This week we’re in Chamonix, France, at the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc trail running festival, more affectionately known as UTMB. Still, there’s tons of North American races worth noting on our UltraRunning Calendar to close out the month of August.
Starting off in Ozark, Illinois, we have the Shawnee Hills 100 on Saturday, August 27. Runners will get to explore beautiful sections of the 265,000-plus acre Shawnee National Forest in this multiple-loop course that features 80% single-track trails. If you’re not quite ready to go the full 100-mile distance, the event is offering 50k and 100k samplers, which run one and two 32-mile loops, respectively.
A technical mountain ultra in the form of the Telluride Mountain Run 40-miler in Colorado is arguably the place to be in Colorado on Saturday. Race founder Dakota Jones says, “The course is really hard.” The statistics back him up, too. Delivering nearly 14,000 feet of ascent and descent while taking runners to altitudes over 13,000 feet multiple times and on terrain with exposed trails, this course is challenging. The crux of the race is a 1.5-mile rocky ridgeline between Ajax Peak and Imogene Pass that includes a summit of Telluride Peak at an elevation of 13,500 feet. Jones affectionately calls this section of the course the “mile and a half of sky.”
Very close to UltraRunning headquarters is the second annual Oregon Cascades 100 in Sisters, Oregon, also taking place this Saturday. This point-to-point, 100-miler starts just outside of Bend and finishes in the idyllic mountain town of Sisters. With a relatively mellow 9,500 feet of gain, the Oregon Cascades 100 is a superb choice for athletes attempting their first hundred. The course consists of approximately 90% single-track trails, 17 stocked aid stations, Cascade mountain views and a 32-hour finishing cutoff.
Quite possibly one of the most unique ultras on the calendar the entire year has to be the Burning Man 50k going down on Tuesday, August 30, in Black Rock City, Nevada. Amazingly, there were 205 finishers the last time this race was held in 2019. Tyler Jones won the men’s race in a lightning fast 3:18, while Kay Hodgins took the women’s title in 3:59. This race is as flat as a pancake, guaranteed to be dusty, and the only entry requirement is a ticket to the Burning Man festival.
These four races are only dipping our toe into the extensive UltraRunning Calendar for the final weekend of August. Check out The North Country Run 50k/50-miler in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Baker Trail Ultra Challenge 50-miler in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Continental Divide Trail Run 50k in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and the Green Lakes Endurance Run 50/100k races in Fayetteville, New York, all on Saturday, August 27. On Sunday, August 28, make your way over to Imler, Pennsylvania for the 50k or 100k Lost Turkey Ultra.
What races did we miss that you’re registered for this weekend? Keep us in the loop and happy trails wherever you are lining up for some fun.