Race: Bridle Trails Winter Trail Running Festival – 50k

Bridle Trails 50K Race Report
Photo Credit: Takao Suzuki

Runner: Chase P

Race Date: 01/11/2020

Location: Kirkland, WA

Results: 4:55, 13th OA

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/3003313604

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  • Loop Course – I know the park really well already…but over the course of running 6 laps you REALLY get to know the course. Since this was a training run for an upcoming 100k, it was super nice to be able to zone out and go on auto-pilot since no navigation was necessary.
    Finish Line Area – the chute is awesome. A nice and easy-to-read clock kept me on schedule. I could’ve stopped at the official aid station more, but opted for my own personal “aid station” by my backpack to save time. Did I mention they have *real* bathrooms at the finish line?
  • Half in light, half in dark – this helped break up the day, and was more like running two separate events. As much as I tried to fight it, the dark and heavy mud forced me to slow down. Luckily I only tripped once, and it was going uphill so I caught myself in stride and kept it moving.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

Truly nothing. This was my first 50k in 2019, and I’m pumped to have returned even stronger in 2020. Might this be an annual tradition? I can at least come back for a 5mi loop next year.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

Many distances/events at once – RUN YOUR OWN RACE and don’t worry about what others are doing or how fresh they look. You’re probably in a different event.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I went a little fast on the first two laps in order to buy time for the inevitable darkness. I timed it just right, with a little over 4 minutes to spare under my goal time. I’m insanely happy that I only grabbed two Oreos from the aid station during the race – kept on the nutrition plan otherwise!

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

The make-your-own-aid-station is a great tip. Check in to your OWN stuff, reset, start a new lap. Also – there is ALWAYS time to reapply Squirrel Nut Butter. ALWAYS. Don’t skip it.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Please see SNB advice above.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

There are really only 3 big climbs on the course, and they are “runnable” depending on how shot you are. Know them, expect them, crank them out.

Weather and typical race conditions

Cold, muddy, dirty, slippery. Bring your best shoes – and don’t forget something clean to wear afterwards!

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

The finish line/checkpoint/aid-station area makes this an amazing race for spectators, especially first-timers who don’t know what to expect at these things.

How’s the Swag?

The medal was sweet!

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

10/10. Great event. Great course. Great evening. What’s not to love?

Bridle Trails 50K Race Report
Photo Credit: Takao Suzuki