Chief Blackfish of the Shawnee gave Daniel Boone the nickname "Sheltowee". The name meant "Big Turtle" presumably because of Boone's tendency to hike long distances wearing a backpack. Today the Daniel Boone National Forest cuts across central and eastern Kentucky like a green carpet, and the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail is the backbone of that forest stretching 323 miles from Tennessee to Morehead, Kentucky.
Next Opportunity is now giving you the chance to take a once in a lifetime journey along the Sheltowee Trace with the War Hammer 100 Mile Endurance Run. The War Hammer 100 starts at the Natural Bridge State Park in the beautifully lush Red River Gorge and travels south to Wildcat Mountain - site of the Civil War Battle and the gateway to the Cumberland Plateau in Laurel County.
100 miles across Kentucky. One way. One weekend. It will feel like battle against yourself, against your fellow runners, and against the environment. Only those with the will to persist will reach the finish line at Wildcat Mountain.
start time & time limits
Start Time: 6:00am EST, Saturday, June 8, 2019
Cut Off: 4:00pm EST Sunday, June 9, 2019
friday evening dinner, packet pickup, and meeting
There will be two opportunities to pick up your race packet on Friday evening. Packet pickup will be available at the start line in Red River Gorge and at the finish line area in East Bernstadt, Kentucky at Wildcat Adventures Off Road Park. The Red River Gorge packet pickup will also include a dinner and pre-race meeting. Meal tickets for the Red River Gorge packet pickup can be pre-purchased for $10 via Ultrasignup at the link below.
Wildcat Adventures (Packet Pickup Only)
Date: Friday, June 7, 2019
Time: 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Location: Wildcat Adventures Off Road Park, East Bernstadt, Kentucky
Red River Gorge (Packet Pickup, Meeting, & Dinner)
Date: Friday, June 7, 2019
Location: Natural Bridge State Park
Race Day Packet Pickup and Check In
Date: Saturday, June 8, 2019
Time: 5:00am - 5:50am EST
Location: Natural Bridge State Park, Shelter #2 near the Sky Lift
ALL RUNNERS MUST CHECK IN ON SATURDAY MORNING REGARDLESS OF WHEN YOU PICKED UP YOUR PACKET.
Shuttles and Transportation
A shuttle will be available on Saturday morning to take you from the finish line at Wildcat Adventures Offroad Park to the start line at Natural Bridge State Park in Red River Gorge. Shuttle tickets are $15 per passenger.
Departure Location: Wildcat Adventures Offroad Park, East Bernstadt, KY
Departure Time: 3:30am SHARP! The shuttle will pull out at 3:30am on the dot. If you arrive at 3:31 the bus will be gone. You will arrive at the start line by 5:30am.
Purchasing Your Shuttle Pass: Shuttle passes are $15 per passenger and can be purchased during registration via Ultrasignup. If you have already registered you can still purchase your shuttle pass by clicking the STORE button on the War Hammer page on Ultrasignup.
Other Requirements: All shuttle passes must be purchased via Ultrasignup. No shuttle passes will be sold on the day of the race or on Friday evening. No one will be permitted onto the War Hammer shuttle without a pre-purchased pass. Bibs and race packets will be available for shuttle passengers at the start line shuttle departure area beginning at 3:10am on race morning. If you do not get your packet on Friday night in Red River Gorge please arrive early enough on Saturday morning to get your packet and bib before the shuttle departs. You may check ONE BAG with us at the start line, and we will transport it back to the finish line for you.
All runners must be 18 years of age or older to participate. No exceptions.
All runners wishing to run the 2019 War Hammer 100 Miler must successfully complete an official trail race* that meets at least one of the following criteria within 15 months of the 2019 race date. That means that qualifiers for the 2019 race must be completed between March 8, 2018 and June 7, 2019. Qualifiers must meet one of the following criteria:
A fixed distance race of at least 50 miles. Runners must complete the race before that race's established cut-off time.
A fixed time race of at least 12 hours (i.e. 8 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, etc.)in which the runner must complete 40 full miles in under 12 hours.
A fixed distance race of at least 50 kilometers with a minimum of 10,000' of vertical ascent (must be verified by the race's official web page).
*Any race used as a War Hammer qualifier must be an official, organized event that charges registration fees, is timed, and posts official online results. Strava activities, fat asses, fun runs, and similar unofficial or informal activities will not be accepted as qualifying events.
NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE THE ABOVE QUALIFYING STANDARDS.
All runners must carry the following mandatory gear for the duration of the race. This is non-negotiable.
Capacity to carry minimum 30oz of water (bottles or bladder)
A headlamp with extra batteries will be required after 7:00pm on race day.
Your mandatory hydration will be checked at the start line. Failure to have this at the start of the race or at any aid station will result in disqualification. This is a safety issue due to the extreme heat and exposure you will face during the race. This is non-negotiable. For questions regarding mandatory gear please EMAIL US.
Awards and SWAG
All participants receive a race shirt.
All finishers receive a customized War Hammer buckle. Sub 24-hour finishers receive a large “mega buckle”!
Top three men and women receive a special hand made award:
1st Place - War Hammer
2nd Place - Short Sword
3rd Place - Battle Axe
Overall male and female champions of the War Hammer 100 receive FREE ENTRY into next year's race to defend your crown!
