The Carabbassett 100k The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

After 4 years of gossip both good and bad from friends that had done this race in previous years I had to give it a try. The word on the street was there had been a lot of trail work since the 1st race 4 years ago.
The drive to Sugarloaf alone was worth the trek. Living in the Mt. Washington Valley sometimes I forget you can still find things worthwhile farther north. The drive up rt16 through Pinkham Notch, Berlin along the Androscoggin River, and through the Umbagog Wildlife Preserve is a really unique and beautiful stretch of New Hampshire. After Berlin I encountered more wildlife than cars for the next 2 hours.
The Good
The race announcer during the morning race meeting mentioned the course offered the “best and the worst” the area had to offer. I think he was right. The 1st hour was on some really impressive single track that was obviously labor intensive with extensive rock work, nicely built up berms, and well thought out switchbacks. It was really fun going up and down this single track and it felt like it would never end.
The Bad
Most of the course was dry but there were some mud holes on some of the double track and snowmobile trails that required a quick gamble to either ride through or walk around. I lost the bet on one hole and tried to ride through only to go in axle deep and endo into the black pool. I completely immerged the whole right side of my body with a thick layer of goop that I got to enjoy for the next 4 hours. That event also changed my plan of being aggressive to just finishing the race in 1 piece.
The Ugly
Okay, the only thing that was ugly was me covered in black mud. Of course there were sections of the never ending grovels up hill, hidden water bars, and some loose rocky sections, but that seems to be par for the course on long endurance races.

Overall, I thought it was tougher than the Hampshire 100 and Vt50 but it also offered more varied terrain and between the opening single track, the multiple river crossings, and the final miles up the river side it really made a beautiful course that kept you on your toes for much of the race. I’ll be back.


The Carabbassett 100k The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly — 1 Comment

  1. sounds about right. I really like that course but last year when the promoter asked me what I thought I said there were times when I wanted to kill him and there were times when I wanted to kiss him.

    Bummed I missed out. Nice job sticking with it even after your mud bath.