Runner: Elizabeth Carey
Race Date: 06/02/2019
Location: Teanaway Community Forest – Cle Elum, Washington
Results: https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=183212 (1st F, 3rd OA)
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/2418955154
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- Flowy runnable trails
- Beautiful wildflowers
- Post-race river-icing
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
The day warmed up, but the sunshine just illuminated the pretty scenery.
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
The weirdest thing about this race was my own fault. I caught a toe on the gravel road just after the half-way aid station and bit it in front of a group of spectators who uttered a collective “Whoooa!” Whoops.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
- The marathon course consists of two loops of the half marathon course, which helps with pacing and knowing what to expect in the second half of the race.
Keeping a bum Achilles tendon in mind, I took it out conservatively in the first half and then picked it up on the second loop, using downhills and flowy turns to accelerate.
- I hydrated and fueled early and often, which helped as the sun rose higher in the sky.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
- Pace yourself. This is an accessible and inviting race, with many distance options, so it seemed to attract many first-time or less experienced trail runners. If you’re just getting into trail running, enjoy the views and chat it up with your competitors.
- It was inspiring to see other runners who were on the 5- and 10-k courses, as well as the half marathon, once we started the second loop on the marathon course.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
This course contains a fun mix of dirt road, wide tire tracks, and single track over dirt, grass, meadow, and even a little sand and mud, without major climbs and/or technical descents. Knowing that, I’d take it out more aggressively next time.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
This course is well-marked but contains some hard turns, so keep your eyes up. There’s plenty of room for passing, if needed, and lots of fun little rollers and poppers.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
This course has lush scenery through meadows, forest, and even a little ridge in multi-use public lands.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
For a trail race, this course is easy to moderate—not without its challenges, of course, but it’s neither technical nor gnarly. It’s a great option for those interested in trying out trail running and a great, fun runnable course for more experienced trail runners.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
This was a well-organized race.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
This community-vibe race had a small field, which got smaller when a few people dropped out or down to a shorter distance from the marathon.
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 registered the day before and, with a mere 90-minute drive from Seattle, the start/finish is quite accessible whether you camp the night before or head out early on race day. You’ll need a Discover Pass and carpooling is recommended (and earns you extra raffle tickets).
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
The aid stations feature helpful volunteers and standard fare, including an energy drink I had never heard of (and didn’t try) but the classics like Coke, M&Ms, bananas, etc. About 2 miles from the half-way aid station / finish line, a water-only stop was very helpful.
Weather and typical race conditions
On this June weekend, the weather heated up. Spring on the sunny side of the Cascades felt warm but not stifling. And it was great to be able to hop right into the river at the finish line area.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
I carried a vest with 2x 500ml water bottles, which were helpful for staying on top of hydrating. Also if it’s sunny or hot I highly recommend a hat, sunnies, and a layer of sunscreen (which I needed more of).
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
The loop course is friendly for spectators at the start/finish area.
How’s the Swag?
The first place prize was a big cooler! Race shirts were available for sale.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
5 stars, highly recommend