oregon coast 30k trail race report

Oregon Coast 30k Race Report – Jon-Erik J

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?


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/
oregon coast 30k race report

Oregon Coast 30k Race Report – Marc

Race: Oregon Coast 30k

Runner: Marc

Date: 10/8/17

Location: Yachats, OR

Results: 4:05:26, 48th out of 230 runners

oregon coast 30k race report
Photo: Glenn Tachiyama

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

Gorgeous course
Chance to explore the Oregon Coast for a weekend
Very runnable hills with sections of carpet soft trails

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

There was a long stretch of pavement at the beginning to get to the trails, and at the end to get to the finish, about 3 mile worth on each side. The long road section at the end felt super tiring after being on the trails. Also, not their fault, but it’s a looong drive from Seattle. Given perennial I-5 traffic, plan for at least 6 hour drive home after the race.

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

Nothing too weird, really. No medal at the end, just a pint glass.

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

I went out a bit fast due to the flat start, but managed to hang in there through the first 2 hills, and only faded a bit on the last one. The weather this year was beautiful, making everything a real treat.

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

The 30k shares most of the course with the 50k, but is run a day later. If you don’t care for the 6-7 mile beach run at the start of the 50k, then race the 30k!

If you can save a little energy for the flat run at the end, you’ll be rewarded. I passed a number of folks in the last few miles, and if I’d had more energy, could have made up a lot of time there.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The hills are surprisingly runnable for the most part, and the downhills can be really fast. The hills go by quickly, so you can push pretty hard without blowing up.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

It’s super beautiful, especially when the weather is nice. The view of the ocean from the bluffs above Cape Perpetua is amazing!

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

I’d give it a 3 of out 5. There was just under 4000 ft of climbing, but each climb was only about 1000 ft, so they were short. It’s rooty and rocky in some places, and the few stairs are super slick, so be careful!

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

It was super-duper well run! They have the race down to a science.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

The 50k gets the fastest racers, so the 30k is a little more low-key.

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.

Races sell out fast, so be sure to get on the list to be notified when the race opens. As I said earlier, long drive from Seattle. I made hotel reservations late, so Yachats was sold out. Stayed in Newport, about 25’ away, and it was fine. The 30k starts late at 10AM, which in a way was nice, since there was no need to wake up super early. Downside is you won’t get home until around 9PM, depending on traffic.

Aid Stations

Standard stuff.

Weather and typical race conditions

It’s the coast; expect sun, clouds, rain or fog, sometimes in combination. It’ll never be too hot or too cold, at least!

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

Make sure your running shoes are ok for a bit of mud and for pavement. Bring a variety of clothes for different temps; hard to guess what you’ll need until race morning.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?



No medal, but there was a nice metal pint glass.

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

I’d give it a solid 4 out of 5.

Great course, hilly enough to be challenging, but not so much that you end up hating life. The long road sections at the beginning and end weren’t my favorite, and the food at the finish was a bit limited, but those are minor gripes about an awesome race.

oregon coast 50k

Oregon Coast 50k Race Report – Stephen

Race: Oregon Coast 50k

Runner: Stephen

Date: 10/7/17

Location: Yachats, OR

Results: 5:48:20

3 Bests –

  • The beach. I think if you have never run on the Oregon Coast – it’s a treat. If you have spent time running on beaches before- well then you are lucky…
  • The convenience of the main Hotel to the finish line. My hotel room was less than 100 feet from the finish line. It was really nice finishing and being able to go take a shower and come back to the post race festivities with warm dry clothes.
  • Getting to see my best friend finish his first 50k and absolutely crushing it!!! Way to go Erik!

Not so much –

  • Some people aren’t a huge fan of the beach run. It can be windy, and wet. Plus sand does not typically play nice in shoes.
  • The weather can be tricky. I have run this race twice and got lucky both years, but have heard before in prior years it rained and had 35 mph winds on the beach. It was gnarly.
  • The lottery. This is a very popular race, so there is no guarantee you will get in.

Weirdest thing –

  • There seems to be a theme with many of my races this year -and bees/wasps. This year was especially bad. I think over 100 people got stung – some multiple times. I got lucky and came away unscathed.


  • Seeing my best friend complete a goal he’d been training for, for over a year.
  • Running on the beach
  • Running almost the exact same finishing time I did last year
  • Having my son at the finish line was fun (my wife expected me to “run” with him, but I picked him up and we finished with me holding him. He gave James Varner a high five which was fun!)
  • The after race festivities are great – TONS of food, and lots of options, pizza, vegan wraps, ginger tea, candy, coffee, beer, and so on.

Lessons for next time

I ran this race last year so I knew what to expect. Really two things:

  • Prepare for sandy feet, so either have a change of shoes/socks at the first aid station, or just be prepared for wet/sandy feet
  • Between the second and third aid station is the longest stretch. If it is warmer and you are a heavy sweater (I am) there is potential to run out of fluids. Last year I ran out. This year I came really close, but it was cooler this year.

Most Important Course specific knowledge

  • Don’t go out too fast. Yes the beach is flat and the sand is pretty compacted. It is easy to go out too fast and burn yourself out early. I did last year, and paid for it. I did better this year by slowing it down about 20 seconds per mile and then hitting the finish a bit harder.
  • The little neighborhood you run through on the way out, is the same one on the way back. That is how you will know you are getting close to finishing.
  • There is one little section where you are forced to walk, heed the signs and walk, it is out of respect to the trail system and the visitor center which allows the race to occur using their trails.
  • There is also a section of the trail that was built to honor a Native American named Amanda. There is a story about her that gets sent out in the pre-race email that is sort of sad, and it helps reminds me that we are so lucky to be able to do these great races.
  • Know that there is not a ton of restaurant options in town, and the grocery store is pretty small. So if you are picky on food, it might be worth bringing your own stuff, or do some research before going.


