Race: Oregon Coast 30K (Rainshadow Running)

Runner: Jon-Erik J

Race Date: 10/13/2019

Location: Yachats, Oregon

Results: 6th OA, 3rd AG 3:01:54

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/2787397044

oregon coast 30k race report
Photo Credit: Michael Jardine: https://qamera.com/

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

– Beginning and ending “in town” creating a dynamic experience of a trail race coupled with a kind of domestic aesthetic.
– A coastal race; getting to run portions next to the roaring ocean shore waves that also boasts beautiful vistas, challenging hills (~3400′ elevation gain), and diverse forest trails.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

The Highway crossing isn’t great, but it’s very minor in this race. Hardly remember doing it twice.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

You start and finish at this really real quintessential, modest pacific coast resort. Most of the town (as I head through the grapevine) didn’t know there was this event going on, and the hotel seems to be full of guests that aren’t just blatant runners or athletes of some kind. A real mixing of trail running community and small-town shore folk.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I did well in taking advantage of the flats. The race begins flat (first 3 miles) and ends flat (last 3 miles). This was an opportunity for me to test my speed, and it shined well out there along the shore break.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Be prepared for the hills! The first one climbs to well over 900 feet and catches you by surprise, even though you know its coming, because of the first miles being quick and easy. The second big climb is much more gradual with some rolls into gullies. Knowing how you operate mentally in these different types of climbs will help you prepare how to tackle them head-on and stay focused.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Climbs are always longer in your head than in actuality. Staying calm and focused with your breathing entering a climb is really key to be able to keep a consistent heart rate while ascending. Hills can really slow runners down (as it did for me) and cause a significant gap between racers that will be hard to make up.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

There is one aid station you visit twice at mile 6.7 and 13.6.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Yes, absolutely stunning. Twice you get to ascend to a vista looking out across the pacific, looking south. There is also a number of miles at the start and end in which you are running alongside the shore on the highway and on smaller streets (the 50K course actually takes you on 10 additional miles of sand running on the beach!)

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

This is a deceptively tough course. The name and beach features make it seem like a stroll, but in actuality, you don’t stay down at sea level for long. The entire middle of the race has a total of 3 major climbs that take you to 1,000′. I’ve run 50k trail races with less elevation than this 30k!

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Yes. Rainshadow always puts on a really good and organized run. Their races (including this one) have live music, free wood-oven pizza, and beer. Very well-marked course. There is also a spot where you cross Hwy 101 twice, which can be a little nerve-wracking. I had to stop on my way back and wait for traffic, but it was just one car and got going right away.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Yes.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

The 50K filled up very quickly, but the 30K still had open spots. I believe there was also room at the hotel, although I am not entirely sure, I reserved a hotel room back in July.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

No disposable cups. Rainshadow running has a culture of reducing waste and has opted out on having pre-poured cups available for runners. Instead, you can either bring your own water bottle or collapsible silicone cup that has become popular in these shorter races.
Packed with your typical fruits, PBJ sandwich cuts, electrolytes, Gu…

Weather and typical race conditions

Variable winds (can get really strong), sun breaks, ever-so slight drizzle at times. Temperatures in the low to mid 50s F.
Technical trail but easy to navigate.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

Plan to carry some water, you can get through AS quicker, and you’ll probably need it on the “backstretch” Lollipop loop.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yes! Although you can’t go to the AS. It causes problems for the Forest Service. Instead, drive up St. Perpetua rd to Perpetua Vista and await the runners at a stunning view! Also, the race is at a resort so great for friends who can just chill there all day as well if you’re taking your sweet time ;). There’s a visitor center as well that is a cool place to watch them zip by before the first big climb.

How’s the Swag?

Great. Lots of options and they even bring in older swag they sell on clearance.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

I’d give this 5 stars out of 5. Some folks had the unfortunate happenstance of encountering ground wasps. A considerable number of swollen ankles hobbling around at the finish line post-race. Probably a single instance that won’t repeat itself each year! Other than that, this race was amazing. I’d recommend it to anyone!

oregon coast 30k trail race report
Photo Credit: Michael Jardine: https://qamera.com/