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New trail series flourishes, adds distances in second year

Runners take on the Smith Rock Ascent in 2013 as part of the Northwest Mountain Trail Series
Long Run Picture Company

Only in its second year of existence, the Northwest Mountain Trail Series is already expanding.

The trail series kicks off June 14 with the Smith Rock Ascent, which now includes a 50K in addition to the 15K. Last year, the race was in April and 50 runners endured 3,000 feet of vertical elevation gain. Race organizers are also adding a 20K and 30K to the Dog Mountain race July 26, which was just a 10K last year. And there will also be the Wilson River Trail 50K, added to the Elks Mountain Traverse 15K on Oct. 18.

All told, there will be six race events with 10 various distances and courses ranging from 10K to the Mountain Lakes 100 mile Sept. 27-28. Officials will likely be hoping for better cooperation from Mother Nature this year as last year's 100 miler was cut short because of vicious storms.

"This trail race series consists of ten challenging courses of varying distances and terrain," the Northwest Mountain Trail Series website state. "Whether it’s 10K or 100 miles, we promise to challenge you and give you a memorable race experience."

The race also includes the Volcanic 50K on Sept. 6 and the Mount Hood 50 on July 12. For more details and to register for the races, check the trail series website.

"The Series was created to celebrate running in the mountains with friends, and although it will have a low-key vibe, you can expect it to be well-organized with real-time race results, well-stocked aid stations, cheerful volunteers, great post-race grub and sponsors that make the best products around," race organizers say.