|Photo credit: Glenn Tachiyama|
The Gorge Waterfalls 50k was a spectacular race course! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great trail race with some beautiful scenery. We passed at least a dozen waterfalls and the aid and finish line spread were top notch! The race was an out and back this year, meaning, the first 7 miles and last 7 miles were up and over a pretty tough climb. Honestly, the last few miles of climbing were much more difficult than I had imagined. I usually like going uphill, but by the time I hit the hill a second time, I was definitely in the pain cave. As I attempted to run/power hike up the steep grade, I tried to to simultaneously ignore the signs that told me how many switchbacks I had yet to encounter and dodge all the tourists that were now out hiking. As I passed two guys one of them commented to me "Wow, you sure look tired." I resisted the urge to tell him what I really thought, but just mumbled back "Well you would be too if you'd just run 25 miles!" I think this took them by surprise as the other hiker yelled after me "We didn't even drive that far to get here!" I also had a little girl inform me that I needed to take a shower when I got back, because I was really dirty.
The race itself was just what I needed. I was a little nervous when we started the first climb and Jenn Shelton took off like a bat out of hell. I heard her yelling at Jeff Browning just ahead "Browning I'm going to beat you if I have to kill myself to do it!" Oh boy. I resisted the urge to chase and reminded myself this is supposed to be fun- it's spring break after all! I ended up catching back up to Jenn a few miles later and then we ran together and chatted for awhile. At some point I think she backed off due to a sore ankle.
|Post race with Jen, Erik, & Firecat!|
|With fellow North Face teammate Ian Sharman|
Despite almost everyone going off course within the first 200 meters (yes, we all missed the first turn), the race went smoothly. I felt solid about my effort and was pretty excited about receiving a handmade coffee mug after finishing!
Now, on to the more exciting part of the weekend: Wine tasting!
I had not spent any time in Hood River before, so Zach and I decided to stay a few days to explore the area. Hood River is a cute little town with great trails and vineyards (two very important qualities in my book)! The day before the race we decided to do a little wine tasting at Marchesi Vineyards. It was pretty awesome! They had some great wines (huge selection) and the vineyard overlooked Mt. Hood.
|Post-race at Cathedral Ridge|
In similar fashion, we ran on the Syncline trail, which basically went straight up and then straight back down. I can't really complain though, the view of Mt. Hood from the top was pretty amazing and as much as I joke about it- I do really enjoy the spontaneous adventures :)