Long-distance trail-running races are not necessarily easy to spectate, but the 50K does present a few options.
One of the best comes relatively early in the 31-mile race.
“The easiest place (from which to watch) is at Swampy (Lakes Sno-park), when they come through about mile 8,” race director Dave Thomason says. “There’s a parking lot there, and you don’t have to drive off-road or anything. ... That’s by far the easiest.”
Other spectating spots with easy access are at Dutchman Flat and at the finish, which will be located at the Mt. Bachelor ski area’s Nordic Center.
Die-hards with four-wheel-drive vehicles could hop onto Forest Service Road 370, which intersects with Century Drive near Todd Lake. Participants will run along a couple stretches of that road during the second half of the race.
Cheerleaders and supporters should be mindful that during the race, area trails and roads will be completely open to the public, including mountain bikers, hunters, and runners who are not racing.
“We just want to make sure if (spectators) do go up there that they’re not only yielding to the runners, but to other cars and things like that,” Thomason says.
Thomason notes that only a couple of minor adjustments have been made to the 2010 course for this year’s race. The start will be located at the trail out of Dutchman Sno-park rather than on Century Drive. And as runners approach the finish, they will hit the nordic skiing training oval at Mt. Bachelor and approach the finish line at the Nordic Center on dirt rather than from the paved road.
“I just didn’t like that road finish very much,” Thomason said. “It won’t really change the distance.”
— Amanda Miles