Race: Yakima Skyline 25K
Runner: Rohit E
Location: Umtanum Creek / Yakima Ridge
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1525962845
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- After the brutal climb, running on the ridge was pretty fun. Fantastic views of (I think) Baker and Rainier, visibility for miles, great weather.
- Well organized, instructions on website were very clear regarding parking, aid stations, weather, rattlesnakes, trail conditions, etc.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
- The prospect of rattlesnakes.
- The elevation: very steep climbs and descents.
- Single track trail: I just don’t enjoy this as much at my current level of fitness / ability.
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
In spite of the warnings in the email and on the website, I didn’t anticipate just how rocky the trail would be.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
- I was glad to finish; after failing to finish a 50K last year, this was my longest trail finish.
- Fueling and hydration went well.
- I ran with a hiking pole, and that was a huge help to manage fatigue in my back and hip. It probably slowed me down a little bit, but at least it helped me finish.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
- This is a very hard race. Rocky single-track trail, a lot of elevation, steep descents in parts, dry and dusty, and you have to pretty much carry all of your water.
- Rainshadow doesn’t provide cups at the aid stations, which I understand, but also find very annoying. It’s pretty annoying to have to open up a hydration pack to fill it at the aid stations. It would be nice if they at least provide jugs of water.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
I’ll probably look into more sturdy trail shoes (eg: they recommended something with a rock plate) when the trail is very rocky like this one.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
Very rocky, very steep, dry and dusty, single-track on the ascent and descent, wider on the ridge but still so rocky as to be effectively narrower.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Yes. Great views on a clear day when you’re up on the ridge.
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?
Pretty well run.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
I believe so. I was pretty far back so irrelevant to me!
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 about 6 months in advance. It does sell out, but I think it takes longer for this one to sell out because it’s one of the harder races this group puts on.
1 full station at the 8 mile turn-around. One other (water only) that you hit about 6 miles in or 2 miles from the turn-around.
Weather and typical race conditions
I would guess typically dry given the location, but not quite as warm / perfect as it was for this instance.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
I’d recommend sturdy shoes, a hiking pole if you need it, and enough water to get you through the race without refueling.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Not really. The trail is remote and steep, so I can’t imagine how or why spectators would be able to / want to get to parts of the course. The turn-around aid station is accessible only by boat or a long drive.
How’s the Swag?
There weren’t any finisher medals, which was a bit disappointing. The t-shirts and hoodies were extra, so I skipped those. There were some stickers at the bib pick-up.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
I’d give this 4 stars for what it is. I’m not sure I would do it again until I was much fitter. I would recommend it if you’re looking for a very significant challenge, but it’s a terrible choice for a first 25K.