Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
5
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
5
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
3
SWAG
2
The Crater Lake Rim Runs and Marathon are held in beautiful Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. Choose between runs of 6.7, 13.0 miles and The Marathon, or if you are a walker, the 6.7 mile walk. All courses are along the very rim of Majestic Crater Lake and are at … MORE
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    Evwatkins FIRST-TIMER '18

    Overall - this race is just a race. The PLACE is what makes this race spectacular! If you treat this race as an in and out weekend and don't spend … MORE

    Overall – this race is just a race. The PLACE is what makes this race spectacular! If you treat this race as an in and out weekend and don’t spend time here, you are severely missing out!

    The TRIP: I flew into Portland on Thursday and drove down (4.5 hours). I stayed at the Union Creek Resort, a quaint little campground/cabin area near one of the park entrances. I was traveling alone, so I stayed in the lodge in one of the cheaper small rooms. (Shared Bathroom) Luckily I had the room at the end with a window overlooking the creek. I slept with the window open and could hear the creek down below. Very relaxing. Although this place was about 40 minutes from the park, it was well worth it. (Other places in the park are too expensive or booked up). When I checked out on race day and they allowed me to shower there before heading home. Very nice folks!

    On Friday, I spent about 10 hours in the park. Be prepared! There’s a lot to see! Before the trip, I took a map and marked all the hikes/sights/and areas I wanted to see. I worked my way around the lake, stopping at each spot and even a few extras. They were all wonderful, but my top picks are Garfield Peak and Plaikni Falls!
    This year there were a few wildfires nearby that caused a smoky haze to cover the area. In the morning I could barely see the other side of the crater. But by mid afternoon, the smoke cleared up enough to pair perfectly with the timing of my hike up to Garfield Peak! The water was amazingly blue and the colors of the trees with the blue sky made the perfect ending to a perfect day!

    The RACE: The race started at Watchman Point and ended at a campground near the Pinnacles. The park closed one lane of Rim Drive and made the road one way only during the race. They encouraged runners to use the shuttle buses. I parked at Rim Village and took the bus to the start. There was some confusion about where to go beforehand. (FYI- the race has no Packet Pickup. They mail bibs and an information sheet to you). The info sheet said “board your assigned bus” but there were no indications of bus assignments. Basically you park in one of two areas and catch the bus there. There’s one start line for all races. If you get on the first busses you can watch the sunrise at watchman’s point! The race itself was hilly and beautiful. You run about halfway around Rim Drive with an out and back at Cloudcap and then a 2 mile out and back near the finish. The race is almost always at 8000 feet elevation. Luckily that morning the smoke layer was below us. We had some nice views all around the lake that morning! The course is 100% road except for maybe 100 feet into the campground to the finish line. Aid stations are plentiful, however porta-potties were only located at the 10K, half finish and full finish lines. Nature stops might be necessary.

    The FINISH: The finish is very rudimentary. A clock, a finish banner and a few tents. But VERY friendly and happy volunteers! Results are done by hand and your bib tab is posted on a board. The medal is plain and age group awards are blue/red/yellow ribbons.

    BOTTOM LINE: You don’t come to this race for the bling. You come for the views and to visit the park. And it’s totally worth it!
    RaceRaves included this race on their ”Toughest Road Marathons in North America” last year: https://raceraves.com/toughest-road-marathons-us-canada/
    After 63 marathons, I can testify that making this list was well deserved. This is the only race I’ve run that’s listed on this countdown. However, I honestly think that the Mad Marathon in Vermont would be a VERY close 2nd to Crater Lake on my list of Toughest Road Marathons.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2
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