Tiger Claw Race Report – Samantha Goldklang

Race: Tiger Claw

Runner: Samantha Goldklang

Race Date: 05/14/2022

Location: Tiger Mountain, Issaquah, Washington

Results: 7 hour 15 minutes

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. The atmosphere – it was hard but FUN! everyone was smiling cheering you on as you run through a beautiful PNW forest setting
  2. The challenge – physically and mentally. I am strong.
  3. The layout – 5 loops, choose your own order and adventure with a central start/end

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

This was my third trail race and my longest one by 10 miles. Also a 25 mile race that actually was 27/28, so an ultra. The vertical gain was also intense: 7500 ft. It started with a flat-ish loop that everyone does together. Then people spread out then to choose 1/4 first loops and complete all of them in any order. It was awesome because during a majority of the race you were alone, minus some smiling faces you passed. You didn’t know where anyone else was. It made the race super personal. It was my home mountain, I hiked or ran here every week, at least month. It was hard. It was long. It had some lows and some highs but after crawling up a short steep section for the last loop (1500 ft in just over a mile), I somehow ran down the last 2.5 miles the fastest all day with a giant smile on my face. I did it. I really did it.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Smile and have fun, breathe, and keep moving forward

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Test and dial in your nutrition! The longest run I did prior was 16 miles and I was able to get down my regular hiking snacks. This one, I didn’t have much of an appetite for the norm. I got down some dried mango, a protein bar, then tried my first GU after a steep uphill while on the move and got a cramp!!! It scared me into sticking to what I knew but I think before the next race I will probably test out some gels and different quick fuels to have on the go.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

I don’t know if any order is better but I would study the different loops elevation/mileage so you can pick an order

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Beautiful PNW forest

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?

YES! Everything was well marked. Volunteers were friendly

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Yes! There is also a double (50 miler) and I would see people crushing the hills I was going down uphill (after the first of each loops they have to do them in reverse)

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?

Weather and typical race conditions

PNW in the spring- 50s with some rain some sun, be prepared for anything

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yes! Great place at the main loop start point to cheer you on!

How’s the Swag?

The medals are SO RAD

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

10/10, yes but be up for the mental and physical challenge. Would recommend training for the format of multiple loops

Interested in running an ultra? Check out our 7 steps to get started!