[Make sure to click the Swedish links above - they contain results, participants, reports (some in english), photos, records, sponsors and links that is quite obvoius and self explanatory. If you do have any more questions - please do not hesitate to contact me. Please book your room in Ystad as soon as you know that you will run the race.]

In 1955 a group of horsemen sat by the fire and agreed that the old days were better, when a horse could run 100 miles in one day. Wendell Robie suggested that they should replicate the feat, and The Western States Trail Ride was born. In 1974 Gordon Ainsleigh's horse had problems so he lined up himself and finished in 23:42h. The Western States Endurance Run has been run every year since.

100 mile-races are often held on challenging trails in spectacular nature - this race is no exception. For the very first time, in 2006, there was a race being held in the Nordic countries. You now have the opportunity to challenge yourself and participate in Sweden's longest, most beautiful and toughest (?) race ever!

The gax 100 miles starts in Ystad at Österlen - the plains in south eastern Scania, which may be the most beautiful part of Sweden. It is rich in ancient monuments and scenery such as Ales Stenar and the Stenshuvud Nature Reserve - both are included in the gax 100 miles as well as a tough and very challenging trail.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"Good fortune with your pioneering event." - Gordon Ainsleigh, 2007


INFORMATION:

What:

The gax 100 miles is a 100 mile-race (160.9 km) with a cut off time of 32 hours.

When:

15-16 August 2009, 08:00.

How:

100 miles is a long distance that requires a certain amount of respect, but not too long - you can run it if you train and prepare yourself properly (both mentally and physically). Read about how to run, train and prepare for 100 miles here.

Where:

Start and finish at S:t Knuts Torg in Ystad, southern Sweden.

Fee:

500 SEK (50 EUR/65 USD) will give you medal, diploma, service, water, fruit, gel, bars, drinks, snacks, trophies to the first in each distance etc. Prizes are presented by Supplystation and Powerheat Consult Sverige AB.

Register:

Fill in this registration form, copy it and mail it to me. If you don't get an answer by e-mail - try again. Late registration: you have to pay double; apply before August 1. No entries on race day. Once payment is received your name will appear on the participant list.

50 miles:

The 50 mile-race (80.5 km) starts at 21:00 on the parking lot at Skepparpsgården - it will be easy to find and you will be guided to the starting line - at Haväng and follows the second half of the route. Cut off-time is 19 hours. You will spend most of the time running at night and in the sand, hard going. Price for this race is 350 SEK (40 EUR/60 USD). There will be only one aid station after 48 km. There is a bus service to Ravlunda Kyrka which is three km (map) from Skepparpsgården. Some runners rode together in cars last year - I will provide the contact information.

Aid stations:

Your drop bags can be delivered at the start and you will have acces to them at the aid stations. The crew will have a mobile phone and so will you, so you can contact them if anything should happen. We can take care of your luggage while you run. The first finishers might have to wait for their dropbags to arrive. We will do our best.

Stations in 2009

Open

Start

07:00-08:15

42 km

~11:30-14:30

66 km

Unmanned

80 km

~16:30-22:00

118 km

Unmanned

128 km

~23:00-10:00

Finish

?-16:00!

Water:

There are 17 possible water sources (at approximately 24, 31, 47, 50, 69, 81, 83, 92, 101, 103, 106, 108, 116, 122, 124, 152 and 157 km - both natural and man made) along the route besides the aid stations. Most water sources are easy to find and usually consists of a tap - some might be out of service or have unsuitable water though. One can ask for water in houses along the route.

DNF:

No DNF:s - every runner is a finisher with accomplished kilometres. However if you do decide to leave the race and not continue running you have to contact race staff and it will be your own responsibility to find a bus or taxi to get you back to the start.

Map:

You will get a detailed black and white copy of the route with some instructions but it is recommended that you study the route on beforehand and bring map to the race.

Qualification:

Experience of races of 100 km/12 hours or other endurance events to participate in the gax 100 miles. For the 50 miles you will need to have completed a marathon, ultra or other endurance events to participate.

