GOAT run challenging in stunning surroundings on Olympic Discovery Trail

GOAT run challenging in stunning surroundings on Olympic Discovery Trail

There are two options: a 14-mile half-marathon and a 26.2-mile full marathon.

JOYCE — About 175 people are signed up to run in the 2016 Great Olympic Adventure Trail Run on Saturday, said Lorrie Mittmann, event co-founder.

“This is a stunning but very challenging course,” Mittmann said.

“People travel from around the United States and Canada to run in it,” she said.

”This year, 75 percent of the participants are from outside of Clallam County, including Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, Ohio, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maryland, Indiana, British Columbia and Alberta.”

The Great Olympic Adventure Trail (GOAT) Run is a one-way trail run on a route that traverses Kelly Ridge between Olympic National Park and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

There are two options: a 14-mile half-marathon and a 26.2-mile full marathon.

Those who have not registered yet can still do so today at www.greatoat run.org. Registration is $70.

Packet pickup will take place from 4 to 7 tonight at Barhop Brewing, 124 W. Railroad Ave. in Port Angeles.

On Saturday starting at 7 a.m., packet pickup will take place at Crescent Grange, 50870 state Highway 112 in Joyce.

The half-marathon follows the Olympic Adventure Trail over about 8 miles of single-track trail and over 4 miles of forest road. The final portion of the race is on a paved road, finishing at Lake Crescent.

The course starts at 1,266 feet, near the top of Joyce Access Road, and reaches a maximum elevation of 1,619 feet, with a cumulative elevation change of 1,528 feet over the 14-mile rolling course, according to greatoatrun.org.

The full marathon follows the entire length of the Olympic Adventure Trail, which extends over 21 miles of single track and about 4 miles of gravel logging road, and finishes with less than a mile of paved road to get to the finish line at Lake Crescent, inside Olympic National Park.

The course starts at the Olympic Adventure Trail horse trailer parking lot off Dan Kelly Road and reaches a maximum elevation of 1,619 feet, with a cumulative elevation change of 3,519 feet over the 26-mile rolling course, according to www.greatoat run.org.

The full marathon starts at 8:30 a.m. and the half-marathon at 10 a.m.

The finish line for both marathons is at Log Cabin Resort on Lake Crescent. Participants will start crossing the finish line at about 11:30 a.m.

A portion of the proceeds from this race, Mittmann said, will be donated to the Peninsula Trails Coalition for use in the construction and maintenance of the Olympic Discovery Trail and Olympic Adventure Trail.

The coalition is a local, citizen-based, nonprofit organization that works with private residents and local government to identify potential trail route and helps provide volunteer labor for construction and maintenance of the trail, according to www.greatoat run.org.

On race day, runners will park in Joyce and be shuttled to the starting line of their marathon. Runners will be shuttled back to their cars in Joyce from the lake when they are ready. Shuttles are free and mandatory.

The shuttles leave for the half marathon at 9:30 a.m. and the full marathon at 8 a.m.

There will be minimal volunteer aid stations for the GOAT Run, and runners should be prepared to be self-sufficient and carry water and food as needed, organizers said.

The six aid stations will be at approximately miles 3.2, 7.5, 12.5, 16, 20 and 23. Food and drinks will be offered at the finish line as well.

The Olympic Adventure Trail is a project of the Clallam County Road Department — constructed to be a temporary route to connect two sections of the Olympic Discovery Trail while the permanent trail is constructed.

Construction of the trail began in 2004. It was constructed by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office Chain Gang and a volunteer trail crew called the Thursday Trail Crew.

The crews used only chain saws and hand tools, completing the trail in fall 2011.

“I was involved in construction of the OAT when it started in 2004, so I feel very connected to it for that reason, and also because I run on it about three times per week,” Mittmann said.

This connection led Mittmann, along with Scott Tucker, to found the GOAT Run in 2013.

“This is an incredible trail, and I wanted to bring people here to showcase its beauty and the hard work of the volunteers and sheriff chain gang workers who spent countless hours building it,” Mittmann said.

“I also wanted to make sure to give back to the Peninsula Trails Coalition, who has been donating volunteer lunches for the Thursday Trail Crew … since the crew was formed in 2005.”

The GOAT Run “would not be possible without the large amount of community support that I get,” Mittmann continued.

“It takes a large number of volunteers working long hours to put on a race of this length and logistics. In addition, the event could not happen without financial support and donations from our sponsors.”

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Features Editor Chris McDaniel can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at cmcdaniel@ peninsuladailynews.com.

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