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It is really happening, folks.
This Saturday, July 23rd will be the 12th running of the Beast of Big Creek, and the first hosted by Rock Candy Running. We’re honored that race director John Johnson trusted us to carry that torch into the future. We also want to acknowledge that the race is on the traditional territories of the Twana/Skokomish, Coast Salish and S’Klallam people.
The Olympic National Forest granted us a special use permit for the event. Thank you!
It is almost time to race. Beast of Big Creek is just around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited. To share a bit of the history of the race and what makes it such so a special event, I have fellow podcaster, trail runner, and Olympia local Ben Mead with me this week. Look for Ben at the summit turnaround.
For driving directions to Hoodsport and the Big Creek Campground please visit the website. We’re in loop A & B – follow the signs in the campground. We will try to fit everyone’s car along the side of the road. If the loops are full, we’ll have folks direct people to park along the street. Bring your NW Forest pass or National Park Pass.
Come to loop A&B and we’ll get you your spot. We’ll be full, so come early, reach out to me if you haven’t already and prepare to double up or find a spot in the rest of the campground. Cost is $20 cash and needs to be paid directly Forest Service (There’s a box!)
Campers can pickup bibs on Friday after 6pm. For folks arriving on the day off, big pickup will be open starting at 6:30am.
We’ll have a joint pre-race briefing for both races at 7:30 at the main shelter of loop A. If you want the latest update on snow and goat conditions you gotta be there for it!
Both routes will be marked with bright signage and ribbons. There’s one important turn where the forest loop splits from the summit loop. It’ll be well-marked, but if you don’t want to find yourself on the wrong loop, look out for this junction!
(Only for the summit loop racers.)
There’s a new location for the aid station! It’s at the trailhead of the upper parking lot. Trail to and from will be well-marked. The route will be a bit longer than in the past. You will have to visit this aid station on the uphill and downhill and have your bib number checked in.
At the aid station we’ll have water, Tailwind and the usual fair. This is a cupless race, so prepare accordingly and bring a cup or flask.
That’s what you’re here for!
The summit turnaround is at the real summit of Mt Ellinor at 5,944ft. There’s no aid at the summit, but friendly volunteers will check your bib number, high five you, and send you on your merry way. You must have your number checked before heading back down. Failure to do so will results in a DNF and potential suspension from future races. Don’t cheat!
The forest for Saturday is clear in the mornings, cloudy in the afternoons with a high of 79. This sounds like perfect mountain running weather. Bring sunscreen, prepare for bugs on the trails and be sure to take enough water with you to the summit.
Due to the current goat removal and trail closure by the Forest Service, I do not have any updated info on the snow conditions of the upper section of the course. Goats won’t be a worry anymore. The last time I was up there was on the 11th, back then some sections of the trail were still covered in snow, but doable with poles. We have had two weeks of hot weather and I am confident most of the trail will be melted out by now. But! I cannot access the upper mountain until Friday when I head up there to mark the course. I will try (with limited cell service) to update Instagram with current conditions and any further information. Just in case, and especially if you’re worried about traveling on snow, bring poles and perhaps traction devices like micro spikes. At the pre-race briefing in the mornings I will have an update for everyone.
The trails of Mount Ellinor will be open to other trail users during the race. Please be respectful and kind and be a good ambassador for our trail running community!
This amazing event wouldn’t be possible without the support of these incredible partners. Thank you!