Ashland Hillclimb may go

The Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Run is scheduled for next Saturday. Are they really crazy enough to run 13.3 miles uphill in this smoke?

— David S., Medford

For those of you who don't know what the Mt. Ashland Hillclimb Run entails, it is a 13.3-mile scramble that ascends from Ashland's Lithia Park and follows tree-canopied, dirt roads and trails to the summit of Mt. Ashland. The route gets so steep toward the top that runners have to use their hands to pull themselves up the incline.

The run features more than 5,600 feet of climbing, which is more than a vertical mile.

We tried to get a hold of the race organizers to answer your question, but they were probably out there running wind sprints in gas masks or something, so we went to the event's website,, to see whether they had information about smoke contingencies.

And, indeed, they did.

The website says the race will not be run if the air quality index rates the air as "unhealthy" or worse.

Race organizers said they will depend on Oregon Department of Environmental Quality information posted at

Another site they will follow is, which carries air quality information, maps and forecasts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Organizers said they won't decide until Friday, Aug. 9 — or possibly on the morning of the run, Aug. 10 — whether they'll cancel.

Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.