4 Epic Late-Summer Trail Races

Paul Cuno-Booth August 19th, 2015

Beautiful photos from upcoming Trail Runner Trophy Series events in British Columbia, Kansas, Oregon and Washington state


Summer’s coming to a close, but the trail-racing season is far from over. Here are four great Trail Runner Trophy Series events coming up in the next month. (You’ll find current Trophy Series standings on the next page.)


1. Squamish 50-mile, 50K and 23K

The Squamish 50 is a forest runner’s paradise. All Squamish photos by Brian McCurdy/Courtesy of Squamish 50

Where: Squamish, BC

When: August 21-23, 2015

Deep in the quiet, mossy wilds of British Columbia, the Squamish 50 is no stroll through the woods: the 50-mile distance has 11,000 feet of climbing. In fact, it’s all crammed into the last 44 miles of this loop course, so don’t get lulled into a false sense of speed by the first six.

As the event website warns, “This is an exceptionally difficult course made tougher still by the technical nature of a majority of the terrain. Throw in the fact that the back half runs much more difficult than the front half and you have yourself a nice little day of suffering.”

Graciously, it adds, “Thankfully we’ve made every effort to distract you with incredible scenery at every possible turn.”

Squamish is organized by red-bearded RD Gary Robbins, himself no slouch at trail ultras: earlier this summer, he set a new fastest known time on the Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier. By two hours.






Post-race celebration, with RD Gary Robbins in the background.


2. Volcanic 50K

All Volcanic 50 photos by Paul Nelson/Courtesy Volcanic 50

Where: Mount St. Helens/Loowit Trail, Washington

When: September 5, 2015

A scenic “50K+,” the Volcanic 50 circumnavigates Washington’s Mount St. Helens, site of the famous 1980 eruption. Following the Loowit Trail clockwise, runners cross (cooled) lava flows and pumice fields as well as the dense pine forests left intact by the blast.

The Volcanic 50 climbs a hefty 7,400 feet. Its course is 100-percent singletrack.




3. Hawk Hundred 100-mile, 50-mile and marathon

Fun in the sun. All Hawk photos courtesy of the Hawk Hundred

Where: Clinton State Park, KS

When: September 12, 2015

Think Kansas doesn’t offer rugged terrain or hills to climb? Think again. The Hawk Hundred, held in Clinton State Park near Lawrence, sends 100-mile runners on four loops along Clinton Lake, on technical singletrack that, while it doesn’t have the big, multi-thousand-foot climbs of the Mountain West, is a rapid-fire gauntlet of short ups and downs.

Hawk also offers 50-mile and marathon options.







4. Mountain Lakes 100

All Mountain Lakes photos by Paul Nelson/Courtesy of Mountain Lakes 100

Where: Ollalie Lake, OR

When: September 26-7, 2015

The Mountain Lakes 100, in northwest Oregon, passes a sense-overloading 25 alpine lakes. Its 100-mile course (with 60 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail) has a runnable (by mountain-ultra standards) 10,500 feet of gain. A mix of buffed-out forest path and technical, rocky singletrack, Mountain Lakes promises “views of mountain peaks in every direction.” What’s not to love?




Read on for the current 2015 Trophy Series standings


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