Race Preview: Hot Springs Trail Runs 4/18/2015 (McKenzie River Trail area, OR)

Hot Springs Trail Runs, by Pink Buffalo Racing. Occurring Saturday, April 18, 2015! (Photo Credit: Pink Buffalo Racing)

Hot Springs Trail Runs, by Pink Buffalo Racing. Occurring Saturday, April 18, 2015! (Photo Credit: Pink Buffalo Racing)

I feel like a broken record lately when I say this … but! There is a new race in town! Hooray! This new race, Hot Springs Trail Runs, by Pink Buffalo Racing, is a true destination trail running event. Registration opened today at 10 a.m. Folks in the Bend/Sisters, and Eugene/Springfield area could easily make this a lovely day trip adventure, or spend the night and make it a weekend! The race takes place on Saturday, April 18, 2015 with staging at Belknap Hot Springs. Here’s the scoop on this brand new event. You can choose between the 18 mile or 5 mile events. For the 18 miler, the participant cap is set at 150, and for the 5 miler, the cap is 50. Therefore, do not delay if you are interested - register super quick! There has been a lot of positive and exciting chatter online about this event, and I would strongly encourage you to register sooner than later if you wish to participate, as the likelihood of a sellout is very high.

Details, details, details! Here they are! Let’s start with the 18 miler. If you choose to participate in the 18 miler, the race will begin at 9 a.m. at the Waterfall Trail (Carmen Reservoir). Shuttles will take participants from the finish line, at Belknap Hot Springs, to the start line at Carmen Reservoir. The shuttle runs from 7:30 a.m. until 8:25 a.m. Note that you can be dropped off at the start line, however, no parking is allowed and there is not a shuttle back to your vehicle.

Elevation profile for the 18-miler. (Photo Credit: Pink Buffalo Racing)

Elevation profile for the 18-miler. (Photo Credit: Pink Buffalo Racing)

So, park at Belknap Hot Springs, and catch the shuttle for the 18 miler. Drop bag service is included at the start, so you’ll be fine bringing what you need to prepare at the start line. The course closes 5 hours after the start. Included in your entry fee of $45 (through March 31, then price increases) are a host of perks. Your shuttle ticket from Belknap Hot Springs to the start line; professional chip timing by Eclectic Edge Racing; finisher medals and age group awards; a complimentary one hour dip in the Belknap Hot Springs Resort pool; Sporks A La Cart post race food, and 4 aid stations along the course offering Gatorade, water and energy gels. Definitely check out the trail map for the 18 miler, it is absolutely gorgeous! The entire course traverses the McKenzie River National Wild and Scenic River Corridor, and will pass such spectacular areas such as Blue Pool (also known as Tamolitch Pool by some), past Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls, plus a LOT more incredible sites to gaze upon.

Now the 5 miler! For those running the 5, the race kicks off at 10 a.m. Shuttle service begins at 8:45 a.m. until 9:35 a.m. No drop off or parking at the start for those in the 5 miler, you must take the shuttle from Belknap Hot Springs. Bag check is available at the start line. The perks included in the 5 mile registration fee, currently $35 until March 31, include your shuttle ticket from Belknap Hot Springs to the start at McKenzie Trail (Deer Creek Rd); professional chip timing by Eclectic Edge Racing; age group awards (note: no finisher medals for the 5 miler); one hour complimentary access to Belknap Hot Springs Resort pool; post-race refreshments by Sporks A La Cart, and one aid station stocked with Gatorade, water and energy gels. This course also traverses the McKenzie River National Wild and Scenic River Corridor, and will include some beautiful rapids to see as you run on the trail. Check out the 5 mile course map for more details, and know that is will be stunning.

As this truly is a destination trail race, here are some details on how you can make this a wonderful weekend to truly celebrate the arrival of spring! On Friday evening, there will be a spaghetti dinner available for racers and spectators for $12 at the Belknap Hot Springs Lodge.  Reservations must be made in advance no later than April 12. Also, and this is really awesome, Belknap Hot Springs Lodge and Gardens has a 2 night minimum stay, but the folks at Pink Buffalo Racing have secured a special waiver, allowing racers to stay at the Lodge Friday night only if you wish. There are lodge rooms, cabins, tent and RV spaces available to reserve on site. Don’t forget your complimentary 1 hour dip in the Belknap Resort pool for participants (you will receive at ticket for this at packet pick-up). Spectators and family members can jump in, too, but must purchase their own pass. Prior to using the pool, you must shower, so make sure to bring a towel, swim suit, and any personal items you may need. Don’t forget a dry change of clothes, too! Post race massage is available from LMT Kari Mowbray for $1/minute, too. It’s going to be like a spa experience at Belknap!

If you have family or friends joining you to make this a wonderful weekend event, encourage them to volunteer. Pink Buffalo Racing offers volunteers $20 in buffalo chips to use toward a future race – this is awesome!

To sum up this magical new race in a few closing thoughts –

  1. Make it a weekend and reserve your spot at Belknap Hot Springs Lodge and Gardens and take advantage of the $12 spaghetti dinner Friday evening.
  2. Carpool. Parking is limited. Take the shuttle from Belknap Hot Springs to your appropriate start line.
  3. The 18 mile race caps at 150 participants and the 5 mile race caps at 50 participants, so do not delay to get registered.
  4. Both the 18 mile and 5 mile course will be stunningly beautiful, you can not choose incorrectly!

I hope to see you out there at the brand new Hot Springs Trail Runs! I don’t know which distance I am registering for you – but I’ll be there! And I hope you see you there, too!

Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Distance: 18 miler, 5 miler
Start Time: 9 a.m. for the 18 miler, 10 a.m. for the 5 miler
Cost: $45 February 20 – March 31 for the 18 miler; $35 February 20 – March 31 for the 5 miler. If space remains, registration available after March 31 for $10 more, each distance
Register: Click here to register

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