Race Recap: 2017 Run the Rock 50m/50k/Half…from a Volunteer’s Perspective

The inaugural Run the Rock by Alpine Running was held on November 11th at Smith Rock State Park. Per usual, it was incredibly gorgeous – perfect running weather and, bittersweetly for me, perfect volunteering weather. I was signed up for the 50 miler and had to drop from the event completely due to a runner’s worst nightmare – injury. Knowing that races can’t happen without volunteers, I made an adventure weekend out of it anyway and staffed the finish line food tent. I had a good friend running the same race and had a great time chatting with the runners from all distances, hanging out with the race director and other volunteers, and eventually getting a race recap from my friend!

The day featured a half marathon, a 50K, and a 50M, all of which reported incredible views. It was a clear and crisp day and if the beauty of Smith Rock just wasn’t enough, the white-capped mountains of the Bend area and beyond were in clear sight.

Every single runner had a smile at the finish line. I served up soup, hot chocolate, chips, and other usual fare (though was easily overshadowed by the food truck East Meets West Fusion, seriously good post-race food and eventually beer from Good Life Brewing), and had a chance to check-in with the runners about what I had been missing all day! Most commented something along the lines of “What a beautiful course, but certainly a challenge!“. Undoubtedly so, as the half marathon has about 2,700 feet of elevation gain, the 50K has 4,500 feet, and the 50M has 6,500 feet. Some runners said it was technical in a few sections and had to navigate some mud, but nothing unbearable.

The top times for each event were:

Half: M 1:37 | F 2:02
50K: M 4:10 | F 4:40
50M: M 6:47 | 7:57

The top finishers won custom awards and every finisher received a pint glass. The shirts available for purchase are quality cotton blend casual shirt (which I adore, because honestly, who needs another technical race tee!).

As much as I wanted to be running this one, I am happy to have been part of this event. I know for sure that I am eternally grateful for every volunteer who has ever been at a race I’ve run. They are integral to a runner’s success on race day, however, I look forward to returning in 2018 as a runner! You can register on Ultra Signup for the 2018 event here starting January 1st!


About Author

Bobi Jo has lived all over the midwest but moved to Portland in 2007 and now calls it home. She started casually running in 2012 and trained up for the "Run Like A Mother" 5k as her first proper event. She got a taste of the runner's high and is now a veteran ultrarunner. While running is her favorite sport, she is a "Jill of all trades, master of none" - her other hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and traveling the world. On her elusive rest days, she is an avid bookworm and a Green Bay Packers fan.

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