Race: Sun Mountain 25k
Location: Winthrop, WA
Results – 2:20:52, 5th female and 18th overall out of 299
3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most
1. The sun! It’s been a long winter west of the mountains
2. Really nice runnable trails
3. The sunflowers everywhere just made me happy
Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
I was a little nervous about the start, knowing the race went to single track almost immediately and that there were ~400 people signed up. But it worked out.
Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race
It’s a Rainshadow race that doesn’t have a ton of big climbs!
Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular
I’m learning not to freak out about what happens in the first 10 minutes of a race and feel like I’m getting better at the cliched “run your own race”. The uphills of this race went pretty well for me too. They were right at a grade where I could run all of them, and it felt nice to be able to keep the rhythm consistent and avoid hiking.
Lessons for others – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
If you want a spot in the main lot, get there early! We arrived at 7:00 for the 8:00 start, and the main lot was already full. It’s only a 10 minute walk from the overflow lot though.
I thought it would have been possible to run the first half without water and pick up my bottle at the aid station since there was the option of having a drop bag there. Might be useful if you really hate carrying things (but I also don’t drink a ton).
Not sure what the trail will look like next year, but there was a section on unfinished mountain bike trail this year (downhill) that was really rough and jarring. Lots of jumps to go over.
The last 2.5 miles are all downhill.
As mentioned above, it does start almost immediately on single track, so position yourself well.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Be ready to run those last 2.5 miles.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
I think the biggest surprise was how runnable it was, being a Rainshadow race.
Aesthetics – is it a pretty course
Yes! Although I suffer from race amnesia and can never remember anything.
Difficulty – is it a tough course
Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Very organized, as usual
Competition – is there a strong field?
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.
Sells out super quick (maybe within hours?)
One on the course at about halfway. I didn’t stop at it, but I assume it was well-stocked.
Weather and typical race conditions –
Pictures always seem to show sun. They started the race at 8:00 this year (usually 10:00), which was really nice as it was getting hot by 10am.
Gear – did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends
Top 3 male/female
The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it
5 and yes – Although it’s so pretty out there I almost wish I had done the 50k and gotten to spend more time running!