Last weekend was fifth race in the Oregon Trail Series. Mount Hood Pacific Crest Trail 50 miler had well over a hundred entrents. Many doing their first 50 miler on what some would consider a "fast" 50 miler. Only 5300 feet of accent and most all of that is done in the first 25 miles.
I have done this race in the past and knew there was a ton of "running" to be done here. Many of the climbs are runnable and that is what makes the course a "fast" 50.
The weather was cool at 6:30am. I was waiting for the 80 degree temps to arrive later in the day but that never materialized. Many had PR's because of this. I ran with Kyly and Clem early on. That was the best part of the day. Clem pulled off and then it was just Kyly and I. I liked it because she didn't want to stick behind any Conga line. We were running alone for quite awhile. She even noted the advantages of being a male on the trail, I had to laugh.
I had no real time asperations at the beginging. I did want to run hard from Timberline back though.
After a bit Kyly let me go. I tried to run more of the climb than last year. So, I wasn't getting passed, but I wasn't really passing anybody either. Got to Timberline in 4:50, 10 minutes faster than the year before, good right where I wanted to be. Now, it is time for negative splits.
After leaving the Timberline, low and behold there is Kyly coming in!!!! Man she was right on my tail the whole time. She must be having the best day ever!!! I could see her big smile coming in.
Well, the next 10 miles were uneventful running by myself. But after a bit I run out of an aid station with Robert, a gentlman from Spokane. He had a great gait. Better than mine. But we start running together. I could barely keep up. But after his "Coke" wore off we started chatting. This was his first 50 miler.
Well, to put it this way he was "pulling" me all the way. We ran the last 15 miles togther. Just running everything. Passing 50k'ers cheering them on, along the way.
Well, to cut this long report short and not bore you all day, finished with Robert doing all the work in 8:59 a PR for me by almost an hour! Splits, 4:50 to Timberline, Timberline to finish, 4:09. (Last year only a five minute negative split.)
Clem ended up having stomach issues but finished in good stride. He is always so strong.
Kyly came screaming in 9:29!!! Right on my tail all day! Only one minute off her PR, the Masters Record in 2001! She didn't even look at her watch all day. She was still happy, she had a great run... Yes, she did.
Well, my other thoughts for the day was how was the gang doing at White River 50 miler, the 50 mile Championship up in Washington at Crystal Mountain. All the fast men and women were there... Nikki Kimball, Annette Bednosky, Kami Semick, Meghan Arbogast, and a lady from Alaska that I have not heard of are all there.
Nikki Kimball won with Kami 2nd and Meghan 3rd! So, happy for Kami and Meghan. Looks like their training for States paid off.
Mike Wolfe won the mens. Wonder how my brother did and the whole gang from Eugene? That race had just tons of "Big Guns", it was amazing.
Well, Kyly's knee survived. She had an old "War" injury. Good thing it didn't give her any trouble.
Now for Where's Waldo 100k in three weeks. 12,000 feet of gain for the day will be had. I am doing the regular start by orders of my brother. So, the pressure is on... I have to break 16 hours. Something I have never done before. It will be a challange to say the least. Starting to get nervous already. But there are many smart runners my speed. I will hang with them just like I did at States. Hope it pays off again! Afterall, have to get the "hat". (You don't get one if you don't finish under the cutoff.)
Last year it was "Blueberry." The year before was "Tomatoe." I wonder what flavor they will have this year? Have to break "16" to find out.