Race Preview – Tillamook Burn 50k, Canyons 100k, Eugene 1/2 & Mt. Rainier Du!

The west coast has been incredible this past week – mid-70’s temps, longer days, yoga in the park – and our athletes have been revving up for another big weekend of racing. Rain is predicted for the weekend (at least locally), but we head into our races filled up on vit D. First up is the Tillamook Burn 50k, where Shawn Bussert will run on the trails of the lush and rugged Tillamook Forest in the Oregon Coast Range mountains. The race also features a 20-Miler on Sunday, and the opportunity for racers to do the 50/20 double, if so desired. “The mountainous, temperate Tillamook Rainforest in Northwestern Oregon is steeped in history, most notably, the legendary ‘Tillamook Burn’ forest fires that consumed 355,000 acres of old growth forest from 1933-1951. One of the largest tree replanting campaigns in human history led to the formation of the Tillamook State Forest in 1974. Today, a lush second-growth forest thrives here, offering dozens of miles of exceptional single-track trails for us to enjoy, showcasing hundreds of massive, emblematic “grey ghost” snags and charred stumps– enduring relics of the vast old growth rainforest that reigned here prior to the Tillamook Burn. A portion of race proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust, which provides direct support for recreational projects and outdoor educational programs within the Tillamook Forest.” The Tillamook 50k is also a qualifier for UTMB. Good luck Shawn!!

Canyons 100k, presented by Hoka One One, as well as the 50k and 25k, will take off Saturday morning at 5:30 am. Corrine Malcolm is set to race; the 100k offers a “…double out-and-back course based in Foresthill, CA with a start-finish-village at the old Foresthill Elementary School. It is run mostly on single-track. The Canyons section starting in Foresthill, heading to the Swinging Bridge and back, is run entirely along the historical Western States Trail. The Cal St. section continues on the WS Trail from Foresthill to Rucky Chuck and back.” Oh Rucky Chuck…On the return back down Cal Street to Rucky Chuck there lays “the fastest 16-mile section of the WS Trail,” where racers are advised to save some energy for the climb back to the finish.  In total, racers will experience “panoramic views of the Sierra vistas, descend into intimate canyon gullies filled with vibrant ferns and fauna,” and they’ll dip their toes into the “rushing waters of the historic American River and cross mountain streams and old wooden bridges through historic settlements from California’s gold rush days.” Post-race celebrations will be dank, with hot grilled food, tri-tip burritos, and cold drinks. Good luck Corrine!!

On Sunday, April 29th, Courtney Olsen will race the Eugene 1/2 Marathon. Taking off at 7:00 am, the course starts alongside full marathon racers in front of the historic Hayward Field – “home of five Olympic Trials, ten NCAA championships, and countless national and world record breaking efforts.” The “halfers” run parallel to Pre’s Trail, through the University of Oregon, Amazon Park, Alton Baker Park East, and across the Willamette River twice, finishing through the arches of Powell Plaza and onto the final stretch on the track at Hayward Field. Good luck Courtney!

Rounding us out, Leighton Overson will compete in his third of three Du’s in three weeks, at the Mount Rainier Duathlon, hosted by BuDu Racing. “The gateway to Mount Rainier National Park serves as the host for this popular season opening event.” It begins at the Enumclaw Expo Center, and the long course goes starts with 5.1 miles on local roads, transitioning to the bike on rural, riding up Mud Mountain Dam Hill, and down Highway 410 to the fairgrounds. Once back, you do the 14.4 mile loop once more, before finishing with a 3.8 mile run which stops at the base of Mount Peak (5.12 Mi Run, 28.77 Mi Bike, 3.8 Mi Run). Let’s see if Overson can go 3 for 3! Good luck Leighton!

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