.
  • Course: Centennial Trail (Trail #89) and Deerfield Trail (Trail #40)
  • Elevation Profile: Up. Then down. Then up again. Repeat.
  • Host Town: Sturgis, South Dakota
  • Average Late June Weather: High of 79 degrees, low of 53 degrees, chance of afternoon thunderstorms.

Fun Facts

  • The Centennial Trail was created in 1989 in recognition of South Dakota’s centennial, hence the trail’s name and number. Originally a mixture of single-track trail and old logging roads, over the past 30 years the trail has been rerouted numerous times to create a mostly single-track route. At 111+ miles, it is the longest trail in South Dakota.
  • The top three men and women in the 100 mile race receive a hand painted buffalo skull designed by a local Native American artist. Runners can also earn the special Man/Woman in Black skull by completing each of the four distances we offer (30K, 50K, 50M and 100M). The buffalo skull is also the symbol that appears on Centennial Trail markers and is the inspiration for our race logo.
  • Sturgis, our host town, is home of the world-famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which draws upwards of half a million bikers each August.

Learn about Sturgis, South Dakota

RACE OVERVIEW

The Black Hills 100 is a challenging ultramarathon held on the Centennial Trail (#89) in the northern Black Hills. Featuring over 16,000 feet of elevation gain for the 100M event, the race follows an out and back course, beginning and ending in legendary Sturgis, SD. What the Black Hills lack in altitude, they make up for in relentlessly rolling hills that offer a unique challenge compared to other western ultras.

Course Overview

  • Surface: Dirt, Rocks, Single track Trail, double track dirt roads, minimal pavement
  • Course: Centennial Trail and Trail 40 (50 & 100 Mile Distance)
  • Elevation Profile: Constant ups and downs
  • Hosting Town: Sturgis, South Dakota
  • Average  Daytime Temperature: High of 79 Degrees.  Low of 53 Degrees

Fun Facts

  • The Centennial #89 trail is named after the 100 Year anniversary (1889-1989) of South Dakota becoming a state.
  • Top 3 100 mile winners receive a hand painted buffalo skull. Additional ways to earn a sacred buffalo skull is to complete all distances offered
  • Sturgis, the host town, is also know for having the most popular Motorcycle Rally on the planet.

Event Media

Reviews

Connect on Instagram

(@blackhills100, #blackhills100, #lblackhills50, #blackhills50k, #bh100)

Connect on Facebook

(event news, resources, and opportunities)

If you’re heading out and about on the Centennial and curious about the creek crossings, they are definitely flowing but in a good refreshing kind of way as opposed to the raging torrent kind of way. Dog approved! ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

The dogs love it! Thanks for the smile.

Who wants to run to the top? ... See MoreSee Less

Who wants to run to the top?

Comment on Facebook

Me! I have some strong words for that top shale section...

I hiked it with the hubs!

Wow, I think Minnesota could use a really long run. Maybe we would feel better.

Weather looks too mild for a BH100 summit

Where is this?

Is this a virtual run?

I'd walk it...but NOT run it!!!

Not me

Bonus hill? 😂🤣

How could you not? 😁

Where's the sign up sheet lol m

Thanks

Sign me up!

Me!

Soon...

Me!

Nope

🙋🏻‍♀️

🙋🏼‍♂️

😍😍😍

👍

Shit that was hard. Guess what the frame of this is made from and you win a free entry to next year's race. Any distance. Recycle. ... See MoreSee Less

Shit that was hard. Guess what the frame of this is made from and you win a free entry to next years race. Any distance. Recycle.

Comment on Facebook

Corrugated Steel roofing

A deer antler

The finish arch frame

The totum stand with the race sponsor displays. Which was setup at the start/Finnish.

Looks a lot like one of the cattle water tanks near alkali.

The seat must be encrusted with Black Hills gold, but you are asking about the frame. I believe it is made of cedar boards so that they will last for many pees, I mean, decades.

Chris Stores old still.

The frame looks like 2x4’s. The siding is a different story.

Two doors. One for each side, covered in corrugated metal.

Hmmmm Crooked Tree? No, I'm guessing it's made from a watering tank for the beef:)

Cattle water tank!

Old wooden gun cabinet. That’s one fancy outhouse you got there.

The frame is old telephone/utility poles?

Metal and wood! 2021 - 100 mile - on the house!!!

Looks like wood fence posts or old utility poles?

The roof of ... something : )

Forest service tool cache?

Railroad tracks

Frame made of sign posts?

Our crushed hopes and dreams?

Steel drill pipe

Something in Galena....🤔

Cattle trough.

