Growing up in Oregon, I have sadly only been to Crater Lake once in my life when I was a teenager, but I am still left with the images of the crystal clear blue water, the gorgeous views and all the trees, the coldness even during the summer in the morning and at nights (made for freezing campsites and very cold toes!) and the still bad knee from hiking down the rim and around Wizard Island (that island in the middle of the lake) in sandals. Despite all that, I have wanted to go back every summer, but still haven’t made it there. But now I have even more motivation to do so – I had no idea that they held a running event every year around the entire rim of the lake! How cool is that?!?!
Often considered as both the most beautiful/scenic and at the same time one of the toughest marathons in the world, the 41st Crater Lake Rim Runs actually has 3 courses to choose from: 6.7 run/walk, 13 miles (.1 shy of a half marathon) and the full marathon. All courses run along the rim of the Crater and are at altitudes ranging from 5,980 to 7,850 feet above seal level! If you have never ran at higher elevations, it is a totally different and tough experience, but imagine the satisfaction you will feel when you reach the finish line! Registration is limited to 500 runners with age restrictions in place – 1o years and older for the 6.7 run/walk, 16 years and older for the 13 miles and 18 years and older for the marathon. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis – you will be notified by mail of your acceptance which will include your bib umber and race info. If you didn’t make it in, your entry form and fees will be returned. I’d be checking my mail every day if I registered for it!
Crater Lake is a bit of a drive for most, so making this event a part of a weekend camping adventure is a great idea. Camping around the park is plentiful and usually availalbe, but if you prefer a hotel, it is quite limited. There is the Crater Lake Lodge but it fills up quick, so if you aren’t camping you might be in for a drive to/from your hotel in a nearby city. Those that are staying close by or in the Park are invited by the race organizers to attend a viewing of “The Rim and Its Runners” that will be shown in the Steel Visitor Center at 6pm on Friday.
It could be a chilly start to the race on race day, with temperature in the 30s to 50s and warming up to anywhere between 70 to the 90s. Dress in layers you can shed! Buses will provide transportation to/from the start/finish from a few different points around the Lake and a few select hotels nearby. Buses start going at 4:45am so set your alarms early!
The races all start at the area of the park known as The Watchman and then split out on different directions/routes. The course is on paved roads, except for the last four miles of the Marathon which is on dirt/pumice cinders. All courses are hilly with long grades of altitude loss and gains nearing 1,000 feet at a time over distances of 5 miles. There are aid stations every 3 miles and a medical team trailing each of the runs to help out where needed.
Pop, watermelon and bagels will be available at the finish line when you make it there! Engraved trophies will be given to top female and male overall winners and age group winner will receive a plaque and division places 2 to 5 will receive a ribbon. All runner will receive a commemorative medal and t shirt.
At the time of this writing, there were only 7 spots left to register! If you want to do this race, sign up NOW and run that rim!
What: Crater Lake Rim Runs
When: Saturday August 12, 2017
- Race Start at 7:30am
Where: Crater Lake National Park
- $65 until August 1 and $75 on August 1 and until registration closes
- $80 until August 1 and $90 on August 1 and until registration closes
- $100 until August 1 and $110 on August 1 and until registration closes.