Squak Mt 50k Race Report…sure, why not?

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.

And speaking of gels…PowerBar Gel, Perform Drink and Nuun did the job nicely.