Race Preview: Waldo 100K 8/20/16 (Willamette Pass Ski Area, Ore.)

Run Oregon's Jessica feels strongly about pre-planning your race calendar as far in advance as you possibly can. Please note that the Waldo 100K event for 2016 was a lottery-style registration that occurred in February, 2016. The race is 'capped' at 135 runners, and all were selected in the lottery. Add this to your 2017 calendar if it sounds awesome to you (like it does to me). On Saturday, August 20th, the Waldo 100K ultramarathon takes place in the gorgeous Willamette Pass Ski area, which is a short 70 mile jaunt east of Eugene. Featuring a challenging loop style course (note: not for beginners! - registrants must have completed at least one 50K trail race or longer in the past two years), participants will traverse several mountains including Maiden Peak, Fuji and The Twins prior to coming back through the start/finish line at Willamette Pass Ski area. During the course of the event, you will cover 11,000′ of elevation gain and the same amount in elevation loss. The start/finish line is at a 5,120' elevation, and the route will follow along mostly single-track style trails, and include some remote sections. Waldo 100K will boast 4 qualifying points for Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB)®, and is a Western States® 100-Mile Endurance Run qualifying event. Waldo 100K is rich in history, and the depth of experience of the race directors is outstanding.  

"In the beginning, there was an Oregon Trail Series of ultramarathons – sadly, it was lacking in any distance above 50 miles. Being envious of our neighbors in the state to the south and a certain famous 100-mile race, the Northwest ultrarunning community began making noise about Oregon putting on a 100-mile or 100km race. Route ideas included the Eugene to Pacific Crest Trail (E2PCT) – which, upon further examination, turned out to be less than inspiring – something in McDonald Forest in Corvallis (100 anything in the Mac? Yikes!), or the Umpqua River Trail. Craig Thornley, a Willamette Pass Ski Patrol volunteer, made the suggestion of starting and finishing at Willamette Pass as it had the necessary facilities and was fairly centrally located, right on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Meanwhile, Curt Ringstad, a longtime Bend ultrarunner with a knack for creating great training routes, was inspired to commit to Craig to be a co-RD after a 22-mile run around Waldo Lake, followed by a dip in those pristine waters."

Start times will be 3 a.m. for the early starters (those who expect to take longer than 16 hours to complete the event) and 5 a.m. for the regular start. Cutoffs will occur three times, at Charlton Lake at 1 p.m., Rd 4290 at 2:15 p.m., and The Twins at 4:30 p.m. Coveted finisher hats will go to finishers who complete the 100K before 9 p.m. That is a 16 hour timeline for the 5 a.m. starters, or 18 hours for the 3 a.m. early starters.

Aid stations will be fully stocked, and staffed by experienced ultra runners (always a good thing!). Aid and drop bag points are spaced approximately 4.9 to 7.5 mile apart. Check out the aid stations description page for details on where they are located, and where your crew can greet you.

As mentioned above, the coveted Waldo 100K hat will be given to all runners who finish prior to 9 p.m. There will be additional prizes available for participants. They are broken down into three ‘challenges’ –

Find Waldo: The first male and female runner to reach the summit of Fuji Mountain where Waldo Lake is visible for the first time, will receive an outdoor gear prize. Early started are not eligible for this challenge.

Wet Waldo: As participants will have access to six different lakes on their journey (Charlton, Found, Maiden, N. Rosary, Middle Rosary, Lower Rosary), the runner who swims in the most lakes and finishes prior to 9 p.m. will receive an outdoor gear prize. Early starters will be eligible for this challenge.

 Show us Your Waldo: Each aid station passed through will judge the runner who shows (or has the most/best) Waldo. The prize is a free entry into the 2017 race, and early started are eligible for this challenge.

Prize money is also up for grabs, thanks to Salomon. Early starters will not be eligible for prize money.

Open Male/Female $Amount
1st place $500
2nd place $250
3rd place $125
Masters Male/Female $Amount
1st place $250
2nd place $125


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