My Report from the 2021 NUT 50k Trail Race
Go Beyond Racing
Saturday, August 28th, 2021
This was the last running of the NUT 50k. According to Go Beyond Racing, they will not be holding this event again. They will be starting some new adventures in 2022! Sad to hear, but exciting to be a part of it at least in its final year.
Favorite part of the NUT 50k Trail Race
My favorite part of the NUT 50k Trail Race was the first 17 miles of the course. This opening section of the race ran along the North Umpqua River and featured several views of impressive waterfalls! The forest in this area was lush and full of ferns, moss-covered rocks, and tons of giant old trees such as Douglas Fir, Hemlock, and Sugar Pine. It was a great run through this section of the Umpqua National Forest, and it made the trek up from Central Valley, California, well worth it.
Least favorite part of the NUT 50k
In contrast to the first 17 miles, the last 14 miles of the course were my least favorite. Typically, the NUT 50k is a point-to-point trail race starting further down the North Umpqua Trail and finishing at Lemolo Lake. However, due to the Jack Fire, the course had to be significantly altered this year. Go Beyond Racing did a great job shifting the 50k start, then adding an out-n-back section to the end of the race to make up the distance. It just was not as scenic of a trail as the first part of the race. In addition, the forest was not as dense over these closing miles, which left runners more exposed to the hot afternoon sun.
Highlights of your 2021 NUT 50k – What went well, and what did you enjoy?
Besides the beauty of running the North Umpqua Trail, I enjoyed the quality of the event for such a small size. With only about 50 people spread across the 17-miler and 50k, there was a lot of alone time on the trail. While sometimes having others around can help you stay motivated, and on pace, I often enjoy the alone time on the trails.
The first 17 miles went by well for me, except for some massive fallen trees I needed to climb over. These fallen trees were larger around than my height. On some, the forest service had notched steps making it easier to surmount them. I then struggled a bit in the afternoon sun coming home the final 14 miles.
Any recommendations for future runners of the race?
This, unfortunately, is the last year of the NUT race! Very sad to have only just discovered it and ran it. However, if you’re looking to explore Umpqua National Forest, this is a must-see trail! If you’re not from the area or familiar with running on wet and rugged trails, be ready for a tough challenge, whether you’re hiking or running. There are very few long flat sections in this portion of the Umpqua National Forest, and what is flat almost always is going to be full of rocks and roots.
How is the scenery on the course?
This part of the Umpqua National Forest is stunning! Runners get to see lots of waterfalls and various large trees that are hundreds of years old. The scenery delivered on how amazing Go Beyond Racing described it!
Is this race organized and well run?
Go Beyond Racing did an excellent job organizing the NUT 50k Trail Race. They were dealt a bit of a curveball due to the area’s forest fires, but they handled it nicely and pulled off a great event! I’m looking forward to doing some of their running events in the future.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
While the NUT 50k and 17-miler only had a combined total of about 50 runners, it was still a fairly competitive field. The top 5 runners in the 50k were all under 5 hours which is an excellent effort for these trails.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations regarding what’s available or when?
All the aid stations were small but mighty in size! The volunteers were upbeat and very helpful to every runner that came through. Your standard aid station fare was available, including water, sodas, electrolyte drink, candies, chips, oranges, etc. The aid stations could have better prepared for the potential heat by having more ice and cold water. When it gets hot, runners need the ability to cool themselves off quickly.
Weather and typical race conditions.
We had a chilly start with temperatures in the low 40s. Coming from Central California, it felt frigid standing around during the pre-race brief. Once the race started, though, the cooler temperatures felt perfect. By 11:00 AM, it was starting to get warm, and the sections later in the race offered less shade. By the time I finished the race, the thermometer in our car registered 100 degrees.
Gear – Did you need anything special?
I carried two handhelds for the NUT 50k, one for water and one for electrolytes. The choice to use handhelds instead of a hydration pack was probably a little bit of poor planning on my part. Running from Canal Aid Station to Kelsey Road Aid Station, I ran out of liquids a little over halfway through this stretch of trail.
I wore Calf Sleeves to provide compression on my lower legs and help minimize my exposure to poison oak. To reduce any chances of getting poison oak, I recommend having Tecnu poison oak remover to wash with after the race. Thankfully, the KOA campground where the race finished had some Tecnu for sale. I also used gaiters on my shoes to help limit debris and dirt from getting into my trail running shoes.
How is the NUT 50k Swag?
Every finisher received a pint glass and a wide assortment of beers and ciders to choose to consume as they relaxed after the race. Participants could opt to purchase a shirt or other swag items for an additional fee. Go Beyond Racing also had raffle items where random winners were drawn from the participant list for special prizes. I walked away with a Pro-Tec Athletics Orb Extreme from the raffle!
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race?
The NUT 50k receives 4.5 out of 5 stars from me. I would have liked to have run the original course, especially in its last year of the event, but that was out of the race director’s control. Being the last year of the race, there could have been something a bit more commemorative for swag besides just a pint glass, but that’s okay as well. Other than that, more ice at aid stations when it’s hot outside.
What’s next on the schedule?
I will be completing a self-supported circumnavigation of Mt. Hood on the Timberline Trail the weekend of September 25-26th with a group of friends.