I thought that my long runs were over when I finished the Echo Valley 50k but I just kept running and did a few more events in October. I then got mail from Rainshadow Running that the Deception Pass registration would open and decided I had to do it, we love Deception Pass and I’ve hiked many of the trails there over the years so I thought this would be a perfect way to end the year and finally get in an official 25k.
The day started out cold and clear when I awoke at 4 a.m. I was making my usual Pinole-Chia waffle for my pre-run breakfast when the lunar eclipse began. I left the house at 5 for the long drive and got to watch the eclipse in progress during the whole trip and arrived at the parking lot right after 7. It was dark and cold and there was a bit of pre-run confusion as no one seemed to know where the actual start was but just before 8 things seemed to come together, we had the pre-race briefing and reportedly told to “be careful” and off we went.
The course was great, one of the most scenic courses I’ve done all year with views of the water everywhere. After running up the beach and over the bridge the course did a series of lollipop loops through all the headlands and then over to a loop at Pass Lake. A few interchanges were a bit confusing as they were marked with 1st time, 2nd time, 3rd time arrows and by the time you returned for the 3rd time you weren’t really sure you’d been there before or how many times but I never got lost. Hills – heck yes, it seemed that every hill in the park was covered but the best was yet to come. After crossing the bridge again we took off to the east along Cornet Bay before charging nearly straight up Goose Rock. Putting the steepest, longest climb in the course in there from 12.2-12.5 miles just seemed cruel to say the least and even walking was hard. I was toast at the top but there was Glenn taking photos so the running in back of me got me to smile for the camera (the header on the home page is that photo) and I don’t even look that exhausted. Once the summit was reached the last 3 miles was a piece of cake, yes there were some ups and downs and some walking but nothing quite that steep.
Finished the event in 3:04:46 which was about what I had planned on, one of my slower paces for the year but one of the more challenging courses of the year too. It was a great way to finish off my first season of trail running and have me ready to go for 2012.