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Local ultra runner wins 100 km race

Loomis running the Cirque Series at Snowbird in 2021
Keith Fearnow
Adam Loomis
Loomis running the Cirque Series at Snowbird in 2021

Adam Loomis crossed the finish line first in a 100 km running race earlier this month.

As a former member of the US Nordic Combined team where he combined cross country ski racing with ski jumping, Adam Loomis is no stranger to working hard for his goals. On Saturday, April 13, he competed in his first-ever 100 km race.

“I've ran 100 kilometers” Loomis said. “But I haven't done 100-kilometer race. I've finished a 100-mile race. I ran 100 kilometers a couple other times, and then a few 50-mile races. So, this seemed like it would be pretty similar.

The Gorge Waterfalls race is an out-and-back route, through the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The scenery he says is spectacular.

Adam Loomis running the Gorge 100k race in Oregon, April 2024.
Adam Loomis
Adam Loomis running the Gorge Waterfalls 100k Race in Oregon, April 2024.

“We ran through lush forests and pretty technical rocky trails. And yeah, it's aptly named,” he said. “There's waterfalls along the whole way, especially the first half was just like, stacked with views. At one point, we ran on a ledge behind a waterfall. And then shortly after that, we're in front of the biggest waterfall in the gorge, which is like over 600 feet.”

Loomis finished the race in 8:28. He was about 14 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, who had worked his way up from sixth place. He says that pressure kept him running hard.

Besides water and electrolytes, he says he kept himself nourished with a lot of sugar.

“I was taking in close to 400 calories an hour of basically just gels and sports drink, which is about what the body can handle if you train it well enough,” Loomis explained. “It's something I work on in training is how much I can take in. And that is a huge factor. There's no way I could have finished that race with the way I started if I hadn't been taking that much fuel.”

To his benefit, Loomis was able to train at high altitude here in Park City at 7,000 feet and race at a lower elevation. The course in Oregon ranged from about sea level up to about 1600 feet.

He trained about four days a week and ran 50 miles a week for about eight weeks leading up to the race. He continues to Nordic ski and also serves as the Skimo director for Park City Ski and Snowboard, so he put in plenty of miles climbing mountains on skis during the winter.

Adam Loomis standing at the top of the podium after the 100k Gorge Waterfall race in April 2024.
Adam Loomis
Adam Loomis standing at the top of the podium after the 100k Gorge Waterfall race in April 2024.

At 32, he’s young, but his body still took a beating…

“Immediately after the race, I was excited to make it to the finish line and for things that come together. But I was also pretty wrecked,” he said. “It's not the first time where I've been like, I'm going to be more sore from this than I've ever been before. That's how it felt for the first 12 or so hours. And then actually recovery went okay. I was definitely sore for the majority of the next week. But I was able to keep moving and get the body back in shape.”

His toes got banged up and he expects to lose a couple of toenails. But he’s back at it and training for a race that will be held in Canada at the end of June. It’s what’s called a “skyrunner” race.” The idea behind skyrunning is to go from a town to the highest mountain peak in the least amount of time. This race he says is only about 33km long but climbs about 10,000 feet in elevation.