Race: Deception Pass 25K
Runner: Rohit Eipe
Race Date: 12/12/2021
Location: Deception Pass State Park
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/6376702014
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- Beautiful scenery along the course; it was by the water most of the time and heavily wooded at other times.
- Well marked trails – the organizers did a really great job with the arrows for turns and the pink/yellow confidence marker ribbons. I never felt worried about getting lost (or perhaps for no more than a minute or 2 at any point.)
- Aid stations was reasonably well stocked. Not sure if they water in cups or if it was cup-less but the food was decent. Since I had a pack anyway I didn’t take much, but I snagged a pickle and a PBJ sandwich.
- Direction and parking was easy and stress free.
- Wave starts were good; 3 waves at 9, 9:20, 9:40, and they were on time. Fastest and slowest at 9.
- Excellent pizza (super thin-crust, nicely blistered on bottom) and good beer, coder, etc. at finish.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
- So much back and forth over the same trails, lollipops, and figure-eights. Really wish we could have seen more of the park if that was an option, or just spread out more. (I imagine permitting and environmental concerns were the issue, rightly so.) It’s just annoying to constantly let other runners go by in the opposite direction; but it also helps feel less lonely out there.
- Locations of the aid stations weren’t great; it was just 1 aid station and you hit it at 5.5 and about 7.5, so the entire second half of the race was then unsupported. Not a big deal for a 25K, but wish they could have done more.
- I wish they’d made it clearer that poles were allowed, because (I’m fairly certain) they’ve said that in some other races they put on that poles were not allowed, and I just assumed they weren’t. Would have helped me a lot.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
- I just ran without thinking about time too much or how my body felt or anything. I ended up with surprisingly decent time, and later felt that I could have easily PR-ed if I had paid attention to the time and pushed a little.
- Fueling went fairly well, both morning-of / before the race as well as during. Didn’t drink enough water probably, but food was good.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Probably use a hiking pole or double-check if they’re allowed.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
- It’s fairly wet out there (even with no rain during the race), so you definitely want sturdy trail shoes. Poles would actually be pretty great for this race.
- It’s a lot of up and down for the total amount of ascent involved, rather than just a couple of big hills. The big hills are at 2.5, 8.5 and 12.2 on this iteration of the course.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Very pretty, yeah. The bridge is super high up and I’m a little jittery about heights, so I didn’t stop and take a long look, but it’s a gorgeous view.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
I’d say medium overall. Harder than the total elevation gain makes it seem.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Fairly well run overall, especially given the windstorm the day prior, though at parts it did seem like they were flying by the seat of their pants a bit. Example, the wave information came out at 9:55 pm the night before the race.
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.
Finding an Airbnb in the area was hard, so definitely book in advance.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Decent food, mediocre location of aid stations.
Weather and typical race conditions
Wet and windy; we got lucky with no rain during the race but plenty the day before.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?
- Double check if poles are allowed.
- Sturdy trail shoes.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Somewhat, if your friends can drive, or you can see runners at a few spots as there is a lot of backtracking.
How’s the Swag?
No free swag, but there are some expensive but nice-looking t-shirts.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
I’d say 4 to 4.5 on 5 stars. Almost perfect but not quite.
Need a checklist to prepare for your next race? We’ve got you covered.