Saturday, December 10, 2011

Deception Pass 50k

The Deception Pass 50k and 25ks are new races put on by Rainshadow Running aka James, Candice and volunteers.  Total winners.  They’ll probably sell out on the first day next year.  How cool is it to finish up a 50k, along a beach, to the sound of the tide coming in?  Or run on a bluff, above the Pacific, or alone on single track through old growth forest?  And here, all in the same day.

Deception Pass is the most visited state park in Washington, sitting on Whidbey Island near Oak Harbor and the Whidbey Island Navy Base.  I felt like I had to do the race, despite a messed up hamstring, since the race is only a half hour away from my home, and I had a really good sense of what to expect of the trails.

The 50k consists of 7 lollipop loops on cliffs above the sea, beachside trails, through old growth and second growth forests, with trips each way across the famous Deception Pass bridge. The cool thing about the lollipops was I kept seeing some most excellent people, running ahead of me most typically.  Lots of hellos and best wishes, coming and going.

The 50k and 25ks are on the same course for the first half--mostly ocean viewing on the west of the bridge, with a stiff climb around mile 13 straight up over Goose Rock. The 50k then adds a double loop trip around the Hoypus Point National Forest lands, out past Cornet Bay. Woods, ships, and another bay.

Most of the course is quite runnable, if you're healthy.  A bit rocky and rooty, here and there, but basically fast single track. Elevation gain was probably b/w 4000 and 5000 feet, maybe.  I thought it was kind of similar to Chuckanut in terms of effort exerted.  

I should’ve ran the 25k, in light of my lame hamstring, but that was a lot like trying to practice restraint at the Thanksgiving dinner table.  Basically, I exercised poor judgment, deciding to see the whole trail and course, figuring I’d get through it, one way or another. And I did, but it seems the hamstring issue is not going away—I’m going to need to do something. The scenery and friends more than made up for my struggles, though I miss running easy.

And, so great to see so many friends on the trails.  It was truly a happy, supportive scene.  Joe, Roger, Eric, Laura, and SETH!, volunteering.  Many many others running.  Like the shirt too.  Patagonia lightweight capilene. 

I need to get a new Ipod Shuffle—lost the last one in Nepal.  All day I had Taylor Swift’s “Why you got to be so Mean?” stuck in my head.  Not good.  I tried a couple times to get some Pearl Jam going, but every time, “Some day, I’ll be, living in a big old city…”.

The day started with a lunar eclipse on the way to the run.  Pretty cool to watch the full moon disappear, as I drove out to Whidbey, coffee in hand.


Seth Wolpin said...

Hey Scotty! Great write up and pictures. It was nice to see you out there. I hope the ham string is healing up. If you get a new phone you can listen to tunes on it too! Cheers and congrats on the run :)

Scotty said...

Thanks Seth--great to see you too, and thanks for volunteering! Need to plan a get together soon.