Monday, January 26, 2009

Pigtails 4th Annual Lake Youngs Run


It was another great turnout for this year’s winter trail run. We had 119 runners (49 50Kers, 3 three loopers, 31 two loopers, and 36 1 loopers. The weather was perfect, no rain or snow in sight. The temperature started in the low 30s, but runners said it varied throughout the course. The trail was in good condition and no one got seriously injured. Barb Blumenthal fell at mile 3, but continued to finish 3 loops for 28.8 miles before her swollen bruised knee protested to further running. Apparently, Eric Barnes got poked by some prickly vines during nature’s call, but luckily they were fairly low to the ground! Several said there was a guy on a bike who was a little scary talking out loud, whether to himself or to the runners. There was also a crew working on taking down a tree the entire race.
The “free race” tradition continued as people generously brought food as the race fee to donate to the Maple Valley Food Bank, who was reported to have been in low supplies since the winter started. I ended up filling my SUV with the back seat down with donations and even went through the trouble of sorting the food for them (box of chicken noodle soup, box of chili, box of dried goods, etc), which was greatly appreciated. We also had great food to share at the aid station during and at the end. The chicken noodle soup and butternut squash were a huge hit as was anything sweet or salty. All the gummi bears, M & Ms, red vine licorice, homemade cookies, Chips Ahoy cookies, banana bread, Kettle chips, and bars were gone at day’s end.
The men’s 50K race was tight through loop 3 until Ryan McKnight overtook Alex Swenson for the win. Although Ryan broke the male open course record by 3 minutes with a time of 3:51, Alex still holds the overall course record of 3:48:15. Both brought home the bacon! Wendy Wheeler Jacobs was largely unchallenged throughout the day, although I’m sure this was just a training run for her. She finished first woman overall and masters for the day with a strong sub-5hr time of 4:50. Stephanie Day was surprised to have come in first female open in 5:07, also taking a relatively easy day. The women took home the sausage, with all prizes coming from our mini-farm.
The 19.2 mile race saw a new overall course record by John Collins from Oak Harbor with a time of 2:13, wiping out Kyle Skagg’s time of 2:18 in 2006. The first male masters went to Bruce Hoff in 2:23, a perennial strong runner. The female race was won by Iliana Sach in 2:34, who missed Annie Thiessen’s course record by two minutes set in 2008. First female masters winner Anne Hobson ran well under 3 hours with a time of 2:54.
Bjorn Begelman took off and never looked back as he crossed the finish line in 1:02:13, well under the previous one loop course record time set by Matt Morrison in 2007 of 1:04:09. That’s cookin’! Five men ran under last year’s master’s course record by Jamie Gifford of 1:15:00, but Gregg Walchli prevailed with 1:05:47. Karen Leahy just missed the overall course record of 1:14:36 set in 2007 by Amy Grable but came away with a new female master’s course record of 1:15. First female open win was shared by two Tahoma X-country girls, Emily Duerson and Gracie Libby in 1:35. Way to go!
Other notables:
Ryan McKnight had a 50K PR in addition to winning the race.
Tony Covarrubias and Shawn McTaggart did 5 loops in preparation for the McNaughton 150 mile in April in Illinois. I get to go, too!
Jess Mullen ran 4 loops, also in preparation for McNaughton 100 mile.
Linda Barton ran the gnarly HURT 100K the weekend before.
This was Heather Nugent’s and Jessica Williams’ first 50K.
Eric Barnes, Nic Plemel, Jill Hudson, Linda Walter, and Monte Pascual did the double with Yours Truly 50K on Sunday. Nic also had a PR at my race.
Susan Cooley and Amy Begnal had 50K PRs.
Lisa Switzer, Janine Windom, Deanna Vig, and Whitney Janicki ran the furthest they had ever run. Lisa is training for her first marathon at Eugene and is hooked. She even wants to try Mt Si 50K. Janine is looking forward to Yakima, Deanna is looking forward to Whidbey, and Whitney is on the Tahoma X-country team.
Nicola Wethall pushed a stroller the entire loop.
It was Kane Jamison’s birthday. Thanks for spending it with us!
Thanks to my husband for helping with set up and take down. He had a chance to go back home and climb in his home rock climbing gym with George Wiggins, who finished one loop.
Thanks also to Ray Shaw, who called out numbers while I wrote down split and finish times. That was a huge help! Too many numbers running through my head!
As for me, I had a long day with getting up at 4:30 then not getting to sleep until 10:30pm after having spent the evening with my family for Chinese New Year’s Eve. Then it was up early the next morning for the Yours Truly 50K. A dusting of snow fell overnight and made the first half of the run enjoyable with snow on the ground and trees. I loved the feel of the soft snow under my shoes, but it became more slippery in the second half with it warming up slightly, although not that much since the temperature when I finished was still 33. The course was supposed to be an out and back twice, but due to a bridge out for some construction, it was changed to a quadruple out and back. There was the option of detouring around the construction, but apparently race director Brian Pendelton was chased by a mean dog and had to fend it off with rocks. No thanks! So we all (about a dozen with a few 25Kers) turned around at the fenced off area and saw each other frequently during the day. For the 50K runners, an extra short out and back was required in the end to make it a full 50K, which I did before going out for my last long out and back. I was well hydrated the first half, having to stop several times. As a result, I had a pretty negative split and finished in 4:47, first one in. But 5 people out there were doing doubles, so kudos to them! Brian had hot chili with pepper jack cheese and sour cream, tortilla chips, and hot chocolate at the finish. It’s amazing how much better food tastes after a cold run. At least it didn’t rain.
Well, that’s a wrap. Be on the lookout next year about this time again for the 5th annual Pigtails Lake Youngs run!

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