Found It! Previewing the epic Waldo 100K


There are a handful of ultras in the Pacific Northwest that evoke both awe, through the stories of those who have run them, and respect, for the rich history that exists. Waldo (100K) is one such race that has seen a veritable who’s who of entrants over the years, and continues to be one of the very best organized events out there.

Now in it’s 21st year, the original RD is back at the helm after a few years away. Craig Thornley, the brain child of Waldo, who is also the RD for Western States 100, is one of the more notable race directors anywhere.

The course is a challenging loop that starts and ends at Willamette Pass Ski Area, and takes runners over 3 major climbs, 2 smaller climbs, and amassing over 11K in elevation gain, with equal loss. From the very beginning, organizers have put an emphasis on the fact that “it is not a beginner-level ultra, and participation in the race should not be taken lightly.” Certainly seems blunt enough!

Besides the joy of running 100K, there is also some fun that comes with this race, such as the Wet Waldo, which is the award given to the fastest finisher who fully submerged him or herself in the most of the 6 named lakes along the course, and still finish the race. There’s also the Show Us Your Waldo award, which is voted on by aid station volunteers, is fully open to interpretation by the runners, is completely subjective, and grants the winner an automatic entry into the next year’s race.

The event is a lottery, and after considerations of elites and others, the race usually has about 150 entrants. I’m stoked to be running it this year, to experience the single track I have heard so much about, and enjoy the views from atop Mt Fuji. If you’re interested in running Waldo, mark your calendar for January 1st, which is the first day to enter the lottery, with names being chosen on the 22nd.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for my race recap in early August!

Registration is Closed: Stay Tuned for 2024!
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Ultra runner with an ice cream addiction.

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