Race Recap: Tillamook Burn Trail Run 50

9300 feet of elevation gain and 9300 feet of elevation loss. . . it was every bit of that. The green. The trees. The single track. The rivers. The breeze. The waterfalls. . . for 50 miles. It was epic in many ways.

This was Teresa’s first 50 miler!! The race director (RD) did not allow pacers, so I offered to run it with her. It was NOT a hard choice. She has done much for me. She chose a gorgeous place to run, Oregon, and half of the race was uphill!!!

We chose early start. Race started at 5:00 am for us. We were up at 3:00 am, out the door by 3:30 am.

10. . . 9. . . 8. . . 7. . . 6. . . 5. . . 4. . . 3. . . 2. . . 1. . .

Let me break it down.

0-3.6 Bell Camp 1 This segment was dark (5:00 am) and all uphill. We wore headlamps the entire way up. It was cold. We both had on shorts, arm warmers, two tops and gloves. Very steep in sections, overall, not bad to climb. We allowed ourselves 21:00/mile on our uphill climbing. We were faster than that. Good climb. Good warm up. Good nerve shake out for Teresa.

3.6-11.2 Storey Burn 1 This section has approximately 5 miles downhill, mixed with some flat/minimal uphill, and then 3 miles of uphill climbing. Still cold. This was a beautiful section. You heard the river and could see it in the distance. We had a few stream crossings, nothing like TN stream crossings. These had plenty of rocks to cross on and your feet did not need to get wet. Still cool. We kept our gloves/arm sleeves on. INCREDIBLE single track. We will revisit this section later in the race. . . UGH. . . it becomes tough at the end! We arrived at Storey Burn 1! This is the open spot that will serve as an aid station 3 times in this race. We have access to our drop bags here 3 times. We have access to a port-a-potty here. We only had to pack one bag, with everything with needed for aid, rather than having to figure 3 different aid station bags. It def helped to ease the stress.

11.2-18 Saddle Mountain This section starts out with 1.75 miles of steep downhill, sweet single track, lush trail foliage. GORGEOUS. On the Historic Hiking Loop. About 1.5 miles of downhill to 1.5 miles of uphill to Saddle Mountain Aid Station. Do not get me wrong, the views were still fantastic, but this was probably my least fav section, not sure I have a good reason why. Miles 11-15 are sometimes monotonous, during any race for me. What was the steep decent out of Storey Burn 1 will be the steep ascent back to Storey Burn 2, about miles 24.2. . . tough climb out to come. . .

18-24.2 Storey Burn 2 University Falls was def the highlight of this section!!! Oh my gosh. More than expected, completely breathtaking. This section was on average 4.2 miles down hill and then a STEEP, 2 mile climb out and back to Storey Burn 2. DANG!! Teresa did not skip a beat! She hiked so well ALL day. I was very impressed on this section because she did not stop once!! We worked very hard on the climbs to establish a rhythm and hike with short, choppy steps when the trail was steep. By steep, I mean more than a 15% grade in places. We received a bonus on this section. We were surprised by our friends, Sherrie and Jobie! They met us on the trail with like,  3/4 mile to go to the aid station, smiles, hugs, pictures. It was a SERIOUS boost for us. 🙂 Getting warm. We put on sunglasses and wore tanks for the rest of the race.

24.2-31.1 Larch Mountain Warm climb, continued breeze, this section was all exposed.  MY FAV SECTION! approximately 7 miles of UPHILL on jeep road to the highest point on the course!! What more could I ask for? HA!! I would consider this a moderate climb, until the last mile!! That last mile up was STEEP. Again, Teresa was hiking so well. Our goal on all climbs was 21:00/mile. We hiked faster here AND we were between miles 24.2-31.1. AMAZING! We hit the top at approximately 8 hours and 33 minutes. This was a fun aid station. My fav aid station food all day was here, hot pancakes with M & M’s!!

31.1-36.4 Storey Burn 3 What goes up, must come down, pretty much ALL day this was the motto. So down we went for approximately 5 miles on the jeep road. We ran most of this. Teresa was so strong here. Proud of her. Back to Storey Burn  for the last time. Back to see our friends. On to the finish!! All downhill (and lots of uphill) from here! 🙂 We refueled from our drop bags and went to the bathroom. This was the longest we spent at an aid station all day, only 5 minutes. We were pushed out by Jobie, keeping us on task. 🙂

36.4-44.4 Bell Camp 2 This was the second section that we started with in the morning, only in reverse, only harder. (exhale) 3 miles of sweet downhill from Storey 3. Then, 5 miles of relentless uphill to our last aid station. This section was probably the hardest because of where we hit it in the race. I drank all of my water in this section with about 1/2 mile to go. STILL, Teresa was doing so well on the climbs. She kept a consistent, strong rhythm to mile 44.4. (Smelling the barn, now.)

44.4-50 Finish LOTS of downhill! Steep 2 3/4 miles, moderate 3.25 miles of mostly downhill. The first part of this section was where we started in the morning. We kept saying, “wow! this is steep. we hiked this?” The middle part of this section was jeep road and smooth single track under the canopy of trees. Single track, like butter. The final part of this section picked back up where we ran in our first section. Teresa ran almost all of the last 2-3 miles. STRONG running from Teresa.

DONE 13:32

Ascent time: 7h 17 m

Descent time: 4h 55

Flat time: 1h 7 m

9300′ up/9300′ down

What a day!

Consumed: 2350 calories + water

  • 2 gels: chocolate/coconut and salted carmel
  • 1 probar
  • 2 luna protein bars
  • Roctane sports drink 40 ounces
  • 1 serving strawberry/vanilla Perpetuem
  • 1 large turkey and cheddar sandwich
  • 1 pack of peanut butter crackers
  • 1 bag of peanut butter pretzels
  • 6 fig newtons
  • 1 Zbar
  • lots of water


What I wore: lululemon compression shorts, Oiselle top, Oiselle sport’s bra, Swiftwick medical grade compression socks, HOKA Challenger ATRs, trucker hat, lululemon arm sleeves. AK Ultimate Direction Vest.

Race overall: Put this one on your radar. I have a feeling that it will sell out next year. Everyone working at the event was fun, kind and professional. The Oregon green and single track will blow your mind, if you are not used to it.





3 thoughts on “Race Recap: Tillamook Burn Trail Run 50

    1. ooartist1234 Post author

      What did I learn? Good question. This was my 3rd 50. I am signed up to run Pine to Palm 100 in Oregon this September. I learned that I love training in the South and running out West of Utah! It was not so much what I learned as it was how can I take this experience and move forward to September.

      My sole job in this race was to get Teresa across that line in one piece, in time, with a smile on her face. So, mission accomplished. She ran an amazing race.

      As I move forward to September. . . I will take with me the way I hydrated and ate. I did that well for 13.5 hours. That is very hard to do. I will also take with me a good attitude. It is completely okay to put, as one of your race goals, “have a good time or have a smile on my face all day”. I have an awesome crew coming with me. It was good to see friends on the trail in OR.

      Are you racing soon?

  1. Pingback: Pacing the Burn | Run With Me

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