UltraRunning Magazine

Runners at the 27th annual Mountain Mist 50k. Photo Pete Schreiner

What’s Up in Ultra This Weekend — January 27

Amy Clark

This week in What’s Up in Ultra, we’ve got our second Old School Ultra of the year in Alabama, a classic in Southern California, a 50k that traverses the border of a national park as well as an island 50k on our UltraRunning Calendar.

The 30th annual Mountain Mist 50k kicks off on Saturday in Huntsville, Alabama–one of the oldest and largest trail races in the Southeast and our second Old School Ultra of 2024. Traversing the trails of Monte Sano State Park and the Huntsville Land Trust Trails, runners will experience extremely rocky single-track trails, mud and creek crossings with approximately 4,300 feet of elevation gain. Registration is closed.

Sean O’Brien also begins on Saturday at Malibu State Park in California and includes 100k, 50-mile and 50k distances. In this Southern California classic, runners will traverse the Backbone Trail with surrounding views of the Pacific Ocean. With approximately 6,300 feet of gain in the 50k, 10,700 feet of gain in the 50-mile and 13,100 feet in the 100k, runners will get to experience the ruggedness of the Santa Monica Mountains.

In Utah, the Arches Ultra travels along the border of Arches National Park in Moab. In lower elevation courses, runners will experience smooth and easy trails, technical slick rock and sandy portions on the 50-mile and 50k courses while traveling on the surrounding trail systems. Views of the Moab cliffs, Arches National Park the snow-covered La Sals will also be plentiful. Events kick off on Saturday, January 27 and registration for this race is closed.

Finally, up in the Pacific Northwest is the Orcas Island 50k. With almost 8,400 feet of elevation gain, this course is isolated on Orcas Island in Washington state which is just 57 square miles wide. Runners will experience tough climbs but rewarding views of surrounding islands, old growth forests and Puget Sound. Registration is closed.

Where are you planning to run this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!