Saturday June 2 was National Trails Day. As part of the celebration the Foothills Rail-To-Trails Coallition has organized the Rainier To Ruston relay event. 2012 was the 10th anniversary of the race and it was the “Drunken Damsels and Whiskey Warriors” 2nd year! In what turned into a combined effort, Ezra, Jolleen and I put together a team for last years race and wound up having a ton of fun. It didn’t help that we had the most gorgeous weather last year.
This year, we’d planned on spending the night at my aunt and uncle’s house (last year we ended up staying there as sort of a spur of the moment decision). Uncle Morgan had a campfire going and the team enjoyed a few beers and some good conversation before heading to bed.
Bright and early the next morning everyone packed up their wet tents (except for Ezra and I…we’d decided to sleep inside!) and we headed for the race start. The weather prediction for the day was a healthy chance of rain but the start was much warmer than last year. The race start is right on the Carbon River just outside of Mount Rainier National Park. I got to run the first leg again this year—there’s a few glimpses of the river but mostly it’s a road run through a wet Pacific Northwest forest. I miss that look though so I loved it. I also got absolutely drenched. The forecast for rain was right…but it was over by the time I finished my leg, everyone else’s 1st leg wound up running under overcast skies but our afternoon legs were all sunny!
As a team we ran much faster this year. Last year, we finished at about 8 hours and 24 minutes. This year we ran the race at 8 hours and 2 minutes! Ezra ran the final leg again and we met him about 0.75 miles from the finish and crossed the line as a team.
I wasn’t planning on joining the rest of the crew in their post-race Seattle exploits but changed my mind mid-race. We headed up to the hotel rooms that they’d reserved, showered and went out for dinner at the Tap House. Jolleen’s husband and Josiah’s wife joined us for the festivities so it was quite a party. The beer was good and the food was awesome (or maybe we were all just starving?). The night rolled on and at one point Jolleen and I lead a walk down to Pioneer Square (“It’s less than a mile and we ran 50 today!”). We were all pretty averse to paying cover to listen to a crappy band so we ended up at a random sports bar playing pool and relaxing. Ezra and I finally called it a night and walked back to the hotel. When we got back we were shocked to realize it was almost 2am. I can’t remember the last time I stayed out that late!
All in all, it was another great Rainier To Ruston for the Drunken Damsels and Whiskey Warriors. Good people, a good race, and some good post race fun. Awesomeness.