“An incredibly scenic and technical run traversing most of the Big South Fork in KY and TN.”
— Brian Gajus
Race - Oct 12, 2019
Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The No Business Hundred is a trail endurance race that begins and ends at the abandoned coal mining town, Blue Heron, just east of Stearns, KY. The course is a single 103.6 mile loop that traverses through the heart of the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area across the state line into Tennessee and back on some of the oldest trails in the southeast. Each year the course is run in opposite direction of the previous year with odd years being run counter-clockwise from Blue Heron.
Along the way, participants will pass through towering sandstone arches & rock houses, gaze upon spectacular overlooks & waterfalls, and visit abandoned settlements and homesteads. This epic journey is an adventure through some of the most scenic and wild areas in the region.
At 11,200 ft of climbing and descending, the No Business Hundred may appear at first glance to be a walk in the park. Make no mistake, the technical terrain and remote setting present a challenge that make it a unique hundred mile course.
Need to Know
The race is run counter-clockwise in odd years leaving Blue Heron and clockwise in even years.
In odd years, the course runs counter-clockwise leaving the Blue Heron Mining Community on the Kentucky Trail. Once reaching the Sheltowee Trace Trail near Rock Creek, the course heads south on the Sheltowee Trace through Daniel Boone National Forest. There are several decent climbs and a mix of old jeep roads, 5.6 miles of gravel road, but mostly singletrack trail as runners climb to Peters Mountain. From Peters Mountain, runners continue on the Sheltowee Trace Trail working their way to Rock Creek and eventually passing the state line into Tennessee. Shortly after entering Tennessee, runners will climb out of the river valley up to Thompson's Overlook where the Sheltowee Trace Trail and Hidden Passage Trail
join up in Pickett State Forest. Runners make their way to HWY 154 for a quick road crossing and jump back on the Bluff Trail
and Lake Trail
to reach Pickett State Park (mile 41ish).
Leaving the Pickett State Park Recreation Lodge, runners do a scenic loop through Pickett on the Hazard Cave Trail
and Natural Bridge Trail
. From here, runners head east on gravel for just over 3 miles as they reenter Big South Fork at the Middle Creek Trailhead. From here, runners will pass some of the most scenic section of the course as they run/scramble by massive rock houses and eventually pass through the "Twin Arches
". The next aid station stop will be at Charit Creek Lodge, the rustic backcountry lodge. Runners will have a climb out of Charit and head southeast on some multi-use trails working their way to the next major crewing aid station at Bandy Creek (mile 60ish).
Leaving Bandy Creek, runners will head north on gravel road for 1 mile and return to the trail at the John Litton Farm Loop. Runners will pass the old Litton Farm and continue to the Fall Branch Trail
to the aid station at the start of the Grand Gap Loop Trail
. Runners will take the 6.5 Grand Gap Loop Trail
come back around to the aid station and then continue north on the John Muir Trail for 8 miles until reaching a spur trail that will take them over to the aid station at the end of Duncan Hollow Road. From here, runners drop down back towards the Big South Fork River to Station Camp and crisscross back and forth with the horse path for several miles before turning northwest and a ridge passing to reach No Business Creek (mile 86ish).
From No Business, the course heads north putting runners on the Kentucky Trail. Runners will have one of their biggest climbs of the entire course just coming out of No Business. After reaching the Laurel Hill Aid Station, the course continues north on the Kentucky Trail for one of the most remote stretches of the course as it crosses Difficulty Creek and Troublesome Creek and runners make their way up to Ledbetter. The final 6.5 miles of the course continue on the Kentucky Trail until runners reach the old rail bridge and cross the Big South Fork River again for a memorable finish at Blue Heron.