Big Foot 200

What is the Big Foot 200?

The Big Foot 2

The History and Significance of the Big Foot 200

The Big Foot 200, an ultra-endurance race held in the Pacific Northwest, has garnered significant attention and admiration within the running community since its inception. The race, known for its challenging distance and demanding terrain, has become a sought-after event for experienced runners seeking a true test of their physical and mental fortitude.

The origins of the Big Foot 200 can be traced back to the late 2000s when ultra-running began to gain popularity across the United States. A group of passionate runners and organizers, inspired by the success of other long-distance races, decided to create an event that would showcase the unique beauty and challenges of the Pacific Northwest’s rugged landscapes.

Since its inaugural race, the Big Foot 200 has experienced steady growth in participation and recognition. The race now attracts runners from around the world, all eager to take on its demanding 200-mile course and experience the camaraderie and sense of accomplishment that comes from pushing their limits in such a spectacular setting.

The Big Foot 200’s increasing popularity can be attributed to several factors. First, the race offers a truly unique and challenging experience for runners, with its diverse terrain, varying elevations, and unpredictable weather conditions. Second, the event’s organizers have consistently prioritized runner safety and support, providing well-stocked aid stations, experienced medical personnel, and comprehensive course markings.

Lastly, the Big Foot 200 has fostered a strong sense of community among its participants, volunteers, and supporters. The event has become more than just a race; it’s a gathering of like-minded individuals who share a passion for pushing their boundaries, exploring the great outdoors, and supporting one another in their pursuit of personal growth and achievement.

How to Prepare for the Big Foot 200

Embarking on the Big Foot 200, one of the most challenging ultra-endurance races, requires careful planning and preparation. To ensure a successful and enjoyable experience, consider the following essential steps:


A well-structured training plan is crucial for building the necessary endurance, strength, and resilience required for the Big Foot 200. Begin by gradually increasing your weekly mileage, focusing on a mix of long, slow distance runs, speed work, and hill repeats. Include back-to-back long runs to simulate the physical and mental demands of multi-day racing. As the race approaches, incorporate terrain-specific training to familiarize yourself with the unique challenges of the Pacific Northwest’s trails.


Proper nutrition is vital for fueling your training and race performance. Experiment with various energy sources, such as gels, chews, and bars, to determine what works best for your body. Aim to consume a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats during training and racing, and practice hydration strategies to maintain optimal electrolyte levels. Remember, each individual’s nutritional needs may vary, so it’s essential to find a plan that works best for you.

Mental Preparation

Ultra-endurance races like the Big Foot 200 test not only your physical limits but also your mental fortitude. Develop mental strategies to cope with the inevitable low points, such as breaking the race into smaller, manageable segments, practicing mindfulness, and focusing on positive self-talk. Cultivate a growth mindset, embracing challenges as opportunities for learning and self-improvement.

Gradual Progression

Achieving success in the Big Foot 200 depends on consistent, gradual progression in your training. Avoid the temptation to increase your mileage too quickly, as this can lead to injury and burnout. Instead, prioritize consistency, allowing your body time to adapt to the increased demands of ultra-endurance running. Regularly assess your progress and make adjustments to your training plan as needed.

Assessing Your Fitness Level for the Big Foot 200

Assessing your fitness level is a crucial step in determining your readiness for the Big Foot 200. By evaluating your running pace, endurance, and strength, you can create a tailored training plan that addresses your specific needs and goals. Consider the following aspects when assessing your fitness level:

Running Pace

Determine your current running pace by conducting a timed trial over a fixed distance, such as a 5K or 10K. Utilize online resources or training apps to analyze your results and establish a baseline for your training. As you progress, regularly re-assess your pace to monitor improvements and adjust your training plan accordingly.


Evaluate your endurance by participating in longer runs or events, such as half marathons or marathons. These races provide valuable insight into your ability to maintain a consistent pace over extended periods, as well as your capacity to recover between training sessions. Incorporate regular long runs into your training plan to build your endurance and prepare for the Big Foot 200’s demanding distance.


Strength training is essential for preventing injuries and enhancing performance during ultra-endurance events. Focus on exercises that target your core, legs, and glutes, such as squats, lunges, planks, and deadlifts. Aim to complete two to three strength training sessions per week, gradually increasing the intensity and volume as your fitness level improves.

Appropriate Adjustments

Once you’ve assessed your running pace, endurance, and strength, use this information to create a well-structured training plan. If your assessment reveals weaknesses in a particular area, prioritize targeted workouts and exercises to address those deficiencies. Regularly re-evaluate your fitness level throughout your training to ensure your plan remains effective and aligned with your goals.

Gear and Equipment for the Big Foot 200

Proper gear and equipment selection are crucial for a successful and enjoyable Big Foot 200 experience. Invest in high-quality, reliable products that cater to your specific needs and preferences. Consider the following categories when choosing your gear:


Prioritize moisture-wicking, breathable, and quick-drying fabrics for your clothing. Opt for lightweight, form-fitting garments that minimize chafing and discomfort during long runs. Don’t forget to pack a waterproof jacket and pants to protect against unexpected weather changes. Lastly, invest in high-quality socks designed for long-distance running to reduce the risk of blisters and foot injuries.


