Sunday, October 6, 2013

Baker Lake Ultra Runs

I signed up for the Baker Lake 100k, with the knowledge that if I didn't have it, I could step down to the 50k.  As I haven't been training as much as in past years, I ended up settling for the 50k.  And I'm quite happy about that.  This was my first 50k finish this year, and though it was slow, it was a finish.

Baker Lake is special to me.  This was my 10th year in a row finishing the event.  It's basically my favorite ultra.

The weather yesterday was splendid.  Starting at 6 AM with the 100k runners put a different spin on things.  It was dark for the first forty-five minutes or so, with about 25 minutes of dark on trail.  In years past, I've ran this trail in the dark with friends under the full moon in winter.  I was reminded of those runs.  It was a bit odd also to be far down the trail at 9 AM, as opposed to the past routine with the 8 AM start.

My run to the turnaround was ok--I was still on pace for a 100k finish. The trip back was really slow, with lots of walking, an empty stomach and some bonking.  I just don't have the endurance right now. Technically, I was ahead of the cutoffs, but I know when a turkey is done. Also, hanging out with friends at the finish plus a big UW-Stanford game in the evening spoke to me. Like I said, hard not to be happy with a 50k finish, and then look for bigger things down the trail.

Every year is a little different with this race.  This year I noticed much more water flowing in the creeks, with a few waterfalls. The snow level on Mount Baker was much lower than in past years, reflecting our recent storms.

This was also the year that Skagit Runners took over the race again. Everyone did such an amazing job.   It was great to see Kevin, Chris, Toi and others at the new Maple Grove aid station, and a bonfire early in the morning. Terry was congratulating every finisher, Delores checking everyone in, and Joe and Shawna put together an awesome post-race spread, with barb et al.  Cool medals and buckles. Glenn and Takao out there taking pictures near the turnaround. I think the club did an excellent job taking the handoff from the Duttons, who have always done such an awesome job. Thank you friends.

Good to see so many friends and familiar faces, and hang out.  I stopped a couple times on the trail to talk with friends for a minute or two. Wish I could run better, and there are any number of contributing factors to my deficiencies there, but it's all part of the journey. Congrats to all the finishers--many first time finishers, many returnees, and then those 100k runners who all looked so determined.


Michael Chastain said...

I'm glad you got to do your favorite 50K--and with stellar weather to boot!

Seth Wolpin said...

Hurray from Namche Bazaar. Wish you were here to run some trails with me, but second best was reading about your Baker Lake run and also the FB post about your upcoming big changes :) Cheers Scotty - miss you. -Seth

Scotty said...

Thanks Mike, Seth! Seth--good going on Kala Pattar et al. Wish I was there too!! Looks cold right now in your pics. Thinking about Patagonia and Torres Del Paine --we should talk.