McKenzie River Trail Run (Eugene, OR)
Credit: Micael Lebowitz / Long Run Picture Co.

As ultra-distance runs go, the McKenzie River Trail Run is less masochistic and punishing than other races. (Those who've been to nearby Eugene might have guessed that.) What it is instead is a 31- or 50-mile race along the Willamette National Forests' McKenzie River Trail, a single-track path through the old-growth forests, next to waterfalls, and over rough patches of lava rock – making for a course that's as beautiful as it is technical.

If you're staying in Eugene, get your morning coffee the next day at The Last Stand Coffee Co on Blair Boulevard. The owner's as committed to coffee as you are to running: He serves hard-to-find Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, cooked right there in the shop in a custom hand-crank roaster.

More Information: Anyone can register for the run through Ultra Signup, but there's a cap at 100 runners for each race distance. [Early September;]