January 23, 2010
We had our largest field yet in this year’s race with 170 runners (42 one loopers, 48 two loopers, and 80 50Kers). Unfortunately, our fair weather was incorrectly forecasted and we had rain for most of the race, with it coming down hard at times. Everyone took it well and the sun came out just in time for us to tear down all the tents and gear.
The months leading up to the race were uneventful. I had all my permits. The only thing I was worried about was that I was scheduled to be on call starting Friday and going through the weekend for two hospitals. I was looking at a very stressful weekend with this and my race. I called the hospitals at 9pm Friday night to pre-empt any issues that they had with the patients and was told things were okay. Next thing you know I get 5 pages late that night with the kind of issues that I could have handled earlier. It’s always hard for me to go back to sleep after a string of calls like that. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep before having to get up at 4am to get ready to set up for the race. My husband was up too and helped me all day. This kept him from his work (he works 7 days a week), but he is used to being the spouse of a runner, and for the last 5 years, the spouse of a race director for 2 races a year.
We arrived at the start/finish at 5:30 and started setting up in the rain. Tony Covarrubias and Shawn McTaggart were just finishing their first loop with plans on 5 loops plus my out and back to make it a 50 mile day, which they finished in 9hr45min (disregard their 50K time, since they started their 50K run after you all had left). They are both training for a 200 mile race in Vermont this spring. I had run the McNaughton 150 mile with them last year, and I wanted them to be the guinea pigs for the 200 mile distance before subjecting myself and my husband to this insane run. Just like McNaughton, it is a 10 mile loop done over and over, but if the 10 mile loop is tamer in Vermont than in Pekin, IL, then I might be game for it next year. After giving us a hand setting up our shelter, they took off for loop #2.
After we got the tent up and unloaded most of our gear, I ran up the trail briefly to mark the first turn down the hill for the counter-clockwise direction with flour. I came back and found that Cliff Richards, Ken’s brother, and Jerry Thayer, a fellow Maple Valley runner, had arrived. Let me tell you a little about each of them. Most of you know Cliff “quack, quack” Richards, a PT and Maniac who runs like a duck but seemingly able to do it fast. He clocked a 2:51 at last year’s Newport Marathon and has a faster PR. However, he had been dealing with injuries in the second half of 2009 with the last injury affecting one of his knees. He turned to cross training and got to be a better and better swimmer, but every time he tried running, he’d get set back in his knee pain. Then he had an incident where he fell in early December sustaining a patella fracture requiring placements of screws. He’s been in a straight leg immobilizer since. They suspected that he had a stress fracture in his kneecap that finally fractured further with the fall. The good news is that he at least knows that after healing from the surgery and going through rehab, he can start running again. It’s always nice to have that light at the end of the tunnel. It was very nice of him to stand around all day in the cold for me and the runners. He also let me borrow his big clock and timing machine. He took over the responsibility for the loop splits and finish times.
Jerry Thayer is a sweetheart. After my December race, he informed me that he had several shelters, propane heaters, tables, chairs, and a generator that he could bring to this race. I took him up on the offer. However, he not only let me use his stuff, he came early to help set up, ran one loop, and stuck around to the very end to help take down everything. Jerry knows that the trash generated from my races is a hardship for me since we don’t have garbage pickup. We haul all our trash to the transfer station and only do this 2 or 3 times a year. He had taken half of the trash from my December race and took all the trash for this race. He hooked up his coffee maker for runners to have a fresh brew. And he did all this while apparently, his wife was having car troubles further south in Tacoma and had to be towed in. Jerry was, simply put, the best volunteer a race director could ask for. I gave him some bacon and eggs from our pigs and chickens for all his help, but this seemed little compared to what he did for me.
I started checking in runners at 6:30am. Of the 95 runners who registered for the 50K, I had 6 no shows. Of the 32 2 loopers who registered, I had 4 no shows, and 7 no shows for 35 one loopers. There was a lot of shuffling around of distance during the day, with most calling it good at running one less loop than planned. I had 2 one loopers go for the 2 loops option and one 2 looper go to the 50K option, Michael Lynes, who went on to win the 50K in course record time. More on that later.
I had quite a few day of race registrants. I just couldn’t say no to them. I finished checking in everyone with about 2 minutes to the start. It was raining and half the field was crammed in under the three tents we had set up. I made a brief announcement to keep people from having to stand around in the cold. I told everyone to be careful running down that first steep hill. Looking around, I couldn’t believe the numbers of runners present! A quick 5-4-3-2-1-GO! and they were off! Next year, I need to have someone stand in front of the posts there at the trailhead. Some runners almost ran right into them. After the throngs left, there were still 5 runners in the Honey Bucket line. Next year, I will bring in another one in addition to the park one.
