Three weeks out from Cascade Crest, I wanted one last big weekend. Yesterday I ran over to Seven Hills Running Shop to join their Saturday morning group run, managing to get a lot of distance in around Seattle – although it was mostly flat. Today I wanted to cap off a 40 mile weekend and make sure to get some vert. I’d yet to run to the top of McClellan Butte (snow stopped me a month ago), so I figured it was time! The John Wayne Trail is a great way to get to some of the trails on the south side of I-90, while adding some runnable miles, so I drove to the Upper Twin Falls Trailhead in Olallie State Park. (more…)
About the Race
The White River 50 is one of the classic ultras of Washington. While there’s not enough prize money to attract the “big names”, there are plenty of super-fast runners that show up to go after the glory of winning this one. I kind of like it that way. My race report won’t really get into the battle at the front, because I don’t really care. One of the things that I love about ultrarunning is the egalitarian feel of it. No celebrities – everyone is out there together. I hope it stays that way! Here is the only reference to the front of the pack: A picture of the start.
“It’s just two climbs.” Every White River veteran knows this phrase. Just two climbs. Two steep, long, punishing climbs that take up about half of the 50 mile course. The course starts at the Buck Creek Airstrip, meanders through some beautiful woods, crosses the road, then goes up. And up. I had forgotten how high the first half of the course went. We pretty quickly got to the 4000′ range and kept on pushing. The course tops out at just under 6000′ in the miles surrounding Corral Pass (Mile 17 aid station). There is then a long, soft descent back to the start/finish to start the second loop. The grade down is so comfortable and the ground so soft that it’s tempting to just open up and go fast. Do so at your own risk!
Nasen Ridge – Heat, Mosquitos, Dust, Snow
After climbing to Merritt Lake, we headed west on the Nansen Ridge trail to Crescent Lake, scrambled up some steep climbs, turned around and headed back east, beyond the Merritt Lake trail up to the Alpine Lookout, before turning back around and returning to the trailhead.Long, dry day. Good hydration training, with plenty of climbing. Most of the trail was in the 5,000 to 6,000 foot range.
Running the Trails in Downtown San Diego
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more… -Henry V, Act III, Scene I