Oregon 200 Race Report – Aum Gandhi
When: August 25, 2023
Race length: Ultra
• There is a lot of tree cover on the course but some of the road sections don't have that. Plan accordingly and stay hydrated early. Due to the proximity to bodies of water, the nights get cooler than expected so watch out for that!
• Watch out for ground hornet nests. Yes, that is a thing. Many of us got stung so just watch where you put your poles as the hornets are aggressive.
The best thing(s) about the race:
• The Volunteers were incredible. This race had only 45 participants, but the aid stations had all the essentials of a 200-mile race: a variety of hot foods, sleep stations, chairs, and the energy of incredible volunteers. These events don't happen without volunteers who are engaged and energized. Seeing the amazing volunteers after stretches between 13-20 miles long was always a huge boost.
• The course markings. I can't say enough good things about the course markings. There were course markings every half a mile, which the race directors dubbed "the awesome markers". Being on point means you called yourself awesome at least 800 times. At every critical turn, there were cones. The turns were so well marked that I can comfortably say the two miles I did get lost were my own damn fault. There was one river crossing in the race that I wish had more course markings or was discussed slightly more, but that was the only tiny little gripe I had. Otherwise, that was fantastic.
• The parts of the course that were on the trail. The single track in the diamond peaks wilderness was incredible. The trails often paralleled rivers and there was one section where you got to do a loop around a lake. There was plenty of runnable single track but there were also a lot of adventurous challenges, such as downed trees, scree fields, and the river crossing mentioned above.
What was less than ideal: This might just be as a result of doing other 200 milers, but I would have liked more than one main option at some of the aid stations. That's a tiny gripe though when you are able to have warm food at your disposal at every single aid station. The above-mentioned river crossing could have had more course markings to indicate we had to cross it because it did not show up on the gpx file, but that's also a tiny gripe.
What I didn't expect: The course was more challenging than I would have expected with 25,000 ft of gain. There were a lot of roads, mainly gravel roads and I don't know if I was a fan of that, but it did switch things up and make the terrain more varied. I was blown away by how incredible Oregon's beauty was. The race directors clearly have a big vision for this race and the trails they put together made for one amazing adventure.
Race organization: Kudos to the race directors of Go Beyond for carrying over their experience in other distances and putting on one incredible show at Oregon 200. This race was amazing from start to finish. Inaugural races usually have a lot of kinks to work out but Go Beyond did a damn incredible job putting this race on. Registration and pre-race photos were quick and easy. I have discussed how well organized the race was. The post-race brunch was also a pleasant surprise and much needed after a wild adventure over 4 days.
Fuel and aid stations: Every aid station was equipped with amazing essential hot foods, such as noodles and mashed potatoes. I did appreciate that each one had a main food theme, from Burgers to Tacos to Noodles. As mentioned above, the volunteers were incredible. The absolute unconditional care of the volunteers elevated this event to another level.
Overall grade: 5 stars