Race Preview: 2017 Elk-Kings 25k & 50k (Tillamook State Forest)

As my miles start to increase and my fitness level goes up (the benefits of dry summers), I am starting to think more and more about putting in work for an ultramarathon. There are so many great locations in Oregon to run one, and one that is super intriguing is Go Beyond Racing‘s Elk-Kings 25k & 50k – a jaunt on single track trails through the  Tillamook State Forest.

Most of us are familiar with the ultras near Mt. Hood and in the Central Oregon mountains, but the Tillamook Forest is a newer area to me. Runners will actually summit two mountains (Elk and Kings, duh) and gain over 5800 ft of gain in the 25k and 6500 ft in the 5ok.  Even with some significant elevation gain in the 25k there are even greater challenges that include small scramble sections and pretty steep descents on rocky – and slick/muddy trails. We are talking using ropes here (see video).

This is NOT your typical trail race and it’s actually possible that the 25k is a bigger challenge than the longer distance, due to it’s steep climbs and descents. They recommend that runners attempt tackling it prior to race day to understand what awaits. As mentioned before, the 50K still has 6500′ of elevation gain and has a double out-and-back (an 8.4 mi RT trip heading SW from the Tillamook Forest Center, followed by an out-and-backalong the Wilson River before connecting up with the 25k starters at Elk Creek Campground). The 50k runners will not tackle the Elk-Kings Junction.

Following the event, recover with Red Duck pulled pork BBQ (and veggie burgers) before heading home.

Follow the race on Facebook for more details leading up to race day (this year or next). Online registration is still open through 10/10/17.

Elk-Kings 25k & 50k
When: October 14, 2017 (730a for 50k & 930a for 25k)
Where: Tillamook Forest Center (45500 Wilson River Hwy) – 25k runners will be shuttled to Elk Creek Campground for the start
Register: Online here; $110 for 50k & $90 for 25k

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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