Run the Rock 50 Mile Race Report – Matt P

Race: Run the Rock 50 Mile

Runner: Matt P

Race Date: 11/09/2019

Location: Smith Rock State Park, Terrebonne, OR

Results: 63/106 12:07:42

Strava Activity Link:

run the rock 50 mile race report
Photo Credit: Trevor Lyden

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

1. Beautiful desert terrain.
2. Mostly on smooth MTB singletrack trails.
3. Awesome aid stations: food and attendees.

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

1. Didn’t like that the 20 miler runners were sent downhill at us on an uphill segment for the 50 milers.
2. The big downhill sections were very rocky with scree like terrain.
3. Wow I really can ‘t think of a 3rd….

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

The medal was a circular hunk of thin metal! Unusual for me!

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

I paced well especially early on, completing the first 50% in just over 5 hours. I really enjoyed the camaraderie established between similarly paced runners. I hydrated well and judged my food intake pretty well during the race.

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

There is a lot of dust that can get into your shoes and this caused me serious blisters which killed my pace in the second half. Bring gaiters or a change of socks because once they get saturated in dirt it’s hard to undo.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Be prepared to tape or lubricate feet, change of socks maybe. I’m also finding that a pack isn’t so necessary for me when the aid stations are good. Double bottles seemed to do it, and I could have stored gels in something lighter. Chafing is really — all over, from pack, shoes, etc. Prepare for these things.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The elevation profile is deceiving. It looks like 3 steep climbs but it’s actually quite runnable except for a few parts, and even those are runnable with enough stamina.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Absolutely gorgeous — multiple volcanoes in sight, desert terrain, GORGEOUS.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

It is my first 50 miler but I think all things considered it depends on the athlete — it’s very runnable, which could be harder for some. I.e. some like a lot of steep hikeable vertical. All in all, I’ve run harder routes but the distance for me was uncharted territory.

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

Well-oiled machine. Alpine Running was all over it. Really enjoyed the race.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Seems to be a popular race!

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.

I signed up 3 days before and no warnings of filling up. I was able to camp onsite at the starting line in my car. Lots of accommodations in nearby Bend, Redmond and Terrebonne.

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

Badass aid stations – real food as well as Muir gels, Spring gels, Tailwind, candy, etc. PB&J (YES!)

Weather and typical race conditions

It was wet last year I’m told, but it was 70 degrees and clear skies by mid day. I know some folks that didn’t finish because of this fact though.

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

Don’t overdo it on carried supplies. I hardly needed anything that I brought and I only used my drop bag to ditch my hoodie after the startup.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yeah it’s open hiking/MTB trails so folks can come watch and hang.

How’s the Swag?

Cool buff, t-shirts, hoodies, and fun finisher medal.

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

5/5 – I recommend this one. I think it’s a good first 50 miler.

run the rock 50 mile race report
Photo Credit: Trevor Lyden