Saturday, Nov 14, 2015

Tunnel Hill 100

302 E. Vine

Vienna, IL 100 Miler, 50 Miler

This Event Took Place Sat. Nov 14, 2015

Camille Herron shatters World Record at Tunnel Hill

Camille Herron predicted it, then blazed to a new WORLD RECORD for women 100 mile Open record (regardless of surface). She raced a 7:37mi pace for 100 miles to finish in 12:42:40, eclipsing the old mark by over an hour and 3 minutes. This was the fastest 100 mile run in North America by male or female for 2017, and also the Fastest Known Time for 100 miles on a trail by anyone, ever, in North America

How Fast Do You Want to Run?

How about WORLD RECORD fast?!!
Camille Herron blew 63 minutes off the old World Record in 2017, with her mind boggling 12:42:40.
Looking for your first 100? How about your first sub 24? Sub 20? Lower?
It's possible here at Tunnel Hill.
There are a large % of first-time finishers in the 100 or the 50 miles. For those who have run a 100 or 50 elsewhere, the majority of them set a personal record, and oftentimes by a wide margin.
Are you next?

USATF Sanctioned with Certified Courses

100 mile USATF course certification #IL17003BW

50 mile USATF course certification #IL17004BW

IAAF certification # USA-2017-011
Courses certified by USATF Official Brandon Wilson, and subsequently Ratified by USATF course verifier Mike Wickiser.
If you are out to set a World Record, you should notify us. There are very particular procedures we will follow to help you. If you set an Age Group Record, it will be upheld quickly, since the course has already been ratified.
USATF rules will be used, so you should familiarize yourself with these rules. In particular, you are NOT allowed to receive aid from your crew if you are outside of a designated aid station area. There will be plenty of room designated near the established stations.
ALSO: IF you are trying for a record; World, American, or Age Group, you are NOT allowed pacers. You can run with someone IN the race.
If you are NOT trying to set a record, then you can have your pacer. See below for details

A Western States 100 Qualifier

The 2018 Tunnel Hill 100 is a 2020 Western States 100 qualifying race. (This was confirmed by John Medinger, President of WSER). This means that if you finish in the allotted 30 hours, you qualify to place your name into the lottery for the 2020 WSER. You will still need to follow the protocol listed on their website.

New for 2018 - Prize Money - Awards

This was a hotly debated topic after Camille Herron slaughtered the women’s 100 mile World Record.
Well guess what? It’s both!
Because it is sanctioned, and course certified by the USATF & IAAF (and course ratified), it’s a Road or Open course.
And, because it is not paved, it is considered Trail by the American Trail Runners Assoc., and the International Trail Runners Association.
Camille’s 12:42:40 gives her the Open World Record for Road Course 100 miles, AND the Fastest Known Time for trail 100 by anyone, ever.

Establish a new 100 mile course record, MALE or FEMALE, and earn $2000. (Camille Herron, 12:42:40, and Mike Bialick, 12:52:53, own them. We are working on getting this increased.

Establish a new 50 mile course record and earn $1000. (Coree Woltering - 5:30:15)
New World Record, is worth $5000. American Record (or Fastest Know Time if calling it an AR bothers you) for Male or Female at 100 miles is worth $3000 ($2000 for CR & $1000 for FKT).

100 mile: All entrants will receive a tech shirt, a drawstring bag, a race belt for your bib, and a running cap.
Finishers will receive a custom belt buckle, a nice light weight jacket, and a nifty hooded towel

50 mile: All entrants will receive a tech shirt, drawstring bag, and a running cap. Finishers will receive a custom belt buckle.

More bling could be given based on number of entrants.

The Course - Time Limits - Drop Downs

Course- 100 miles - Course begins at the City Park in Vienna, make a celebratory loop around the parking lot, and heads south on the Tunnel Hill State Trail, to the Wetlands Center at 13.25miles, where it turns back north to run 25 miles to the northern turnaround, and then back 11.75 miles to the start/finish. This gives you 50 miles. Repeat this course for the 100. By repeating the 50 mile course we are giving you the best course, with the most scenery.

