USATF Oregon Mountain Running Series Recap

Oregon Mountain Running Series

This year’s USATF Oregon Mountain Running Series completed its final event this morning with the Multnomah Falls Trail Run. The series was made up of 4 well known Oregon trail/mountain races.  Each race had steep climbs, rugged terrain, stunning views and great people supporting the event.  USATF members are eligible for prize money for placing at each event and then an overall prize for highest placing in the series.  Here is a brief summary of each race.

Granite Man June 2, 2013

The Granite Man course climbs 2000 feet up and over Collings Mountain in sunny Southern Oregon.  The 10 plus mile race starts and finishes at Applegate Lake and allows runners beautiful views from start to finish.  What’s better than finishing a race and having a mountain lake to cool off in? At Granite Man the lake is just feet from the finish line. You’re going to want to jump in.

Mt. Ashland Hill Climb August 10, 2013

This year wildfires threatened to smoke out runners on race day, but luckily winds shifted and Saturday morning broke clear. The Mt. Ashland Hill Climb has 5600 feet of continuous climbing making it second only to the Pikes Peak ascent in most elevation gain of any race in the lower 48.  After 13 miles of steady uphill the course breaks out onto the slopes of the Mt. Ashland Ski Area.  The final pitch to the finish line is a steep and rocky climb but a rewarding view of the Siskiyou’s and cold Coke awaits runners at the top!  Down at the Lodge the party quickly gets started as racers and spectators enjoy summer on the highest peak in the Siskiyou Range.

Timberline Trail Run August 12, 2013

The truest “mountain” race in the series, racers get the opportunity to compete on the slopes of Oregon’s highest peak.  The Timberline Trail Run combined rugged singletrack with rocky and snowy mountain terrain for a serious alpine race.   Anytime there is cheering coming from people on a chair lift it’s a good sign.  There was plenty of that as the skiers got some summer turns in, and probably enjoyed watching runners struggle across the snowfield.   The race was about 7 miles and incorporates 2000 feet of climbing.  Spectacular views of Mt.Hood and the Cascade Range are another major plus of this event.  Mark your calendar and make the drive to Timberline Lodge next August.

Multnomah Falls Trail Run September 29,2013

The weather god’s made it clear that summer was over, fall is upon us.  Wet, windy, glorious weather greeted runners as we warmed up for The Multnomah Falls Trail Run.  Unfortunately at the same time the trail leading from Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena was starting to pull away from the hillside, and before the walkers headed out a section of trail washed away.  The wash was not safe for the masses, so the race became an out and back course (still covering about 5 miles).  Volunteers had prepared hot food for wet runners and a fire inside one of the shelters at the Wahkeena Falls Trail head.  The race incorporated steep ascents and descents as well as rocky terrain and beautiful views of multiple waterfalls.  As if the course wasn’t enough to enjoy, a superhero costume contest was also a part of the days festivities.  Overall pretty sweet race even with the last minute change of course.

Thanks to the race directors (Michael Sotos, Torsten Heycke, Bryan Westby) and all the volunteers that made these events possible. Special thanks to Robert Yerex for his work organizing the USATF Oregon Mountain Running Series.  The roads are great, but if you really want to have fun I highly recommend exploring the trails. Hope to see you all racing in the mountains next summer!

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