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Celebrate National Trail Running Day at Where’s Waldo 100K Ultramarathon

posted August 18, 2010 by Chris Barber

How are you going to celebrate National Trail Running Day this Saturday, August 21st?  One way could be to run an ultra.  What, you haven’t trained?  Well, if you don’t want to run an ultra then maybe you should try being a spectator at one.

wheres-waldo-100k-ultra-trail-running-raceA good ultramarathon is the Where’s Waldo 100k which is set to have a loaded field this weekend.  The men’s lineup includes Colorado’s Scott Jaime and 2009 Montrail Ultra Cup winner Victor Ballesteros; women’s race features Big Horn 100 winner Ashley Nordell and 2010 Montrail Ultra Cup Champion Meghan Arbogast, both of Oregon.

Some of the nation’s fastest ultrarunners are headed to Willamette Pass Ski Area on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010, for Where’s Waldo 100k, a challenging 62-mile race that takes place mostly on single-track trails southeast of Eugene, Ore. The event kicks off the 2010-2011 Montrail Ultra Cup race series, and the top two male and female finishers will earn automatic entry spots into the 2011 Western States 100.

“We have a great field of runners, hailing from the Northwest and beyond,” said co-founder and co-race director Craig Thornley, “The race continues to draw both competitive athletes and recreational ultrarunners, not to mention a dedicated army of 150 volunteers who help make the event a reality.”

Now in its ninth year, Where’s Waldo is a fundraiser for the Willamette Pass Ski Patrol and is named after nearby Waldo Lake and the ski run that shares its name. The race is funded in part with room tax funds from the city of Oakridge, Oakridge/Westfir Area Chamber of Commerce and Lane County. Race sponsor Sunsweet Growers is providing 100 percent of the prize money, which is awarded to first and second place finishers in the open and masters categories. The first place male and female finishers will each earn $500.

All told, 125 runners will toe the line starting at 5 a.m. (3 a.m. for early starters) at Willamette Pass. Their journey will take them over three major climbs of more than 2,000 feet each for a total of 11,000 feet of elevation gain and an equal amount of loss.

This year’s men’s field features Scott Jaime, 40, winner of this year’s Zane Grey 50 mile race and Pocatello 50 mile race; Victor Ballesteros, 40, winner of the 2009 Montrail Ultra Cup; Aaron Heidt, 34, 2009 Chuckanut 50k champion; Mark Lantz, 45, 2009 Where’s Waldo masters winner; and Dan Olmstead, 38, winner of the 2008 MacDonald Forest 50k. John Robertson, 36, a 13-time Ironman finisher, will also be taking on the challenge.

The women’s race includes Ashley Nordell, 30, winner of this year’s Big Horn 100; Meghan Arbogast, 2010 Montrail Ultra Cup champion and recent White River 50 winner; Jenny Capel, 2009 Montrail Ultra Cup winner; and Amy Sproston, 2010 S.O.B. 50k winner.

The Where’s Waldo 100K Ultramarathon is a challenging 100K loop-type course starting at Willamette Pass Ski Area (70 miles east of Eugene, Oregon) at elevation 5,120 feet, climbing up several mountains including Fuji, The Twins, and Maiden Peak before returning to the ski area. The route is 97% single-track trails with some fairly remote sections and has many incredible views of pristine Waldo Lake.

Check it out and watch some serious trail running on National Trail Running Day!  What a great way to celebrate!

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