Runner: Rohit Eipe
Race Date: 8/22/2021
Location: North Bend, WA
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/5835962825
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
1. Scenic course, a few nice bridges, heavily forested for first 10 miles or so. Nice wide path, no trouble passing people.
2. Downhill all the way.
3. Wave starts make it not very crowded on the course and you get to just run your own race for the most part.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
1. They got rid of water in cups at the aid stations in 2021 (past years have had it). There is water, but you have to carry a cup / bottle / pack and refill. I’d happily pay more to offset the environmental impact of the cups, but the whole point of a supported race is that you get… support. I ended up carrying a backpack but would not run this race again unless they changed back. Very disappointing.
2. While the downhill is great for going fast, I think the gravelly trail is a bit slower than asphalt, so you kind of gain a bit and lose a bit if you’re looking to PR.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
I was happy with the consistency of my pace for miles 3-10. I also ended the race feeling like I could do another 5-6 without too much trouble, and since this was a tune-up for a marathon and not a goal in itself, that felt good for me.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Honestly, this race used to be one of my favorites, but I can’t recommend it any more if you have to carry your own water or bottle / cup. The last 3 to 3.5 miles are in a dead straight line, and it can be a little soul-sapping. Something about running in a straight line for that long just feels exhausting at just the moment when you need to dig deep mentally.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
It’s a fairly nice course, yes. Not so much about grand views (other than a few nice bridges to cross), but just a mellow nature-immersion for 10 miles or so.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
Mostly not. It’s downhill all the way (and there really aren’t any uphill sections that I can think of), not just an average -2% grade. But the gravel / dirt is a little slower than asphalt.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
They do run the race very well. The wave starts are really great; as a result, it’s really easy to get into a porta-potty at the start. I did notice there were fewer porta-potties on the course than past years and I saw short lines (2-3 people) at them, so that seems like they went backwards from past years. It’s a point-to-point race, so they drive you in a bus from the finish to the start, and that’s also done really well; you don’t have to wait long.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
I can’t see that far from my position in the field to the front!
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Lack of fully support is a terrible choice IMO.
Weather and typical race conditions
It’s usually a little cooler than in the city of Seattle since it’s in the foothills of the mountains. The first 10 miles are under tree cover, so usually fairly cool, but the last 3 or so are in the open. August is usually quite warm in the area, though it was quite cool this year – mid-60s and misting.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?
Carry your own water.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Probably so, yes; particularly the last 3 miles.
How’s the Swag?
The medals are made of wood. The t-shirts are disappointing, they’re cotton, not wicking fabrics.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
Zero and no.