This guy showed up at the Orcas Island 25k last weekend, and crossed the finish line. I was pretty close to not going, but the weather forecast was good, the fee was paid, and I figured I'd kick myself if I didn't. Bravo, me!
I took the 5:35 AM ferry over. Early does it. Stayed in the car, typing out some work stuff. By 7:30, I was at Moran. Good to see Randy, Kurt, Glenn, Heidi and other friends before the race.
The course is obviously shorter than the very tough 50k, but it still touches most of the highlights, and has some 4000 feet in climbing. The power line climb is as tough as ever. The last push to Mount Constitution is also worthy of curses. I was ok on the uphills, horrible on the downs. I finished towards the back, just over 5 hours. I was jogging, not racing, but just shooting for the finish line. As much as anything, I wanted to clear my head of all the nonsense going around, and just focus on some green trails for a long morning.
The view from the top was as good as I've ever seen. Squinting, I could see the tall buildings of Vancouver, and turning south, Mt. Rainier. And everything in between--though as I write this, I don't recall looking for Seattle. So, most of Skagit and Whatcom were easy to pick out. The Olympics too.
Great weather. A little overcast. Maybe 35 to 45 degrees. No rain, little wind. This race can get some tough weather. Not this year.j
I didn't have a lot of juice to stick around. I headed to the ferry afterwards, and missed my ferry by three cars. Subsequently, a three hour wait, eased by fish and chips at the Orcas Hotel.
This race has changed as much as any race I've been a part of. I ran the 50k in year one, maybe ten years ago, or so, and there weren't many runners--maybe 30 to 40, I think. We might've got a little lost. Now the event is broken down into three weekends, with 25k, 50k, and 100m. James and the people of Rainshadow Running have created a classic. So many smiling faces. Great to take a Saturday and join in.