Bellingham’s Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon may be around for a while. I really really liked the course, and though I’m not much of a racer, the course itself seems perfect for folks who do want to run trails fast. Lots of ups and downs—all enough to set a burn in, but nothing too steep or technical. Fall colors don’t hurt either.
I run Lake Padden all the time—have ran around it for more than twenty years, as once upon a time I lived right down the street. Often I stop there after work for a lope. The loop around the lake is rather pedestrian—good for strollers, slow biking, and running. Further back, behind the lake, there are single track trails full of mud, roots, and rocks. Plenty of short legitimate climbs and drops too.
About 300 people signed up for the race, which is really big by trail running standards, especially for a second year race. The winning times, by Dusty and Jodee, were really fast. Plenty of other fast people in the top 20. Competitive.
And then there was me, in the recreation class. I was a lumbering back-of-the-packer. I have a sore throat, to add to the hamstring issues. But I was really happy to be out there. That’s two races now for me in the last month. Progress. Mainly though, just good to be out.
We were fortunate to find a dry window in this rainy weekend. It was pouring before and after. I think it hailed before I drove up. And lots of friendly faces out there racing—Chad, Chuck, James, Charlie, Dylan, others. Strong performances, all. Al did a phenomenal job putting this whole thing together. His dedication to this race is unparalleled. And he had a lot of help and great sponsors, all for the cause of Rebound, a worthy charity for local kids. Great also to see Dean, Ruth, Heather, Kevin, Terry, Delores, and others volunteering, as always. The NW running community is tops. So, a great morning.