Race Preview: 2018 Willamette Headwaters Endurance Events (Oakridge)

For a fun Fall adventure, consider one of the three events at the 2018 Willamette Headwaters Endurance Events on October 6th. You will have your choice of three distances: an 11 miler, a 22 miler, or a 33 miler. All will take place along the Middle Form Willamette National Recreation Trail in Oakridge where WHEE Runs have a special use permit. Profits from the event go to the Eugene Mission.

The 11 Mile option starts along the Historic Oregon Central Military Wagon road and will take you across the river and some streams. There is some climbing involved (there’s about 1400 feet of elevation gain) and your feet will get a little wet at a spring crossing 5 miles in, but you’ll get a scenic race. Dogs are allowed on leashes for this distance only. The 22 miler follows the same route as the 11 miler for the first 6 miles before venturing off into the river valley. There’s about 2800 feet of elevation gain for this option and you should plan for some rolling up and downs. The 33 mile option follows the 11 miler route before turning onto the trail for some single track beauty and into an old growth grove called Paddy’s Swamp. Thankfully there’s actually no swamp on the course, but you should prepare for about 3 miles of steady uphill before you’ll have to hop over some river boulders. There’s approximately 5500 feet of elevation gain for the 33 mile course.

Since there are stream crossings on all of the courses, you should plan on having to use rocks and logs if you want to avoid getting your feet wet, but please be safe. Also, since there are out and backs on the course, be aware that you will be passing other runners and should be considerate of this. This is also open weekend for hunting, but this has never been an issue in the past and is not anticipated to be a problem. Please do refrain from wearing fur coats or antler hats. There will be agility cones and surveyor’s tape every quarter mile on the course. Since there is surveryor’s tape for other uses out there, you should follow the pink and green tape together.  It’s not a bad idea to check out a course map before you get out there.

A drop bag option will be available for the 22 mile and 33 mile runs and they must be dropped at the start before 9:00AM and labeled with your bib number. Please don’t put valuables in the drop bags. They will be brought back to the start after aid stations are broken down.

There will be 2 pit toilets at the start/finish area and near some (but NOT all) of the aid stations. There will be GU gels and chews, candy, trail mix, PB&J, and salted potatoes as well as water, GU Brew, Coke, Sprite, and Ginger Ale at aid stations. Minimal distilled water will be available and the Chuckle Springs aid station will have spring water. There will be a water drop 2 miles from the finish and there will be no pain relievers at the aid stations. Aid will not be allowed outside of aid stations and littering is grounds for disqualification. Please use “trial etiquette” when out there on the course and you should be fine. There is a full list of rules and tips on the website.

Please be sure to check in at the 11 mile aid station with a volunteer, (22 miler and 33 milers runners will check in here twice .. Once on the way in and once on the way out.) Failure to do so could result in a possibly disqualification.

If you wish to camp at the Sacandaga Campground, it’s available to racers for $8 a night. Rigdon Meadows, where the start/finish will be, has spots available but no amenities.

There will be snacks and a light dinner available at the finish line, but please limit yourself to 1 meal so that everyone gets a chance to get some post-race grub.


What: 2018 Willamette Headwaters Endurance Events (11 Mile/22 Mile/33 Mile)

When: October 6th, 2018. 9:00AM for 33 Mile, 10:00AM for 22 Mile, and 10:30AM for the 11 Mile. All runners must be present for roll call 5 minutes before race start time.

Where: Scandaga Campground, Willamette National Recreation Trail (Oakridge, OR)

Register: Here 

Registration Cost: $75 for 33 Miler, $45 for 22 Miler, $35 for 11 Miler. $5 more for day of race registration (cash or check only.)

Packet Pick-Up: Bib pick-up and day of race registration will be available at the start in the campground.

About Author

I'm the owner of Healthy Girl Fitness and I'm a personal trainer, certified AFAA group exercise instructor, and an RRCA certified running coach in SW Portland. I am also the mother of two young boys and am on the board at my youngest son's school. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.