Ken and Cliff had loaded Ken’s SUV with all the donated food and drove back to our house to unload them to take to the food bank next week. We needed the space for all the gear we brought to take home after the race. Sara Malcom had shown up at check in and helped me get the numbers to the one and two loopers. Tony Phillippi helped Cliff check in the 50K runners while Ken organized all the food donations coming at him in all directions. After Ken and Cliff left, Sara helped me lay all the food out and heated up the soups while I ran out and marked the 50K out and back with flour. Sara was kind enough to volunteer after having signed up for the race and coming down with an injury in the last 2 weeks. She is having shin pain checked out by her doctor. She did a great job yelling out numbers to Cliff as they were coming in and serving hot soup. As you might recall, she won my December 50K race on the Cedar River Trail in record time. I came back wet and it took me a while to warm up, even after putting on another layer of fleece. Ken and Cliff had returned while I was out marking and not long after that, Michael Lynes came in on his first loop in 1:06. Several more guys came in within the next 2 minutes, some continuing on for their second loop, others finishing one loop for the day. Michael said he was cold and must have tried to warm up by running faster, since he ran the second loop in 1:04 with a total time now of 2:10, which broke the old overall course record for 2 loops of 2:13. He had signed up for 2 loops but decided to keep going. I’m not sure if he had looked up the course record for the 50K, but unless he totally blew up, he was on pace to break it by 15 minutes. He rounded the corner finishing his 3rd loop in 3:16, matching his first loop. He finished in 3:32:13, breaking the course record by 16 minutes! He said that last out and back and especially that last hill just about did him in. He was shaking quite a bit after changing clothes. That boy needs to get some more body fat on him! Congratulations on a phenomenal run! Michael is a physical therapist in the Tacoma area. He won $31 for breaking the course record and donated it right back to the food bank. What a guy! He was covered all the way up to his mid-back with mud. He must have quite a kick with his stride. In fact, many runners had the same look! Michael was the overall and masters winner. Spencer Coates took the first male open with a time of 4:00:18. He was disappointed at missing breaking 4 hours but overall was pleased with his performance. He had left about the same time as Chris Warren for the out and back but managed to put in a gap of over a minute.
The 50K female race started to heat up in the third loop. Mary Hanna, who was using this race as her final long run before heading to Arizona to defend her title at the Lost Dutchman Marathon on Valentine’s Day, came in first after the 3rd loop. Ginger, who runs similar marathon times, came in shortly after and turned around and headed immediately out. Mary ran after her for the out and back, having stopped to take off her wet shell and grab something to drink. For the next 20 minutes we wondered who would round that corner first. Ginger came sprinting in at 4:45:59 with Mary 6 seconds behind! Looks like the youngin’ won this time. Mary was first masters. Both were short of the course records (4:18 for open and 4:29 for masters). Ginger won sausage from our pigs and Mary took home farm fresh eggs. Many made comments about that last big hill at the end of the out and back, one describing it as “That 10,000 foot hill,” another “That climb up Mt. Everest,” and "Cruel and unusual punishment." I just say, “You’re welcomed!”
Two loops runners have a nice distance option. Often times, one loop seems too short, but making the jump to 50K is a stretch, so they get a good day in with 19.6 miles. Kyle McCoy was the only runner able to stay anywhere near Michael Lynes and finished the 2 loops with a time of 2:13:29, which tied the old course record (in previous years, I did not record seconds, so the old course record was marked at 2:13 and with it being this close, I just call them essentially tied). That’s some fast running on such a miserable day! The first male masters and second overall was Russ Otani, in a time of 2:19:56, which was impressive since he said he has not run on trails before. The first female was Iliana Sach, who clocked one minute short of the course record with a time of 2:33:14. First female masters was Barb Blumenthal in 3:07:43. Good job ladies!
This day was a good day to run just one loop. Dave LaTourette did so in fine fashion taking the overall and masters win in 1:08:50. The first open male was Larry Baldwin in 1:16:47. First overall and masters female and previous one loop masters course record holder, Karen Leahy, missed her own record by 3 seconds in a time of 1:14:39. First female open was Heather Hull in 1:34:32. Congratulations to all the winners!
We stuck around for everyone to finish of course. Jennie Eyring, who works for Nuun, also stuck around until the very end, making sure that all the runners had access to Nuun. She came early and set up two 5-gallon jugs with Nuun, two flavors. The Gatorade that I made went relatively untouched while the Nuun was a big hit, so much so that Jennie had to make another batch of each flavor. Thanks Jennie for coming and running two loops and keeping our runners hydrated.
