It’s April on our UltraRunning Calendar, yet it still feels like winter in many places across the country. Our list of events this weekend is chock-full of historic races from Oregon to North Carolina, back to California and many places in-between.
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Out west, close to the UltraRunning Magazine headquarters, we have the 21st annual Peterson Ridge Rumble 40-miler on Sunday, April 2, in Sisters, Oregon. I ran this race two years ago as well as one of our podcast guests Keely Henninger, and can say without a doubt that this is one of the best races in the Pacific Northwest. Put on by regular URM columnist and veteran ultrarunner Sean Meissner, the course features beautiful, runnable singletrack with views of the Cascade Mountains and a fun finish on the track at Sisters Middle School. There is even a set of hurdles at the finish for those left with enough leg power. Just 24 spots remain, and registration closes on Thursday, March 30 at 11:59 p.m.
The 44th annual American River 50-miler (AR50) is slated to begin at 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 1. It’s one of the largest 50-milers in the United States with roughly 300 runners traveling from across the country to compete, and the race is sold out for 2023. The mayor of Folsom, California, will be at the start of the race while the mayor of Auburn is expected at the finish line of this point-to-point, fairly fast and historic 50-miler. The odds-on favorite for the men has to be Craig Hunt of Flagstaff, Arizona, who won the Way Too Cool 50k earlier in March. For the women, we’d pin Careth Arnold out of Durango, Colorado, to take the title after running to a third-place finish at the Bandera 100k in January and a sixth-place finish at the Black Canyon 100k in February, assuming she is recovered and healthy from her big start to the year. Who else do you see on the start list?
Out east at the 28th annual Umstead 100 (and accompanying 50-miler) in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a must-do 100-miler going down on April 1. Featuring a rolling, mostly groomed, 12.5-mile trail loop in Umstead Park that runners must complete eight times, the race, as the website says, is “just a run in the park.” It’s a great first 100-miler or for those wanting to run a fast time to start their spring ultrarunning campaign. Devon Yanko won the race last year in course-record fashion. The #4 2022 UltraRunner of the Year Arlen Glick is on the entrants list.
If you’re in the southwest, boogie on down to the April Fools Tour de Sedona 50k put on by the former URM publisher and current contributor Tropical John Medinger. Run in typical Fat Ass tradition, there’s no fee, zero course markings and is a minimally aided event that begins on Saturday, April 1 at 6:30 a.m.
On Saturday, check out The Country Mile 50k/48-hour/backyard races in Slater-Marietta, South Carolina, the Extreme North Dakota Sandhills Ultra 50/100k in Fargo, North Dakota, the Brazos Bend 50/50 in Needles, Texas, the Croom Trail Fools 50/50 in Brooksville, Florida, and the Singletrack Maniac 50k in Williamsburg, Virginia. Starting on Friday, March 31 is the Vernal Equinox 8/12/24/48-hour races in Batavia, Ohio, and in Cascade Locks, Oregon, is the Gorge Waterfalls 50k/100k on both Saturday and Sunday.
What’s Up in Ultra this weekend and what are you looking forward to later in April? If you’re in need of a race and these seven events don’t strike your fancy, be sure to check out the other races on our calendar where there’s something for everyone, no matter where you live in North America.
We’re excited to see an amazing variety of great stories out at Umstead 100 this year. Check out the website for the amazing story of Mike Smith who’ll be going for his 200th 100-miler this weekend!
That’s incredible John, thanks for sharing. Just read the story here: http://www.umstead100.org/MikeSmith.html