It’s pitch black as we line-up at 5 am under the gondola in front of the Willamette Pass Ski Lodge, 70 miles east of Eugene, Oregon. With headlamps ready, we say our good-byes and, at the sound of the horn, begin to climb directly up the ski run.
The Waldo 100k is a loop-type course, starting at an elevation of 5,120′ and climbing up several mountains including Fuji, The Twins, and Maiden Peak before returning to the ski area for a total of 11,000′ in elevation gain (and equal loss). The race is considered the most prestigious in the state and has included many of the biggest names in Oregonian ultrarunning such as Tim Olson, Hal Koerner, and Ian Sharman. Registration sold out this year in less than 40 minutes.