Mt. Hood 50 was a month ago now and we just finished producing another race (Lake of Death Relay), which also had higher than desired temperatures. No 50 is easy, but the Mt. Hood 50 is a great race for those attempting their first of that distance. The trail is not super technical and the total elevation gain is approximately 5,630 feet.
But this year’s race was a challenge for many veterans and first timers due to the heat. The temperature at the start/finish area was in the 90’s and the back part of the course was even hotter and more exposed. We planned for the heat by making sure all the aid stations had plenty of water and lots of ice. Runners really appreciated the ice – putting it in their bottles, bladders, shirts, hats, and I’ll stop there. The popsicles were a big hit too.
As usual, volunteers really make a race and this year’s group very much stepped up to the heat challenges. It’s not every race that you get to have two elite women ultra runners, wearing little (it was hot!), dump cold water on your head – thanks Amy & Denise. And there were a couple unexpected volunteers between mile 39 and 45 who were encouraging and misting racers – gotta love ultrarunners!
The vibe at the finish line was excellent again this year. It’s so nice seeing runner’s friends and families there to cheer them in.
Here are the numbers:
Even with the heat, four people set top 10 course times. The women’s side really rocked it with Janessa Taylor setting the new women’s course record in 6:57:10 with her win. Amanda Brown and Tonya Littlehales bumped a couple people off the top list with the 6th and 7th fastest times; 8:01:30 and 8:03:54 respectively. And Ryan Kaiser’s first place time was also the 5th fastest men’s time ever.
All in all, it was another great race. Of all the races we produce, this is one of my favorites because it was my first ultra and I really love seeing so many first-timers achieve such a big goal.
Here are a few race reports, one from a first-timer and two from experienced ultra runners. Do you have a race report? Please share it with us in the comments below: