I ran the Little Mountain 10k trail run yesterday, in Mount Vernon. This was one tough little race-- just perfect for me right now!
The race is 95% trail, starting at the Carpenter Creek Winery on the south side of Little Mountain. The Mount Vernon Trail Builders, charity beneficiary of the event, have put in 14,000 volunteer hours on Little Mountain over the past 7 years, and it really shows.
The first three miles are plenty of up, with a few really steep pitches. Already gassed, I just groaned when we came upon Fred's Trail, which is basically a miner's trail to the top. I've seen my share of trails like this in longer trail races, but it was kind of cool to get a challenge in the middle of the 10k distance. There's really a need for more shorter distance trail runs like this. They're just perfect for a Saturday morning.
At or around 3 miles, you hit the top, and get views of the beautiful Skagit Valley, Olympics, and San Juan Islands, if you care to stop and look. The rest of the course is mostly downhill or flat, with a few steep pitches thrown in for good measure. Love the downhill, switchback glide to the finish.
I ran slow, as usual, 1:40 or so. Plenty of walking, and a five minute break up top. I see some improvements with my recent efforts. Carry on, carry on. The temperature was in the high 80s, low 90s, so caution was merited. Most of the course was under tree cover.
The event was put on by RunFare, operated by friends Joe and Shawna. Good to see them out there, as well Rob, Darlys, and many others from Skagit Runners. Mount Vernon Trail Builders were also out there. Carpenter Creek was a great place for race HQ--pretty cool to check them out. Thank you all for your good works!
This is one of my favorite shorter trail races I've ever done. Really excellent, especially for me, since it's a 5 to 10 minute drive to the start. Skagit Flats Half is next on the list. Happy to note that I'm on pace for my annual goal of at least one event per month on average per year.