Foothill Flyers Race Reviews
Last update June 10, 2012
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Where's Waldo 100K Trail Run and 2 Person Relay

3rd Saturday in August, Willamette Pass Ski Area, Oregon, 5:00AM Start or 3:00 AM for the slower people.

App and info: Click on Where's Waldo 100K above.

The Where's Waldo 100K Ultramarathon is a challenging 100K loop-type course starting at Willamette Pass Ski Area (70 miles east of Eugene, Oregon) at elevation 5120', climbing up several mountains including Fuji, The Twins, and Maiden Peak before returning to the ski area. The route is 98% single-track trails with some fairly remote sections and has many incredible views of pristine Waldo Lake. It is not a beginner-level ultra and participation in the race should not be taken lightly. Along with the 100K ultramarathon there is a 2 person relay. The first member runs the first 33 miles and the second runner runs the remaining 29 miles.

According to Tom Janzen:
I ran it in 2003 in the relay division and had a great time. The co race directors are both experienced ultra runners; Craig Thornley in particular finished Angeles Crest last September, and came in 11th overall last week at Western States. There is great volunteer participation throughout, similar to the levels you see at Leona Divide and High Desert 50k, for example. Competition is good, for example Tracey Bahr ran the last two years, and Steve Smucker, who also finished within the top 10 at Western States. The part I like best though is the track and scenery. It is in the central Oregon woods, with cover about 90%+ of the course. It is single track for the most part, with great footing resiliency from the pine needle cover. The race is between about 4800 and 7200 foot of elevation, and summits 3 mountain peaks, all with great views of the central Cascades from Shasta to Hood, with minimal time cut offs for a 5am start and 9pm finish. About a month before Angeles Crest, this 100k is something those entrants may also want to consider as a training run.

Tom's 2004 race update:
This year's running of Where's Waldo 100k at the Willamette Pass in Oregon on August 21 had its most competitive field ever led by Ann Trason in the women's division and Tim Turk in the men's division. Ann Trason, perhaps the best women's ultra runner over the past 15 years, completed the 100k course in a little over 12 hours, a record time for a course that summits 3 separate Cascade Mountain peaks over its length and passes numerous beautiful alpine lakes. Three men's entrants led by Tim Turk beat the men's course record that was set just last year.

As for myself, I ran the relay division starting at the 3am early start (regular start is 5 am with a 9pm cutoff), and needed all of that extra time to complete the 33 mile 1st leg, arriving at Charlton Lake for the partner switch shortly after noon. As you can see from the attached photo, the trail is pine needle covered single track shaded most of its length by heavy timber. The race again was extremely well organized with a lot of enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers at the aid stations. The scenery along this course cannot be beat, and the weather and temperature again this year were excellent. I camped out at the start so I could roll out of the sack and make that early start easier; there are also cabins and motels not far away.

This race is permanently on my personal race calendar; I highly recommend that Flyers and other socal runners will consider scheduling it next year. It is the type of terrain, scenery, and trail footing that we just don't see here at our many southern Californian trails. Anyone who is interested can check out the race website, or give me a call.

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