Race Preview: 2018 Elk-King Trail Races (Tillamook)

Get Excited! This year, Go Beyond Racing’s 2018 Elk-Kings Trail Races has a new distance option in addition to the 25k and the 50k. This year, there’s a Mountain Marathon (actually 27.5 miles) and it will be as challenging and scenic as the other two. All three of these races, which trek through the Tillamook State Forest, will be on Saturday, October 13th, 2018.

The Marathon and 25k race participants will need to take a shuttle from the Jones Creek Day Use Area to the Elk Creek Campground, where their race will begin. There are two shuttles, based alphabetically by last name. Be sure to be on time! The 50k will start from Jones Creek Day Use area, so they will not need to take the shuttle anywhere once they get parked.

The 25k is a steep and technical course which will take runners on single-track trails and summit two mountains .. The Elk and the Kings Mountains, as the name of the race suggests. If you like a challenge, there’s 5800 feet of gain, (much of that in the first 3 miles,) to test that along the rocky and sometimes muddy trails. This could be the toughest race you’ve ever done, but you’ll surely never forget it. It’s recommended that you attempt this course on your own before race day so you know what you are in for.

The 50k race is less technical than the 25k but there is 6500 feet of gain on the double out and back. This distance will offer a tour of the Wilson River Trail, on rolling single-track trails. There will be dense forests and stream crossings, and the Fall scenery will make it all worth it. Both the 25k and 50k routes can be seen on the course map.

Finally, the brand-new Mountain Marathon will take you up and down Elk Mountain, King’s Summit, and Elk Summit with a whopping 8000 feet of gain plus a little more in descending. Marathon racers will start with the 25k participants but will veer off when 25k folks head up Elk Mountain. Check out the interactive course map to see the course.

This will be a cupless event, so bring your own hydration vessel. The aid stations will be stocked with GU electrolyte drink and gels, chips, cookies, PB&J sandwiches, gummy bears, and the usual ultra grub. The King’s aid station will have only water and GU electrolyte drink and gels.

All of the races will finish at the Tillamook Forest Center, with your car about ¼ mile away along the Wilson River Trail. But first, come join in the fun at the post-race festivities. There will be Red Duck pulled pork BBQ and veggie burgers too. The top 3 male/female finishers will get some prizes from the sponsors and there will be a raffle too. There will also be the crowning of King & Queen of the Mountain!

Camping is available at The Diamond Mill OHV, and most other area campgrounds will be closed for the season. Wonderland Expeditions will have 4×4 trucks and SUV’s with pop-up campers and rooftop tents.

There are two cutoff times for this race, one at the Elk Creek aid station at 1:00PM and one at the Wilson aid station at 3:00PM. Also, headphones are allowed in one ear only. If you are allergic to bees, please bring your epi-pen, as bees are in high season in October.

I’ll be out there myself doing the 50k and would love to see you all there too!



What: 2018 Elk-Kings Trail Races (Mountain Marathon/50k/25k)

When: Saturday, October 13th, 2018. 25k and marathon shuttle begins at 8:25AM (last name A-L) and 8:40AM (last name M-Z.) 25k and marathon start at 9:00AM. 50k starts at 7:30AM.

Where: Jones Creek Day Use Area parking lot, Wilson River Trail (50k start and 25k and Marathon Shuttle)

Cost: Marathon is $100, 25k is $90, 50k is $110. Costs increase $10 on day of race, if not sold out.

Register: Here

Packet Pick-Up: Day of race bib pick-up is from 6:00AM to 7:00AM for 50k and 7:45AM to 8:40AM for 25k and Marathon.

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.

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