I train a lot at Squak Mt. It’s one of my favorites because of it’s surprising solitude, rugged relief, old growth groves, and easy accessibility. So when I found myself at the end of a solid three-week building phase of training, the notion of a long run at Squak - with lots of up and down - fit the program well.
It just so happened that Roger and Yumay and the Evergreen Trail Run crew were putting on the Squak Mt 50k. As I tweeted on Thursday: “A 50k at the proving grounds? Why not!”
Roger let me in, I pinned on the bib, and headed to the start line. The course starts with a steep road climb that soon gives way to a mix of fantastic single track and challenging segments of fire road grinding to the top of Squak Mt. Roger announced the he had prizes - FREE SOCKS! - for the “First to the Top.” He said GO, I took off, and after a few seconds I heard a voice exclaim, “Well I guess that dood really wants those socks.”
And from then on it was pretty much a solo time trial. Great course. Rugged terrain and about 8,700 feet of climbing and descending. I had a good run, stayed honest with my effort and diligent with my nutrition and hydration. The weather was perfect - about 60 and sunny.
I felt quite solid throughout and finished in 4:41, good for 1st, knocking about 37 minutes off the old course record. Let’s be clear, this is a small, local race…but it is a race and a race must have a winner and I was happy to oblige. More importantly, the body felt sound and it was a great finishing run to cap a 3-week, 300 mile block.
Thanks to Roger and Co. for putting on a quality event. Evergreen Trail Runs is really carving out a nice niche with their series of events. Their formula works well: half-marathon, marathon and 50k distances all on the same core course. Markings were abundant and easy to follow, aid was prevalent and enthusiastic - all in all a perfect day on the trail. Nice to see some familiar faces as well.
Gear: Patagonia Gamut Short Sleeve shirt (this piece is FANTASTIC!), Patagonia Strider shorts with 5-inch inseam, Patagonia Lightweight Merino Socks, UltrAspire Isomeric Pocket and a super secret eyes only i’d tell you but i’d have to kill you something you’ll see in 2013 that carried my gels, etc to perfection.