Old Dominion 100 is part of the Grand Slam of Ultra Marathons’ organization and covers one-hundred miles through various terrains; gravel, single-track, logging and ATV routes, rocks, streams, and payment. All runners should also plan for mud, depending on Virginia’s spring weather. This course starts and ends at Shenandoah Country Fairground. It is a 14,000 feet elevation gain with 62% dirt roads, 22% trails, and only 16% paved. It is well marked day and night with 24 aid stations and a way full of standard options for hydration and snacks. Several will have heavier meals like pancakes and burgers to keep racers fueled. Only 100 registrants are allowed and must finish the course within 28 hours. Anyone who finishes under 24 hours receives the sterling silver buckle.
The course is broken down into four sections. The first 26 miles tours Woodstock to Shenandoah River and crosses Burnshire Dam by bridge to start the steep gravel switchback to enter the George Washington National Forest. The second 26 miles include country roads, trail climbs, paved descents, and gravel terrain before turning to climb Moreland Gap. The third part of the course covers ATV routes, exposed trails, and beautiful scenery. After runners reach the Edinburg Gap, they enter Power Mountain Trail, which immediately becomes rugged and steep. Loops around Little Passage Creek are gorgeous. The final stretch after checking out Elizabeth Furnace is known as Sherman Gap. This part of the course allows participants to have dedicated safety runners as they complete the circle around Massanutten’s and over Woodstock Mountain through the town to the finish line.
The event was started in 1979 by Pat and Wayne Botts to allow East Coast runners to complete 100 miles on foot in 24 hours or less over the rugged terrain of northern Virginia. In 1979 and 1980, the race began and ended at the beautiful Morven Park Estate in Leesburg, Virginia. The first trail was designed to cross many routes George Washington had used as he surveyed the land around Leesburg and in the Shenandoah River Valley. In the inaugural race in 1979, 45 brave souls appeared to face an unknown challenge.
The dedicated site has local information on travel, campgrounds, and other lodging options. 2023 registration opens Nov. 27th. You will need a 50 miler or greater race completed between June 4th, 2022, and June 2, 2023, or a previous Old Dominion 100 under 24 hours.
The Old Dominion 100 is also a Grand Slam of Ultra-Running event, a set of four of the five most prestigious and oldest 100-mile races contested in the United States: the Old Dominion 100; the Western States 100 in California; the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run; the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado.