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Best Washington Ultramarathons

author
Brent Mccoy
• Sunday, 22 November, 2020
• 10 min read

The 100-mile Badger Mountain Challenge takes runners-up and over peaks in the Columbia River Basin. In ultrarunning culture, lost toenails are considered badges of honor, sleep-deprived hallucinations are almost expected, and 26.2 miles (the distance of a marathon) is just a warm-up.

ultramarathon monday june daily running trail
(Source: ultrarunnerpodcast.com)

Contents

Whether you’re a seasoned ultrarunner looking for your next race, a trail runner with lofty aspirations who is looking for a concrete goal, or someone who simply wants to gawk at the impossibility of what other people put themselves through, these brutal footraces and those who run them are awesome, in the literal sense of the word. It’s a feat of sky running, otherwise known as mountain running: an extreme sport that involves sprinting up and down peaks that began in the early 1990s in the Alps.

Sky runners not only contend with long distances, but also steep climbs and the thin air found at high elevations. Held in early August each year (except, unfortunately, in 2014 and 2015, when it was canceled due to wildfires), the Angel’s Staircase starts at the Foggy Dew Campground in the Wenatchee National Forest within the Method Valley, at an elevation of 2,100 feet.

While the elevation change is considered “less severe” among ultrarunners, the course makes up for its relative flatness with obstacles like mud and tree roots. Rusty Bach man Participants have options to test themselves against a 15K, 50K, 50-mile, or 100-mile course in this epic race through the Columbia River Basin in southeast Washington.

Written by Samantha Larson for Rotated and legally licensed through the Match publisher network. In ultrarunning culture, lost toenails are considered badges of honor, sleep-deprived hallucinations are almost expected, and 26.2 miles (the distance of a marathon) is just a warm-up.

Whether you're a seasoned ultrarunner looking for your next race, a trail runner with lofty aspirations who is looking for a concrete goal, or someone who simply wants to gawk at the impossibility of what other people put themselves through, these brutal footraces and those who run them are awesome, in the literal sense of the word. It's a feat of sky running, otherwise known as mountain running: an extreme sport that involves sprinting up and down peaks that began in the early 1990s in the Alps.

rim road
(Source: christarzanclemens.com)

Sky runners not only contend with long distances, but also steep climbs and the thin air found at high elevations. Held in early August each year (except, unfortunately, in 2014 and 2015, when it was canceled due to wildfires), the Angel's Staircase starts at the Foggy Dew Campground in the Wenatchee National Forest within the Method Valley, at an elevation of 2,100 feet.

While the elevation change is considered “less severe” among ultrarunners, the course makes up for its relative flatness with obstacles like mud and tree roots. Rusty Bach man Participants have options to test themselves against a 15K, 50K, 50-mile, or 100-mile course in this epic race through the Columbia River Basin in southeast Washington.

The course goes up steep hill climbs, through heinous sections of bushwhacking, and even through the 2.5-mile long Snoqualmie tunnel. With no aid stations, pacers, or course flagging, the Plain 100 is the race for ultrarunners who are radically self-reliant.

Though we Try To be accurate And On top Of things... Race details can change When we aren't looking. Such a race is, by definition, longer than a 26.2-mile marathon, itself considered a challenge and an enormous athletic feat.

The undulation of unforgiving trails can tire your legs and will guarantee you move slower, taking longer to finish. Here are some tips from star ultrarunners and coaches on considering whether you are ready, and if you are, which races will make for the best “rookie” experience.

june ultramarathon monday daily trail running ultrarunnerpodcast
(Source: ultrarunnerpodcast.com)

A marathon is not a prerequisite to trying a longer distance, though it helps, according to Nike Trail Elite team member Chris Cargo, who recently won the USA Track & Field 50-Mile Trail championship and coaches runners of varied abilities at VargoRunning.com. Sage Canada, whose resume most recently includes a course-record win at Utah’s Speedboat 50K and who coaches through his website, takes a different approach.

Cargo concurs that a 50-mile race or longer is doable for a rookie, though he says proper training for such a distance will require at least one run approaching 50K anyway. For example, a flat, unable 50-mile race might be more manageable for a debut ultramarathoner than a rugged, technical 50K in the mountains.

It can be beneficial to pick a race with scenery and adventure sufficient to keep you wanting more … after your quads recover. “Having a local event that is close enough to train and prepare on is a huge advantage,” says Canada.

It boasts a challenging-enough but easy-enough net elevation change of 4,851 feet of ascent and an equal amount of descending. It’s also in March, plenty early in the year to serve as a launching pad for longer races in the summer.

Canada actually made his ultra debut in this race, which features challenging-but-runnable terrain and lush, green, misty Northwestern wilderness beauty. Dion recommends this race, which runs on the Pacific Crest Trail in the shadow of the iconic Mount Hood, as an idea first 50-miler because it features two separate out-and-back sections from the start/finish area.

usa games olympics special edition gear limited apparel brooks ghost
(Source: www.brooksrunning.com)

“It’s comforting to know that you can break the run up into smaller, more digestible chunks and have well stocked and supported aid stations along the way,” he says. The 40-mile distance offers a challenge that goes beyond the “long marathon” of a 50K but won’t stretch newcomers to ultrarunning as badly as longer races.

The two-loop course makes it easy to break the race into manageable chunks, and you can head to nearby Las Vegas to celebrate afterward. Race terrain varies and offers something for everyone, from technical slick rock to wide, smooth service roads.

Or really, any race by Arabia Running, the prolific and highly-regarded race-directing service owned by the very speedy Court brothers, Nick and Jamil. If it’s the weekend in Arizona or the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, chances are there is an Arabia race going on, and runners flock to them for their spectacular courses and superior organization.

This race, put on by the Kansas-City-based club Trail Nerds, features a 20-plus mile loop course in Clinton Lake State Park in nearby Lawrence. Don’t be fooled by your flat, yawn-inducing vision of a standard Kansas landscape; the race website warns that the mostly single track trails are rockier and hillier than you might expect.

Come for the great race organization and stay for the after-party, which features vegan food options. The Ice Age Trail features rolling, smooth single track that will challenge runners without breaking them.

usa games olympics limited edition ghost special brooks
(Source: www.brooksrunning.com)

A supremely unable course, first-timers looking for a relatively fast time, or unsure about being on their feet, all day, might find Ice Age and its multiple distance offerings a suitable challenge. For a taste of rocky and roots climbs and descents that allow you to breathe on flat sections in between, Anton is an excellent option for a first 50K.

Cayuga features plenty of challenging climbs and descents, but they are reasonably-sized and the spectacular waterfall views are worth it. For excellent organization, just the right amount of challenge, an unbeatable natural setting, and a reputation that draws elites and beginners alike, this race is one that will get you hooked on ultrarunning.

The Finger Lakes 50K was Dion’s first ultra, and he says the multi-loop nature of the course was key as he grappled with an unprecedented distance. Early goings-on the Appalachian Trail give runners a taste of true trail grit, but the route soon takes you onto the C&O towpath, a gently rolling surface that takes you to a brief paved section before the finish.

For a taste of ultrarunning history, and organization that keeps elite runners coming back despite a relatively small cash purse, check out this storied race. Sycamore’s course is plenty challenging, with undulating trails and unpredictable weather, which in February in Arkansas can range from the 70s to below freezing.

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2 www.ebay.com - https://www.ebay.com/p/173818226
3 dragonball.fandom.com - https://dragonball.fandom.com/wiki/Main_Title
4 www.daizex.com - http://www.daizex.com/multimedia/lyrics/eng-rock_the_dragon.html
5 www.tabscout.com - https://www.tabscout.com/guitartab/xqpGw61H/Rock%20The%20Dragon%20(Dragon%20Ball%20Z%20Op.)
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