Do you sometimes dream about running ultras? Maybe you’re wistfully pondering that weary-legged feeling from inside your cubicle or possessed by a wild hair that won’t let go about what it would be like to run a marathon and then keep going. On a dirt path. In the middle of nowhere. If you’re able to work up the courage or the appropriate training regimen to get there and if you someday find yourself in the proper physical shape, (and perhaps slightly bent mental shape,) to enter an ultra, one of the Mt. Hood Races might be one you’d want to choose.
The 50-Mile will be held on Saturday July 9th and is billed as a “heavily shaded” course. I can imagine that comes in pretty handy about the 6th or 7th hour straight of running in middle of July temperatures. The course winds beneath the summit of Mt. Hood, most of it on the Pacific Crest Trail. Typically well maintained, the trail offers pretty forgiving terrain, though it does promise some technical sections that will warrant some care.
What the 50-Mile may lack in sun, however, it probably makes up for in elevation with a total gain of about 5,630 feet. I’m tired just writing about that. There will be drop bags at aid stations along the way, and though pacers aren’t allowed due to permitting, you can still call in friends and family watch you drag your crazy self across the finish (provided it’s before the 12 hour cutoff).
The 50k will be held on Sunday, July 10th and the course follows the 50 mile course for the first 21 miles. You’ll run along the eastern edge of Timothy Lake before hitting the Pacific Crest Trail, and then you’ll be turning around and running around Timothy Lake. The trail is mostly soft, though there are a few technical sections with some roots and rocks to contend with. The elevation gain for this course is 2,500 feet.
If you’re not quite up for an ultra, there is also a 25k course also on Sunday the 10th that is worth tackling. This course starts in the same place as the 50k, but instead of heading directly to Timothy Lake, you’ll take the Miller Trail for a short jaunt and then to the Headwaters Trail. Here, you’ll run around Clackamas Lake. After running on the Old 1916 Trail, you’ll take a few ups and downs before you connect with the Timothy Lake trail. This is a running race, and Go Beyond Racing would like to give us a friendly reminder that this isn’t meant to be a soley walking course.
Currently, all distances for this race are sold out, but it’s free to put your name on the waiting list. The 50-Mile race is a lotter that opens every year on January 1st and closes on the 7th. The 25k and 50k are not lottery entries, but they fill very quickly, so put January 17th on your calendar for registration next year.
When: Saturday July 9th for the 50-Mile and Sunday July 10th for the 50k/25k
Where: Clackamas Lake Ranger Station, Near Timothy Lake in Clackamas, OR
Cost: $150 for the 50-Mile, $120 for the 50k, $100 for the 25k
Register: Get on the wait list here