Course - 50 miles - runners will begin by running south for 13.25 miles, then turning back to run 25 miles north to the 50 mi turnaround, and back 11.75 miles to the finish.

50 milers will run through the famous tunnel twice, and 100 milers four times.

Time Limits - Both courses have the same 30 hours to finish.

100 milers must begin the second 50 in less than 15 hours.
You can see the Course on
30 hr limit; cutoff times; drop downs
Both the 100 mile and the 50 mile have 30 hour cutoffs. You are expected to remain on a pace, equal to or faster, that will allow you to finish in 30 hours. There is no "grace" period.
Cut off times will be listed at each aid station, and in the Racer's Booklet given to you at packet pickup.
The Tunnel Hill State Trail is CLOSED at dark, unless you are in the race (either a pacer, or runner).
If it is dark, and you do not arrive at an aid station at a 30 hour or better pace, Volunteers will pick you up off the course, and take you to the finish or to your crew, whichever is preferred.
If you fail to reach an aid station within the allotted time during daylight hours, you may continue if you wish, but you will not be considered a 100 mile finisher. You WILL be given (if you want it), the 50 mile finisher's buckle, and your 50 mile split will be recorded as your finishing time

Shoes - Gaiters - PACERS

Shoes/Gaiters: The running surface is smooth, with a finely crushed limestone layer over a dirt bed. You can wear whichever shoes are most comfortable for you. I recommend you wear gaiters to keep the small rock out of your shoes (especially if it rains, as the rock tends to stick to the bottom of your shoes more.

Pacers - The trail is extremely easy to follow, with no technical sections, and only one major road crossing, so the vast majority will not need a pacer to keep you on course. However, if you wish to have a pacer, one will be allowed after dark (5pm on November 10), or the last 24 miles of the 100, whichever you prefer. The last 24 miles will start you at the main start/finish and you will run together on the northern section (which includes the tunnel) .

Aid Stations - Drop Bags

See the Aid Station chart at for Aid Stations locations (gps coordinates).

They will be stocked with the usual aid station fare... water, SWORD hydration drink, bananas, oranges, chips, candy, energy snacks, Hammer Gel, and other items. Early on there will be egg sandwiches, and later in the day turkey wraps, bean wraps, spinach wraps, boiled potatoes, soup, and coffee will be available.
Even hamburgers and hot dogs will be available at the Vienna Park station
Very minimal amount of cups will be available... please bring your own water/fluid containers.
Limited amount of Soda will be on-hand, as it’s well known that too much sugar will blow up your race.
PLEASE: CREW MEMBERS SHOULD NOT EAT AID STATION FOOD. IT IS FOR THE RUNNERS. Please support local businesses by purchasing food from them
Porta Johns are available at every aid station. Toilets and running water are available at 10.7, 15.7, 25, 35.3, 39.5, and 50.
Drop bags can be left for the locations where the toilets and running water are available. NOTE: 10.7 & 15.7 are the same location; 35.3 & 39.5 are the same. 25/50 is the start/finish. So, besides the start/finish, there are two additional drop bag locations, that 50 mile runners can access twice each, and 100 mile runners can access four times each

Schedule of Events

All times are CENTRAL Standard Time

The Start and Finish are at Vienna City Park, 302 E. Vine St, Vienna, IL 62995

Friday - Nov 9 - at Vienna HS, 601 N. 1st Street, Vienna
4pm - 8pm Packet pickup
4:45p - 7p Pasta Dinner courtesy of Johnson County. Additional guest are $10 adults, $5 age 6-
12, Kids under 6 are free.
6pm Guest speaker: We are working on bringing in a very special guest speaker.

