Mt. Ashland, which caps out at over 7,000 feet, is one of our favorite sights and places to hike. We usually carpool there on four wheels, though some of us enjoy mountain biking up there on a beautiful, steep trail.
On the first weekend in August, more intrepid souls make the trek on foot as runners and walkers take part in the Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Run. We were there to witness it this past weekend, August 4. Congratulations to overall male and female winners, Eric Blake and Stephanie Howe, and everyone who took part.
This fun community event is something we’ve supported for many years. It benefits the Ashland Woodlands and Trails Association, which we love for keeping our trails clear and our watershed healthy. You’ll find us pouring a cold craft beer for finishers and friends aged 21 and up. The overall male and female winners also get their names engraved on a keg that makes its home in our brewpub for all to see year-round.
The race is 13.3 miles long, a bit longer than a length of a half-marathon, but it’s no flat, fast road race. It climbs a vertical mile, starting at a little over 2,000 ft in Ashland’s Lithia Park and ending at the tip-top of the mountain. Many Standing Stone Brewing Co team members have completed it, and can attest it was a world away from the Avenue of the Giants half marathon several of us ran this spring—an effort that’s a feat itself. The gorgeous trail, fabulous volunteers and aid stations, and breathtaking vista from the top make the challenge well worth it.
The Mt. Ashland Hillclimb run started out with humble beginnings, involving a handful of adventurous, trail-blazing, mountain-loving local runners who showed that the formidable effort was doable, and even fun. It’s grown into a widely renowned race that attracts top running talent from near and far. Yet, it hasn’t lost its hometown feel, and that’s why we come out year after year to support participants, all of whom are champions. This year, we upped the ante to offer four beers at the finish, served from a mobile tapping unit assembled by SSBC owner (and periodic Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Run participant).
Hats off to Race Director Torston H, and everyone who lends a hand to put on this fantastic event. We hope to see you there next year. In the meantime, run, hike, bike or carpool up to enjoy the stunning beauty and 360 degree, expansive views from the best lookout in Ashland, OR.