Sunday, February 6, 2011

Orcas Island 50k

Tough race, gorgeous place. I think what I like most about the Orcas Island 50k is how excited everyone gets about it. All the Facebook posts and tweets, the emails--there's just a lot of good energy leading up to the race, sort of like kids awaiting Christmas. As usual, James and his crackerjack team of AS operators did a great job in making it a fun and challenging event for everyone. And I use the term "event" purposely--Orcas is more than a race or run--it's a bit of a gathering.

Lots and lots of tough climbs, as expected. Maybe 8k in climb, 33 miles?  The powerlines in particular were "special."  I struggled most of the day.  I didn't come to the event with enough focus or fitness. The fitness will come, sort of, as I suppose I'm now suitably motivated. The focus comes and goes for me. I suppose I'll have to pick an event where I try to get from the start to the finish as fast as I can someday. It wasn't going to be yesterday.

The weather was kind of funky on Saturday. The temps were probably in the 40s, but felt pretty cold at times, and especially near the top of Mt. Constitution. I eventually pulled out my light windbreaker and gloves at the Mountain Lake waterstation, and I felt a lot better thereafter. Sometimes I need to pay attention more to when I'm uncomfortable. Focus.

I spent good times with lots of great peeps. Dan and I went over together Saturday morning, meeting in MV before 5. A gathering of friends on the ferry ride over. A last minute decision to do the early start, which I really like. I ran the first few miles with Mike C., and later with Scott K. (great stories) and Tracy, and later yet with Craig and Roger, going up the Mountain.

Leaders started passing me somewhere soon after the first aid station. Soon after that, I wasn't all into conversation, but even when I was unhappy with the body, or whatever, I found a lot to be happy with in the trails. Beautiful finish around Cascade Lake, including the backside loop.

Afterwards, lots of great times with friends, burritos, a fire, and then a later ferry ride home.

More pics here.

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