Saturday November 10 at Vienna City Park
5a - 6:30a Parking - arrive early enough to walk 1/2 mile if first lots are full
Day of Race packet pick up
Leave Drop Bags in designated area

6:45am Boy Scouts present colors
VFW 21 gun salute
Vienna HS members sing National Anthem

7:00 START of Tunnel Hill 100 & 50 mile runs

Sunday November 11

1p FINISH of Tunnel Hill 100 & 50 mile runs

Race Director Comments - Welcome to TH # 5

Living in nearby Paducah, KY, I spent many days on the Tunnel Hill rails to trails.
I was fascinated by the old train trestles, the gorgeous scenery, and most of all, the dark, cool tunnel. Even though I knew that trains ran through it, I was always fearful of running into the wall... it seemed to narrow on you as you approached the middle.
After I ran my first 100 miler in 2004, I started to think of hosting a 100 on the Tunnel Hill State Trail. In 2014, we hosted our first.
What a great course it is, too! Fast! I'm thinking there is an excellent argument that this could be the fastest hundred miler in the United States.
Unlike a Track, you don’t have to make your way around slower runners the whole day, or if you’re slower, you don’t have to move over for faster runners all day.
There are no altitude issues... elevation runs between 340' and 680' above sea level.
No humongous hills, in fact, no hills... instead a gentle 2% grade.
No roots, rocks, or indentions in the trail to contend with at night... this is a crushed limestone, smooth trail, with the occasional stick. (After all, it IS tree lined most of the way). And, we are having it in mid November to take out the hot, humid days.

This just seemed to be the perfect 100 miler for first time hundreds (and everyone wants to run 100 miles now, don't they? The same runners who, several years ago, were facing their first marathons).
It's also ideal for veterans to break that elusive 24 hour barrier, or for faster runners to finally crack 20 hours.

Annnd... don't think that because it's a rails trail that it will be boring... nothing further from the truth... the trail cuts beautifully through gorgeous overlooks, using some very cool bridges. It'll leave you breathless

Thanks to Assistant Director, Jason Claunch, for his outstanding work in securing some of the best volunteers anywhere. River to River Runners Club, West Kentucky Runners Club, and the wonderful people of Vienna, IL and Johnson Co. and those at Tunnel Hill State Trail.
We're looking forward to being your host!

Steve Durbin - Race Director

Highlights from the First 4 Years

2017: WORLD RECORD! Camille Herron ran 12:42:40, shattering the old record by over an hour! Her mark also establishes a new Fastest Known Time for 100 miles on Trail by anyone, ever.
Mike Bialick ran a gutsy race, following within striking distance until around mile 90. She was simply too strong on this day. Mike won the Men’s Division with a 13:02:44.
In the 50 mile: Matt Hoyes ran the second fastest TH50, winning in 5:54:40, while Alicia Heyne won the women's in 7:26:31.

2016: Coree Woltering ran away from a strong field with his brilliant 5:30:15 for 50 miles. This was the second win for Coree at Tunnel Hill, and the second fastest 50 mile run in North America for the year.
Juan Moran took the 100 mile win with a 14:40:26, while Neela D’Souza’s 16:20:07 earned her second overall, and First Female.

2015: We saw it, and we are still amazed. Mike Bialick of Minnetonka, MN, flew past all the really fast 50 milers, turning in a 6:07 fifty mile split, on his way to the Fastest 100 mile run recorded for 2015. His 12:52:53 is listed as the fastest by a whopping 40 minutes over the second fastest time for the year. Harvey Lewis was second in 14:45. Kristen Rowe took the Ladies titile with her 17:34:55.
In the 50 mile: Coree Woltering won in 6:18:06, while Neela D'Souza took the women's crown in 6:36:35.