Square pipe

Beer cans

2011. Our first year. Oh, wait...it’s 2020. This evenings Black Hills weather at 6:30pm. Be glad you are not 40 miles outbound. ... See MoreSee Less

2011. Our first year. Oh, wait...it’s 2020. This evenings Black Hills weather at 6:30pm. Be glad you are not 40 miles outbound.

Comment on Facebook

Wow, seriously thinking about shifting from 50 to 100 so I can experience the carnage in 2021. I just love how storms just pop up in the afternoon in the Hills.

don't know what it is but every year, seems like something! the death heat of 2016, the flooding of 2015, the hail a few years ago... you'll weather the weather whether you like it or not!

I’ll never forget that night at The Nemo Aide station!

If only the race clock had bounced off the track as well as the hail stones did that year...

Year 1 - I remember the near golf ball size hail. Nuts!

Remember that Ryan Kircher? Fun stuff

FINAL RACE STATUS ANNOUNCEMENT
Anyone who is registered or on the waitlist should receive the following message via email:

Okay ladies and gents buckle up because this is gonna be a long ride. We have news. You may not be surprised by it, and you may or may not agree with it, and we’re sure you’ll let us know if you don’t, but here it is: the 2020 Black Hills 100 is officially canceled. We hoped we would never ever have to write those words, but here we are. Back in mid-March when we got our first message asking if the race might be canceled due to Covid-19, it seemed ludicrous to even entertain such thoughts. But, as you all know, the situation evolved very quickly and within a few weeks the possibility of cancellation suddenly seemed very real as more and more races canceled, and as those cancellations got closer and closer to us, both temporally and geographically. We held out as long as we felt we possibly could, and gathered as much information as possible before making a final decision, but given the status of the pandemic in South Dakota, input from our permit holders and local officials, and lingering uncertainty surrounding the entire situation, it became clear that there was only one responsible option.

Since March, we have been in contact with our permit holders (the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the City of Sturgis) and have been closely monitoring the latest guidance coming from the CDC and the State of South Dakota. The virus has spread more slowly in South Dakota than in some other areas of the country, especially in western SD, which is a good thing. But that slower overall spread means that the peak number of infections in western SD isn’t expected to occur until mid to late June, which is bad news for any large gatherings of people that are scheduled for that time period, particularly large gatherings that bring in people from around the country. In our case, we’re looking at bringing in 400+ runners from 37 states and two other countries, plus at least a couple hundred family and friends. In order to meet the conditions of our permits, we would have to adhere to the CDC guidelines for social distancing. This may not be an issue when everyone is out on the trail and fairly spread out. It becomes an issue everywhere that people congregate, whether that’s packet pickup, the start lines, the finish line, the buses to the start lines, or at trailheads/aid stations. Figuring out ways to meet the guidelines at those locations is one thing, enforcing the guidelines is an entirely different thing, and doing all of that while preserving the communal nature of the event that we’ve worked hard to grow over the years is damn near impossible.

To be specific, the CDC has considerations and guidelines for events. This is not a comprehensive list, but these are the ones that directly apply to us, copied and pasted directly from the CDC website:

• Larger gatherings (for example, more than 250 people) offer more opportunities for person-to-person contact and therefore pose greater risk of COVID-19 transmission.
• Cancel community-wide mass gatherings (for example, >250 people; the cutoff threshold is at the discretion of community leadership based on the current circumstances the community is facing and the nature of the event) or move to smaller groupings.
• The level of transmission in your local community and the level of transmission in the areas from which your attendees will travel. To better understand the level of community transmission in your community (and in the communities from which your attendees will be traveling), consult with your local and/or state public health department.

As we said, there are potential ways to somewhat mitigate large groupings of people, but the third one is the kicker. We have no way of knowing what the situation will look like locally in a month. Pennington County, right next door to Sturgis, just doubled their cases in the past week. Even more problematic is that we have no way of controlling who comes to the race from out of the area or knowing what the situation is in the areas they are coming from. Case in point, today we received word that the Camaro Rally, which is held in Sturgis the same weekend as our race, has been canceled by the city for the same reasons described above.

Safety of our runners and volunteers is our number one priority, and we refuse to put that at risk. We also refuse to put the future of the event itself at risk should we plow forward and run afoul of one of our permit holders or, even worse, end up being responsible for getting people sick. And regardless of all that, even if we did announce today that we are proceeding with the race, there remains a very real chance that circumstances could change in the next month, forcing us to cancel right before the event. The uncertainty is just too high to take that chance.

