Monday, February 18, 2008

Orcas Report

Yesterday I headed up to Orcas Island with UB and the Alabama Hammer for some fun in the San Juans. Fun being a fairly relative term, as there were certainly moments when I questioned my decision to wake at 3am to drive an hour and a half to Anacortes, the departure point of the ferry, to run 31 miles. That's fun, right? Well it was mostly fun, and that's why we were willing to give up a full day when all the running and traveling was said and done. UB decided to stick with the 25k option, while the Alabama Hammer and myself opted for the full 50k. Due to snow on Mt. Constitution, RD James Varner opted to re-route the course. The 50k was set to be two loops of the 25k course, and the pre-race buzz was that it would be a really "runnable" course with substantially less elevation gain than the previous years' route. That sounded pretty good to me since it was my first ultra of the year, and my long run coming in was only about 19 miles. Of course, being a James Varner designed course, "runnable" turned out to mean mostly "shuffleable." I don't think that's a real word, but I'll use it because it so perfectly describes the pace dictated by the terrain. There were lots of straight ups and downs with some very slippery slopes. All said, it was a very pretty and challenging course with only a few expletive inducing sections. Despite the seemingly interminable second loop, myself and AH finished tied for third. In all honesty, we should have been tied for fifth, because two runners ahead of us made a wrong turn and got off course. Neither of us were racing, although we had to remind ourselves of that a couple times, so place really wasn't the goal. We came through the finish in 5:06 . Matt Hart was the winner, but I don't know what his finish time was. We had hoped to catch the 2:55 pm boat to Anacortes, so we didn't have much time to socialize after the run. We quickly changed, packed our gear, and sped off to the ferry. We arrived well before the departure time, but the line was full, so we were told we'd be on the 6:15 pm sailing. After a near emotional meltdown, we all managed to keep our cool and sauntered down to the restaurant for beer and burgers. To keep a long story a little shorter, I'll just say that we didn't get back to Seattle until about 9:30 pm. It was a very long day, but we had more fun than not.

Race Stats:
Distance (w/footpod): 31.73 miles
Time: 5:06
Ascent: 6400ft
Avg. HR: 143

*On a non-running related note, I'm very excited for a special pre-sale today. I'm a long time member of the Pearl Jam fanclub, and today at 10 am, fan club members have a crack at a limited number of tickets for Eddie Vedder's solo tour. For any of you reading this, please cross your fingers and send me positive thoughts at 10 am.


crowther said...

So is it true that AH burst off of the starting line and began to set a punishing pace ... until a spectator called out, "Please Hammer, don't hurt 'em!"?

Brian Morrison said...

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