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What’s Up in Ultra This Weekend — July 13


In this week’s What’s Up in Ultra, we journey to Colorado, Oregon, Alberta and South Carolina. Let’s hit the trails!

Hardrock 100

Just two weeks removed from the excitement of the Western States Endurance Run, eyes are now turned to the historic mining village of Silverton, Colorado, for the 29th running of the Hardrock 100 Endurance Run. Kicking off on Friday, 146 runners will have 48 hours to complete one of ultrarunning’s most famous and difficult loops around the San Juan Mountains. Starting and ending in Silverton, this year’s course will take runners in a clockwise direction, passing through Telluride, Ouray and finally, Lake City, before heading back into town for an unforgettable finish and a chance to kiss the rock. Along the way, participants will battle thin air at an average altitude of over 11,000 feet, which includes 33,000 feet of climbing, crossing 13 major passes between 12,000 and 13,000 feet, and topping out at over 14,000 feet at the summit of Handies Peak. This year’s field includes two-time women’s defending champion and course-record holder Courtney Dauwalter, as well as the 2021 champion, François D’Haene, who has run two of the top three fastest course times. You can follow the live stream and runner tracking here.

Siskiyou Out Back

Next, we head to Ashland, Oregon, for the 25th annual Siskiyou Out Back (SOB) Trail Running Festival (100k, 50-mile and 50k ultra distances). Beginning and ending at the Mount Ashland Lodge, at an altitude of 6,500 feet, all three courses take runners along sections of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) where they’ll catch glimpses of the Siskiyou and Cascade Mountain ranges. The event kicks off Saturday morning with the 100k race, a Western States qualifier that features over 10,500 feet of elevation gain and finishes with a steep climb to the top of Mount Ashland and then a screaming descent down to the finish. Next up is the 50-miler where runners will have 15 hours to tackle 8,400 feet of climbing, followed by the 50k with 4,200 feet of gain and a 10-hour cutoff. All runners receive great swag and a finish line celebration with hot food and cold drinks.

Sinister 7 Ultra

Then we head north to the rugged yet stunningly beautiful Canadian Rockies for the Sinister 7 Ultra (100-mile, 50-mile and 50k ultra races). Beginning Saturday morning, the 100-mile race will offer a true challenge for each participant as they navigate their way along technical trails, across creeks and bogs, and up and down 21,000 feet of steep climbs and descents. Named after the Seven Sisters Mountain, visible over much of the course, Sinister 7 is broken into seven stages, each featuring historic and geographic relevance to the area. Participants will have 30 hours to complete the course to earn their buckle, a custom-labeled bottle of wine and a Western States qualifier. Entrants in the 50-mile distance will have 24 hours to complete a course with nearly 10,000 feet of climbing, and 50k runners will have 13.5 hours to tackle over 7,000 feet of gain.

Wild Card: The Carolina Reaper Challenge

In this week’s Wild Card Race (where we feature an event you may not be familiar with), we head to Anderson, South Carolina, for the Carolina Reaper Challenge. This race caught my attention for two reasons. First, running a 50k in South Carolina in the middle of summer is going to be hot, and I was intrigued by the brave runners tackling this endeavor. Second, one of my favorite chefs in the country works just down the road, serving up spicy dishes at Fork & Plough restaurant in Greenville. While there is no mention of participants having to eat hot peppers during the race (that could be dangerous), they will no doubt feel the heat as they run 12 (2.62-mile) loops every 45 minutes. Good luck to everyone braving the elements this Saturday!

Other great ultramarathons on deck include Vol State 500k (Dorena Landing, MO), Beaverhead Endurance Runs (Salmon, ID),  Mt Hood 50 (Timothy Lake, OR), Notchview Ultra (Adams, MA), Silverheels Trail Runs (Fairplay, CO), Ironstone 100k (Hollidaysburg, PA), Dirty Dozen (Pinole, CA), Capt’n Karl’s – Muleshoe Bend (Marble Falls, TX), Teton Mountain Runs (Teton Village, WY), Vero Beach Octopus Ultra (Vero Beach, FL), and Devil’s Gulch (Wenatchee, WA).

Click here for the full list of events and best of luck to everyone toeing the line this weekend.