The Mt Hood 50 is my sixth event of the year and takes place this coming Saturday (0712/2014) on the southern side of Mt Hood in north central Oregon. The dual out and back, one north at 28 miles and one south at 22 miles, trail run is almost entirely on the well traveled Pacific Crest Trail with 5,500 feet of vert gain and hovering between 3,000-4,000 feet above sea level at the majestic base of Mt Hood.
At an elevation of 11,249 feet and the highest point in the state of Oregon, snow-peaked Mt Hood is located about 50 miles east-southeast of Portland in north central part of the state. Although informally considered dormant since the last eruption activity was approximately 200 years ago, it is still technically an active volcano in the Cascade Volcanic arc with the chances of an eruption in the next 30 years estimated to be between 3-7% by the USGS. As with most of the volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest, Mt Hood has 12 distinct glaciers and snowfields and at least a portion of volcano is snow covered year-round providing the opportunity for skiing and mountaineering year-round.
My goals for this race:
1. Make it to the Start Line.
2. Keep hydrated. Temperatures are forecasted to have a high of 88 – that’s hot for the Pacific Northwest.
3. Take my time. It’s my first 50 mile race and I really want to accomplish goal number 4.
4. Make it to the Finish Line.
5. Breathe. Take in the landscape. Thank volunteers. Smile.
166 entrants have signed up from nineteen states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming), two provinces in Canada (British Columbia, and Ontario), and three countries total (Canada, Qatar, and USA). One person has finished the race 9 times, one person has finished the race 6 times, three people have finished the race 4 times, six people have finished the race 3 times, 7 people have finished the race 2 times, and 24 people have finished the race 1 time. The youngest entrant is 24 years old and the oldest entrant (but will not necessarily be the slowest) is 66 years old.
Elevation Profile (From Race website):
Race Description (from Race website):
“The Mt. Hood 50 is a heavily shaded 50-mile race that is run almost entirely on the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail is generally soft with good footing, although there are some technical sections with rocks and roots. Runners will start by running North from the Clackamas Ranger Station to the Frog Lake Aid Station, just before Highway 26. They will then return to the start/finish and head South to the Warm Springs Meadows Aid Station, where they will turn around and head back to the finish. Total elevation gain is approximately 5,630 feet. This race is part of the Northwest Mountain Trail Series and a proud member of the Oregon Trail Series.”