- 9 miles/15K, 50K, 50 miles, 100 miles
- Trail Race
Hey Hey and thank you for taking the time to read my review of Badger Mountain Challenge. I attempted the 100 miler.
I find it to be such a great privilege to be apart of the ultra community, and to have had the honour of running in this amazing race. Read on for all the details. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
This was my first 100 miler attempt.
I was looking for something close to home, reasonable cost, excellent swag including possibility of a buckle, lots of Aid Stations so I did not need a crew and ideally an option to move down to 50 miler if needed.
This race had it all and then some.
Course Scenery: Gorgeous dessert of grasses and small shrubs on an endless sea of rolling small mountains (1k - 2.5k feet above sea level), running on rock, or in rare cases little patches of sand on the mountains. I loved it, a big change from Vancouver, BC, which something I love about travel.
Elevation: the elevation of the mountains themselves are small compared to many 100 milers . About 14, 000 feet of gain or 7000 feet per lap of the 50 mile loop. Although, what I did not realize about elevation reported for a race is that it is actually just the vertical for the mountains not all the little hills and dips in the paths added together. I had reached 7500 feet elevation gain (based on my watch) by the time I reached 46 km, and yet each loop is supposed to be 7000 feet, and still had the first two mountains (Badger, and Candy) to repeat, just to give you an idea of actual climbing per loop.
DNF rate: The rate for this race is very high, due to the extreme weather conditions that can occur through the race.
Terrain: 15% roads, the rest is mostly hard packed dirt trails, once in awhile you run into short patches of dirt/sand, but probably less that 8%. Depending on if you climb Red Mountain twice or not (we did) there is a long stretch of jagged rocks on an 8 km out and back on McBee ridge, but if running Red Mountain ridge instead of climbing twice your would likely run into more jagged rocky terrain. Other than running on McBee (jagged rocks all over trail) the technicality of the terrain is extremely low, but most mountains are very steep (20-45% grades, the trek up McBee is 850m at about a 40-45% grade, friggin awesome, but truly tests your will power).
Race management: Jason is the race director and does a great job with wonderful volunteers. Everything ran smoothly exactly as described on the website.
Volunteers: Great people, kind and caring, and willing to help, but not quite what I expected based on race reports of other 100 miler races where volunteers charge you when you reach an aid station to help you with anything you need, they kind of just waited for you to approach them. Maybe it was because I was nearly in last place who knows.
Weather: the weather is usually anything but normal, but we had excellent weather during the day. Beautiful day as I would describe it allowing you to see for miles and miles. It is usually expected anything from 35C to -10C, hail, snow, wind, rain, and aweful heat.
Aid Stations: well stocked, and lots of fun solid real food. The grilled cheese on McBee ridge was to die for, but I bet that had more to do with just needing comfort being in an injured bad shape. They had traditional stuff at most aid stations, but every other one bad cool stuff like grilled cheese, wraps, quesadilas, coke, and so on.
Expo: the expo was to take place the day after the start of the 100 miler, after the 50 k and 15 k races finished. So I did not stick around for it, or go back, as I was in really bad shape and needed the rest. Thus I cannot comment on it. But supposedly it is a great feast of food.
T-shirts/Swag: so awesome for the 100 miler it comes with a T-shirt (in aqua) and a comfy hoody (grey), the other races only get the T-shirt for a free. There were buckles for 100 miler finishers, 24 hour buckle and 5 year buckles too, and medals for finishers in the other races.
Parking/access: the race starts at a trail head in an urban neighborhood. Easily accessible, and large gravel parking lot. The race and pre-race dinner are not easily accessible by anything other than your own vehicle as public transit system is very limited to both locations and stops around 6pm for the whole system. So definitely I would suggest to make sure to plan your travel before going if you do not have a car.
Pre-race dinner: I was so nervous about the race I did not have much fun. They served pizza, salad, and treats and lots of it. I sort of expected more ceremony then a short 10 minutes from the RD, but really I do not know what I was expecting, or what is typical.
Where to stay: I stayed in Kennewick, WA but if you want to be close to race and pre-race dinner, stay in Richland, WA it will save a lot on gas or taxis.
Crew access: Many roads that cross or need to be travelled breaking up the race, so lots of opportunities to access your crew other than just aid stations.
Cost: Pre- and post-race meals (if you stay for it on the second day), t-shirt, hoody, buckle (if you make it across the finish line), and an overall great race, well $135 (usd) was EXTREMELY reasonable!!!!
Overall: A perfect race for your first or 50th 100 miler, as elevation is low, option to drop to 50 miler, great swag, good looking buckles, wonderful people, pre- and post race food, and well stocked aid stations close enough you could do it without a crew.
Have a wonderful time racing, and I look forward to meeting you!
I will be posting more about the race on my training blog: https://aidstationswithadamtraining.wordpress.com/
And wisdom I would want to pass on: http://aidstationswithadam.blogspot.ca/