Castle Peak 100K Announcement
December 3, 2022
It has been said “All good things must come to an end”.
Since 2015, the Castle Peak 100K has been a showcase event for Donner Party Mountain Runners. The race began with recognition of the Truckee region’s long history of travel and perseverance through challenging terrain and harsh conditions. The area and its trails seemed a natural location to create a “graduate level” ultra running event. Peter Fain, Co-Race Director and course designer, spent years putting together some of the best trails that the area has to offer, including points of historic significance while also keeping the course continuously flowing forward.
The Castle Peak race always kept things local and personal. Co-Race Director Helen Pelster greeted every runner at the finish-line in person, by name and with a hug. Sean Flanagan took over as Co-Race Director in 2018 and brought his own brand of energy, enthusiasm and intense organization. (Certainly when it came to tasks such as wrangling hikers to hand-carry 630 lbs of water to the remote Devil’s Oven Aid Station.) The race would not have been possible without the dedication of the entire all-volunteer race committee.
The race enjoyed growth and success over the years as it saw registration numbers grow from 70 to 250 entrants and become a sold-out event. In 2019, the race became a Western States and UTMB qualifier, solidifying its place as one of the one of the most difficult 100K trail races in the country.
No ultra running event is without its challenges, however, and the Castle Peak100K has been no exception. We’ve successfully dealt with extreme weather, wildfire threats and a global pandemic. Shifts in start-line and finish-line venues. And “love ‘em or hate em” course changes that delivered notable sections such as the Palisades and Warren Lake.
In 2021 we were notified of land use and permitting restrictions which asked for an extensive and costly archeological survey across Basin and Castle Peak – the showpiece of the Castle Peak 100K. Unfortunately this also came with an unknown time frame (years?) for approval and cost. After exhaustive discussion on possible course changes it has been decided that to deliver a race without the Castle Peak section would not be a race worthy of the mantle. And so it has been decided that the final chapter of the Castle Peak 100K has been written and here it will end.
As a special thank you we would like to recognize the overwhelming support of our running community, including our volunteers, sponsors and land partners as well as every registered runner, pacer, family and crew member that helped to make the Castle Peak 100K such a success.
Last year, in the absence of the Castle Peak race, DPMR undertook the idea to bring a new race to the Truckee-Tahoe area. We’ve taken all that we’ve learned about how to present an amazing race experience and created the Point Mariah Trail Marathon – and it’s returning for 2023! Distances include a full marathon, a partner marathon and a 5-person relay option. This multi-loop style course features five segments that tour different parts of the Royal Gorge land and brings everyone together at one central aid station each time runners pass through. It’s unique and welcoming, and as we move forward we hope to see you there.
DPMR Board of Directors
Castle Peak Race Committee