The century is a difficult route given its length and total climbing but, the grades are very manageable. Unfortunately, the metric route omits the premier parts of the century route - much of which is on the Parkway, and probably the most scenic section of Parkway in all its length. I would recommend the century, and starting an hour earlier or resigning yourself to going slower and taking more breaks if necessary. Take it easy and enjoy it, and stop for pictures because the vistas are gorgeous.
If you are training for a century on Labor Day, then you should be riding centuries now.
Yes the Sunrise Century is flat. It will be my first century since a bout with cancer. Training with 15-25 mile days during the week and a 65-75 mile trip one day on the weekend. Using this ride for one of the weekend trips.
I plan to do it again this year. I did the Century last year and while there's a good bit of climbing there's nothing very steep. It is a really great Century with longish climbs and fast descents. If the weather is clear the views can take your mind off the uphills on the BRP. I have not done a Century with hills in a while so I'm planning to cruise along.
Let's just hope they get better weather than last year!
Its a very nice event and route (century route, that is). The main climbs are 215, Richland Balsam, and Waterrock (all of which you have done before I believe). The Blue Ridge Brutal out of West Jefferson is on the same day which will likely compromise the attendance numbers somewhat, but I suspect they will have about 400 riders (I think there were approx 400 last year). The difficulty is comparable to Cherohala (similar milage and total elevation gain...I had 10K' last year). Its a long day in the saddle but the scenery is great. Organization & execution are first rate. I started getting a few leg cramps last year on the final climb up Waterrock but slowing down resolved the issue (unlike the Mtn of Misery event where I just could not shake the cramps on the final climb).