I had been planning on heading over to Bellingham for the Alger Alp 50K.  My plan was to use this event as a training run.  In short, I didn’t go due to the ferry schedule.

Instead I ran the “Around This Freaking Island 50K”.  This well organized event had only one runner, me.  I won first place overall, as well as my age group.  I also finished in “dead list place”.  I wasn’t passed by anyone else either.  It was a good 50K race, the best here on the island.

The course started in town and headed out the airport trail (Deadman’s Loop) to Cattlepoint.  From there I passed through Golf Course Road to Fairway Drive and back to Cattlepoint to American Camp.  At American Camp Headquarters I headed off on various trails, plus added two repeat loops of “Meet the Buddha Hill”.  Meet the Buddha Hill is a very steep climb from Jakel Lagoon trail up to the Ridge Line trail.  It’s called Meet the Buddha Hill cause it is so steep you will meet the Buddha,  Jesus or whoever, on your way up.  This .3 mile long hill is a good way to examine your sanity.   The Loop is a two mile section which includes running down the front side of Mt. Finnlayson.

After the repeats of Meet the Buddha Hill I headed out to the lighthouse and then up the backside to the Ridge Trail.  Down, again, on the front side of Mt. Finnlayson.  Back to the Headquarters and to town via the same route.

In town I stopped at mile 25.5 for a tasty frozen treat at Cousin Vinnie’s Pizza (hey, when you run 31 miles you can get anything you want – guilt free).  I finished my run with a loop around Turn Point, ending at  San Juan Fitness with my GPS reading 31.1 or 50K.  Yeah.  I was done!  Nice part to finishing was feeling like I could have kept running.  How long?  Don’t know.  I do hope it’s around 50 miles since this is why I am doing all this running.

I finished this 50K in 6:38.

Things I learned on this run:

  1. Don’t always believe weather forecasters.  Sunday was to be mostly sunny, which was not the case.  I was disappointed.
  2. Taking a GU every 40 to 50 minutes is a positive thing.
  3. Hydrating a few minutes before taking GU and then again right afterwards helped keep my stomach calm.
  4. Don’t believe someone who tells you that you are looking good at mile 27.
  5. Brooks Cascadias did a nice job; although I am true to my Pure Grits.  I just can’t make up my mind which shoe I need to be wearing.

Running this course would be something that I would do again and probably will very soon.

Run Happy and Run Hard,