The Rio Del Lago 100 endurance run is an annual race in California for ultra runners. Here, we round up everything you need to know about the course before running, including lessons learned the hard way from Team RunRun athletes!
What is the Rio Del Lago 100 Mile Run?
The Rio Del Lago 100 Mile is an annual ultra race in Northern California.
When is it?
The Rio Del Lago 100 mile race takes place on a weekend every November. Traditionally, the race takes place on the Saturday/Sunday when the USA observes the change to Daylight Savings Time, though the race doesn’t change its clocks until after the runners have completed the course.
What should I know about the course?
The race starts and finishes at Beal’s Point, at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area in the Sierra-Nevada Foothills. It consists of 2 lollipops that both have out and back sections but loops at the “end” of each out and back, and it runs on much of the same course as the American River 50 and the Way Too Cool 50k. The course features a variety of terrain, from single track trail, to fire roads, to paved bike path. Link to PDF Map
Lessons Learned from Team RunRun Athletes
With the first 19 miles being on a paved bike path, it’s easy to go out too fast and burn out your legs. A lot of people ended up running into the cutoffs throughout the night and were surprised by how much slower they moved at night, especially on the challenging ascents. Note: you are not allowed to bring trekking poles on the trail. Oh, and it heats up quickly during the day!
While the elevation gain seems tame, it’s scrunched in the middle ~37 miles, so actually quite challenging. Here is the elevation profile:
Total gain/loss: 13,500/13,500
Total climbs: 3 climbs 800-900ft, 2x 300 ft, several smaller ones of ~100ft
800ft from mile ~40-43.5, 900 ft from ~52.5 to 57.5, 800ft from 69-73
Longest climb: 900 ft from ~52.5 to 57.5
Steepest climb: ~350ft from ~66-67
Elevation profile: Strava link for elevation
Where are the aid stations?
Total aid stations: 17 plus Start/Finish, which is at Beals Point
Furthest distance apart: 10.3 miles
Locations: Miles 0, 6.5, 14, 18.7, 23.8, 32.5, 35.3, 41.3, 44.4, 48.4, 58.7, 67.3, 70.6, 74.6, 77.7, 83.7, 86.5, 95.1, 100.3. Bold indicates crew access (which includes start/finish)
What’s available: Roctane Engery Gel and Roctane Energy Drink, Clif Bars, Water, Coke/Pepsi, 7-Up, Ginger Ale, boiled potatoes and the normal lineup of ultra sweet and salty foods. Night time aid stations will have hot soup, hot chocolate, quesadillas and grilled cheese.
Where can my crew access the Rio Del Lago 100?
Access Locations: Miles 0, 18.7, 23.8, 35.3, 44.4, 74.6, 83.7, 100.3 (Includes start/finish). Our runners recommend having the crew ready to be there much earlier than expected in those early miles because they tend to be fast
Can I run with pacers?
Yes, pacers can join a runner at the Overlook on the outbound (mile 44.52), No Hands Bridge on the outbound (mile 48.52) and the inbound/return (mile 70.72), the Overlook on the inbound/return (mile 74.72) and also at Rattlesnake Bar (mile 83.78).
Is Rio Del Lago 100 a race qualifier?
Yes, Western States
Check out the Team RunRun Race Reports!