Local hikers who frequent Badger Mountain might want to give popular trail system a day off on Saturday.
The seventh annual Badger Mountain Challenge is set to take over the hill this weekend, with the 50- and 100-mile races beginning Friday, and the 50-kilometer and much more popular 15-K slated for Saturday morning.
The 50- and 100-mile races start at 7 a.m. Friday, and runners will spend just a fraction of the race on Badger Mountain. The course then heads to Candy Mountain before running south along Interstate 82. Runners head west at Jacobs Road, climbing McBee Ridge and heading out to Chandler Butte before looping around to retrace the course. The 100-milers do this twice.
Last year’s 100-mile winner, Gabe Wishnie of Redmond, finished in 19 hours, 16 minutes, 59 seconds, crossing the line at 2 a.m. More than 70 racers are entered for the big race, 75 for the 50-miler.
The 50-K (31 miles) traverses mostly the same course as the longer races but cuts out a loop in the McBee area. Nearly 65 are slated to take part in this race.
The popular 15-K race (9.3 miles) has nearly 500 entries and, aside from the start, sticks to Badger Mountain.
All races begin on Shockley Road in front of the Bethel Church. The 50-K race starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, with the 15-K hitting the trail at 8 a.m.
Proceeds from the event benefit Friends of Badger Mountain, Washington Trails Association, Girls on the Run and Team in Training.