Eric and Iliana Sach from the Balanced Athlete in Kent kept us supplied with gels. That was the one item I did not purchase this year because of their cost but Eric and Iliana stepped up to the plate. It’s nice to have running store owners participate in local races and supporting the race directors.
Andre O’Donnell came and ran two loops, the longest since May because of injury and took over soup duty when Sara left with the other runners she had come with. I can’t thank people enough for pitching in. Ken went and got pizza for the volunteers and the runners at a nearby Shakey’s and even made a second trip when we ran out. Sorry to those of you who didn’t get any. I just didn’t want him to make a third trip. Most people who came after the pizza seemed satisfied with the spread that we had post race.
I’m planning on dropping the food donations off to the Food Bank this week (or Ken) along with a monetary donation. Many thanks to everyone for your generosity. Previously when I have given them supplies and money, they have been very grateful, especially since donations have been down with the recession.
So, what should I do different next year? I might have to put a cap on the number of runners at 200 after such a big jump in participants this year. Parking is the main issue, and also just being able to handle that many runners with a few volunteers. Luckily for me, there is always someone injured! If you have some reasonable suggestions, let me know. I might try to offer a memento that you can purchase for the race, such as socks with a race logo or gloves. No shirts! Everyone has enough shirts. For my December race, I plan on offering possibly a beanie with race logo for the 5th annual event. I didn’t get my act together enough for this year’s 5th annual Lake Youngs run. But no promises, these are just thoughts. Would there be enough of an interest?
Anyway, thanks for coming out for another big party on the muddy trails. Remember, if you hear the sound of light footsteps coming up behind you on the trails at your next race, beware! It might just be me coming in for the kill!
Pigtails ; )
Results below might be 10 seconds or so off from what you have since our timing machine that Cliff was entering splits and final times didn't kick in right away for some reason at the start. Also, when there were large groups that came in, we started entering times before everyone got to the aid station and some of your friend's times are not exactly the same as yours. I tried to make sure that if you came in with someone at the finish, I have the same time for all of you. Some people's split times were missed. A couple ladies who signed up for the 1 loop wanted more miles but did not come back to the start before heading out again, so I made a note that their time was a 13 mile time. Remember, this was a fun run, but if I have one of your times really off, let me know. I will have this race report and the final draft of the results on my web site after about a week in case I hear from people.
1,Dave,LaTourette,M47,1:08:44,1st M Masters
2,Gregg,Walchli,M47,1:08:58,2nd M Masters
3,Karen,Leahy,F41,1:14:39,1st F Masters, Female Masters CR
4,Ron,Horton,M41,1:15:56,3rd M Masters
5,Larry,Baldwin,M37,1:16:47,1st M Open
6,Ben,Barlag,M27,1:19:03,2nd M Open
13,Lisa,Switzer,F46,1:32:04,2nd F Masters
15,Heather,Hull,F28,1:34:32,1st F Open
16,Nicole,Santee,F34,1:35:45,2nd F Open
17,Patti,Krebsbach,F47,1:36:34,3rd F Masters
21,Sherri,Brady,F32,1:42:22,3rd F Open
Craig,Nelson,M37,1:43:09,3rd M Open
Female Open CR: Amy Grable 1:14:36 2007,Female Masters CR: Karen Leahy 1:14:39 2010
Male Open CR: Bjorn Begelman 1:02:13 2009,Male Masters CR: Gerg Walchli 1:05:47 in 2009
Overall CR Male Bjorn Begelman (2009) 1:02:13 and Female Amy Grable (2007) 1:14:36
1,Kyle,McCoy,M31,1:08:28,2:13:29,1st M Open, Male Open CR
2,Russ,Otani,M50,1:10:48,2:19:56,1st M Masters
3,Ben,Cruzat,M32,1:14:48,2:27:34,2nd M Open
4,Eric,Sach,M41,1:14:18,2:27:40,2nd M Masters
5,Martin,Saxer,M41,1:14:08,2:28:09,3rd M Masters
6,Brennan,Wallin,M14,1:10:29,2:32:54,3rd M Open, 14 years old!
