Race Preview: 2019 Elk Kings Trail Races

If you were to ask me to name one event that I would recommend all trail runners do at least once, it would be Go Beyond Racing’s Elk King Trail Races. It’s been almost 2 years now since I first took part, and it is still easily one of my most memorable races to date. Taking place October 12 in the Tillamook State Forest, the 25k, 50k, and Mountain Marathon includes dreamy single track trails canvassed in lush greenery, plenty of rolling hills, steep climbs, steep descents, and breathtaking summit views. It is truly a runner’s paradise.

The 25k, which starts at Elk Creek Campground, is described as a very steep and very technical course with scrambling up and down steep and rocky (and muddy) trails with exposure. Boasting an impressive 5800′ of elevation gain, runners will summit both Elk and Kings Mountain.

The 50k will start at the Jones Creek Day Use Area, just east of the Tillamook Forest Center, on Highway 6. The course is a double out-and-back where you’ll start running west on the Wilson River Trail, turn around after 4.2 miles and head back east along the trail all the way to the Elk Creek Campground at mile 20. Then you’ll turn back around and run back the way you came, finishing by crossing the bridge at the Tillamook Forest Center. The 50k includes a solid 6500′ of elevation gain and is ran entirely on single track.

Both the 25k and 50k course maps can be viewed here: 25k & 50k COURSE MAPS

The Mountain Marathon, first introduced in 2018, starts at Elk Creek Campground at the same time and place as the 25K. Marathon racers will head straight up Elk Mountain, and run on the Elk Creek trail. You’ll rejoin the 25K course at the Kings aid station in the saddle between Elk and Kings mountains. Racers will then head over to Kings summit, then down the Kings Mountain trail and east on the Wilson River trail, back toward the start. This time you get to go up the Elk Mountain trail. From there, it is over to the saddle and onto to Kings summit and down King’s Mountain trail a second time before turning west on the Wilson River trail. The Mountain Marathon includes a whopping 8,000′ of gain and 8,400′ of loss.

An interactive Mountain Marathon course map can be viewed here: Marathon COURSE MAP

SHUTTLES: It is important to note that Marathon and 25k race participants will need to take a shuttle from the Jones Creek Day Use Area to the Elk Creek Campground where both races start. There are two shuttles, based alphabetically by last name. Participants are advised to not drive to the start line as bibs are only available at the Jones Creek Day Use Area. See map.

Full Race Day Schedule:

Saturday, October 12, 2019
50K bib pickup: 6:00-7:00 am (photo ID required)
50K start: 7:30 am

25K bib pickup: 7:45 – 8:40 am (photo ID required)
Mountain Marathon bib pickup: 7:45 – 8:40 am (photo ID required)

25K & Marathon shuttle to start:
First shuttles: 8:25 am
Last shuttle: 8:40 am

25K start: 9:00 am
Marathon start: 9:00 am

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. Please note, headphones are allowed in one ear only. All of the races will finish at the Tillamook Forest Center. Post-race festivities will include Red Duck pulled pork BBQ and veggie burgers. Awards will be given out to the top 3 male/female finishers and there will also be the crowning of King & Queen of the Mountain. Also included will be a raffle with prizes from race sponsors.

What: 2019 Elk Kings Trail Races – 25k, 50k, and Mountain Marathon

When: Saturday, October 12; 50k starts at 730am & 25k/Mountain Marathon starts at 9am

Where: Jones Creek Day Use Area start for 50k, Elk Creek Campground start for 25k/Mountain Marathon

Packet pick-up: All racers will pick up their bib race morning. These year’s bib pick up is inside the Smith Homestead. 25K and Mountain Marathon runners pick up their bib BEFORE getting onto the shuttles to the start line. Bibs are not available at the starting line.

Cost: 25k is $90, 50k is $110, Marathon is $100

Registration closes October 6 and can be done here: REGISTER

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