Love this photo of a super-happy number 191 finishing the Deception Pass 25K. I don't know who it is or if there's any story to it, but her enthusiasm and excitement are quite inspiring.
Like the top photo, I shot this as we were heading out. I believe it's Gary Robbins, who's about win the 50K in a smokin' fast 3:57--wow! Which means it took him less than an hour more to run twice as far as I ran--I finished the 25K in 2:58. Still, I'm pretty happy; I took 11 minutes off last year's time and my run training for this year's race was fairly sporadic.
The Deception Pass 25K is incredibly beautiful. You're forever running cliffside trails with epic bridge- and water-views or through deep, dark forest--not to mention you run across the 180-foot-high bridge twice--and I heard many folks saying that it's the most beautiful race they've ever done. (I assume ditto goes for those who ran the 50K.) It ain't easy either. You climb 2,800-plus feet, and in places the skinny, rocky trail is sehr technical and in several stretches can feel a bit crowded with racers running in both directions.
James Varner and Rainshadow Running doing a great job and host races that have a really cool vibe, as well a bountiful post-race spread. (Those chocolate chip cookies were friggin' amazing!) But, hmm--and I don't put on races myself so I don't have a clue as to how difficult an undertaking (I'm sure it's hard as hell)--an awful lot of people seemed to have gotten lost or off-course yesterday. I personally didn't, probably only because I ran it last year (when I did get off course) and was extra vigilant to keep it from happening again. Late in the race at the top of Goose Rock, lots of folks had no idea where to go. I remembered that last year a photographer (Glenn T.?) was set up here, so this year I knew to run straight across and back into the woods. But I heard tales of 10 or so racers up there, turning 'round and 'round trying to figure out where to go. Again, I know it's difficult as heck to come up with volunteers who'd be willing to stand around all day in the cold and wind, but just something to keep in mind for next year.
All that said, the Titanium Cowboys (below) had a great time yesterday--another super fun adventure! Lookin' forward to Orcas Island 25K in the New Year!