Overall Rating
Overall Rating (4 Reviews)
4.8
(4 Ratings)(4 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.5
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
4.8
SWAG
4.5
The Lean Horse Ultra Marathon is run in August every year in the Black Hills of South Dakota and is considered to be one of the best first time ultras in the country because of the great running surface (crushed limestone) and gentle elevation changes. It was first run in … MORE
Local Weather (Aug 16)
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H (°F) 89 75 72 77 71
L (°F) 66 54 52 58 53
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Recent reviews

    Joerobe FIRST-TIMER '19

    Overall Rating: Outstanding course and volunteers...maybe the best aid station workers anywhere! Course Difficulty: I struggle with rail trails, and this was no exception. The course was smooth with crushed … MORE

    Overall Rating: Outstanding course and volunteers…maybe the best aid station workers anywhere!

    Course Difficulty: I struggle with rail trails, and this was no exception. The course was smooth with crushed limestone (typical rail trail) with really long drawn out ups and downs. I’m pretty sure we were never on flat ground and we only went over a total of three hills in the entire 100 miles…so yes, there was one 18.5 mile uphill. Up to about 50 miles I was on track for a 22-24hr finish…then the incessant pounding of my feet got the best of me and I limped the rest of it and made just over 29 hours.

    Course Scenery: Absolutely gorgeous. Since I was walking a lot, it was nice to be surrounded by forest, rock formations, creeks with amazing rapids, and some beautiful skies.

    Race Production: Perhaps the best part of the entire race. The people working at the aid stations treat you like family (the good side), and there were no surprises along the way. Packet pick up and finish line were pretty low key, but got the job done.

    Race Swag: Shiny new buckle, super soft cotton tee, and hammer collapsible cup.

    My Performance: As mentioned earlier, I struggle on rail trails; there just isn’t enough variability in the terrain, so my performance was not great. I think I would just sum it up by saying, “I didn’t quit”.

    Final notes: This was a hard run for me, and I’m not sure I have any more 100 milers in my future. I don’t want this review to reflect negatively on the course or volunteers in any way…both were outstanding; I think I probably just don’t have the time to put in the necessary amount of miles to thrive at this distance. Of course, it has only been 1 day since I completed the race, it could just be my aching feet talking…I suppose time will tell.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    bioprofsd REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This year the 50K was switched to a 30 mile run. I had finished the 50 mile run a few years ago, but this was the first time running the … MORE

    This year the 50K was switched to a 30 mile run. I had finished the 50 mile run a few years ago, but this was the first time running the 30 mile. The race started on the Custer High School track, which actually was near the hospital and not the high school. I couldn’t find the address for the start anywhere on the website or in any of the pre-race emails, but fortunately I remembered where it was from a few years ago. Not everyone was so lucky. Anyway, the 30 mile, 50 mile, and 100 mile runners all started at 6 a.m. After circling 3/4 of the track, we then went onto the Mickelson Trail and headed for Hill City. Along the way, we passed a lot of beautiful granite cliffs, ran alongside Spring Creek, and were treated to a view of the Crazy Horse Monument (from a distance). We climbed up a gradual slope from the start to the road to Crazy Horse, and then it was downhill to Hill City. At the Hill City aid station, the 30 mile runners turned around and ran back to Custer. The trail was very smooth, with fine crushed limestone, but I didn’t have any problems with getting debris in my shoes. The altitude didn’t bother me at all, and it was very enjoyable except for a 5-mile stretch between miles 20 and 25 when my hip flexors tightened up. I think I need to work on leaning forward a little more on the uphills and shorten my stride to engage my gluteal muscles a little more. This is a great ultramarathon for both beginners and experienced ultrarunners.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    I only wish I hadn't DNF'd this race, because it was the PERFECT course for a first 100 miler. It is an out-and-back and I managed 56.6 miles (before dropping … MORE

    I only wish I hadn’t DNF’d this race, because it was the PERFECT course for a first 100 miler. It is an out-and-back and I managed 56.6 miles (before dropping due to personal fueling issues), so I got a feel for the entirety of the course. Coming from Colorado I’m kind of a snob when it comes to scenery and this course did not disappoint – it was extremely beautiful terrain through the Black Hills without being very difficult (aside from the “100 miles” part) or technical. The entire course is run on the Mickelson Trail which is a former rail line route that was converted to a nice soft crushed gravel trail with minimal elevation gain and loss (gentle ups and gentle downs). The race had aid stations every 4-6 miles which was great, and they were all very well stocked with helpful and friendly volunteers. Since the course is only on one trail, there weren’t any course markings – but you also couldn’t get lost (so long as you stayed on the trail). The driving directions for crew were okay, although I pre-drove it prior to the race to make sure we could find everything which helped immensely, especially since we weren’t familiar with the area. The race shirts were great and the awards and finisher’s buckles looked great (despite not receiving one myself). Overall, I highly recommend this one and definitely hope to head back in the future!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey Sep 22, 2016 at 1:04am

    As an ultrarunner you know... "DNF" stands for "Did Nothing Fatal". Congrats on tackling the 100-mile monster Kate, no matter the outcome (sure it's all relative, but 56+ miles is… MORE

    As an ultrarunner you know... "DNF" stands for "Did Nothing Fatal". Congrats on tackling the 100-mile monster Kate, no matter the outcome (sure it's all relative, but 56+ miles is no joke!). You've run some strong races recently, so no doubt you'll iron out your fueling issues and be ready to tackle the distance again soon. And I'll be rooting for you! LESS

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    seth FIRST-TIMER '16

    Small town race, very accommodating course and race director, volunteers are the friendliest people on the planet, showers after, race day packet pickup, freakin' blueberry pancakes at mile 25! Only … MORE

    Small town race, very accommodating course and race director, volunteers are the friendliest people on the planet, showers after, race day packet pickup, freakin’ blueberry pancakes at mile 25! Only potential concerns to some folks would be the elevation (around a mile high) and the inclines/declines (no real hills to speak of, but because the course is a former railroad line there can be miles of slight uphill, followed by miles of slight downhill) I’m going to try to come back for the 100 next year. I set a new personal best for the 50 miler, sub10!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    M_Sohaskey Sep 22, 2016 at 1:20am

    Sub-10 club in the house!! Congrats on the PR Seth, I'm not sure my sub-10 at Ice Age this year will motivate me to try 100 anytime soon, but clearly… MORE

    Sub-10 club in the house!! Congrats on the PR Seth, I'm not sure my sub-10 at Ice Age this year will motivate me to try 100 anytime soon, but clearly those pancakes are worth going back for. :) Will definitely be sending good training karma your way between now and next August. Look forward to reading all about your 100-mile finish here next year! LESS

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