Muck it up at the 2022 Hagg Lake Mud Runs

When people hear the phrase “mud run”, many minds go to those “adventure-style” races that are geared more towards the obstacles and messiness as opposed to the running component. But, if you have been looking for a real mud RUN, you’re in luck. Forget  barriers and man-made pits of opaque water –  the Hagg Lake Mud Runs has its name for a reason. The course is notoriously muddy, and difficult – no obstacles required!

By many accounts, there are at least three different types of mud at Hagg Lake:

  • Viscous slime: This mud can be found on both inclines and declines, as well as the sides of ruts carved by the wheels of mountain bikes. The best way to travel though this type of mud is to have faith in your trail shoes and just keep moving. A slight forward lean will motivate you to time your footfalls so that you remain relatively upright through this type of mud.
  • “That’s not chocolate:” Artfully applied to a cupcake, this type of mud may fool you into thinking it’s edible…but don’t eat it. “Chocolate” mud is sticky, heavy, and cakes onto your shoes (and any other gear with which it comes into contact) like a hipster looking for a free ride to Portland. On the trail around Hagg Lake, this mud is found pretty much anywhere that you thought you’d have the chance to pick up the pace. The best way to keep traveling light is to do your best and, from time to time, wipe some of that frosting off with your hand, a stick, or your unsuspecting running buddy’s pants.
  • Shoe-sucking muck: This heartless quagmire is not very common in many places, but Hagg Lake isn’t like many places. There’s one particular stretch in between the final aid station and the finish line that the quality of this shoe-sucking muck is particularly impressive. The best advice that can be given is to make sure your shoes are on tight or to wear gaiters for an extra layer of protection. This mud is the reason that many participants “retire” their shoes after this run.

There are probably more categories into which the special mud at Hagg Lake fall under, but I’ll leave that classification up to you. There’s even a chance that one of the varieties, when applied to your cheeks, will open up your pores and give you a fresh, youthful glow…but only those lucky enough to fall face-first will receive that benefit.

2022 Hagg Lake 50k
When: Saturday, February 19th
What time: 7a

There is a cut-off time; participants must be through the start/finish aid station by 4pm to continue on course. You must be through the dam aid station by 1:15 pm and through the Fenders Blue aid station by 3:00 pm in order to continue (this is a 17:10 minute/mile average pace).

Runners will pass through five aid stations on the course over the entire 31 miles, and for this reason are encouraged to pack their own hydration and nutrition. Expect PB&J, bananas, oranges, gummy bears, trail mix, chips, GU gels and GU electrolyte drink, and also be aware that the race is cupless so bring your own vessel.  Dress for the weather, considering it’s usually 5-10 degrees cooler at Hagg Lake than in the Portland Metro area. Drop bags can be left at the start/finish and accessed after the first loop; crews will be able to offer support at each aid station as well.

2022 Hagg Lake 25k
When: Sunday, February 20th
What time: 9a

There are two aid stations on course, so again, run prepared with your own snacks. Crews are also able to see their runner at aid stations. There is also a time limit for this distance, but honestly it’s so generous it’s hardly a concern. Runners have 9 hours to complete the event – a 31 min/mile pace.


If you are feeling extra ambitious (or crazy), you can run both days! Insane people who do this will earn a special growler full of beer, cider or root beer if you finish the double – a 64 oz. growler for the 50k/25k combo or a 32 oz. “baby” growler for the 25k/25k combo. Cheers to you!

Finally, if you’re running at this race, bring plenty of warm clothes into which you can change at the finish line. There will be plenty of hot soup and food at the finish area, and you couldn’t hope to meet a more cheerful batch of muddy people anywhere else in Oregon.

We are very excited to be offering a 20th anniversary commemorative pottery cup this year. The top finishers have earned beautiful pottery mugs for the past several years (and they will again in 2022), but we thought the rest of us should have the opportunity to claim a beautiful souvenir of their time at the lake. We’re passing these along at cost ($33), and we think you will really enjoy this beautiful piece for years to come.

Check out the event page on Facebook.

Race Details:

Where: Hagg Lake – Gaston, Oregon

When: Saturday, February 19, 2022 7am & Sunday, February 20, 2022 9am


  • 50K- $120
  • 25K-$85
  • 50/25 Double- $150
  • 25/25 Double- $135

Distances: 50K and 25K

Register: Click Here

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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