Prepare your soul for what will likely be the most beautiful and wild races you will ever run!
Wonderland Running is thrilled, honored, and humbled to announce the 2024 Dark Divide Trail Races! The Dark Divide 100 Miler will take place Friday, August 2 through Saturday, August 3, starting and finishing at the Cispus Learning Center. On Sunday, August 4, we will be holding the Dark Divide 50k and 15 Mile Fun Run, also starting and finishing at the Cispus Learning Center. These races take place in the one of the most wild and beautiful places you will ever race... the vast, rugged, and remote 70,000+ acre Dark Divide Roadless Area. Expect to run one of the hardest races you will ever run as you travel on steep technical trails with long stretches in between aid stations. Also expect to run in one of the most stunningly beautiful places you will ever run.
The Dark Divide Trail Races will take you to seldom-traveled places that are unspeakably beautiful, soul-stirringly remote, and uncommonly rugged, in the heart of the Central Washington Cascades. Located in the center of Gifford-Pinchot National Forest, the Dark Divide is a land of deep, solitary valleys filled with centuries-old trees; stunning, serrated sub-alpine ridges that are painted by wildflowers and punctuated by peaks; wild streams tumbling unfettered over waterfalls into sparkling pools; viewscapes that feel like you can touch Pahto (Mount Adams), Tahoma (Mount Rainier), and Loowit (Mount Saint Helens) with your fingers… and a treasure of glimpses into the world as it once was.
We are grateful to be hosting the start/finish and race headquarters at Cispus Learning Center near Randle, WA. These full facilities have plenty of parking and camping available for runners, right at the doorstep of the Dark Divide. There is also plentiful nearby car, tent, and RV camping.
The Dark Divide Trail Races take place upon lands of people who have called this home for thousands of years prior to colonization. Tribes with historic ties to the area include the Cowlitz (Mishalpam, Táytnapam, Sλpúlmx), Xwáłxwaypam (Klikitat), and Yakama people. Wonderland Running fully supports and respects the restoration of rights of indigenous peoples from whom these lands were taken.
Much love and light, happy trails, and we look forward to seeing you in August in the heart of the Central Washington Cascades!
100 Miler Race Qualifications
Starting in 2024, the Dark Divide 100 Miler will have a formal qualification standard. PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE SECTION BEFORE REGISTERING! I cannot reiterate enough that this is NOT AT ALL ANYTHING CLOSE TO A BEGINNER LEVEL ULTRAMARATHON. in order to line up at the start of the Dark Divide 100 Miler, you MUST provide verifiable evidence that meets one of the following qualification standards:
As stated above, starting in 2024, the Dark Divide 100 Miler will have a formal qualification standard. In order to line up at the start of the Dark Divide 100 Miler, you must provide evidence of one of the following:
Published, verifiable race results (e.g. Ultrasignup, race website) that show one of the following:
Successful completion of a 100 mile or longer race that is primarily trail with at least 15,000 feet of vertical gain. This must have been completed within the last 5 years of the start date of the 2024 Dark Divide 100 Miler or;
Successful completion of a 100 kilometer race that is primarily trail with at least 10,000 feet of vertical gain. This must have been completed within the last 2 years of the start date of the 2024 Dark Divide 100 Miler or;
Successful completion of at least two 50 mile or longer races that are primarily trail with at least 8,000 feet of vertical gain. This must have been completed within the last 2 years of the start date of the 2024 Dark Divide 100 Miler.
If you have not completed any races meeting the above qualifications, then you must submit a GPX file and letter to Wonderland Running that verify a wilderness activity or activities that sufficiently demonstrate your ability to complete this race. This is a discretionary process that is solely the decision of Wonderland Running.
Once again, I cannot reiterate enough that this is NOT AT ALL ANYTHING CLOSE TO A BEGINNER LEVEL ULTRAMARATHON. We want very much for you to have a successful event. While you will have a generous 48 hour cutoff, DO NOT underestimate how challenging this course is. For many of you, it will be the hardest thing you have ever done..
100 Miler - Pacers
Pacers are allowed at Wright Meadow Aid Station (Mile 51.6). This is the earliest location in the race where a pacer may be picked up. Pacers may be swapped out at Summit Prairie Aid Station (Mile 71.4) and Juniper Ridge Aid Station (Mile 93.7). You are limited to one pacer at a time. Also remember, it is up to two hours or longer on remote and sometimes rough forest service roads from Cispus Learning Center to the South Loop Aid Stations. Please take this into account when planning your pacing and race support logistics.
Please read and understand the following Dark Divide 100 Miler pacer requirements:
Pacers MUST check in with their runner during race check-in. Pacers will sign a waiver and be assigned a PACER bib.
Pacers must remain with their runners at all times.
Pacers may not mule or otherwise take/give supplies except at aid stations.
Pacers must abide by all course rules and permitting agency requirements. Runners may be disqualified from the Dark Divide 100 Miler if their pacers do abide by all course rules and permitting agency requirements.
100 Miler Volunteer Service Requirements
There is a volunteer service requirement for the 2023 Dark Divide 100 Miler. Recreation in our wild spaces and natural areas can and does have significant and sometimes damaging impacts on the places we explore and love. These impacts have become greatly magnified by the growth of our sport, the growth of outdoor recreation in general, and the ever present and often careless influence of social media. Please complete 8 hours of volunteer service in one of the activities below:
Event's current local time: 9:29 AM PT
Habitat restoration (e.g. native plantings, invasive species removal, watershed enhancement projects, natural area clean-up).
Trail building, repair, or restoration.
Volunteer activities that enable inclusivity and access to outdoor activities and opportunities for underrepresented, marginalized, groups and/or children.
YOUR EIGHT (8) SERVICE HOURS MUST BE COMPLETED AND DOCUMENTATION SUBMITTED BY CHECK-IN FOR THE 2024 RACE!
Thank you for reading this. Thank you for doing your part in making the Dark Divide 100 Miler a safe, welcoming, inclusive, and rewarding experience for yourself, other runners, volunteers, search & rescue, and race staff. Thank you for doing your part to help preserve and protect our wild spaces, and helping others to do the same.