Skip to main content

Cowbells and Wild Flowers: Sun Mountain 50k Race Review.

Basically I earned myself a spot in the Saturday 50k by ringing a cowbell and calling numbers over a walkie to the finish crew. And this my friends was my reward:

The Sun Mountain 1k, 25k, 50k, and 50mi is going to go down as my favorite trail trace of all time. It may be beat sometime soon, but for now it holds absolute reign at the top. And this even after an amazing time at the Yakima Skyline Rim a few weeks back. The 50k course was indeed "very runnable" as many who were there were fond of saying. Not overly technical my only very slight complaint was found in the rare but occasional mountain bike eroded downhill trails. That said the erosion was minimal for an area heavily used by bikers. What makes this my favorite race so far was the combination of North Cascades scenery, well pitched high quality trail, and perfect weather. I would like to say it was a bit too sunny for my glowing white body but that would be a disservice to the great weather this race often enjoys. It was indeed mostly sunny with a high of maybe 65 degrees with a perfect cooling breeze. Yet even with that my Seattle tolerances for sun were tested. I drank through about 5 liters of water during this race.


The course and the scenery: Gentle uphills and downhills yielded a perfect blend of running through cool shaded forests and running through dazzling green grass fields spotted thick with blindingly bright wildflowers. The colors on this race - between the deep blue skies, vibrant yellow and purple flowers, deep green grass, and brown pine bark made the entire race look like a supersaturated HDR photo. You know, like someone over Ansel Adams-d your favorite photo to make it really pop. The colors combined with my intake of caffeine infused guu shots to produce enough crack-cocaine for my brain to enjoy this race from start to finish. While there were a couple steeper climbs they came at just the right time and were just the right length to give some of my muscles a rest and to stretch out the others. And when I started wishing for a nice gentle downhill to fly down it was almost as if James had read my mind and provided me one. Boom! There it was, served up with a garnish of wildflowers. When I thought to myself yet again, time for another nice rolling downhill *snap* I asked and James provided. Good guy that James fella.


So really don't just take my word for it, sign up for next years Sun Mountain series and find out for yourself. You won't be disappointed. And if for some reason your race isn't quite as nice as mine was, the pizza, the local beer brews, and the Pine Hearts will make all right as rain.

Comments

  1. You saved my bacon on Mt. Patterson this weekend! Your jokes about my sexy calves pulled me out of my brain and my nausea on the last pitches before the summit. Thanks for your good humor and the competition. What a great day of running.

    --Faron

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are welcome! I think I was doing that for my own mood as well. Talking with folks is always a help.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Luna Sandals - An Evolution in Running

In short my story of running has been essentially a story about me getting out of the way of myself. But before I could learn about getting out of my own way I had to get rid of the technology that was getting in the way of me discovering myself. And if that sounds like nonsense I won't be surprised, for in some ways sense had nothing to do with it. This story like all the best stories started with a girl. It started with a girl I once liked and the shoes she wore. Enter the five figured Vibram.


Vibrams

When I first donned Vibrams, my first pair of minimalist running shoes I had no idea they were even made for running. Nor did I have any inkling that this weird guy named 'Barefoot Ted' (who lived only a few miles to my south) had a hand in persuading Vibram into making a running 'shoe'. At the time I hadn't even heard of ultra-marathons or running Tarahumara Indians or crazy Eat and Run vegans named Scott Jurek. No, I just liked a girl who ran barefoo…

Yakima Skyline Rim 25k Race Review

Can't really beat a shot like that from Glenn Tachiyama. Check out his website for photos to purchase here.

Yakima Skylinehill Rim 25k was one tough 25k. I finished in 3:23:54 but not before the basalt ridden course had thoroughly tested my trail sandals. I haven't run on a more hazardous rock than Eastern Washington basalt - it feels like coral. The Luna Oso mid-sole is tougher than many a trail race shoe and came through it all looking only slightly less pretty. Many regular minimalists put their old, heavy clod-stopping, brick-like trail runners back on for this race. But not me, Luna's were my best choice even for this tough race. I'm pretty proud of finishing this tough 25k in the 72nd percentile with my Luna's strapped firmly and securely to my two soft-skinned feet.

I'll start this off by saying that Yakima Skyline 50k and 25k is destined to be, if it is not already, a Rainshadow Running classic. It was indeed warm, dry, difficult and amazingly…

Running the Chi

After my failed attempt to complete the Leadville Trail 100, I've gone back at the drawing board. I had an amazing time at the race and I learned a lot. Primarily I learned that besides the ass-kicking difficulty of breathing at +10,000 feet I was just too slow to complete a 100 miler. Contrary to what you may be thinking I'm not just talking about my splits. In the months following Leadville I've determined that my splits weren't my primary problem. My primary problem was efficiency. It's not just that I need to run faster, I need to run faster while also learning to run with less effort. I need to learn how to run further and faster all the while using less and less oxygen. I need to get my average heart rate down. I need to learn how to make running fast easy.

To this point my running training programs have largely consisted of...well I hate running programs so I haven't actually done one. I tend to dislike structure in general and all the more so a…