Course Safety

The Legend of the Lost Runner

There is a squat white post in the middle of the McKenzie River Trail between Belknap Hot Springs and Star Creek. The legend goes that back when the McKenzie River Trail was young a family of runners came out to enjoy a weekend of camping and running along the trail.
One morning the father left on a run but did not return. He was never found despite extensive search and rescue efforts. The white post was planted in the middle of the trail in his memory and it has been reported that runners who run that section of the trail early enough on a summer morning can hear him laugh in the woods.
The post provides three meanings for all runners.
1. It is a reminder of trail safety and accountability.
2. It marks the nearing of the finish line.
3. It is also rumored that any runner who passes the post and does not pay homage to the lost runner will have a season riddled with injuries and bad races.

What this means for you:

  • If you don’t start, please let us know.
  • If you can’t, or don’t, finish, we’ll try to find you. That can involve an expensive and timely rescue effort. We’d like to avoid that, so please let us know if you need to pull out of the race.
  • Lastly, there have been bees on this course. Running with a bee sting is a drag. Please be prepared and carry whatever you need in the event of a sting.

Celebrating 31 Years

Much like the past few years, the first trail run was plagued by wildfires and officially canceled by the Forest Service. However, 5 friends (behaving like typical Ultra Runners) decided to run the course anyway and thus began the oldest continuously run ultra marathon in Oregon. For a period of time the run boasted 50 miles to Paradise, ending at the Paradise campground. It later realized that no one wanted to go to Paradise and the run was shortened to 50K.