Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Double Feature: The Gorge & The Rattler

Since I've been too lazy to update my blog in a timely fashion, I now have two race reports to write. Crap! Because of said laziness -- as well as an irrepressible desire to do anything but sit in front of a computer right now -- I'm going to keep these reports brief...

Put on by Rainshadow Running, the Gorge Waterfall 50k in Oregon promised scenery, climbs and technical trails and it delivered. The course was beautiful, a little too technical for my liking (especially after a winter of mainly treadmill running) and hilly, which I'm okay with, but, man, did that last climb hurt! It was a point-to-point race, which is my second favourite kind of course after the beloved loop.

My awesome road trip buddy for the weekend, Alison, dropped me off at the start and then met me at various points along the way to cheer, collect the extra layers that I tossed at her and provide me with splits for the woman ahead of me.

I was second woman for most of the race but then got passed with maybe 6 miles to go. I know that should have bothered me, but it didn't. I tried some ass-kicking self-talk: "Come on, Butterfield, pick it up...don't let her get away" etc. (And yes, I use my maiden name when I talk to myself.) It just didn't work. As much as I want to be a "competitive" runner, I'm just not competitive by nature and I don't think that's going to change so I've decided to just accept it.

I finished the race in third and I'm satisfied with that. (Results here.) Overall, it was a really fun weekend filled with so many things that make me happy: friends old and new, great trails, and plenty of post-race beer, pizza and live music!

Here are some pics from the race:

Photo credit: Paul Nelson

Photo credit: Paul Nelson

Photo credit: Glenn Tachiyama

Photo credit: Glenn Tachiyama
And a post-race interview I did with the nice people at uphillrunning.com. (I'm afraid to watch it so please let me know how it went. Unless I sound like a total idiot, then I'd rather not know.) 

Now onto the Rattler Trail Race in Winthrop, WA. This is a great, low-key event organized by Alison and Sam of Methow Endurance. The course winds its way up, down and all around Pipestone Canyon with fast double track sections, sandy single track and a few quad and lung busting climbs. And views of the snow-capped Cascade mountains that will blow your mind.

There are three distances to choose from: 4mi, 9mi and a half marathon. I decided to do the half marathon along with my Dirty Feet friends Grace and Phil. We decided to use the race as a training opportunity as we had a long run planned the next day at Sun Mountain. I was also getting over a week-long head cold so didn't want to overdo it.

I've run the race loop many times in training so knew what to expect. I tried to keep my output at around 80% which is easier said than done sometimes but knowing that I had a big run to do the next day helped prevent me from getting carried away. I finished second woman in 1:39. (Results here.)

For both races, I wore The North Face Single-Track Hayasa II trail shoes and was very pleased with how they performed on both wet, slippery, rocky trails (Gorge) and dry, loose, sandy trails (Rattler).

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