|Mt Hood from Timothy Lake - random photo from Flickr|
Ack! The problem with not writing race reports soon after the race is you forget a lot. Especially when the race isn't particularly notable. which this one isn't. Not sure exactly why I registered for this one. I guess I thought it would be a good way to get a long trail run in, and that's exactly what it was.
I ran this race one other time, in 2007, when the course still started at Timberline and finished at Clackamas Ranger Station. Now, it's two loops around Timothy Lake, and is also held in June instead of September, to avoid the worst of the bees.
The course has a few rollers but is essentially flat and runnable the whole way. I drove up with Annie who was also using this race as a training run. The weather was mixed, cloudy, showers, sun breaks - and turned out to be perfect conditions.
Not much to note during the first loop. But it really is a pretty trail. The first half of the loop covers the first 6 miles or so of the Mt Hood 50 and you feel like you are deep in the woods. The 2nd half you run closer to the water and go through the campgrounds that surround the lake. If it were clear we would have had a beautiful view of Mt Hood (like in the picture above). Many of the campers cheered us when we came through so that was fun.
I carried one handheld and wore my pack (without the reservoir) as a mobile drop bag. The aid stations at the race are pretty bare bones - just water and gatorade. They disclose that fully on the website, but I do think it's a bit cheap. It wouldn't hurt or cost much to put out some fruit or cookies. Anyway, I was fully prepared with my own fuel, but I know there were others that weren't and had a tough time of it.
I wore my heart rate monitor and noticed that it jumped around a lot during the first loop. It was more crowded in the beginning and I'd have to surge to get around people. During the 2nd loop I decided pass the time by trying to keep my heart rate under 150. Due to the flatness of the course, it wasn't too difficult but I did have to walk a short hill here and there.
I finished in 5:18, which seemed perfectly acceptable as a training trail run. I think I may have won a medal for 2nd or 3rd in my age group, but we didn't stick around to find out. Super speedy Annie had already been waiting an hour for me! Plus the post-race food was as bad as the aid station fare so we needed to get to a quickie mart fast for some chips!
The next day I was able to get in another longish run on Wildwood. So while there's nothing particularly special about this race, it served its' purpose. Next time I'll just go up to Timothy and run my own training run.