Standing Stone Brewing Company

Mt Ashland Hillclimb Run

Upcoming Rogue Valley Races (with Beer at the Finish Line)

There was a recent article in Time Magazine called ‘Just Brew It‘ about the new trend of pairing craft beer with more than food – joining the love of beer with the love of the outdoors and activities like cycling, running and rafting (our friends at Southern Oregon Brewing in Medford, OR were mentioned in the article for a local rafting & beer tasting package). We couldn’t agree more, and we’re bottling up our enthusiasm for a few of our favorite upcoming athletic events in Southern Oregon. Here’s what’s on our radar for summer races that Standing Stone participates in and sponsors every year, and we encourage you to get involved, too!

Mt Ashland Hillclimb Run, August 10th: This 13.3-mile race climbs over 5,600 feet IMGP0312_edited-1in altitude, placing finishers at the summit of Mt. Ashland. We’re amazed with the athletes who complete this hot-weather feat, so much that we serve free beer at the top for all the racers! In fact, we engrave the names of each year’s male and female winners on a commemorative trophy keg to be served from at the finish line and then displayed at Standing Stone year-round. We also throw in $10 gift certificates so the runners can come in and relax with a brew and food when they return to Ashland’s 1,900’ altitude.

Registration is closed as this race is already completely sold out, but you can always join us in cheering on the racers (including three Standing Stone runners) at the lodge on Mt. Ashland, and motivate yourself to attempt this challenging race in 2014!

Siskiyou Challenge Relay Race, September 28th: This six-leg, multi-sport relay isteam 3 in its fourth year and we’ve been at the finish line serving food and beer at every one! We also have several Standing Stone employee teams participate each year, with last year marking a new personal record for us with four teams consisting of 24 total coworkers. We particularly love this race because it mixes exercise with tons of fun, and it supports one of our favorite local organizations, Rogue Valley Farm to School. Festivities start and end at ScienceWorks museum here in Ashland, and there will be vendors, live music, food and brews for all the finishers. Registration is now open, so gather your team of runners, bikers and kayakers today!

(By the way, we always have an in-house costume contest for our racers at the Siskiyou Challenge, and organizers encourage you to have fun with your team uniforms, too! You can see our blog post from last year with photos of all our teams for some fun inspiration.)

We hope to see you at both of these awesome Rogue Valley events, and encourage you to get involved with other athletic events in your area. We agree that ‘just brew it’ is a great theme for summertime fun – afterall, what better way to reward yourself after outdoor activities than with a cold beer?

Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Run: Another Great Day at the Top

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.

Up, Up and Away! Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Run

Ashland runner Erik Skaggs (2nd) enjoys a post-race beer from Standing Stone.

Here at Standing Stone, we’re always up a challenge and we love to enjoy the mountain trails that surround us. So, naturally, the Mount Ashland Hillclimb Run, held this weekend, is our kind of event.

We’ve been a longtime supporter, offering gift certificates and complimentary beer at the finish, and providing a home for the race trophy – a keg inscribed with the male and female winners’ names. It’s really a fun community event that brings together a diversity of folks of all ages.

As its name implies, the Mount Ashland Hillclimb Run takes intrepid runners and walkers uphill. To be exact, it’s a 13.3 mile-long journey with a vertical gain of 5,600 feet, starting at Ashland’s Lithia Park and ending at the summit of Mount Ashland.

Stephanie Howe, women's winner

The beautiful course starts with a run around Lithia Park, offering a nice 2-mile warm up with only a slight incline. After that point, the route becomes a steep climb through Ashland’s stunning watershed until it levels out for a bit around 8.5 miles. At about 10.5 miles, it heads back uphill until it reaches the Mount Ashland ski lodge. From there, participants scramble a little over one half mile, up a ski slope to the summit.

This was an especially exciting one in the race’s 33-year history, as Max King of Bend, OR set a new course record (1:41:50). Stephanie Howe, also from Bend, took the women’s title for the second year in a row (2:12:07). Erik Skaggs of Ashland was 2nd and Tim Van Oreden of Vermont was 3rd. The 2nd and 3rd females were Melissa Schweisguth and Jenn Shelton, both from Ashland. Go Ashland! Check out the full results online and a great article by local reporter Daniel Newberry from the Mail Tribune.

Max King, men's winner and new course record holder

Standing Stone co-owner Alex Amarotico and server Rob Koening joined over 200 other participants on the trek to the top. Both thoroughly enjoyed themselves and will certainly inspire more of us to take part next year. We raise our glasses to race director Torsten Heycke and all the volunteers and sponsors who make it such a fabulous event

Congratulations to all runners and walkers, and thanks to all of you who stopped by Standing Stone during race weekend. We hope to see you there next year! We’ll be back with beer and good cheer.

(photos: Andy Atkinson/Mail Tribune)

By in Community, Events 0

Up, Up, Up: Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Coming Up

Are you planning ahead for the annual Mt Ashland Hillclimb Run??

Check out the details here and come join us – good (if not arduous) exercise, beautiful views, motivated people.

Standing Stone has long sponsored the race by providing quality beer at the finish. Mmmmmmm! Good motivation indeed. Did you know that beer has Vitamin B?

Why do we help sponsor it? It engages and encourages a healthy lifestyle – exercise, it’s a social event – who doesn’t want more friends, and it’s an incredible view from the top.

So whether you run, walk, or drive to Mt Ashland August 7th, consider putting it on your calendar.

Now…go take a walk…or run…or…