Race: Sun Mountain 25k
Runner: Dan L
Location: Winthrop, WA
Results – 2:32:13, 37th overall out of 299
3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most
1- Beautiful trails, views, and sunflowers
2- Usually sunnier and warmer weather than Seattle
3- Faster course than other Rainshadow events
Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
This is not a knock on this race, as Rainshadow does great events. Just a heads up that there are other events out in the Methow that are perhaps less well known in Seattle but still great. The Sunflower Marathon in early May and the Cutthroat Classic are also both great events.
Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race
The volume of people that look strikingly similar wearing flat-brimmed trucker hats. The trail hipsters, though, are exceptionally friendly folk.
Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular
Did well holding back and passing people late.
Lessons for others – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
1- Course has changed. I never did the old one, but from what I can understand, it is a little harder and a little more technical than it used to be.
2- There are two climbs after the aid station, whereas the course profile (based on the old course) seems to only show one
3- Keep energy to blow down the last ~3 miles which can be smoking fast
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Course can be really hot, with lots of exposed areas. If the race had started at 10:00 instead of 8:00 as usual(*), I may have been in trouble for water, though I didn’t even think about that getting ready for the race.
* I believe they moved the start time up this year as they anticipated that Highway 20 would be closed and it would take everyone a long time to drive home (it wasn’t).
Aesthetics – is it a pretty course
Difficulty – is it a tough course
2500 feet of climbing with some fairly technical downhills (steep and windy) on new bike trails. Faster all the other Rainshadow courses I have seen, but still fast.
Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Competition – is there a strong field?
Fairly strong field, though the 50K and the 100K as usual seemed to draw stronger runners.
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.
Like many Rainshadow races, this one can fill early. Signing up right after the race opens is important.
Only 1 aid station at mile 9.
Weather and typical race conditions –
Can be hot and sunny. It’s a nice change, but definitely warmer and sunnier than we are used to in Spring
Gear – did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Could probably manage this trail just fine in road running shoes.
Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends
Great hangout area at the start / finish. Not many opportunities to see runners on the course, though a committed fan could see a loved one on the course once or twice and then see them at the finish.
The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it
5 stars out of 5