Runner: Matt Hall
Race Date: 07/30/2023
Location: North Bend, WA
Results: 3:11:24 https://www.athlinks.com/event/379803/results/Event/1055186/Results
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/9552544434
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
Trail is beautiful, downhill, and the race shirts were really nice. Photos were great too!
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
- Started 25 minutes late.
- Parking instructions were bad.
- Live runner tracking didn’t work.
- Waited a full 24hr to post results (still haven’t sent an email with results 48 hours later)
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
2 miles through a tunnel requiring a headlamp. Tunnel was also filled with unmarked potholes full of water.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
Put up a big 8 minute 45 second PR. Paced myself really well so I didn’t crash towards the end.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Road shoes were fine but it is a bit rockier than most courses; 100% compact gravel trail
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Next time I’d bring a cheap flashlight and ditch in the trash after the tunnel.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Beautiful; probably the most beautiful course you’ll ever do.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
Easy. The entire course is about a 1.5% decline. Not so steep that it kills your legs but steep enough that you get a little momentum boost.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
I’d give them a 6/10. Starting line was a bit chaotic with starting late and not communicating well with runners.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
Crazy. First place finished in 2:07:11.
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.
I had no trouble signing up 3 months before raceday. The start time was 6am which is just early enough that it’s rough to wake up in time to drive out to north bend, get on the shuttle, and get to the course without waking up at 3am.
There is only one hotel by the start line and it was sold out.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Standard. More porta potties than I was expecting
Weather and typical race conditions
Perfect; we really lucked out. Start line was around 58 and foggy, finish line was low 60s and sunny.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?
Bring a throwaway flashlight
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Only if your friends like to hike. There are only 3 or 4 possible spots to meet runners in the first 20 miles of the course and all of them require a quarter mile to mile hike from the nearest parking lot. There’s a great parking and cheering spot around mile 21 at Rattlesnake Lake otherwise the second best option is probably the intersection with the Mount Washington Trail.
How’s the Swag?
Great! Love the race shirts and they were selling previous year’s shirts for just $5.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
4/5 stars. I’d give them 5 if the starting line was more organized.