Sunday, March 18, 2007

Chuckanut 50K (Gorrillas in the Mist)


The Pacific Northwest weather lived up to its rainy heritage with the wet stuff coming down from start to finish. On the bright side it was steady but not a torrential downpour. Our adventure began Friday afternoon when Michelle and I picked up Steve and Lori and headed off to Bellingham. Michelle's parents live near Bellingham so we made arrangements to stay there even though they were out of town for the weekend. We arrived in Sudden Valley around dinner time and went to a favorite Italian restaurant that is near where we were staying. After dinner we played doubles cribbage as we waited for Olga who was driving up from the Portland Oregon area. A very tired and road weary Olga showed up around 10:30 PM. We chatted briefly as we set Olga up with a place to sleep and we all hit the hay. Steve, Olga, and I all were running the 50K the next day. It seems the only person who got a decent nights sleep was Michelle. Michelle and Lori planned on a sleeping in and doing a little shopping in Bellingham while we were on the Mountain.



Olga


Steve and I had a good run with a 5:44 overall time. Steve had some fueling issues which combined with about four hours of sleep made the last 15 miles a tough run for him. He rebounded very well after going to a very low energy state. It's good to know that you can come back from a low like that and actually pick the pace back up. The course provided about 12 miles of gentle uphill or downhill. The climbing was moderate but at times very steep with one of the hills dubbed "Chin Scrapper". The race director had inspirational signs along the course. The two that stand out in my memory were as we climbed chin scraper the first sign said "Hills are cool". The second sign near the summit said "Well maybe going downhill is cool". I felt strong at the finish and I'm looking forward to the Yakima Marathon in two weeks. The cool thing at Yakima is that the race is the yearly reunion for Marathon Maniacs, the 100 Marathon Club, and the 50 States Marathon Club. This years guest speaker is John Bingham who writes the Penguin articals for Runners World.

We actually managed to run a race without any hint of snow. It was replaced with mud. Our Dirty Girl Gaiters came if very handy. Chuckanut Mt. is built of a fairly rare sandstone which many early buildings in the area used as a foundation material. It's an extremely dense sandstone which makes a very good building material. Combined with some mud and rainwater the surface of this sandstone becomes slicker than slug snot. I saw a couple of runners who had fallen and made mud angels. There was a good mix of technical single track trail and muddy logging roads to run on.

I have included a number of pictures of many of my friends from the ultra community and some marathon maniacs. The bottom picture is Kyle Skaggs (Montrail Shirt) who won the race with a time of 4:10. Check here for the race results.

I got in 10.5 miles this morning on a preview of the first section of the Tacoma City Marathon for a total of 41.5 mile for the weekend and 69 mile total for the week.









Thanks for stopping by!



23 comments:

Donald said...

Way to build up that mileage, Eric! That seems like a great group of runners.

Steve said...

Another great run on the road to Western. I don't think my hard 13 on Tuesday was a good taper for Chucky.

Thanks for pulling me along the lost lake section, but I won't be your trail be-atch. hehe

Lorri and I really enjoyed the trip.

Happy trails to you...

robtherunner said...

Nice job out there in the muddy fun conditions. I'm extremely jealous, but it's helping fuel the desire to get out there and run fast. Remember, there's no time for a taper. You can taper in June, as Tom said on Olga's blog.

miss petite america said...

i can't even fathom. not even in my wildest dreams.

congrats!

Annette said...

Looks quite wet and muddy, but it also looks like there were smiles all around - that's a good sign. :) I am amazed at some of the races you do - they make most of us look like lightweights. :) You rock!

Jack said...

Looks like it was a fun race, thanks for the great pictures. Keep up the great training!

Sarah said...

It looks wet! Great run and nice pictures. I love how ultrarunners can always find something to smile about! : )

wendy said...

Congrats, Eric!
You are like the Energizer Bunny, you just keep running and running and running....
Great pics too, everyone looks like they had a good time.

olga said...

Eric and Steve, awesome run, guys! And that was on their (Krissy's words) wettest year!! Way to build up for WS!

Wes said...

Still amazes me that you can do more in one weekend than I do in a month!! Nice race!!

GotLegs! said...

Eric, it was fun talking with you and Steve out there on the Chucka-muk course. You looked very strong!

Glad you got to see Steve come back from the dead. It IS important you know this is possible and unless you're extremely skilled (or very lucky) you will get the opportunity to find this out for yourself. The harder you push yourself, the most apt you are to run into this.

Tell Steve that sleep is over rated.

*tc

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Looks like fun, Maybe next year. I think the mud looks fun!
Jenny

Darrell said...

Looks like good clean, I mean muddy & wet FUN. Thanks for the pics.

runliarun said...

When I first laid eyes upon New Mexico I thought it takes resilience to live in a place so desolate (and I did not believe I had it). Now I consider myself fortunate to be here, and believe it takes a resilience I don't posess to live in place as rainy as the Pacific Northwest - always moist, always overcast, always a play of shadows. But somehow with the running it seems to be fun too - the endless wetness, the plenitude and fulsomeness of it.

Phil said...

Great race report ... I took a look at the elevation map on Olga's blog ... holy crap batman, that was impressive.

If you get tired of the mud and snow, you can always come down to Phoenix and run the Crown King Scramble 50K.

Great run!

Rose said...

And I was nervous about the 12k I ran that day. Sounds like a great run.

Meghan said...

Eric,

Congrats on a successful race! So, were others frightened about happening upon a gorilla in the mist?

Happy recovery,
Meghan
www.running-blogs.com/meghan

Journey to a Centum said...

On this day the gorillas were the steep climbs up little chin scraper and chinscraper.

Fright? We all had a bowl of fright with some soy milk before the start.

Thomas said...

Looks like fun was being had by each and everyone.

Ryan said...

Great run Eric, that looks like a fun crowd to be among. Keep on truckin down the road to Western States!

Dori said...

Congratulations on your race! I can't even imagine putting in the miles that you do. I'll bet you had a few choice words for that race director with his "motivational" signs. With the spring thaw here, I ran on a limestone trail and now my pretty shoes look like they belong to a trail runner instead of a road runner.

Of course Michelle slept well--she needed to conserve her strength for power shopping. :-)

SherpaHerb said...

After meeting you at Orcas, it was great to run with you and Steve. You looked strong as you passed me limping along on the last leg. See you at Capitol Peak 50!

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