With the Canadian Death Race looming in my future it's time to start a training routine that will prepare me for success. Fortunately we have the perfect training grounds about 40 miles from our home at Tiger Mt. in the Issaquah Alps.
I posted for a running partner on our Y-Run Club web site but couldn't get any takers for a 34 mile unsupported trail run with 10,500 feet of climbing. I got comments like " you just have a fun solo there".
On my way to the starting point I dropped a cooler at the half way point of the run at the trailhead off of Tiger Mt. Road with water, food, and a clean shirt. I got to the High Point Trailhead to start the run at 6:30 AM.
Section Line trail hasn't gotten any less steep. Somehow I was hoping that erosion may have somehow worn away the steep slope but it was not to be. I made a wrong turn as I went down "descended (in Canada)" Middle Tiger and ended up on the TMT heading back around to T1. It took me about half a mile to realize that things were not as they should be before I turned around and headed back. I'd blame the wrong turn on my running partner but I guess that only works when you have one.
12 Summits Profile
I ran into Brian Morrison and a running buddy of his as I was starting my climb up South Tiger. Brian warned me of a mama b-bear and cub that they had seen near the turn at the stump that takes you to the summit off the South Tiger Traverse. He said mama bear was real stubborn and was holding her ground instead of moving along. I thanked him for the warning and found myself shouting out "Hey Bear!" every now and then to keep the element of surprise down. Other than a few squirrels and a mouse all I saw of the bear was a couple of ill defined tracks on the trail.
I made it down to the half way point and pulled out my cooler for some food. I had expected rain but instead it was sunny and kind of muggy. I stocked up on water and ditched my gloves, hat, extra shirt in my cooler and headed back.
On my way back to South Tiger I ran into Laura Houston and a group of runners she was with. They were running to the half way point and car-pooling back. I continued my journey and struggled some on the huge climbs back up Middle Tiger and T1. My only fall came when I was tippy toeing through a muddy section and stepped on a stick to keep from sinking in too deep. Well my foot landed on the stick and then shot out the wrong direction. I felt an immediate pull in my right calf as I fell but caught myself before doing a face plant in the mud. I stood up and my calf was in a fist-like cramp. I was about 6 miles from the finish and was hoping it wasn't a serious injury. Fortunately it turned out to just be a bad cramp and within a few minutes I was running pain free. With the heat I was out of water after climbing Middle Tiger and filled my water bottles from a stream. Having learned the hard way not to drink stream water I used my Steripen on my two handhelds and enjoyed the cold water treat. This was a life saver for the climb up T1.
When I made it to the top of T3 it was like someone had driven a tour bus to the top and kicked everyone off. I have not seen so many people on the summit before. There must have been 45 people just taking in the view and sunbathing. Running down the "highway" I encountered many red faced hikers making the 3 mile climb to T3. It made the last few miles go fast as I made it to the parking lot and finished my run. It was a good "time on my feet" run that took 8 hours.
I headed up to North Bend and met up with Michelle who had run 19.5 miles in the NB2V run held by Shawn Lawson. Michelle had car-pooled up with Steve Stoyles, Bob Stoyles, and Sydnee Stoyles. Steve ran 32 miles, and Bob ran 11 miles. Sydnee ran 19.5 with Michelle.
Under the "Total Bummer" category. When we went to pick up my cooler we arrived just in time to help two other cars move a dead tree that had fallen right at the Tiger Mt. Road trailhead. The bad news is some unlucky hiker or runner had their fairly new Toyota Landcruiser parked right where it landed. It crushed the roof at the front window pillars and crushed it to the dash board. The impact blew out the windshield and both front door side windows. We left before the owner came out but it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened.
This morning 8 Y-Run Club members headed out to Kent WA and ran a 5 mile jaunt on the Soos Creek trail. We of course stopped at the nearest Starbucks for some java jive after the run.