Basically I earned myself a spot in the Saturday 50k by ringing a cowbell and calling numbers over a walkie to the finish crew. And this my friends was my reward:
The Sun Mountain 1k, 25k, 50k, and 50mi is going to go down as my favorite trail trace of all time. It may be beat sometime soon, but for now it holds absolute reign at the top. And this even after an amazing time at the Yakima Skyline Rim a few weeks back. The 50k course was indeed "very runnable" as many who were there were fond of saying. Not overly technical my only very slight complaint was found in the rare but occasional mountain bike eroded downhill trails. That said the erosion was minimal for an area heavily used by bikers. What makes this my favorite race so far was the combination of North Cascades scenery, well pitched high quality trail, and perfect weather. I would like to say it was a bit too sunny for my glowing white body but that would be a disservice to the great weather this race often enjoys. It was indeed mostly sunny with a high of maybe 65 degrees with a perfect cooling breeze. Yet even with that my Seattle tolerances for sun were tested. I drank through about 5 liters of water during this race.
The course and the scenery: Gentle uphills and downhills yielded a perfect blend of running through cool shaded forests and running through dazzling green grass fields spotted thick with blindingly bright wildflowers. The colors on this race - between the deep blue skies, vibrant yellow and purple flowers, deep green grass, and brown pine bark made the entire race look like a supersaturated HDR photo. You know, like someone over Ansel Adams-d your favorite photo to make it really pop. The colors combined with my intake of caffeine infused guu shots to produce enough crack-cocaine for my brain to enjoy this race from start to finish. While there were a couple steeper climbs they came at just the right time and were just the right length to give some of my muscles a rest and to stretch out the others. And when I started wishing for a nice gentle downhill to fly down it was almost as if James had read my mind and provided me one. Boom! There it was, served up with a garnish of wildflowers. When I thought to myself yet again, time for another nice rolling downhill *snap* I asked and James provided. Good guy that James fella.
So really don't just take my word for it, sign up for next years Sun Mountain series and find out for yourself. You won't be disappointed. And if for some reason your race isn't quite as nice as mine was, the pizza, the local beer brews, and the Pine Hearts will make all right as rain.