CREWs , pacers, AND drop bags
Crews and pacers will be allowed for all competitors. Crews and pacers may access their runner at the following locations:
Leeco - Mile 16
Lago Linda - Mile 29
Turkey Foot Campground - Mile 55
S-Tree Road - Mile 75.5
White Oak Branch - Mile 85
Wildcat Offroad Park - FINISH LINE
All runners may also have a drop bag. Drop bags will be available at each of the crew locations listed above as well as the Todds Aid Station. That is a total of 6 drop bags. Please reference the Event Guide below for more details and guidelines concerning drop bags. Drop bags must be dropped at the start line on race morning.
Pacers may join their runner at mile 55 Turkey Foot Aid Station. Pacers may also enter or leave the race at any of the crew aid station points listed above after Turkey Foot.
NOTE: Please reference the following Event Guide for full event details. This document will be updated as new information is made available.
The War Hammer 100 is a point-to-point race. All runners start at Natural Bridge State Park and begin by running north on the Sheltowee before looping around the Daniel Boone Hut Trail and continuing southbound all the way to Wildcat Mountain just south of Livingston, Kentucky. The course takes you through the heart of Appalachian foothills and gives you a glimpse of everything eastern Kentucky has thrown at its people throughout the generations. The good and the bad. The beautiful and the brutal.
The 102(ish) mile course has approximately 10,000 feet of elevation gain and approximately 8,700 feet of descent*. Click the buttons below for maps, downloadable GPS files, elevation profiles (coming soon), and more.
*All distances and elevations are based on GPS data and are approximate.
There are 17 aid stations along the course at. Drop bags are available at 6 aid stations along the way:
- Leeco: Mile 16
- Lago Linda: Mile 29
- Todds Road: Mile 40
- Turkey Foot: Mile 55
- S Tree: Mile 75.5
- White Oak Branch: Mile 85
For full aid station details please reference the chart below.
*Aid stations with "soft" cut offs.
Basically, the race is located in....KENTUCKY! The race runs from Red River Gorge to Wildcat Mountain just south of Livingston, KY one of Kentucky's official Trail Towns! See below for directions to the start and finish locations
start line: nATURAL BRIDGE STATE PARK
SHELTER #1 AT THE SKY LIFT
2135 Natural Bridge Rd
Slade, KY 40376
FINISH LINE: Wildcat Adventures Off Road Park in East Bernstadt, Kentucky
Wildcat Adventures Offroad Park
East Bernstadt, KY 40729
All registered participants must abide by the Next Opportunity Events Race Participation Policy. Click the button below to review the Race Participation Policy and associated race rules.
Here are a few key War Hammer rules we need to point out:
- All cut-off times will be strictly enforced beginning at Lago Linda. No exceptions. Any runner not OUT of an aid station before the exact cut-off time will be pulled from the race. Any runner not across the finish line before the overall cut-off time will be disqualified from the race. Aid stations prior to Lago Linda will have "soft cut offs". Runners missing the soft cut-off will not be pulled from the race, but you will be warned to pick up the pace in order to meet the later cut-offs.
- Runners may NOT receive any aid from anyone else between aid stations. This includes crews at any location not designated as an official crew point. Muling by pacers is strictly prohibited.
- Crews are limited to one vehicle per runner at every aid station. The exception to this rule is at the start and finish line.
+ Can I use a race that was more than 15 months before race date as my qualifier?
No. Qualifiers must be completed within 15 months of the War Hammer race date to ensure that the competitor is in adequate training condition and has recent experience in long distance ultrarunning competition.
+ Will you accept a Strava activity or GPS file as my qualifier in place of an official race?
No. GPS files and activities can easily be created and manipulated. Qualifiers must be verifiable, official races with published results.
+ Do I still get a finisher's award if I make all the aid station cut offs but miss the finish line cut off?
No. To officially finish the race a runner must run the entire race course within the allotted time. Even if you run the full distance you must also do so within the official time limits to receive an official finishing time or finisher award.
+ Are there restrooms on the course?
Some of the aid stations, such as Lago Linda and Heidelberg Park, do have existing restrooms at the facility. However, most aid stations do not have restroom facilities. Plan accordingly.
+ Is there gear check at the start line?
Yes. You may check one bag with us at the start line, and we will transport it to the finish line for you if you do not have a support crew.
+ Can I leave my car at the start line and pick it up on Sunday?
No. No vehicles may be left at Natural Bridge State Park after the race starts.
+ How much of the race is on trail, road, gravel, etc.?
The race is approximately 65% trail, 20% gravel or dirt road, and 15% paved road.
+ Are there any water crossings?
Yes. A lot. Some are minor. Some are more significant. There are several that will be at least shin deep with no way across without just walking through. The deepest is Horse Lick Creek which is about mile 83(ish) just before the White Oak Branch aid station. It is typically knee or thigh deep. In 2018, after a week of rain, the creek was chest deep on most runners.
Red River Gorge
Our start line is located in the Red River Gorge. There are an incredible number of cabins, hostels, motels, and campgrounds in the area. For a quick reference, please check out the Red River Gorge Guide below. We are currently working on some lodging deals for War Hammer 100 runners. Please check back soon or get on our MAILING LIST to get notified when new lodging options are posted here.
Wildcat Mountain - Livingston
As with the start line area, we are currently working on lodging agreements for WH100 runners to get the best deal and the most savings. Please stay tuned. There are number of lodging options in the nearby towns of London, Mount Vernon, and Berea including hotels of all sorts, RV sites, campgrounds, cabins, and more. There are even cabins to rent and a campground AT THE FINISH LINE at Wildcat Adventures Off Road Park.
Stay Tuned! More to come!