Lost Creek run is a trek through the woods

Don't let your Pear Blossom fitness go to waste. After the 10-mile road race in Medford is finished Saturday morning, there's a brand new and bigger challenge waiting two weeks later: the Lost Creek Trail Runs.

The main race will be a 30-kilometer — 18.6 mile — loop around Lost Creek Reservoir. This new race offers several opportunities for racers, not the least of which is to run trails in the Upper Rogue watershed a mere hour from Medford.

If you go

What: Lost Creek 30K and 5K trail runs

Where: Joseph H. Stewart State Park, 14 miles northeast of Shady Cove on Highway 62. Use the main entrance and veer left to the day-use area.

When: 9 a.m. for both races. Day-of-race registration (7:30-8:30 a.m.) is at the start line.

Register: www.lctrailruns.com

Cost: $20/$30 for 5K/30K; $15/$25 for Southern Oregon Runners members. Add $5 after April 20.

"There's a lot of single track and a run through an old-growth forest," says race director and Eagle Point resident Tyrone Raber. "You run across several wooden bridges, pass by a waterfall and you also look down on the fish hatchery as you run over the dam."

The course follows 15.6 miles of single-track trail, two miles of pavement and a mile of gravel road. Three aid stations will provide water, electrolyte drinks and a variety of snacks. There are no killer hills on the course, but expect several steep but short rollers.

"Although it helps to have done a half marathon, I encourage people to give this a try, to stretch themselves," says Raber. "Even ultramarathoners will find some challenges here."

The race begins and ends at Joseph H. Stewart State Park at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 28.

"We've added a 5K race to make it family-friendly, realizing that not everyone is ready for the full 30K," says Raber. "There's camping at the park, so you can make a weekend of it."

If you're new to trail racing, it's worth putting in several trail runs in the next two weeks.

"It's a lot different from asphalt," Raber warns. "I recommend some trail training to get your legs and ankles used to it."

In addition to door prizes donated by Upper Rogue-area merchants, the post-race festivities include a few surprises. To refuel tired bodies, racers will be treated to hot soup, chili and bread. For the fast few, there's more.

"The trophies are being made from the natural resources around the lake," Raber explains. "They will be hand carved out of manzanita by Eagle Point craftsman Joe Terran."

Terran, owner of No-Limit Natural Arts, has also used deer antlers found near the course to make trophies for the winners in the Masters division. The Lost Creek Trail Runs are produced by Southern Oregon Runners.

For information, see www.lctrailruns.com or call Raber at 541 531-9406.

Daniel Newberry is a freelance writer living in the Applegate Valley. You can reach him at dnewberry@jeffnet.org.

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