The 2017 Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 & 40 miler is 75+% full. REGISTER NOW!

When I made the decision in 2015, to bite the bullet and register for the Peterson Ridge Rumble 20-miler, I didn’t really know what I was in for. I mean, I was planning on a challenging course, in high-mountain air, having never ran that far on trails before (and only a handful of times further on roads. What I ended up getting was a life changing experience that I will never forget – it was that incredible and memorable. The 2017 is over 75% full, and is sure to bring the same to you. Here is a little of what I said in my 2015 recap:

As we hit the true trails along Peterson Ridge, it was easy to be struck by the beauty…The ease that I felt scaling Eagle Rock .. had me confident in my abilities and gave me a boost of positive energy. Eagle Rock is one place that I really need to return to on a casual (i.e. non-racing) basis to really just take in the view more so than the few seconds I typically do.

Thinking back on the race now, the next 10+ miles were a blur of just great running. The trails rolled and only gently climbed to the halfway point. The trails were thin, making passing difficult the majority of the time. Aid stations were abundant with energy gel and chews, pretzels, M&M’s, hydration AND volunteers. Not being a veteran in trail running, I still wouldn’t consider the trails “technical”. They appeared well maintained to me, with a variety of rocks to navigate.

Overall, this race encompasses all of the great things a race should have. The course is great course and the organization/support were great. It was also inexpensive and catered to both novice trail runners (like myself) as well as to fast trail-running experts. I highly recommend this race to anyone and everyone looking to challenge themselves and have a great time in the process.

The crazy winter weather has things definitely having the potential for a great challenge next month. Here’s a comment from their latest Facebook post:

Snow – the course is pretty buried right now. The 10-day weather forecast in the Sisters area mostly calls for highs in the 40s with a good chance of precip daily; that would likely mean rain, which is good for melting the snow. We’ve got plenty of time for it all, or most of it, to melt. Right?

Pre-race Camping – the Sisters Chamber of Commerce has been fielding calls from Rumblers asking about camping in the forest before the race. Most of the dispersed camping areas in the national forest around town are still under snow. I’m optimistic many of the lower areas will be snow-free on Rumble weekend. (Note: just because I’m optimistic doesn’t mean I’m going to be right.)

If the course remains buried in snow due to continued weather anomalies, the race director will be modifying the course, but the date will remain unchanged. I recommend checking out and following the website for the best details, but here are some highlights:

  • The courses.

Both courses remain relatively the same as in year’s passed (assuming the snow melts that is). There will be one main change however. In previous years, following the first mile, runners enter trails for a mile before hitting the Brooks-Scanlon and Edgington dirt roads. Historically, 40 mile runners turned left on the road, but this year a right turn will occur and runners will loop back to the start line via Edgington. While this seems sort of odd up front, it is a pretty fantastic opportunity to drop jackets, hats, and gloves that you were over prepared for. The same trail section will be run on again and the course will continue as it always has.

The course is beautiful (see picture above) and features a good mix of climbs along the way (total ascent and descent for the 40 miler is about 3000′, and for the 20 miler is about 2000′). Here’s the simple way they describe it:

The 40 mile is mostly trail with some dirt road sections. The first quarter is gentle uphill, second quarter is gentle downhill, third quarter starts with a gentle up before a couple of longish, 2-mile uphill grinders, and the final quarter is gentle downhill (with some sweet views!), making for a fast finish.


  • The aid stations.

There are 6 full aid stations (and one water-only) for the 40-milers and 4 for the 20-milers, which will come around every 3-7 miles. I would recommend carrying your own stuff, as the first aid station for the longer distance won’t be until mile 7 and at least half of the stations will be cupless and require your own canister. In addition to water, there will be Nuun Hydration, cola, gels, fruit, potato chips, candy, chips, and more at most stations. If you have support helping you along the way, make sure you check out their FAQ page.

  • Cut-offs.

There are some times to pay attention to if there is a chance you may not be a super-runner. While it is unclear if the cut-off times will be altered due to weather conditions, as it now stands runners of the long distance will need to be at mile 24 by 1245p (4:45 past regular start time). If you don’t reach by that time, you will be directed to finish with the 20 milers. There will be different times to reach subsequent aid stations (AS6 will have a 215p cutoff and AS7 will have a 345p cutoff), as well as final cutoff of 5p. The 20-miler cutoffs are a little different, but more or less in line with the same pacing (AS2 @1130p; AS3 @1p; AS4 @215p; Finish @ 4p).

  • Post-race.

Peterson Ridge doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to its post-race. There is prize money for winners and an amazing post-race burrito bar and bakery item smorgasboard. Showers are available in the Sisters Middle School locker rooms. ANd all runners will receive trail running socks, in lieu of a shirt (awesome).

This race is a fundraiser for the Sisters High School Cross Country team and is really an event every trail runner – new or seasoned – should experience. Register before it’s too late!

When: Sunday, April 9, 2017
What time: The 40-miler starts at 8a (with an early start at 7a) and the 20-miler starts at 9a
Where: Sisters Middle School in Sisters, Ore.
Register: Online here; $65 for 40-miler and $55 for 20-miler

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (609) and wineries (148) 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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