When I found out that we were going to Oregon one of my first emails went out to Jolleen (my two time R2R teammate and Moab Autumn Run partner) to tell her that I wanted in on this years Rainier to Ruston if there was a spot. She’d put together a 4-person team for 2014 instead of our usual 6-person relay squad. A spot had opened up on the team due to injury and I happily accepted the spot to join Jo, Mel, and Sarah.
We met up on Friday in Vancouver and headed up to Orting where we spent the evening at my aunt and uncle’s house eating pizza, watching the deer in the yard, and enjoying the evening. Our muscles even got a pre-race hot tub session.
In the morning, we headed up to the race start. This year the start seemed a little warmer than it had been in the past and I had a great first leg. I felt great the whole way and was really surprised how fast the turn off for the handoff point came up. Similarly, my second leg went really well; this leg was really fun because my legs still felt fresh and it was a new leg to me and it was mostly in the shade.
My last leg was a little more of a struggle. It was nice and flat but my legs were definitely tired towards the end as I ran my 12th and 13th miles of the day. I had a nice treat at the end though—my mom brought my nephew Drew down to cheer me on!
Sarah anchored the last leg with a great final leg along the waterfront. As is our tradition, we met her about a mile from the end to make the final push as a team (this pushed all of our mileages for the day over the half-marathon point). As we crossed the finish line we were all in high spirits with Mt. Rainier behind us over Commencement Bay.
Instead of hopping in the car for the drive south, we’d reserved an awesome apartment near Wrights Park via Airbnb. It was nice to have a place to relax as a team. We briefly headed out for dinner at The Hub where we devoured our meal. Thanks again ladies for a great race in awesome company!
A few weeks ago I ran the Warrior Dash in North Bend, Washington with JJ and his friend Alisha (JJ’s girlfriend Meghan and his friend Tyler joined us to take pictures and hang out). In case you haven’t heard about Warrior Dash (or it’s counterpart Tough Mudder which is longer and looks considerably tougher and thus cooler) it’s a run combined with obstacles.
We arrived in plenty of time to check in to the race and watch the first finishers come across the line. When it was finally our turn to run, we got into the race chute with a couple hundred of our fellow “warriors.” The Dash has start times staggered every half hour with up to 300 participants per wave. Once the race started and we were off and running it quickly became apparent to me that 150 runners every 15 minutes would probably be a lot nicer. For a run that advertises mud, there seemed to be a lot of reticence to run through the mud rather than waiting to run around it.
At about a mile, JJ slowed down some and I headed off with my goal to not let anyone beat me through an obstacle, one at which I mostly succeeded. I averaged 10:54 min/miles which considering how slow we all started the race and the giant mud pit thing at the end, I suppose it wasn’t that bad. I felt slow even though in the 20-29 women’s bracket I finished 56/970 participants.
After I emerged from the mud hole obstacle at the end of the race, I really wanted my turkey leg and promised beer. We got hosed off the best we could and headed to the food area.
It was a fun race but not near as much fun as I was expecting. I would hope for more obstacles per mile and for fewer people per wave. It did remind me that running in races is quite a lot of fun though!
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.
Last weekend was busy. My mom and aunt came out to visit and brought my grandparents. Ezra, Steve, and Garrett are here to visit for the week.
Saturday morning Ezra, Mom, Aunty, and myself all participated in Wallace’s Huckleberry 5K. My laziness in training caught up to me and I didn’t make near as strong a showing as I would have liked (although I bet I beat last years time…we had to leave before the results were announced so I won’t know until Thursday).
After the race we ate yummy huckleberry pancakes and headed for the cabin. I don’t think my family was at all prepared for me to drive them 12 miles up a winding dirt road–my grandparents are 87 and 85 and rolled with it pretty well. They were very impressed with how big the views from the cabin are!
We all just relaxed in the cabin and talked about all sorts of things. My mom observed that my dad would have appreciated this more than anyone and, oddly, this was really lovely to hear.
I drove my family back down to “civilization” in the late afternoon and went back up on the quad. In the evening Garrett and I made s’mores and then we turned in for the night.
It wasn’t all that long ago that I’d given up on the idea of running the Rainier To Ruston relay because I couldn’t find a team and well, I’m not crazy enough to run it as an ultramarthon or anything. Thanks to Ezra, I managed to find myself on a team.