Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Orcas 50k

Photo by Glenn Tachiyama

Orcas is the perfect example of why I enjoy ultra running and the crowd it attracts. This race, put on by James and Alison was not only held in a beautiful location with views from Vancouver B.C. to Seattle (yes, to see these views we needed to climb a bit), but the communication from the race directors before the race, the "greenness" of this event, the great support at the race, and the post race party made it one of my favorite 50ks out there. As for the crowd, and this applies not only to Orcas but to almost all ultra runs I have done, the people are what make it all worthwhile. There is nothing better then reconnecting with friends and meeting new friends at events. It is nice to be with people who share a love for the outdoors and an understanding of what spending a day in the woods can do for our psyche.

This is the second year I have run Orcas. Last year there was too much snow so the route had to be adjusted. This year, other than a little snow and ice at higher elevations, the trails were in phenomenal shape. The hardest part for me was the downhill. One of these days I will learn to be speedy and just let go when heading down. In true "fat ass run" style, there were only two aid stations for the 50k. I carried my Nathan hand held and wore my Nathan "Krissy" vest so I was able to carry all the gel and drinks needed for the 5+ hours I was running. I used First Endurance liquid shot which tasted great! I liked not having to open a new packet each time I wanted gel. My time was slower than last year but I think we climbed a bit more. I ended up 4th girl and 16th overall. Next up...Napa Valley Marathon!