Summary: The point to point course begins at Marble Mountain Sno Park and runs around Mt. St. Helens and into the Mount Margaret Backcountry. The course includes the desolation zone of Mt. St. Helens, lakes, lava fields, and long mountaintop ridge lined with forest, mountain and lake views. With only 4 aid stations along the way, the aid averages ~13.6 miles between aid stations, and participants are encouraged to have GPS tracks of the run, as well as knowledge in reading maps and being fairly self-sufficient, with the furthest aid being 18.5 miles apart, this run poses unique challenges. Other distances offered are 20 miles, 40 miles, and 200 miles.
Lessons Learned from Race Reports
- Distance is more like 110k at 68.8 miles
- Check the list of recommended gear to carry all the time and to have in your drop bag – all in the runner’s manual
- Highly recommended you download the GPS tracks to your phone – see Runner’s Manual for more information
- Lots of exposed sections with nowhere to hide, so be prepared for bad weather
- Some sections with lots of rocks and boulder fields
- Some sections with no trees, very little scrub, and lots of ash. If it’s wet or raining, the ashy trails can be really slick
- Past years have seen pouring rain the entire race and/or lots of sun – be prepared for both with drop bag gear, extra socks, and warm gear
- Bring sunscreen in case it’s sunny – super exposed
- Bring a water filter with aid being that far apart, especially if it’s hot and sunny
- Several water crossings, including a river!
- Be ready to navigate the boulder fields with minimal trail markings – this can be mentally exhausting, in addition to the possibility of getting lost
- Be ready for wind in the exposed sections, which can chill you fast, even if it’s warm out or if it’s at night
- Helpful to have a pacer for a fresh mind for finding the course at night
Total gain/loss: 14,144/14,218
Ft/mile gain: 208
Total climbs: 3x1600ft, 3×800-1000ft, countless 100-300 ft
Total aid stations: 4 + finish
Furthest distance apart: 18.5 miles
Locations: Miles 12, 30.5, 37.1, 55.3, 70 (finish)
What’s available: Water, Electrolyte drink, gels, soda, drinks, real food like soup, quesadillas, sandwiches, fruit, candy and other warm food.
Access Locations: Start, miles 12, 30.5, 37.1, 55.3, and the finish. Drive time to miles 30.5 and 37.1 are 2.5-3 hours from start/finish, but 15 minutes in between each other.
Crew instructions/directions: See GPS coordinates for locations in runner’s manual.
Pacing allowed from Coldwater Aid (mi 37.1) and from Windy Ridge (mi 55.3)
Strava activities and GPX files
https://caltopo.com/m/71M6 – see instructions in Runner’s Manual for how to download maps to phone