A friend gently pushed me towards this race and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. He was to race the 50km distance and I figured why not join in and run the 25km distance. Another friend decided to join me for the 25km distance as well so that was awesome! The race consists of both a 50km, and a 25km run on the beautiful trails of Larrabee State Park in Bellingham, Washington. I had planned on taking more photos to showcase the beauty of the area but was having too much fun running to stop and take photos. So… I only managed to snap one on the actual course.
The 25km started at 10am, but we met at 9:30 to catch a shuttle bus to the start line which was also the half way point for the 50km racers. The course started with a pretty ruthless uphill climb. My poor cold muscles were not too happy for the first 3.5ish kilometres which daunted us with a good 1400ft or so of climbing. As I was going up here, my friend was running down in 1st place for the 50km race with a pretty hefty gap and looking really strong. After that it mellowed out and was perfect, undulating and the right amount of technical. Then it drops into a very very runable section, which is where I struggle the most. I have a pretty slow pace on flat ground, I really need to work at this but I’m sure it made others pretty stoked! Eventually this ended up at the first aid station, about 7 miles (12km) in. I stocked up on some more gels, swigged some coke and then headed out on my way. The next little bit traverses beside a lake and then drops down for quite a while and back onto a very runable pathy section again. My 50km friend passed me again at this point still in first and still looking incredibly strong. After this flat section though the course sends you so close to the finish line but nope… you’re going up this massive hill and then going to run down a road to the finish! This destroyed my legs and made the last 4km of downhill a bit of a struggle. I popped through the finish line, feeling strong at about 3:34. While the time wasn’t the fastest, my body felt really good and I managed to actually ingest food during the race (my biggest struggle while running is being able to keep down the calories I take in). I am pretty happy with this since its pretty much off the couch! I will definitely be working on my speed a bit though for longer races to not be cut off stressed.
Afterwards, we partook in a beer at the finish line and I met a girl who put me in the direction of the Volcanic 50… which I may or may not be registered for now. After hanging out around the finish line we headed towards Aslan Brewing Co in Bellingham to be rewarded with more beer (my favourite being the ginger beer, its so refreshing and delicious)… and grilled cheese… and waffle fries.
All and all it was a really great day. The course is beautiful, the people are amazing and I can’t wait to go back and do it again next May! I think this one will be a repeat yearly. If you’re interested at all I really suggest to check it out next year. Here is the website!
Also, I ran in my new UD Ultra Vesta (last years) in a tank top and had ZERO chaffing. This vest is actually the best. Here is a link to this years… I think its worth it. I’m also in no way affiliated with UD, I just really love this vest and want to share the love.
Next up… Survival of the Fittest from Coast Mountain Trail Series on May 28th.