Race: Beacon Rock 50k
Location: North Bonneville, WA
Results – 5:42:00 – 1st Female and 13th Overall
3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most
1. The aid station. So helpful, enthusiastic and entertaining.
2. The smooth, runnable downhills
3. There are pros and cons to a two loop course, but it was nice to know exactly what I had left after I was done with the first one.
Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race
This year, the weather. It’s supposed to be sunny and warm!
Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular
I felt pretty good with this race overall. The downhills were enjoyable and I felt like I ran them well. And I was 56 minutes faster than last time I did this race!
Lessons for others – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
The hills are long, but they end eventually.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Nothing in particular for this specific course since I’ve done both the 50k and 25k a couple times now. I feel like every time I learn a little bit more about what nutrition strategy works for me. This time I did well on a couple Gu and Coke.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
The course is pretty pleasant in any weather. A lot of it is in the trees, so you’re either shielded from the sun (last year it was 100 degrees!), or the rain (this year it was 50…). There were only a couple of muddy spots even though there had been a lot of rain. I think the hardest parts to run are a couple really rocky sections, but they don’t last for long.
Aesthetics – is it a pretty course
I think it’s very nice. A lot of time is spent in the woods, but they are pretty woods. The views at the tops of the climbs are great.
Difficulty – is it a tough course
Depends on your strengths I suppose – very, very little flat running. It’s mostly all either up or down.
Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Very well organized, as Rainshadow races always are.
Competition – is there a strong field?
I’d say it’s probably not as strong as a lot of other Rainshadow races, but all depends on who shows up!
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
The 25k usually sells out fairly quickly, but the 50k not as fast. Both ended up sold out. Lots of camping at the start, otherwise the nearest lodging is about 30 minutes away.
Two actual physical aid stations, but you pass by them a total of 5 times. There’s never very long between aid stations, but there are pretty good climbs between all of them (except the start/finish line one), so if it’s warm, make sure you have enough with you to drink.
Weather and typical race conditions –
Typically it has been warm to hot. This year not so much.
Gear – did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Nothing special. I took both a jacket and a long sleeve shirt with me the first loop because I was nervous about getting cold up high. But there’s so little exposure I don’t think that’s really a concern.
Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends
If they want to hike they could probably track you down at a couple points.
Growler and framed race print for 1st place female/male. Growlers for 2nd & 3rd place female/male.
The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it
I seem to keep returning, so I guess I like it!