Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lost Lake 50k+

Lost Lake 50k was wet and muddy this year. Really wet and muddy. I had mud on my face at the finish, and my shorts were caked, from sliding down the hill by the Lost Lake waterfall. My shoes have their own room right now. My socks didn’t make it.

My most lasting memories will probably be the wind spitting rain at me while going up Chinscraper. Also, slipping and sliding in the mud around the Lost Lake waterfall and back up the makeshift trail that once was Overlander. Always muddy, the course turned into a grad school course in Soils once we got to Lost Lake.

I did the early start, along with friend Rich. Early start, early done. We totally nailed a high-five right before RD Alvin said go. We ran together until Two Dollar Bill, after which I fell apart. That’s about 1.4 miles in. Oh well. There’s a hill there, and I do my own thing. Takes me a while to warm up. And this course has a lot of hills. I think it is 8200 feet of climbing. Also, the course is actually 34 miles.

It rained steady the first three hours. Not a good rain. The kind of rain that gets into everything, with a sideways wind. Times this year seemed to be about a half hour slower than the last two years, probably due to conditions. It was hard to dial in what to wear—I ran in an OR Seattle Sombrero, orange vest, blue sleeves, and then another jacket at times. Pretty much a fashion disaster, but it seemed to work.

There was this new section after Lost Lake, about 29 miles in, with steep steps cut in the mud. Alvin, Terry, and everyone put in a lot of trail work here--I was very impressed. It was a whole new trail, for quite a ways. That said, it was a tough and somewhat deflating section, because of all the climbing, sometimes with your hands, and the slipping, the sliding.

This year there was even more drinking water out on the course, with self-serve jugs left in strategic locations. I went with only one bottle, and it worked fine. Friend Mike and I climbed together up the Pine and Cedar trail—that was great catching up time. Bonked from Lost Lake to the last aid station, but always kept moving, and finished fine. Maybe I could’ve went faster, or been more ready, but overall, I’m content with the effort. A day on the trail.

I hung out a long time afterwards with friends at the wonderful post-race barbq in the Clayton Beach parking lot. Recovery comes fast, with good burgers and soup, while talking trails, runs and other stuff. Also, worth noting—a great shirt, a finisher cup, a finisher coin, the aid stations, and the barbq—it all makes a really great value for the registration fee.

Thank you Alvin, Skagit Rs, Terry, Delores, Shawna, Joe, Heather, Kevin, Jamie, Stan, Jon, and everyone else. You are awesome!

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