A week ago Steve Stoyles and I ended up running the Sound to Narrows 12K (S2N12K) course together. Many other Y-Run Club members were also running the course with aspirations of doing well at the annual gut-check event that's coming up the second week of June. The course winds down through Pt. Defiance Park which is also the location of the Tacoma Zoo. As Steve and I ran toward the zoo we heard the monkey's hooting and hollering. When we got closer I started yelling back at them. Steve joined in and before we knew it we had all the monkey's calling back to us.
Fast forward to Thursday evening last week at our post-run coffee. Michelle was throwing around names for a marathon distance training run she is trying to put together. Steve suggested a name with the word Monkey in it but it was met with opposition. While we couldn't convince anyone to use the word monkey in the runs name it captured Steve's and my imaginations.
I picked up Steve at 5:30AM on Saturday to head out for our 12 Summits run on Tiger Mountain. It was soon apparent through our conversations and our loud monkey calls in the car that our theme for the day would be "Mad Monkey Runners".
The Mad Monkey Runners got their start at about 6:45AM after dropping our supplies at the turn. Steve had only run 12 Summits once before last year and was looking forward to this run. We paced ourselves early by falling into power hike or "Monkey Motion" mode on some of the early hills that are runnable in the beginning miles. As we climbed the Nook and Section Line trails that seem to go straight up Steve busted into total Mad Monkey mode. Our run pretty much went like this for the next 33 miles or so. Check out my yellow bug eyes!
The pictures below prove that we morphed into Mad Monkey Runners with 10 times the strength of a human. The bottom picture is an attempt to show the grade on Section Line trail. It really does not look so bad in the picture. We ran into Scott Jurek on the trail at the South trailhead of the Preston Railroad grade and chatted for a couple of minutes. We also ran into Brian Morrison near Zeig's Zag on the TMT. Both of these running icons had a couple of runners with them doing limited mileage training runs. Jurek was bummed that the sun wasn't shining so he could work on his tan.
The Mad Monkey's would yell jump around and make monkey hoots and screams as we made each summit. On our way back from the turn we made it up the monster climb on Middle Tiger and let out our monkey calls. As we headed down the other side we met a couple hiking up. They had heard our mad monkey calls and actually told us it sounded like a bunch of monkeys! They both had big smiles on their faces and seemed to understand to our monkey madness summit celebration.
The Mad Monkey's fueled well, hydrated well, and took our S-Caps on an hourly basis. We didn't monkey around when it came to the important stuff. This coupled with our early diligence with our "Monkey Motion" forward progress allowed us to finish strong on the last three miles of the "Highway" trail down from T3. Oh and bears must be afraid of monkeys because we didn't see any.
I followed my own advice and took a 20min ice bath when I got home. My legs feel great today! This was a back to back 12 summit week for me and back to back 50K distance for Steve as well. Our time for the 34 miles with 10,500 feet of climbing was 8:32. Not far off last weeks effort.