Some of you will disagree that there is a risk at all, and that’s fine. That’s your opinion, and you are welcome to it. But, to be perfectly blunt, it’s not your ass on the line. We recognize that each individual has the power to decide what they are comfortable with from a safety standpoint. Trail and ultra runners are obviously willing to take on more risk than the average human. But as race directors we don’t have the luxury of focusing on ourselves. By far the most stressful part of being a race director is that you’re responsible for EVERYONE in the event. Trust us, it leads to sleepless nights under normal conditions, much less now.

So, this news is sure to generate a few questions. As runners ourselves, we can guess what some of them are, because we’d have the same ones. In the interest of lessening the deluge of emails we’re sure to get, we’ll tackle a few of them pre-emptively.

Why cancel instead of postpone? The simple answer is another question: postpone to when? When is “safe”? August? September? Later? Back in March we thought late June was “safe”. There’s just so much uncertainty. Besides that, we scheduled the BH100 when we did for several reasons, including trying to work around other local races, not to mention our own personal schedules. Another factor is that there could potentially be a LOT of races taking place this fall that were postponed from the spring/summer, so how would we wedge ours into that matrix?

Can I get a refund? No. Why? We have been planning for the race to occur in June, as scheduled, because that’s what we committed to doing long before anyone had heard of Covid-19. Funds have been spent on permits, supplies, awards, etc. When you registered for the event, you agreed to a waiver acknowledging that refunds are not offered (we know, nobody actually reads those things, but it’s in there). However, that doesn’t mean your entry fees won’t get you anything. Everyone who registered for the 2020 event will automatically have 100% of their entry rolled over to 2021. Going back to previous question, we are essentially postponing the race a full year. These rollovers are essentially 100% off coupons for next year’s race that will automatically be added to your Ultrasignup account. Registration for 2021 will open on June 29, 2020 (we can’t open 2021 registration until after this year’s scheduled date). You will have from that day until August 31, 2020 to use your rollover. We are putting a deadline on rollovers because, especially for the 100M, which had nearly reached its capacity of 150 runners, it’s not fair to everyone else to have 130 rolled over entries occupying slots if only half of them actually plan on running in 2021. If you cannot come in 2021, you can contact us, and we will bump your rollover to 2022. The point is, you will have the opportunity to use the entry you paid for. We’re not gonna take your money and escape to some hacienda on the Mexican Riviera, although that seems like a pretty damned good idea right now. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not send us an email asking for a refund. You will be wasting your time because it’s highly unlikely you will get a response.

What if I put my name on the waitlist during the pause in registration? You will not be charged. As stated above, any rolled over entries will have until August 31st to use their rollovers. After that, we will send invites to anyone on the waitlist, and you will have the option of accepting that invite and being registered for 2021, or you can just decline the invite if you’ve decided by then that you don’t want to run. Registration for the general public will open on October 1st, so you’ll have a month-long window to accept or decline your invite before we open registration to everyone. You can still accept the invite after October 1st, but if you wait too long and a distance fills before you accept the invite, you’re shit outta luck….and back on the waitlist. An invite does not guarantee you a spot, it just gives you an opportunity for a spot before general registration opens. If you decline your invite, you can always come back later and register the “normal” way (again, assuming we have spots left in your distance of choice).

Will there be a virtual option? No. The whole point of our event is to bring people together to enjoy the Black Hills and the Centennial trail and to have a few beers in the city park afterward while you tell war stories about the mountain lion you thought you saw at 2 AM that was probably just a squirrel or deer or Mr. Mittens the house cat.

Can I still run the course or portions of the course? Maybe. Your comfort level with traveling to and running in the Hills on your own or in small groups is entirely up to you. South Dakota itself is not closed. But keep in mind that, depending on how the infection rate progresses, some local closures of recreation sites or businesses could be implemented. If you come to the Black Hills, be sure to stay up to date on the local closures before traveling. For the most part, the Centennial and Deerfield trails are permanently marked with official trail markers and with some buffalo skull markings from the race that remain up year-round. We always add some supplemental markings at intersections and other problem areas in the week or two before the race, which will not happen this year, so if you head out there, be sure you know exactly where you’re heading. If you do access the trail, please be sure you respect any closures and follow safety guidelines. Be smart, stay safe, don’t get lost.

