Originally I was planning to go out to Madras, OR to run the Madass 50k with my cousin, but he got sick and wasn’t up to running 31 miles, so I called up my friend Steve “Marathon Freak” Walters and caught a ride with him up to Seattle.
Saturday Morning we got to Pigtail’s 50k and I was already cold and a little sick, but you got to run it off right? We started at a decent pace, for me at least, keeping in mind that we had another 50k to run the following day. I know I am an overly competitive person, so every time someone passed me I had to keep in mind the race the following day, and I made my mantra “Just let ‘em go.” The ground at Pigtails was frozen solid, and fortunately it remained dry for our first two laps around the 9.6mile loop. Unfortunately it began to rain for our last lap and the sadistically hilly 2.2mile out-and-back. The water just sat on the ice making it incredibly slick, and Steve bit the dust at one point. First thing I did when he went down was pull out my camera. Ha ha. (I knew he would cherish the lasting memories more than the immediate relief of me actually helping him up)
We finished up the run in 5:08:01. It was a PR by 1:07:02 for me. Not too shabby for me. We hung out for a little bit at the finish for a little while, but we were wet and cold so we took off for the hostel we were staying at, and were in bed by 7:30.
Sunday morning, already cold sick and now sore, we went over to Maple Valley, WA for the Yours Truly 50k race. We just wanted to finish the thing and weren’t too serious about our time, so we took a lot of pictures of everyone there. (You can see them here) The course was a 7.78-mile out-and-back twice, so we got to see everyone multiple times. On the first out, we went really slow taking a lot of pictures. (I even have some of us sleeping on benches on the side of the course) On the way back, we ran much of it with Monte Pascual and just took it easy.
When we arrived at the start/finish area for our second out-and-back, we met up with Fred Johnson who was pondering going home at that point. The day before he had run a 4:12 50k, and the people he had been running with in this race were only running one loop and he didn’t want to go back out at it alone. We talked him into running with us, and he pushed us quite a bit. It’s the first race I’ve ever run a negative split. The times weren’t even close! The first half we finished in 3:04, and the second half took us 2:51! We were still taking a lot of pictures, but we were pushing much harder, and we even ran the last stretch of about 1 ¼ miles at a sub 9 min mile pace, and finished off in a sprint.
The course that day was basically a sheet of ice on top of hard-packed pea-gravel. When we started, there was a little snow covering up the ice, but most of that, and the remaining ice, melted off. There were some areas that stayed slick all day, and this time I got a picture of Steve in the act of slipping, but by the end of the day, we couldn’t have asked for much better running weather