3 Aug 2012
Last weekend saw a quick little mission down across the border to tackle the new Chuckanut 30k course. I say new as its the inaugural series finale for the Bellingham Trail Running series, but really its simply the “middle 18″ of the Chuckanut 50k course.
I was pretty relaxed heading onto this race and was unsure of how the day would play out. Being 2 weeks out from Squamish 50, I was in two minds as to run hard or run relaxed and after a quick race debrief I decided to start easy, but that I would be running everything. With only 50 odd racers in the 30k race, it was pretty easy to find a spot up the front and the field very quickly spread out. I just put my head down and worked away.
The race was fairly uneventful as I worked a good pace over to Cleator road. I managed to catch Kevin Douglas at the bottom of the road, but he gradually pulled away up Cleator, which was a grind, but fairly manageable. As always, the ridge was a ton of fun. I even slowed down to enjoy some of the amazing views that were on offer on such a warm clear day. I worked Dans Traverse over to Lost lake and chugged up and over to the bottom of Chinscraper. All the time moving easily, I couldn’t help but think that I was feeling pertty dialed for this distance.
I took off up Chinscraper, ran/hiked for a bit, managed to catch up to and pass Darrell Sofield, then took off after Kevin again who was not too far ahead. Chinscraper was not nearly the beast I remember and I ran a fair chunk of it. I guess hitting up black mountain 3 times in 4 days the week previous dwarfed it in comparison.
It was not all glory from here though as both calves cramped badly once the descent began. When they finally eased off my abductors decided they too would cramp and I was in all sort of trouble, walking/stopping/cramping. Defeated by cramps, I turned my focus inward, cycled my breathing, stood up tall and willed my body to relax. Surprisingly, it worked and I was on my way charging down hill, a high 5 to Hoz and Jeremy and then into the park and finished.
Somewhere along the way I set myself the 3 hour goal so I was pretty happy to finish just in 3:00:45 which was good for 7th place. The post race party was typical James and Candice with local beer, hearty sandwiches, chocolate milk and local live blue grass. We hung around for a good few hours soaking up some sun, tunes, eats and enjoying all the good vibes you find at the finish of a well run trail race. A good benchmark and fun to run this old favorite on dry trails.