I've only run four 50 mile events. Two were relatively flat and mostly pavement with a PB of 8:11:00. The other two had mud, rock, and monster climbs to contend with on single track trials and short distances on gravel logging roads. My longest suffer fest, I mean race time, was 10:50:46 on the White River Course.
This coming weekend I will be going for number five! The last time I ran Capitol Peak was in 2007. I came in about 2:45:00 behind the men's winner Jim Kerby who set a new course record 7:31:50. I think Jim must have somehow missed the little section that was appropriately named HELL. Hell's Canyon to be exact. Jim had long since passed me as I worked my way up the climb from Hell on what can be best described as a rocky stream bed posing as a trail. That's about the time Van Phan the woman's leader came prancing up the raging torrent and passed me on her way to a woman's course record of 8:58:53. It really didn't seem fair that she was running while all I could muster up was a stagger.
I think I'll just blame my slow time on the fact that I took the early start and had to run on dark trails for about an hour and a half before the sun came up.
My goal this year: Finish
The course has been rerouted due to storm damage. Good news if like me you're not a big fan of Hell's Canyon because it's been taken off the route!
John Pearch is the race director for this race. As with any large successful event it is the RD's job to recruit and delegate volunteers after setting a plan in place. I admire John for his knowledge of the Capitol Forest and his ability to find a reasonable course that is challenging but not ridiculous. He's one guy that really cares about providing runners with an excellent event. Aid stations will be stocked with the essentials and most importantly enthusiastic and experienced volunteers. Capitol Peak also offers a 25K and 55K event for runners. The Search and Rescue group from the Olympia area is always there bright and early to help and setup the check point stations in case a runner is injured and needs to be extracted.
Camping the night before near the start is becoming more and more popular. A group of us from Puyallup plan on staying the night. One of our runners will be hauling a trailer to the campground that sleeps 8. I'm gong to bring my tent and use it if it's not raining because I think I'll get more sleep with less interruption and snoring. I'll also bring earplugs in case it rains so Stoyles won't keep me awake with his snoring. Maybe I should bring a spare sock to stuff in his mouth. ;-)
I can't wait to finish this race and sit at the camp fire to socialize with the other runners and volunteers!