Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Photos from the Sun Mountain 50 Miler

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.
Hanging out before the start.  The shorts look much longer from the front.  Had fun hanging out with Linda (to my L) and company at Eric and Kelly's place in Twisp. Was great to hang with old friends, and meet some really cool new ones, as well.  Marta (to my R and partially blocked), a friend and training buddy from Portland is getting ready to rock her first 50 miler.

The wild flowers were AMAZING! Purple and yellows, more than anything else, but they were everywhere.  I wished, initially, that I'd carried a camera, but in hindsight, would have been stopping every 10 feet to take pictures.  I loved this race, and would rate it as one of the prettiest I've done. I'd also recommend picking the 50 miler over the shorter distances (25K and 50K) because the first 20 miles (unique to the 50 mile course) were the prettiest part of the course.
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.  
Running on a road section somewhere in the middle of the race with Anthony from Wenatchee (that's how he introduced himself to me).  My only running buddy of the day, as I passed him, but then he sped up to run with me for a few miles.  Thanks for the company!
This was the turn around on the final climb.  This last one was the hardest of the day, mainly because I had no idea when it was going to end and was ready for it to end at this point. This is Eric heading around the turn-around sign. He, along with his wife, Kelly, were our wonderful hosts for the weekend.  Thanks!  I'm willing to house sit as needed!  Seriously, the Twisp/Winthrop area (Methow Valley) is one worth checking out.  Awesome views, great trails, great climbs, dryer weather...a great wet-season getaway from the rainy PNW. 
Heading down from the final climb.  Because of the out-and-back nature of the last bit of the final climb, you can for the first time all day, get a gauge as to whether or not anyone is within 10-15 minutes or so.  No one was behind me (well, no women), so I opted to head in gently as I was hoping to preserve my quads for the upcoming 2 weekends, which include a big mileage weekend at the WS training camp, and a R2R2R. I didn't feel super strong on the climbs all day, but the fact that my quads weren't sore after the race is a good sign, as they were completely trashed 2 weeks ago when I did my first long run with significant climbing post-Worlds.  Hopefully the next 2 weekends of significant climbing/descending will be good enough to get me sub-19 at Western States.

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.


Steve Pero said...

Nice race, Amy....and the shorts look great!

Julie said...

Cute shorts! I could not pull them off but you do it beautifully. Looks like a gorgeous race, congrats!

JMRosenfeld said...

That's awesome..climbing over the fence so late in the race must be tough.

Olga said...

Amy, you look awesome! Love the shorts, and what you pack in them - hard working body. Great run! I am into short shorts lately too, though, they look much different on me:)

Deb said...

Ha, I think they actually just caught me yawning...was a pity I had to be up so early with my brother for the 50 mile but not have to race for 3 hours later! They are actually really sweet shorts! Great race out there and good to meet you!

SteveQ said...

The Chippewa Moraine 50K here has a stile near the turn-around, so there's always a line both ways to go over it; I'm not sure what the etiquette is for that situation. Those shorts are not too short - I recently had to tell someone she was flashing people when she stretched before a race; THAT's too short!

Alison Hanks said...

I, too, love short shorts. I live in Mazama so if you ever want to come out and do some long runs let me know. The Methow is quite amazing.

Ronda said...

Your shorts are not too short, trust me. I would wear hot pants if they would make them big enough to cover my entire butt. Plus, you can pull off briefs! Congratulations on another great run Amy, WS next?

runnerchick said...

Congrats and good luck at WS!

ultrarunnergirl said...

Wow, that really looks beautiful.
Congrats on a good solid race.
Thanks for the mini-review - I like the shorts on you but I have thigh rubbing issues, so they probably aren't for me.

cost per head said...

Those are pretty great pictures. Specially the one that you are running from the flower field.

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