Gax - TEC:

Gax and TEC work together. One who finished the longest distance in both races has rightfully completed The Gax - TEC Swedish Trail Challenge. Earlier races may be accounted for.

Equipment:

Every runner must bring drinks, maps (provided), some clothing, emergency supplies, money, cell phone and flashlight. It is also recommended to bring extra batteries, compass, extra clothes and other salts, fluids etc. that you usually need. Be equipped for all kinds of weather. Most runners manage with a waist belt.

Accomodation:

There are youth hostels in both Ystad and Malmö as well as a wide range of hotels and more. There is a Youth Hostel just at the start in Ystad - book in time.

Shower:

600 metres from the finish there is a possibility to have a shower. We will provide you with a map , it'll cost approximately 2 €.

Rules:

Cheating or littering is not allowed. To help a fellow runner or pacing is. Participation is at runners own risk - check out your insurance. Race staff has the right to pull particapant out of the race.

Animals:

Sightings of cow, elk, bats, fox, squirrel, hedgehog, corn snake, shrew, harbour porpoise, bull, snake, stoat, lama, Higland Cattle and deer have been made - especially in the National Parks. They are used to people but might be more scared than you.

Dangers:

Beware of stinging nettles, electric fences, roots, rocks, traffic and steep hills along the route.

Medical staff:

None available. There will however be a medical specialist on call by phone during the whole race.

More information:

Contact Race Director Stefan Samuelsson if you have any more questions.


ROUTE:

The race starts in Ystad and follows Nord till Sydleden, Syds 21:st stage followed by Österlenledens stage 11 to 1 clockwise all the way back to Ystad.

The route is 100 miles (160,9 km) and passes meadows and forrests from Ystad to Simrishamn through Brösarps backar and back to Ystad next to the sea. The route follows Skåneledens markings all the way - it is not orienteering. The first half (80 km) would be mostly in daylight whilst the second half (81 km) is run along the coast in the night, in the sand, and should be finished by the morning. Here the coastline usually is the route and no markings exist apart from when you follow other trails a bit inland.

The normal runner should find their way without problems, the maps are correct but at some points the route markings might be old or different. Usually the markings are an orange ring around a tree or lamp post at eye level.

The route follows the maps of Skåneleden. Maps can be bought at any Swedish Tourist Bureau (~130 SEK/14.5 EUR), book shops (~159 SEK/18 EUR) or on the Internet (~150 SEK/17 EUR) - they can be found both in english and in swedish. You'll need the following maps:


xxxxxÖsterlenleden (Skåneleden hiking map The Österlen trail). Scale 1:50 000. Published by Position Skåne in
xxxxxxxcooperation with Stiftelsen för fritidsområden i Skåne [covers the last 137 km]

xxxxx
Nord till Sydleden, Syd (Skåneleden hiking map The North-to-South trail, Part 2 South). Scale 1:50 000. Published xxxxxxxby Position Skåne in cooperation with Stiftelsen för fritidsområden i Skåne [covers the first 24 km]


The route can also be found at hitta or eniro. On the map above Stage 21 of Nord to Sydledens, Syd is not showed. The route is as follows:

Nord till Sydleden, Syd
Stage 21, Ystad to Snogeholm ~23,75 km. Total: ~23,75 km, level of difficulty - easy. On the way one will pass toilets and at Raftarp there is water and a shelter.
At Raftarp one should follow the route east towards Österlenleden - not west towards Nord till Sydleden.

Österlenleden
Stage 11, Snogeholm to Vitabäck ~9,75 km. Total: ~33,5 km, level of difficulty - easy. On the way one will pass water and toilets, at Vitabäck there is a shelter.

Stage 10, Vitabäck to Lövestads Åsar ~14 km. Total: ~47,5 km, level of difficulty - easy. At Lövestads Åsar there is water and shelter.

Stage 9, Lövestads Åsar to Heinge ~6 km. Total: ~53,5 km, level of difficulty - easy to moderate. On the way one will pass water and at Heinge there are toilets and shelter.