2014: When we decided to host a 100/50 miler on the beautiful Tunnel Hill State Trail we knew that someone could post a really fast time. Flat, scenic, no trip hazards, no altitude issues, and long "let er rip" sections promised a fast course. Add World Record holder Traci Falbo (most miles indoor for 48 hours), and excitement was high. (much higher than the temperatures.. 18 degrees at the start, overcast upper 20s in the day, and a little sleet at night).
Traci cruised to a new American Record for woman on a trail 100 miler with her 14:45:26.
Traci put Tunnel Hill on the map with her brilliant performance, lending instant credibility to the course.
You can see her interview with irunfar by clicking on the link below: OR clicking doesn't work, copy and paste
Troy Shellhamer won the Men’s Division in 16:08:02.
In the 50 mile: Matthew Brooks won with his 6:20:29, while Ashley Ruberg won the women's in 6:56:29

History of the Tunnel Hill State Trail

At one time, the rumble of freight cars reverberated through the narrow tunnel. Wooden trestles, with their system of slanted supports and horizontal cross pieces, spanned numerous bluffs and creeks. Passengers in Pullman cars clocked the miles with these and other landmarks as they traveled one of southern Illinois' most scenic routes.

Today, the railroad is gone. The route, known as Tunnel Hill State Trail, remains.
Tunnel Hill State Trail stretches for over 50 miles from Harrisburg to Karnak. The trail continues on a trails spur for 2.5 miles from Karnak to Cache River State Natural Area - Henry Barkhausen Wetlands Center on the old Chicago and Eastern Illinois railroad bed.

The trail (ranging in width from 40 to 200 feet) features ever-changing vistas, from lush wetlands including an ancient Cypress-tupelo swamp, abundant wildlife, picturesque trestles ranging from 34 to 450 feet, and incredible rock formations.

Elevation ranges from 340 feet at Karnak on the southern end, to the highest point at Tunnel Hill at 680 feet, giving the trail a gentle 2% grade.

The main attraction is the iconic tunnel. Once over 800’ long, before a portion collapsed in 1929 leaving 600 feet of thrills and chllls.

For much more information on Tunnel Hill State Trail, please visit the Illinois Dept of Resources page.

Lodging - Camping - Airports

Lodging in Vienna IL: Hotel 7 Limited Inn -- 618-658-6300.

Additional Lodging - From the south; Paducah, KY is about 25 miles south (or East via I-24. Exit 4 Paducah has just about every type of motel. If you are coming from the north you may want to check out Marion, IL... about 30 miles from Vienna

Camping: Camping is allowed at the Vienna Park. First Come/First Served as they do not take reservations. Last year we had 375 runners and did not run out of space. Very convenient since the start/finish is here. Lots of places to eat, get groceries, etc within a half mile. Looks like about 16 electric outlets scattered around. Water available through faucets. No sewer hookups. There are about 50 spaces for campers. If you are going to tent camp then there is ample room around the park.
Camping: Main Brothers Campground - Karnak, IL - about ten miles from the start, very near the 10, 15, 60, and 65 mile aid station. Hookups, etc. 618-634-9311
Airports: St. Louis, MO, Lambert International is 150 miles from Vienna. Paducah Kentucky, Barkley airport is 35 miles. Nashville International is 175 miles.

Would you like to VOLUNTEER?

Volunteers are the life line of the Tunnel Hill runs. Under the coordination of Jason Claunch, we have been blessed with an outstanding group, including some from the River to River Runners Club, The West Kentucky Runners Club, the Boy Scouts troup, the Masons, and the Eastern Star.
If you would like to volunteer to help we can use you! Let us know!
Steve Durbin –
Jason Claunch –
Volunteers receive a long sleeve Tunnel Hill shirt, and the recognition and appreciation of 750 runners!

Sponsorship Opportunities

Thanks to current sponsors:
So iLL Racing
West Kentucky Runners Club
River to River Runners Club
S.W.O.R.D. hydration drink
Paducah Bank
Johnson County IL
City of Vienna

For sponsorships opportunities please contact Steve Durbin at

Local time: 11:10 AM


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