7,Iliana,Sach,F31,1:14:38,2:33:14,1st F Open
10,Tiffany,Crumbaugh,F37,1:20:53,2:43:01,2nd F Open
18,Barb,Blumenthal,F53,1:32:06,3:07:43,1st F Masters
19,Barbara Rose,Chateaubriand,F48,1:34:24,3:09:26,2nd F Masters
21,Fawn,Freeman,F49,1:28:27,3:10:42,3rd F Masters
24,Jennie,Eyring,F35,1:35:38,3:18:01,3rd F Open
27,Rebecca,Wallick,F53,1:33:55,3:20:11,Wonderdog Finn MacCool
33,Heidi,Hansen,F40,no time loop one,3:30:43
35,Lisa,Agron,F39,no time loop one,3:34:59
Female Open CR: Annie Theissen 2:32:00 2008,Female Masters CR: Fawn Freeman 2:49:00 2006
Male Open CR: Kyle McCoy (2010) John Collins (2009) 2:13:29,Male Masters CR: Rich Nelly 2:16:39 2007
Overall CR Male John Collins (2009) and Kyle McCoy(2010) 2:13:29 and Female Annie Thiessen (2008) 2:32:00
1,Michael,Lynes,M43,1:06:13,2:10:26,3:15:59,3:32:13,1st M Masters, Overall CR
2,Spencer,Coates,M21,1:14:37,2:29:14,3:44:04,4:00:18,1st M Open
3,Chris,Warren,M42,1:11:02,2:27:13,3:44:16,4:01:47,2nd M Masters
4,Tim,Stroh,M47,1:14:32,2:34:06,3:54:05,4:12:05,3rd M Masters
7,Terry,Sentinella,M45,1:15:44,2:36:52,no time loop 3,4:23:44
8,Steve,Roberge,M37,1:15:34,2:31:17,4:04:56,4:31:11,2nd M Open
9,Mike,Schlecht,M39,1:20:18,2:44:09,4:17:54,4:39:31,3rd M Open
10,Robert,Towne,M57,1:19:15,2:44:18,no time loop 3,4:41:36
11,Ginger,Gruber,F39,1:26:51,3:00:23,4:28:29,4:45:59,1st F Open, 1st 50k and longest run
12,Mary,Hanna,F48,1:24:00,2:57:16,4:27:35,4:46:05,1st F Masters, Wonderdog Emily
13,Francie,Hankins,F45,1:29:20,3:07:21,no time loop 3,4:47:13,2nd F Masters
17,Beverly,Schubert,F48,1:27:39,2:57:10,4:31:18,4:54:15,3rd F Masters, 1st 50K
23,Bob,Satko,M49,1:30:44,3:10:08,4:48:31,5:12:38,1st 50K, 4 races in 57 days
27,Andy,Fritz,M43,1:34:59,3:12:12,4:52:04,5:16:52,16min 50K PR
35,Glen,Mangiantini,M52,1:30:00,3:08:38,4:56:18,5:22:24,Wonderdog Oliver's first 50K
Tracey,Nguyen,F36,1:35:43,3:10:23,4:59:04,5:22:51,2nd F Open
46,BJ,Farish,M36,1:30:48,3:10:14,5:04:05,5:36:30,50K PR by 1hr, B-day next day!
48,Meg,Burtch,F53,1:42:28,3:30:45,no time loop 3,5:44:22
Kim,Lobree,F47,1:42:37,3:30:46,no time loop 3,5:44:22
50,Jessica,Bienvenue,F31,1:36:29,3:27:56,5:21:03,5:45:21,3rd F Open
Julie,Cassata,F28,1:38:22,3:31:41,5:25:24,5:50:25,One extra loop on own before race
55,Jamshid,Khajavi,M56,1:31:31,3:15:31,5:28:09,5:58:55,Blisters from HURT 100Mi Hawaii last weekend
66,Tony,Covarrubias,M49,1:58:43,3:49:04,5:48:51,6:14:09,5 loops plus out & back=50mi 9:45
Shawn,McTaggart,F32,1:58:43,3:49:11,5:49:00,6:14:09,5 loops plus out & back=50mi 9:45
70,Max,Welker,M67,1:57:17,3:57:01,no time loop 3,6:23:37
71,James,Plant,M45,1:52:03,3:46:50,5:55:13,6:24:24,50K PR, Weymouth Woods, NC 100K last weekend
Female Open CR: Alison Hanks and Devon Crosby-Helms 4:18:27 2008,Female Masters CR: Gwen Scott 4:29 2008
Male Open CR: Ryan McKnight 3:51 in 2009,Male Masters CR: Michael Lynes 3:32:13 2010 (Previously Alex Swenson 3:48:15 in 2008)
Overall CR: Male Michael Lynes (2010) 3:32:13 and Female Alison Hanks and Devon Crosby-Helms (2008) 4:18:27