Race: Siskiyou 100k
Runner: Nick Keenan
Race Date: 07/09/2022
Location: Ashland OR
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/7443595696/overview
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- Challenging course, with a little of everything, including a really difficult final seven miles — 2800 ft climb and then a 800 ft descent to the finish
- Well spaced, well stocked, and well executed aid stations (drop bag aid station you go through twice – mile 31 and 50, make for easier planning/packing)
- Really scenic first half, some really nice views in parts of the second half
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
- A bit much of forest roads on the route.
- A long climb on a downhill mountain bike trail — built for bikes, not for ascending runners
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
Four races going on that day, starting line is at the Mt Ashland ski lodge.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
First part of the course along the PCT was really spectacular. Finisher’s mug and hat were pretty cool.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
- Camping the night before can be loud, plan accordingly.
- The race is at 6k-7k feet for many miles, be aware if you’re coming from sea level and might not be use to the altitude.
- The pre race and post race food was a little meager in quantity.
- The race shirt was a bit lame in design.
- Don’t bother going the day before to get your t-shirt from the local running shop, unless you want to see downtown Ashland. The shop is nice, but not many items stocked, and nothing special for the race.
- Eat breakfast Sunday at the Breadboard in Ashland – really tasty.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
- Either camp further away from everyone else or stay in a motel/hotel/b&b. The number of 50k’ers there with a 7 AM start (vs 5 AM 100k start) were a bit loud.
- Likely do some altitude exposure beforehand next time, or just plan on taking it slower in the higher up parts of the course.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
The temperature can really vary along the course – the lower section which runners go through around mile 36-44 can be quite a little warmer than the rest of the course. The top of Mt Ashland can be windy and colder, especially at dusk – I’m glad I had a light windbreaker I picked up in my drop-bag at mile 50.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Very scenic, PCT and great views of low peaks and Mt Shasta in the distance.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
Over 10k feet gained and the same lost over the course. Footing is mostly not technical, but some really long and steady descents can wear you down. Climbing up Time Warp is as difficult as everyone says. I didn’t need much water starting up around 6 PM (took me 2:17), but for some, it can take 3 hours to get from the aid station to the finish – plan accordingly.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Extremely well organized. A little late with bib picks at 4 AM (weren’t available until 4:15 AM), but the race started exactly at 5 AM. The course was well marked and easy to follow.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
Good variety in the field, many repeat runners.
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.
Paved road to the ski lodge, easy to get to. 15k, 50k and 50M the same day as well for spouses or friends. 100k doesn’t seem to fill up.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Standard stuff, including ice to use for cooling.
Weather and typical race conditions
July in Southern Oregon – 2022 was coolish at 85.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?
Wished I had trekking poles for the last climb. Glad I had ~40 oz of water/fluids for some of the sections.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
How’s the Swag?
- Sweet finisher’s mug.
- T-shirt wasn’t special.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
7/10. You can probably find a 100k with less forest roads and better weather.
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