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From Hoodsport to Chamonix

Jun 17th, 2022 | Mathias Eichler

Alright, here’s the announcement we’ve been waiting for. Beast of Big Creek (The Summit Race) is a UTMB Index race! No stones (yet!) but finishing Beast will get you finisher index. More details on the UTMB website.

So incredibly stoked over here! Come race with us on July 23rd, 2022.

The Six Hour Challenge we’re bringing to LBA park is something new for Olympia.
Let’s break it down what it is and why we decided to change the format for the popular trail race in Olympia’s coolest city park.

Initially we offered 3 distances to allow the widest possible audience to get a taste of trail running. Trail is more than ultra and we really wanted to share the amazing experience of running trails with as many new people as possible.

Then in 2021 when we had the second LBA event we noticed lots of folks wanting to change how many loops they ran. Some folks ran a single loop and then went out and just enjoyed the woods casually on a second one. Some folks had signed up for 3, but felt out of shape and only ran one. Some were signed up for 5, but called it quits after 3 or 4. This created a bit of confusion at the finish line, and while we got it all sorted we felt this needed some improvement and a solution for this.

The other thing we considered is that over the years several runners approached us asking for timed event like this. By turning the LBA race into a timed event we would solve the finish line mixups, offer a new race style to the area, and give runners full flexibility on how they wanted to approach their LBA race. Thus the LBA Six Hour was born for 2022!

Here’s how this will work at race day

  • We’ll have a clock counting down from 6hrs.
    Each loop is about 4.5miles (we’ll give you exact numbers, including vert very soon!)
  • We’ll be tracking every loop you complete.
  • You can be done after 1 or go the full 6 hours.
  • Only completed loops will count, so be mindful of when you’re heading out on your last loop (will let you know!)
  • We’ll have fun prizes for runners completing the most loops and raffle off prizes among all participants.
  • Each finisher will receive a finisher reward, if you complete one loop or run the full six hours.

Here are a few ways on how you can approach this race:

  • Six hours doesn’t mean you gotta stay on the course for six full hours. This race is meant as a personal challenge for you to run your own race.
  • You could commit to a single loop and give it your all and go fast.
  • Or come out and join us for awhile. Run one, walk one, be party of the trail running community and celebrate movement, the great LBA woods and spend time with your friends.
  • Go for glory. It’s totally possible to run an ultra at LBA. A 50K divided by 4.5m loops is 7 loops. 7 loops in 6hrs is 51min per loop. Totally doable. Who is going to be the first person to run an ultra distance at our Little Backyard Adventure?

Got questions?
Let’s hear them.

See you at LBA Park in August!

Beast of Big Creek

Apr 18th, 2022 | Mathias Eichler

Taking over a race with an awesome history like the Beast of Big Creek is a huge honor. I’ve ran this race twice and love this mountain and these trails dearly. Thank you RD John for envisioning this race, directing it these past 11 years and passing on the torch. It’s a relatively short race, but the the vert is relentless and the upper section gnarly. The trails in the Olympic National Forest are beautiful and beckon to be explored. And so we’re continuing the tradition, keeping the race for this year mostly the same (with just an updated logo, of course). Learn all about the two distances and all the details here, and sign up to race Mt. Ellinor with us.


Listen to the latest episode of Singletrack to hear a bit more
about the race and the plans for the future.

Results: You are all Awesome

Mar 10th, 2022 | Mathias Eichler

Thank you all for challenging yourself this past weekend and participating in the Virtual VERT Winter Challenge.

For full results, right this way.

Some highlights:

  • Lance Dayton got the highest results with 198 points. Wow!
    He also did the most repeats and climbed the most vert with 11986.
  • Dimitri Hunter ran the most miles with 42.
  • And Scott Michie and Lou Donofrio each did 40 repeats on their local hill. Wow!

Amazing work everyone

So, now for the fun part:
I got enough goodies to send everyone something for their effort.
If the addresses you provided when registering are not a good shipping address, could you please reach out to me with an updated address, so I ship things to the correct place!