Select trail running shoes with excellent traction, stability, and cushioning to navigate the Big Foot 200’s diverse terrain. Consider factors such as your foot shape, gait, and pronation when choosing the right shoe. It’s also essential to break in your shoes before the race to prevent discomfort and blisters. Some runners prefer to use trail gaiters to keep debris out of their shoes, which can be a valuable addition to your footwear setup.

Hydration Systems

Staying hydrated is vital during ultra-endurance events. Choose a hydration system that suits your preferences, such as handheld bottles, waist belts, or hydration vests. Ensure your chosen system has enough capacity to carry water and electrolytes for extended periods. Test your hydration system during training to identify any comfort or functionality issues before the race.

Safety Equipment

Carry essential safety equipment, such as a headlamp, extra batteries, a whistle, and a first-aid kit. A mobile phone is also crucial for emergencies, so ensure it’s fully charged and equipped with a waterproof case. Additionally, consider carrying a personal locator beacon or a satellite messenger for increased safety in remote areas.

Navigating the Course: Tips and Strategies for the Big Foot 200

Navigating the Big Foot 200 course requires careful planning, pacing, and adaptability. To help you conquer this challenging ultra-endurance race, consider the following tips and strategies:


Proper pacing is crucial for conserving energy and maintaining a consistent pace throughout the race. Aim for a steady, sustainable effort rather than starting too fast, which can lead to burnout and injury. Utilize pace charts and training data to establish a realistic target pace, and adjust as needed based on terrain and weather conditions.

Hydration and Nutrition

Staying hydrated and maintaining a consistent nutritional intake are vital for optimal performance during the Big Foot 200. Plan your hydration and nutrition strategy in advance, considering the availability of aid stations and your personal preferences. Experiment with various energy gels, bars, and drinks during training to determine what works best for you. Remember to consume electrolytes to maintain a healthy balance and prevent cramping.

Mental Preparation

Ultra-endurance races like the Big Foot 200 test not only your physical limits but also your mental fortitude. Develop mental strategies to cope with the inevitable low points, such as breaking the race into smaller, manageable segments, practicing mindfulness, and focusing on positive self-talk. Cultivate a growth mindset, embracing challenges as opportunities for learning and self-improvement.

Course Knowledge

Familiarize yourself with the Big Foot 200 course by studying maps, elevation profiles, and race reports. Identify key landmarks, aid stations, and challenging sections to better plan your pacing, hydration, and nutrition strategies. The more you know about the course, the better equipped you’ll be to adapt to changing conditions and make informed decisions during the race.


Ultra-endurance races are unpredictable, and even the best-laid plans may need to be adjusted. Stay flexible and open to changing your strategy based on how your body feels, weather conditions, or unforeseen challenges. Embrace the unexpected and trust your ability to adapt and overcome obstacles on the Big Foot 200 course.

Recovery and Post-Race Care After the Big Foot 200

Completing the Big Foot 2

Joining the Big Foot 200 Community: Resources, Training Tips, and Support

Embarking on the Big Foot 200 journey can be both exhilarating and intimidating, but you don’t have to face the challenge alone. Connecting with the vibrant and supportive ultra-running community can significantly enhance your preparation, performance, and overall experience. Here’s why you should consider joining the Big Foot 200 community:

Access to Resources

The ultra-running community offers a wealth of resources to help you navigate the Big Foot 200. From training plans and nutrition guides to race reports and gear recommendations, fellow runners and experts are eager to share their knowledge and experiences. Leveraging these resources can help you develop a solid foundation for your Big Foot 200 journey and avoid common pitfalls.

Training Tips

Seasoned ultra-runners can provide invaluable training tips tailored to the unique challenges of the Big Foot 200. By engaging with the community, you can benefit from their collective wisdom, learn from their successes and failures, and refine your own training strategy. Additionally, many runners are open to virtual or in-person training partners, offering the opportunity to learn from and motivate one another.

Support from Fellow Runners

Ultra-running communities are known for their camaraderie and support. Engaging with fellow Big Foot 200 participants can help you build lasting connections, share experiences, and gain moral support. Runners often form training groups, pacing partnerships, and post-race celebrations, fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose.

Sharing Experiences

Joining the Big Foot 200 community allows you to share your own experiences, insights, and achievements. By documenting your journey, you can contribute to the collective knowledge of the community, inspire others, and reflect on your personal growth. Sharing your experiences can also help you process the highs and lows of ultra-endurance racing, promoting mental well-being and resilience.

Connecting with Like-Minded Individuals

Ultra-running communities bring together individuals who share a passion for pushing their limits, exploring the outdoors, and embracing personal challenges. Engaging with these like-minded individuals can broaden your horizons, expose you to new ideas, and enrich your life beyond the Big Foot 200. By joining the community, you’ll tap into a diverse and inspiring network of individuals who embody the spirit of ultra-endurance racing.