Saturday, February 20, 2010

Woolley 50k+

Sitting here listening to a Tom Petty-Bob Dylan duo album, trying to sum up my race today in my mind for this blog, and the “answers are blowing in the wind”—this cd is phenomenal. A couple weeks ago I watched a two disc documentary on Petty’s career, and it was amazing—he’s played with everyone—Eddie Vedder, Dylan, George Harrison, Stevie Nicks. I guess that's not everyone--there's still Lady GaGa and Jay-Z.

But this here is a race "report", such as it is. I knocked out the Woolley Run 50k+ today, stretching from Sedro-Woolley to Birdsview and back. Terrific day and event. The weather was outstanding, with temperatures at freezing at the start of the day, icy ponds on the side of the trail, and climbing to 60 degrees by the time I went home.

The course is on the Cascade Trail, a Skagit County rails trail, completely flat, heading east and upriver through farmlands, with the North Cascades clearly in the foreground, snowcapped. We watched the sun rise in the chill of the morning, over those mountains. Frosty fields. Clear clear skies.

There were probably only 15 people who did the 50k, maybe another 15 who did the marathon—actually, I have no idea—total of about 50 people, if you count the terrific volunteers, mostly friends I know. Terry S. organized this with Skagit Runners and NW Ultras. Fees benefit the rebuilding of another local trestle trail, which was lost in a fire. Distances a bit long, as per Terry. Chip timing for the club was tested out for the first time. Other friend volunteers included Joe, Shawna, Roger, Alvin (and kids), Terry’s family, Shawn, and a few others I’m sure I’m forgetting.

I ran a very slow out.  I was cold, waking up, warming up my left hamstring. Slacking, I managed to see a herd of elk that no one else saw, 200 yards to the north of the trail, skipping around some bushes. Later, there was a herd of bison, some with white faces. Friendly cows and horses too, and lots of spring birds, like jays and robins. Driving home, I saw a number of flocks of long-necked swans in the Nookachamps--they'll be gone soon. I like the nature.

At the turnaround, I picked it up, not to the hilt, but noticeably, and ran the last 16 in slightly negative splits. I took a brief detour into the Lyman Tavern, which was right off the trail. I've always heard about the Lyman Tavern, but never been in. The tavern calls itself "the horniest tavern in the NW," because it is stacked to the gills with antlers. There's a neon sign above the bar of a buck and a doe, enjoying intimate relations, with that slogan, glowing. I heard there used to be a place you could buy moonshine by the tavern. There's a lot of tarheel pride upriver, from a North Carolina migration from the early 1900s. The Tavern always seems to make the news whenever Lyman gets flooded by the Skagit River, which happens every few years.

After the detour, I kept pushing. My finish time was 5:12, which sounds relatively fast for me, but I'm not too excited, as this is a fast trail. I did manage to get 75 miles in this week, including two track workouts, and that is a good week of running for me. I figure I need to push things a bit.

Amazing 30km pursuit cross country race in the Olympics today. One of the best races I’ve ever watched—I vegged out on the couch and enjoyed it for an hour this afternoon. I’m a likely bet to find my way north to Vancouver this week sometime. It's only 60 miles or so, and although I know it'll be crowded, the pains seem worth the gains. No tickets, but I guess it's all happening, everywhere.

Petty and Dylan—Dylan is now ripping on the harmonica, the opening riffs to I’m not knockin’ on heaven’s door….great stuff.

1 comment:

Scotty said...
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