Race: Waldo 100k – http://waldo100k.org/
Runner: Josh B
Location: Willamette Pass, Oregon
Results – 20:36 Overall Time.
3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most
- Views. On the two of the climbs on the course there is amazing views of all the surrounding lakes. The video attached is of the last climb. As you can tell in the video I was pretty sick at the time and immediately upon summiting I went back down. I believe it was altitude sickness. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tioastjx0y4ka43/AAAl5tJAuZz7K6OF5s92coMpa?dl=0
- Volunteers. The volunteers were plentiful and experienced ultra runners.
- Course. The course was mostly on single trek trails with several portions being on the PCT
Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
I didn’t like that we had to drop off our drop bags the night before the race. I was running behind to the pre-race briefing and had to rush and pack my bags. Glad I had my crew to carry any items I forgot to put in my drop bags and take them to the midway point where there was crew access.
Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race
I was surprised at how remote the last 17 miles of the course was. All the volunteers and aid station supplies were hiked in 7+ miles to the last couple aid stations.
Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular
The first 37 miles of the race went according to plan. After that it was pretty miserable. I really suffered during the last couple climbs which I believe may have been caused by altitude sickness. Took 3 hours to cover 4 miles at one point.
Lessons for others – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Be prepared for long climbs and long downhills. Saw several runners with blown out quads early in the race. The last 8 or so miles are downhill so if quads are in good shape it can be a fast finish.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
The race had a 3am and 5am start. I utilized the early start and would do so again as I got to cover 2 of the 5 major climbs before the sun came out and the course got hot.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
The race is basically 5 climbs and 5 downhills. The last 4 miles or so are on the PCT and are smooth fast trails. Be prepared to run late in the race. Also be aware that after mile 44 there is no drop bags, no crew access, and no ability to drop as there is no vehicle access.
Aesthetics – is it a pretty course
Overall it is an aesthetic course with very nice views of several lakes. Also get to run next to several lakes with the opportunity to hop in and cool down.
Difficulty – is it a tough course
The long climbs make it difficult. Seems like you just keep climbing sometimes. Climbs are not particularly steep but just never ending.
Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
This was a very well-oiled machine. The volunteers out there had been volunteering or running in the race for many years.
It should be noted though that this race is changing race directors which will have a major impact I believe. It will be interesting to see if the same volunteers continue to contribute to the race. I sure hope so.
Competition – is there a strong field?
This race typically draws a pretty strong field as it is a WS qualifier.
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.
There was a lottery for the race in which I believe the odds were about 50/50.
Camping at Willamette Pass is definitely the best lodging option. It serves as the start/finish and offers hot showers in a pretty nice lodge area.
Aid Stations– The aid stations and volunteers were great. Each runner got immediate attention from the volunteers and was pretty spoiled. I have never been iced down so much and fed so much watermelon.
Weather and typical race conditions – The race can be pretty warm, it got in the 90’s this year. Be prepared for heat and exposed sections of the course. I was easily drinking 40+ ounces of water between aid stations. Bring a camelbak for extra water and ice.
Gear – did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Like I mentioned above, bring a camelbak for extra water and ice.
Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends
There is only a couple spots crew can access. But one of the spots is by a lake where your crew can BBQ and swim. Can’t beat that.
Awards – No idea what the awards were for the top finishers. They were long gone and asleep by the time I strolled into the finish.
The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it- 4 out of 5. I would recommend others to run it but I may wait a couple years to see how the race director transition goes.