Race Preview: 2021 Siskiyou Out Back (SOB) Trail Run

If you’re looking for an epic race, the 2021 Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run, otherwise known as The SOB should check all the boxes. This race, held on July 10th this year high above the Rogue Valley for the 22nd year has several distances to choose from. There’s a 15k, a 50k, a 50 miler, and a 100k if you’re really up for a challenge. All of them promise to be scenic and beautiful.

All distances will begin and end at the Mt. Ashland Lodge at an altitude of 6500 feet. The courses will travel the Pacific Crest Trail with views of Mt. Shasta, Mt McLaughlin, and the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges to keep you occupied. All the ultra distances, UTMB qualifiers, have some challenging elevation gain.. 4200 feet for the 50k, 8400 feet for the 50 Miler, and an enormous 10,500 feet for the 100k. It’s really no wonder at all that this event is called The SOB. The 100k race is also a Western States 100-mile Endurance Run qualifier and has a cut off time of 17 hours. Race goals, right?

The 15k course takes a forest service road for about a mile from the Mt. Ashland Ski parking lot until reaching the PCT. From there, runners will head to the Grouse Gap, and the trail will get steeper. You’ll have 2 miles to the turn-around and end up back on the PCT. The last 3 miles will take runners back the way that they came to the finish.

The 50k, also starting from the Mt. Ashland Ski Area, heads west before intersecting with the PCT. From the Willamette Meridian aid station, runners will climb to a saddle with gorgeous views of Mt. Shasta and the peaks of the Marble Mountain and Mt. Eddy.  After another gap and descent through Long John Saddle to the Siskiyou Gap aid station, runners will climb for another 3.4 miles before heading back onto the PCT. They will proceed to the Jackson Gap aid station, which is the highest point on the course. There will be many stunning views here of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Ashland, Preston Peak, Red Buttes, Mt. McLoughlin, and the Crater Lake rim to the north. From here, runners will head to Big Red Mountain and finally to the route that was taken going out.

The 50 Miler follows the 50k to the 2nd  meet up at the Willamette Meridian Aid Station. Runners will head north on the Split Rock Trail and after 4 miles will head down the Wagner Glade Trail and then down Potlicker. Horn Gap Road leads to Horn Gap Trail, then out to 2060, and then to Time Warp Trail. Eventually, runners will climb up to the top of Mt. Ashland before getting back to the lodge.

The 100k, clearly, is NOT a beginners course. The first 25 miles will take runners along the 50k course, mostly on the PCT. Once the course veers north toward the Ashland Watershed, there is another 4 miles of ridge-top trail and 2 miles of a very steep descent. Then 19 miles of double track interspersed with some single track trails will culminate  in a huge climb to the top of Mt. Ashland. Lastly, there will be a quick descent to the Lodge. Not gonna lie .. It’s gonna hurt.

Need some training for the SOB? Check out Trails and Tarmac for a discount on coaching services for all SOB runners. There will also be a training run on June 19th at the Mt. Ashland Lodge, also hosted by Trails and Tarmac.

The weekend will begin with a dinner the night before the race, (beer and wine will also be available,) as well as a two hour long Trails in Motion film festival and camping on the mountain in the parking lot. There is a pre-race breakfast offered as a meal option at the lodge as well, and the races will begin early Saturday. If you decide you need to drop down to a shorter race, you will have the ability to do so right up to the morning of the race.

The SOB will be cupless this year, but all runners will receive a collapsible cup before the race.

All ultramarathon distance runners will earn a super cool finisher mug. All SOB mugs and shirts are dated and available for purchase until May 15th.

All profits of The SOB will benefit local non-profit organizations. This year, they have contributed to Jackson County United Way for Covid and Fire Relief, and to their partner, Mt. Ashland Ski Area.

The capacities were reduced this year, and a refund policy and wait list were instituted. Currently, all of the distances are sold out, but putting yourself on the wait list is free. No transfers or postponements will be available. Get on that waiting list today!!



What: 2021 Siskiyou Out Back Trail Run 15k/50k/50m/100k

When: July 10th, 2021

Where: Mt. Ashland Lodge

Cost: 100k $180, 50m $130, 50k $110, 15k $45. All races sold out, but wait list is available for no charge.

Register: Sold out, but get on the wait list!! 

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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