As most of you are aware, this was supposed to be our 10th anniversary. Hard to believe we survived for one year, much less made it an entire decade. When we started this thing, we really didn’t have a damn clue what we were doing and in some ways we still don’t. If we had a buck for every time we’ve looked at each other and said, “Well, how’d we do it last year?” we’d be able to retire from both race directing and our real jobs. But we have also learned a lot over the years, and we’ve been able to introduce a lot of people to the Black Hills and have introduced a whole bunch of Black Hills locals to trail and ultra running. Above all, that was our goal from the beginning. Come hell or high water, we WILL have a 10th anniversary race, it’s just not gonna happen when we thought it was. Maybe that will make it that much sweeter when it does. You know, delayed gratification or some shit like that.

Okay, this message has gone on long enough. Sorry, but we’ve probably spent an unhealthy amount of time thinking about this, and maybe this is just our way of venting. We’ve put a shit ton of hard work, sleepless nights, and mental stress into this thing over the past 10 years. Ironically, maybe even more so over the last two months, in a year when the race won’t even happen. Of all the reasons we could have imagined for having to cancel the race (wildfire, weather, zombie apocalypse), a pandemic was definitely not on our radar. Regardless, we’re not gonna let this get us down for too long. We will be back (you have to imagine that being said in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice to get the full effect). A sincere THANK YOU to all of you who have run with us, and volunteered with us, and celebrated with us over the years. We may be the pretty faces that organize this race, but you all are the ones that make it happen. Without all of you, we’d just be two jackasses standing in a park, drinking beer, and probably getting run off by the cops. Stay healthy, stay safe, and we hope to see you next year.

Now, go crack open a cold one.

Chris and Ryan
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

I know it was a tough decision but I believe the right decision. We will have a great 10 year anniversary race next year! Thanks for all the hard work and effort you put into making this race so awesome!! ❤️❤️❤️

Great communication here guys. Thanks so much for all of the hard work. Take care of yourselves and please, let the community know, and let me know, if you need anything.

I was Gnarly Bandit series director for a few years and I know you two, and this race, are an absolute class act. Thank you for the terrific communication and for doing the right thing, even when it hurts. Hope to see you all on the other side of this.

I’m so sorry. You have done everything you can to hope to hold the race. I agree with your decision and support it 100%. We will be back racing again next year. Thank you for all that you do.

One question I did not see addressed in your very thorough post. For the rollover, how does that work if we were planning to do a different/longer distance in 2021? Can we apply the refund for the 50 miler to the 100 for example? Thx

Just glad I won’t get stopped at Elk Creek in 2020

Tough decision but the writing is on the wall for most of 2020. Love your race and will make 2021 that much sweeter! Thanks for all you do....always more than most even have a clue when it comes to behind the scenes. Enjoy your cold one!!

Thank you for this letter, for making a hard decision and for all that you do and have done to make this such a great race. Hoping to see you in 2021!

I'm sorry for the toll it takes on you as RDs to have to make this call, but thank you for doing the right thing. I'll plan to be seeing you in 2021!

Well said guys. Right decision. My only disagreement is that I swear I saw a mountain lion that second year in the middle of the night! Right John Duda? Or was it the first year before the rain storm? Either way it wasn’t Mr Mittens we saw! Ha ha! Take care guys. Keep up the great work. Relentless forward progress. Onward. We will come out of this stronger.

Totally understood. I know we’re all disappointed, but I’m sure it was the right decision. Can’t wait to see you guys next summer! 🤟🏽🍻

There are so many great and supportive posts! I believe this to be the premier race in South Dakota. Looking forward to 2021.

You guys are top flight. Well done. I look forward to attempt #3 in ‘21/‘22 or whenever. Lord willing, regardless of the creeks rising! Thanks again for your hard efforts this year.

We understand. We hoped it wouldn't go down this way but we are not in control. All we can do is stay healthy and cheer for 2021!

I'm sorry you had to cancel. But thank you for making the safe decision for your racers and the surrounding community.

Tough call but definitely the right thing to do! You will never make everyone happy but many will stick by you through this decision!

As I read this I am stretching my hamstring that I tore at mile 10 of BH50 last year. Good times. Sorry to hear the race is cancelled this year. I’ll be back....

Good call even if it’s the hard one. Thanks for protecting us from ourselves and 🍻 to looking forward to 21!

Great communication and a hard decision to be sure. It's the right thing to do - we'll see you next year.

Seeya next year. Thanks so much for sweet coupon. Honestly, that's pretty generous and I'm grateful for that offer. Cheers.

Mr Mittens can be quite scary.

Class act guys! Thank you for keep our community safe. Stay safe yourself ❤️

Thank you for all you have done for this year. Looking forward to 2021 for my first ultra.

Thank u for all your hard work. Cheers to next year!🍻

Ridiculous

Load more

Our Awesome Sponsors!