Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ron Herzog 50k+

This year’s edition of the Ron Herzog 50k+ brought back the tank traps, after a two year hiatus due to overgrowth. The “tank traps” is an infamous three or four mile section of abandoned deep ditches, designed to challenge tank drivers-in-training. The section now is quite overgrown, and these three or four miles are pretty much bushwacking. You go up, you go down, and do it again, for a while, all on muddy ground. The picture above is a good illustration. I enjoyed it.

The traps are at the crest of a loop, connecting two different sets of logging roads. The event itself is out by Granite Falls, Washington, off of the Mountain Loop Highway, in the Glacier Peak area. Ron Herzog is a deceased Washington ultrarunner, who I believe passed from Lou Gehrig’s disease. The event is dedicated to his memory, and I understand a great deal of money was raised to for ALS research.

The race checked out at about 33 miles. I finished a bump over 6:30, starting out horribly and running better, albeit stiffly, as the day went on. It's time to take up yoga. Nonetheless, a steady diet of Gu and Endurolytes seemed to sort of get things going. I never had any intention of pushing—I was just out to get some miles, and enjoy the day.

It turned out to be sort of a wet one. It didn’t rain all the time, and it didn’t rain hard, but the mist and light rainfall up high had me plenty wet by the midway aid station, and a little cold. I put a jacket on, and seemed to run better after that. But then, the second half is faster than the first half.

Friend Seth and I ran more or less together for Miles 8 to 16, including the sometimes ridiculous tank traps, along with Craig. Seth has a great writeup with a link to additional pictures posted here.  The last 6 miles or so I ran with Glen M. and Dave D., crossing the finish line together. Good stuff. 

Thought of the song Misty Mountain Hop, with all the fall colors and the clouds drifting below, through the valleys. Lots of signs of logging—clearcuts, second growth, logging equipment. It was nice to land a chair and some warm soup at the finish.

Thanks to TC and Shawn, Tom and Chris, Tim, and all the other folks who helped make it such a great time.


Anonymous said...

I just ran this race yesterday,tank traps and all...awesome!

My race report is here.

Mike said...

Hey Scotty,

Holy cow! I thought the tank traps were something like the ruts in the trail at Cle Elum. That looks like some epic scrambling!


Scotty said...

Hey Mike--

Yeah, the traps are more like a series of 15 to 20 feet deep ravines, with streams running through the bottom. Very muddy climbing out of some of them. On the berms above, the trail is only sort of discernible, and there are lots of sharp small trees growing that thwap your shins. Tim S. tripped and fell on a tree and pierced his hand pretty bad. It is a bit of an adventure, but the gnarly stuff is less than an hour.

And report, great run! I remember seeing you out there--good to see you here, and hope to see you again soon!


Anonymous said...

Hye...can I steal a picture for my blog?

Here's my write up from Saturday...

Scotty said...

Sure thing! I have others, if you want something particular. And thanks for your post! It sounds like you ran a great day! Congrats!