Just Plain Tough – A Run Oregon race preview of the 2016 Plain Endurance Runs (Plain, WA)

Attention ultrarunners and 100-miler wannabees! There is less than a month left until the 2016 Plain Endurance Runs. If this is the first you are hearing about it, you probably shouldn’t just sign up for this year’s event on a whim (and it’s important to not that you must have completed a TRAIL 100 mile, the Plain 100K or equivalent prior to entry), but start training now for the 2017 event. This event looks super hard, and super unique.

So why would you want to head to Eastern Oregon and check this out? Well, “plain” means plain, in more ways than one. Here is some info from their website:

In Ultra running circles, the Plain Endurance Runs are singularly unique. Plain isn’t just the name of a town in Eastern Washington, it describes this race itself. Plain and simple; it’s you and you alone against the course.  You receive no aid in the form of; pacers, course markings or aid stations. Our volunteers staff checkpoints but, it’s Plain, they leave you to your own abilities. It’s like climbing Mt. Everest without the aid of supplemental oxygen. Hence our motto, “The Plain Endurance Runs are just Plain tough”. If you’re looking for the ultimate challenge you’ve come to the right place.

Course map – yellow is loop 1, green is loop 2


What that means is that over the first 8 years, there were only 4 total finishers. HOwever, as runners have learned to pace themselves and figure out the dynamics, now about 35% finish. Additionally, they also offer the Plain 100k, which is just one loop instead of two. Here is a description of their course:

The Plain races take place on USFS trails and roads in the Cascade mountains in the Lake Wenatchee, Entiat, and Chelan ranger districts. There are approximately 85 miles of trail and 20 miles of forest service roads, all quite remote. Elevation gain/loss is roughly 21,000 feet. There is one re-supply point after the first 100K. Your water sources are creeks and rivers on the course and you will be carrying all your food and necessary gear from the start, or from the resupply point.

Go here for more important times, information, and details.

Plain Endurance Runs
When: Saturday, September 17, 2016 @ 5am
Where: Lake Wenatchee Recreation Club
Register: Online here; $135 for the 100-miler and $100 for the 100k

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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