Yes this is a pretty course. The one thing that is a bit misleading is that you do run through a little neighborhood, and there is a lot of time spent simply in the woods. The views on the trail are few and far between. You are not constantly on the coast line.


This is not an easy course for two reasons.

  • It is flat in the beginning, so the 5k of gain is all contained in the later 30k of the race.
  • The time cutoffs are meant to make it harder. Every year folks that would finish in other races get cut off because this race is a pretty solid 8 hr cutoff.

Organized and well run

Very well run. James Varner is the race director and he is an ultra-runner himself – if you haven’t heard of him – he does Hard Rock 100 and stuff like that. He’s an awesome guy and really nice. He puts on fantastic races all over the Pacific Northwest. He also does the trail running film festival.


Let me put it this way – last year I was 51st. This year I was 88th, and my time was within two minutes of each other. The competition is growing on this race. There was a solid group of hard core folks in this race this year.


  • It is easy to get to and the convenience is second to none. IF you prefer to camp to save a bit of money – there are TONS of campgrounds within 20 miles of the race start. Some are even on the beach front.
  • There is a lottery to get into this race, and there is a lot of people that put in for it. When I asked James, he said it was about 50% this year to get into the 50k and 40% got into the 30k.
    There is also a 30k option on Sunday that does not run on the beach but runs the majority of the course.

Aid Stations

Great aid stations. One aid station usually dresses up and is really entertaining. Last year they were pirates, this year they were Vikings.

Weather and typical race conditions

This is what I discussed earlier. Prepare for wet and wild weather, but know that you can get lucky and have a dry day too. This race happens in October when the weather shifts and it can really be anything. Three years ago it was 35 mph winds and driving rain.


A vest is good here. A shoe change is worthwhile at the first aid station right when you come off the beach (about half a mile off the beach). Some of the faster folks just ran with a hand held which is always a possibility if that is your style.


This is not a super spectator friendly course. Your family and friends get to see you at the first aid station (which is also the finish line) and then at the finish. That’s about it. If your family has knowledge of the course, there are a few other places they could go, but that is risky and is almost not worth it.


Everyone got a nice metal cup this year. Last year we got nothing. So James Varner is now seemingly starting to give something out to the finishers which I like…

Overall Score

I give this race an 8 out of 10. I would personally like there to be more climbing, and I also would like to run more on the beach (I guess that means the race would have to be longer!) Having done this race two years in a row, I clearly enjoy it. The little town of Yachats is a quaint little town and it is accommodating to the race crowd that shows up. The drive down from Seattle took about 6 hours and that is probably my biggest complaint. Driving home that long with sore legs makes them that much more stiff. Either way, the highlight remains getting to see Erik complete his goal and absolutely smash through a barrier that 2 years ago he would have never thought even possible.

oregon coast 30k race report

Oregon Coast 50k & 30k Race Info


50k: 10/7

30k: 10/8

Avg Temps f.


Gain/Loss in ft

50k: 4500

30k: 3800

Furthest Aid

7 miles

Highest Elev.



50k: 9am

30k: 10am


Sand, trail

Time Limit

50k: 8

30k: 6




Longest Climb

1485 ft/3.8 miles

Summary: Starting on the beach just south of Waldport, Oregon, runners head to the seaside town of Yachats and past it to Cape Perpetua Park. After running a big loop at Cape Perpetua, runners head back to an ocean-side finish in Yachats. Most of the miles are on singletrack and the 50K distance starts with a 6 mile stretch of sandy, but firm beach running, then a small amount pavement and some packed gravel trail.

Lessons Learned from Race Reports

  • Cupless race
  • 50k has to bus to start, no crew/spectator access at start
  • Many runners like to put dry shoes, socks and a towel in the Yachats drop bag so that way they don’t have to run in the same wet, sandy shoes/socks as the ran in on the beach.
  • Your shoes will get wet on the beach
  • Weather is unpredictable and makes the beach running all the harder, especially with wind and humidity
  • Beginning of the descents tend to have rocky, slippery footing
  • Easy to go out too hard on the beginning flat beach miles (50k)
  • Watch for potholes in the lawn around Adobe at the start (30k)
  • Inclines are a mix of runnable and steep, walking type, so be ready to mix between running and power hiking


Total gain/loss: 50k: 4500 / 30k: 3800

Total climbs:

50k: 3 big ones (2x~900 feet, 1×1485 feet) miles 8.5-11, 15-18.8, and 23.7-26.2

30k: 3 big ones (2x~900 feet, 1×1050 feet) miles 2.4-4.9, 8.4-11.5, and 13.7-16.2

Longest climb:

50k: 1485 feet from miles 15-18.8

30k: 1050 feet from 8.5-11.5

Steepest climb:

50k: 800 feet from miles 9.9-11.1

30k: 800 feet from miles 3.5-4.9

Maps & Elevation Profiles

Aid stations

Total aid stations:

50k: 4

30k: 2

Furthest distance apart: 7 miles


50K: 7,14, 19.5 (no crew access, no drop bags), 24
30K: 6,13

What’s available: Water, potato chips, PB&J, fresh fruit (oranges, bananas, grapes), chocolate/candy, GU gels and GU Brew, tortillas with Trail Butter. Soda such as Coke and Ginger Ale.  

Crew access


50k: mile 7, start/finish

30k: None



Race qualifiers

50k: 3 UTMB points

30k: 2 UTMB points

Race reports

Stephen’s 2017 50k Race Report

Marc’s 2017 30k Race Report




Project Talaria video

Strava activities and GPX files







Race Website