Sunday, January 14, 2007

White Sand

As we were running up cleator road, someone said it was like running on sand, so for the rest of today's run I was running on a white sandy beach.

Ok we weren't really on sand, but the snow was white, soft and grainy like a sandy beach. We met a little earlier than normal to carpool to the start of our run, we got to the parking lot and it was closed, so we turned around. Really we did, to a parking spot on the side of the road a bit closer to town.

We headed up right away, no warmup needed in 17 degree weather. Right up Fragrance Lake trail. The toughest part here was just going straight up without any warmup. The parks deparment keeps these lower high use trails pretty clean, but there were still a few logs to climb over, nothing too bad. Fragrance Lake was frozen, but I wasn't going to test how frozen.

We were on a mission today to complete the middle 30k of the Chukanut 50K race. I quickly took a photo and caught back up with the group on the $2 trail. Once completed we headed up Cleator road, this 3 mile section of the race is about 8-10 percent grade., but all in all not too bad unless covered in 4-7 inches of powdery white stuff. This section took a lot longer than normal, the whole run toook longer than normal.

Once at the top, we run along the ridge trail and it is a ridge, views to both sides. Beautiful today. I was suprised that it wasn't worse, I had read about all the downed trees and branches and there were some, but not as many as I was expecting (based on articles I'd read). Stopped midway to take this picture of Mt Baker.

From Chukanut 50K ...

John and Paul had run a half marathon on Saturday so were falling a bit back. We decided to head on and hope they would skip the chinscraper section and we might all get back to the car about the same time. The Lost Lake section was a total difference from a week ago, no huge puddles, no huge mud pits, just lots of snow and some hard frozen ground. On the section Christy took a fall and hurt her leg and toes, but after a short walk she was running again.

The four of us in front made it to the bottom of Chinscraper and after a couple minutes started up. About a quarter mile into it, Christy's injury was making itself felt, it was a lot more painful for her to run up than down, so she turned around and took the shortcut to the fragrance lake road to get down.. John, Mike and I kept going up to the top of Chinscraper. We enjoyed the view for a minute or so and headed down Cleator Road to a short connector over to Fragrance Lake road back down to the car.

As it turns out, John and Paul skipped Chinscraper and only had about 10-15 minute wait for us, they had 4:20 run time, Christy got down and ran some of the flat Interurban and got back to the car just ahead of us. I had 4:11 run time and 18.86 miles. almost 4000 feet of climbing there somewhere. It was about 32 degress at our finish.

Another epic run after last weeks epic mud fest. GREAT!

All my images can be found here

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