You’ll get one more email from me when packages are finally out the door as I am still waiting for a couple of items.
Thanks again for joining at at this early season challenge with the crazy formula.
This is the Virtual VERT Challenge!

Let’s go, Vert Chasers

Mar 4th, 2022 | Mathias Eichler

Hope you all are having an incredible race weekend. I’ll be cheering from Olympia, Washington. Please feel free to contact me anytime during the weekend if you have questions, need someone to cheer you on or if you need help with the formula.

Here’s your form to upload your results
Here are your downloadable bibs!

This week we race

Feb 28th, 2022 | Mathias Eichler

Virtual VERT Challenge week is here. You ready?

Sign up now, if you’re not.

And if you are, here’s the form to record your results.

Here’s an refresher on how to calculate your total:

Distance Run in Miles
+ (Vertical Feet Gained / by 100) 
+ (Number of Reps on ‘Your Local Hill’) 
= Your Total Score!


  • Downloadable race bibs will be available by the end of the week!


Thank you Tailwind Nutrition of sponsoring the Virtual VERT Challenge

The Unique Formula

Feb 3rd, 2022 | Mathias Eichler

This March, March 4th-7th, to be precise, I’m kicking off our race calendar with the Virtual VERT Challenge. I’m bringing back this virtual race that calculates your effort using a crazy formula inspired by the way UTMB calculated qualifier races points.

How does it work, you ask?
You count one run, and add to the distance in miles the vertical feet gained divided by hundred and finally add the number of reps on your local hill. That’s your score, not your speed or overall mileage will win you this event, but that magic number. And especially the reps on the hill will count for a lot. Which makes it the perfect race for when the mountain summits are still full of snow and your vert chasing has to happen in town. 
Last time we hosted this event we had people doing silly repeats in staircase of parking garages, it was bonkers.
So, if you’re up for a crazy Virtual VERT Challenge, then this race is for you. 

Click here to learn more and come chase vert with us March 4th – 7th.

So Much Inspiration

Jan 14th, 2022 | Mathias Eichler

Lots to share this week. Excitement is building for the new year. Let’s get to it, shall we?

The Trail Running Film Festival is happening again. Virtual again, so you get to watch from the comfort of your own living room. Film Fest and Chill?

Our Little Backyard Adventure is now a Six Hour Challenge. Say What? Yes, you can run one loop, or a dozen. Same twisty singletrack, same incredible city woods, but on your turns. This one’s gonna be fun!

We’re heading to Rock Candy Mountain. Finally! And this one’s a Twelve Hour Challenge, because this mountains deserves it.

And! We’re doing the Virtual VERT Challenge again this year. Same bonkers formula. Find a hill and run repeats, you crazy people.

I’m excited for the new year, hope to see you on the trails!

LBA 2022

Dec 21st, 2021 | Mathias Eichler

We’re bring the Little Backyard Adventure back to LBA Park in Olympia this coming August. Woohoo!

And! We’re introducing a brand new format for this race: The Six Hour Challenge.

Come test your endurance at LBA Park.

Registration opens 12/24/2021 – happy Christmas indeed.

Virtual VERT Winter Challenge

Dec 13th, 2021 | Mathias Eichler

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it. This racing thing.
But while the permit process is taken its time and we await announcements for our in-person races, I thought it’ll be great to find some hills and take the dust of that crazy formula we came up with back in early 2020. And so, with some much joy I present to you the winter version of the Virtual VERT Challenge. Same crazy idea, but now in March to help scare the winter blues away. Learn more about it here, sign up and come race with us, virtually.

USATF logo

Rock Candy events receive insurance coverage through USATF.

City of Olympia logo

Thank you
City of Olympia.

City of Olympia logo

Thank you
WA Department of Natural Resources.

City of Olympia logo

Thank you
USDA - Forest Service of the Olympic National Forest

Trail Sister logo

Our races are proudly "Trail Sisters Approved".

Singletrack logo

Relive race day, everyday with the Singletrack podcast.