Stage 8, Heinge to Verkasjön ~9,1 km. Total: ~62,6 km, level of difficulty - easy. At Verkasjön there is a shelter.

Stage 7, Verkasjön to Vantalängan ~6,1 km. Total: ~68,7 km, level of difficulty - moderate to difficult. On the way one will pass toilets and at Vantalängan there is water. Do not follow stage 7B north.

Stage 6, Vantalängan to Kivik ~15 km. Total: ~83,7 km, level of difficulty - moderate. On the way one will pass toilets and water, at Kivik there is water and toilets.

Stage 5, Kivik to Simrishamn ~18 km. Total: ~101,7 km, level of difficulty - moderate. On the way one will pass water and toilets, at Simrishamn there is water and toilets.

Stage 4, Simrishamn to Borrby Strandbad ~20 km. Total: ~121,7 km, level of difficulty - easy to moderate. On the way one will pass water and toilets, at Borrby Strandbad there is water and toilets.

Stage 3, Borrby Strandbad to Löderups Strandbad ~12,1 km. Total: ~133,8 km, level of difficulty - moderate. On the way one will pass water and toilets. Follow the short route towards the coast and back again.

Stage 2, Löderups Strandbad to Nybrostrand ~19,6 km. Total: ~153,4 km, level of difficulty - moderate. At Nybrostrand there is water and toilets. Do not run through Kabusa skjutfält which the army is using as a shooting range.

Stage 1, Nybrostrand to Ystad ~7,5 km. Total: 160,9 km, level of difficulty - easy. On the way one will pass water and toilets.

Q&A:
Q: How tough is the course?
A: Tough question to answer. How fast are you running? How well are you trained? How experienced are you? Have you run 100 miles before? Are you gonna' win or do you just want to enjoy the ride?

Q: What is the route like?
A: Tough, beautiful and varying.

Q: What is the trail like?
A: About 30 % is running on the beach - sometimes soft sand, sometimes hard. The other 65 % is roughly equally divided into meadows, dirt roads, roads, asphalt, trails and wood paths. There are hills, small ones, but quite a few.

Q: Is the route beautiful?
A: Very beautiful, even stunning in parts.

Q: What if I get lost?
A: You will - the question is for how long.

Q: What if I get really lost?
A: You won't.

Q: Can I run on other paths than those on the course?
A: No - you will follow the route as outlined on the maps the best you can.

Q: How do you check if runners are cheating?
A: We don't. We are running against ourselves aren't we …

Q: What is the "Rule of the Trail"?
A: If you pack it in, you can pack it out. Cheating or littering is not allowed. To help a fellow runner in need is mandatory.

Q: What if I have to heed the call of nature.
A: Use common sense if you do not happen to be nearby one of the many bathrooms marked on the map.

Q: Couldn't you mark the course like just about every other race I've ever been in? It's a pain to pause and read the map.
A: gax 100 is different than any other race you've ever run, it's long - 160.9 kilometres! It is already well marked. Besides, having to look at the map every once in a while tends to slow down the faster runners and give the rest of us a good walking break.

Q: Can I get a friend to come out and give me food and drinks along the route?
A:Absolutely! In fact, it would be nice if your friend were to help everyone. Bring enough water for all the other runners he/she happens to meet on the course.

Q: Can I have a pacer?
A: Certainly - bring your own.

Q: It's a free world. What's to stop me from scouting the course before the race?
A: Nothing ... in fact, I encourage you to walk or bike (as some have) the course in training!

Q: Can I put up an aid station?
A: Please do - wherever you like. Please make sure that all the runners get the possibility to fill up on energy or whatever you fancy to serve (this has been done before).

Q: Can I bring my friends and family to the finish even if they don't run or volunteer?
A: Absolutely!

Q: Do I really need to buy a map?
A: Maybe - the race itself is hard enough no to run with a bought map, then again, I and some others consider the black and white map sufficient.

Q: When will the official results be available?
A: Past years the results have been on the web site the same day as the race finish.

Q: Can I wait until the last minute and join at the start?
A: Why?

