Friday, August 10, 2012

Mt. Ashland Hill Climb

Climbing to the finish line
Ah, the Mt. Ashland Hill Climb. The race has kind of become a ritual for me each August. For the past 4 years I have traveled down with other nordic skiers to participate in the half marathon hill climb. The race itself is painful, and never gets any easier, but the experience is always great! We try to make a weekend out of it and do something fun on the Sunday after the race.

Each year I've run I've gotten a bit faster and come across the finish line first. This year I still finished first but was about a minute slower. Oh well, it was pretty hot out! Most people's times were quite a bit slower. I've been just shy of the record and thought maybe this was year I could crack Evelyn Dong's (a fellow XC Oregon nordic skier) time. No such luck. I was actually about a minute slower than last year. I blame the heat. Most runners were actually a bit slower this year too. Full results & story: Ashland Mail Tribune
Hal Koerner finishing

Runners making their way to the finish
So, those of you who know Zach know he is infamous for his 'adventures'. I can't count the number of times we've gone to do something and it's turn into some sort of epic sufferfest. Deep down I kind of like it though :) The day after the Ashland Hill Climb has always been some sort of 'adventure'. One year, we went on a bike ride to 'spin our legs out'. I guess I missed the memo that it was a 60 mile ride with a 15 mile hill climb in the middle and a sprint finish. I bonked. The next year we biked around Crater Lake, which if you've been there you know you are either biking 3 mph or 30 mph. There is no flat. I think we biked about 70 miles. This year may have topped all other adventures. We decided that it would be a good idea to run down after the race. Since we have TransRockies coming up soon Zach thought it would be a good idea to run the 13.3 miles back down to get used to running downhill. Somehow I thought it sounded like a good idea too. After running hard for 2 hours up to the top of Mt. Ashland, we turned around and started running back down. The beginning wasn't too bad since there was still aid stations set up near the top. After we got to mile 10, as in 10 miles to run back into town, the aid stations were closed. It was around that time that it started to get hot. I mean really hot. It was like we got hit by a wall of 100 degree heat as we descended into the valley. I ran out of water about halfway down. Somehow we made it back to the house AND in time to watch the men's olympic 10k on NBC. Success! If that wasn't enough craziness, the next morning we drove over to Oakridge to join some friends running the second half (30 miles) of the Where's Waldo 100k. It was an awesome run! There was a small group of us, including Meghan Arbogast and Kami Semick, who are two a my good friends. It took us a little under 6 hours to run and we finished right before a thunderstorm rolled in. Double success!

Top of Maiden Peak with Kami, Meghan, and Zach

I had to take a few days laying on the couch watching olympics to recover. Such a great race weekend, and just enough time to get recovered before TransRockies…stay tuned……

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