Saturday, February 21, 2009

Winter Ultras, 2009

I haven't gotten around to writing about the races I've done so far this year. I think I'll just go for a recap of all three.
Bridal Trails: Last year when I ran Bridal Trails, it was miserable, and I said that I'd never do it again. Running multiple loops around a 5 mile trail full of churned up mud in the cold and dark probably doesn't make it on anyone's top 10 list, but my memories of the pain dulled a little bit and I signed up again. I went to an orienteering meet in the morning, and after that I felt nauseous and fluish. I debated about cancelling for the 50km, but decided to go run at the last minute. Luckily, I felt better during the race than I did before I started.
One memory of the race was following Jen Segger through the first loop. Towards the end of the loop, I backed off a little and dropped behind her, thinking that I had to conserve my energy for all six loops, assuming that she was on a relay team. It turns out she was running all six loops as well, and set the woman's course record.

Capitol Peaks: I felt better at Capitol Peaks and I ran well. I started off with three other guys in the front pack, but after 15 minutes I let them get ahead, as I could not keep up their pace for two loops (most people were only doing one 15 mile loop). I ran the rest of the first loop without seeing anyone. At the end of the first loop, I signed in, grabbed a bit, and headed back out again, surprised not to see anyone else signed in yet. On the way back out, we briefly retraced our course, and I could see others were about 4 to 5 minutes behind me. I kept up a strong pace for the whole second loop, especially after the aid station personnel told me that I was the first 30-miler through there. When I finished (3:57 - 1st place yay!) I discovered that the three guys who had been ahead of me all took a wrong turn and got lost in the woods for 10 minutes, so had the dubious honor of finishing the first 15 mile loop ahead of all the 15 mile racers as well.

Orcas Island: Orcas is my favorite race with beautiful views from the peak and lots of nice singletrack, as well as a few gut-busting climbs on what can barely be described as trails. I headed out with a front group of five others or so and chatted a little with many of them before they pulled ahead. I like chatting. I met one guy, Brian, who flew out from Vermont to visit a friend and was doing his first trail run (he was a road racer). He was really fast for most of the race, but the 7500 vertical feet got to his quads and he hobbled to the finish. He and Chris T prevented me from getting completely lost early on in the race. Later on, Brendan Trimboli caught up with me on the gut-busting climb and we chatted for a while during our hike up. I pushed on ahead again and later caught up with Chris Twardzick. I thought I had dropped him after our climb to the top of Mt Constitution, but he was tenacious in trying to keep up with me. We ended up running the last eight miles or so together so we could socialize a little. He seems like a nice guy and we planned to maybe run a few long runs this summer to prep for CCC 100 if we both got in. I also met Gary Robbins, whom I had heard about through adventure racing but had never really met. He is a really friendly guy, but has an intensity about him when vying for a win. And James Varner, the RD, deserves special mention for putting on another great race.

Racing Calendar for 2009

Here is my plan for 2009:

January 10: Bridal Trails 50km (4:27:04, 7th)
January 17: Capitol Peak 30 mile (3:57, 1st)
Feb 7th: Orcas Island 50km (5:00:55, 3rd)
Mar 21: Chuckanut 50km (Bellingham, WA)
April 11: Sun Mountain 50km (Winthrop, WA)
May 2: Desert Winds 24 hr Adventure Race (Lake Meade, AZ)
May 16: Mogollon Rim 24hr Rogaine (AZ)
May 31: Trioba (8hr?) Adventure Race (WA)
June 13/14: Crux and Crucible Adventure Race (ID)
July : White River 50 mile (Mt Rainier area, WA)
August 29: Cascade Crest 100 mile (Easton, WA)
Sept 12: Imogene Pass (17 mile) run (Ouray, CO)
Sept 19: Trioba 24 hour Adventure Race (WA)

plus maybe a few more thrown in the mix.

Cascade Crest 100 Confirmation

It's been a while since I've posted here, but a lot has been going on. I've run three ultra-marathons already this calendar year, I have a fairly full schedule for the year, and I just got confirmed that I'll be running in the Cascade Crest 100 mile Trail Run this year. Hooray!
Cascade Crest 100 starts in Easton, WA and runs up along the crest of the Cascades. It will be a great first 100 miler for me, as it is lower elevation, not too hot, and most importantly, it is in my own backyard. I plan to go for a few training runs on the course this summer when the snows clear.