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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)

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