Some photos (taken by Matt Hagen unless otherwise indicated--thanks for being out there, Matt!) from the Sun Mountain 50 miler on May 20th. I don't feel like writing much, so I'm just posting some pictures (with really long captions....)
|Deb, to the left thinking, "Holy crap! Are you wearing those out in public?" I guess that's what happens when you put a short size S short on a 5'9" chick. Gotta say, these are my new favorite shorts. Well done, Mountain Hardwear! I'm guessing they won't be around for long because if exhibitionist Amy likes them, then the general public will not. But these shorts are awesome (and not just bc they are super short--they're actually super comfortable to run in, as well). I plan to stock up before they come out with anything longer. Long live short shorts!! It seems like someone is finally listening to my pleas (or someone made a mistake). I'm also wearing the new MHW Fluid Race Vest, which is super lightweight and it worked well carrying a 70 oz bladder. I love the fact that you can move the 2 chest straps (6 options for placement). Very clever and easy to adjust (not on the fly, but pre-race as you have to physically remove the straps and stick them through a different hole--easy to do, just not while moving). One of my pet peeves with hydration packs is straps that either slide around or aren't adjustable. This strap system takes care of both of those concerns.
|Somewhere about mile 11? I ran alone for most of the day. Except for a few miles with Anthony (pictured below). I almost never smile in running pictures, but Matt is a funny guy!
|Marta looking excited to be killing her first 50. She came in 2nd in about 8:12, and had a great time in doing so. Also huge props to Bryan Mullaney, another training buddy from Portland who also finished strong in his first 50 miler.
|How cool is this? A genuine stile. We got to climb up and over it at about mile 48. After this, it's a gentle downhill and then an annoying little climb into the finish.
|Songs from the Sound of Music kept popping into my head. Running along wild flower-laden trails with views of snow-capped peaks does that to me.
|This is the course profile as listed on the Sun Mountain website. The course is basically a 20 mile section unique to the 50 miler and then the last 30 is the same as the 50K course. Last year a 4 mile section in the first 20 was missed, so the elevation profile here reflects the fact that last year's course was closer to 46, and there's a 4-mile chunk missing somewhere in that first 20. This year we got to do the full 50. The elevation profile would imply that that first 20 is relatively flat, but there was at least one big climb in there, so maybe that's the section that was missed last year. I always seemed to be surprised by what was coming up, and at what mile a climb was supposed to begin and end. I turned around on a couple of occasions, once when confused 25Kers told me I was going the wrong way (I wasn't). The course was marked insanely well, though, so I should have just trusted the signs. All told, I finished in 7:21, a time I'm happy with on a course with a bit of up and down. A good race for me, nothing stellar, but I went into it to get in a solid training run building up to Western States, with the desire to leave something for the next two hard weeks of training and to be able to walk on Monday (race was on Sunday). I ran 10 miles on Tuesday and felt better than I ever have after a 50 miler, so mission accomplished.
|Hanging out with Shawna at the finish. Shawna opted for the 50K as she prepares for the San Diego 100 in a couple of weeks, which was smart for her, but too bad for me, as it would have been fun to have her company out on the 50 mile course. James, Candice and all of the volunteers put on a great show, and the post-race festivities were no exception with kegs of beer, local pizza, and a great band (Blackberry Bushes Stringband). Photo by Joseph Tompkins.
Check out all of Rainshadow Running events on their website. Highly recommended! Low key vibe, beautiful courses.