Q: If I have any other questions should I read all the instructions again?
A: Yes - all the information should be there. Otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Q: Will it be fun?
A: Oh yes, super fun!

HISTORY:
In early 2006 I was out running and thinking about last years TMMTR (Trans Moravian Masochist Trail Race in the Czech Republic - my first 100 mile race) what an ultimate and fantastic experience it was. But it would be better if it started later than 02:00, had a more generous cut off, medals to all participants, better route description, more scenery, no repeat route and lower price - I wanted it simple, cheap and adventureous. All of a sudden I had created the perfect race in my mind - I went straight home and checked the maps and after a week of dreaming, thinking and plotting I had everything planned. I was going to set up the first 100 mile race ever in the Nordic countries and I was gonna call it the gax 100 miles! I drew inspiration from races such as Plain 100, c2k.ultraoz.com, Brabrandsøen rundt, Wickham Park and Barkley - rather than from Western States and Spartathlon. Little did I know what I have gotten myself into.

Now the real work began; set up a web page, get people to know about the race, worry if anyone was going to show up and plan the route more carefully. By connecting two long marked and scenic trails in Scania, southern Sweden I had by chance stumbled upon one of the most beautiful race courses imaginable.

Race day came and just 30 minutes before start five other pioneers came and joined me for a long day and night (and day for some) filled with adventure, animals, beach, woods, thirst, hills and gettin' lost. I had sponsors, friends and a family to take care of the two aid stations and 26 hours later a female runner reached the finish line. The next year participants increased by 167 % (and the course record decreased with 27 %)! After three years 21 participant out of 36 (58 % finishing rate) have completed the whole 100 miles. But the real history started with the Western States Endurance Run.

In 1955 a group of horsemen were debating the toughness of their mounts compared to the legendary horses of bygone days. It was agreed that in the past, a horse could carry a rider for 100 miles in a single day and night. Wendell Robie suggested they attempt to replicate that feat and The Western States Trail Ride was born. A prominent California horseman named Will Tevis was intrigued by the concept, and donated a trophy to the event; it has been called the Tevis Cup Ride ever since.

In 1974 a 27-year-old woodcutter named Gordon Ainsleigh came along. His horse had foot problems and during training Ainsleigh spent most of his time running alongside. A friend suggested that he might have better luck if he left his horse at home. He agreed. The friend probably wasn't serious, but Ainsleigh was.

Ainsleigh stashed water and food along the course and lined up in his running shoes with 198 horses. He finished in 23 hours and 42 minutes. In the process of proving horses were just as tough as they ever were, it was discovered that at least one man was a hell of a lot tougher than anyone had imagined.

The next year Ron Kelley decided to give it a go and ran the first 97 miles before inexplicably walking off the course and driving home, a mere three miles short of the finish! In 1976 Ken "Cowman" Shirk finished the race just 30 minutes over the allotted 24 hours, with Ainsleigh pacing him along the final stretch.

Runner's World published a short story on Ainsleigh's feat, which caught the attention of more adventurous runners. In 1977 fourteen showed up but only three finished the race. Andy Gonzales established a new record of 22:57:00 passing through habitat occupied primarily by rattlesnakes, bears and cougars, avoiding hypothermia, dehydration, heat stroke, renal failure, seizure, hypoglycemia, disorientation, total mental and physcial exhaustion and altitude sickness. Along the route the runners had negotiated seven major canyons on the up-and-down race course for a total elevation drop of 7000 metres and an gain of 5000.

In 1978 Wendell Robie decided it was time to make the run a separate event from the ride. They didn't know it at the time, but they were creating a new sport. The running community generally accepts that year as the official genesis for the sport of ultrarunning in the United States, and the first official 100-mile footrace in the world.

Since then 100 mile races dominate the running circus in USA and has spread to other parts in the world. It is the event that decides if you can go for super long distances and it is a wonderful, albeit tough experience. You get to travel through a full day and night, seeing sunrise and sunset in the process, often in beautiful nature. In a 100 mile race it is not important who wins - it is all about the participants. As Mo Livermore of Western States folklore puts it - "Failure is only when someone has failed to give their best effort."