Trail Runners


Timberline Marathon - Goat's report (Read 225 times)

Finder of good newts

    I think I should start off with a bit of history and maybe a bit of a disclaimer: I've been running since '85 - my sophomore year of high school - Cross Country. Trail running has always been my favorite. The fewer people I see, the better! I'm a bit competitive with myself. I like to feel like I did as well as I could have... but mostly I just like to run. I did the Seattle marathon in '91... that's the only official marathon I've completed (until Saturday!). I've done halfs and in the last 6 years, a whole bunch of organized trail runs. Mostly these have been 25-35 km. Some with significant elevation (Mt. Diablo, for instance) I did attempt the Skyline to the Sea 50k 3 years ago, but I stopped at 42k (I had several yellow jacket stings and it was 85 degrees ... but the kicker was that the last aid station was also the finish line... just you had to go back out and complete another 8k loop. If I hadn't heard there were more yellow jackets out there, I might have done it...) In any case... I really love running, but I stop loving it so much after 3 hrs. I have a few friends that run and they've been trying to talk me into joining them for marathons for years. I've always said no because I know that the training time is extensive and I've found that I tend to end up with hamstring issues when I increase my mileage too much. I have a history of pulls from softball and basketball - it's hard to keep them from turning into knots. I figure I'd rather stay under 20 miles as a max and stay healthy. But then came the foam roller! I've been using it nearly a year and my hamstrings have never felt better! I'm still a tight bugger... but feeling good.... and then my brother mentioned the Timberline marathon. How could I refuse. Scenic... overall elevation loss... Chance to run with my older brother! Shouldn't be a problem! ------------So there's a bit of history Training! I did 5 long runs since the end of July over 14 miles. I maxed out at 16.5 miles with a fair amount of elevation. I don't really know exactly how much elevation, but they probably averaged 3500'. I also had just run the Mt. Diablo 25k in June. I knew my distance was a bit short, but my real goal was just to finish. I also hoped a solid base of weekly 15 milers would be okay. ------------- Race time: My wife and I flew up to Portland Thursday morning. We relaxed Thursday and Friday I went out for a 3 mile run to loosen up. My brother - who is a cyclist and races several times a week - let me know that his legs were a bit fried from a long run Sunday and then a bike race Monday. Good golly is he crazy! Saturday morning we're up at 4:00 and my brother's friend Steve meets us for the journey up. The weather is perfect. Clear and it's supposed to peak out at about 75 up in the mountains. We get to the parking lot in plenty of time and it's cold! Well, cold for me - I'm a wimpy Californian now. We ride the shuttles up to Timberline Lodge. It's clear and bit breezy but not too cold. A trip to the porta potty and whoo hoo! I'm ready to go. Nothing like a proper porta potty trip to let you know you're run is going to be just fine. It warms up enough that I dump all my extra clothes before the start. Can see for miles from the lodge. It's a beautiful day. I have a 20oz bottle of water in my hand and 2 8 oz bottles filled with Nuun on my belt. We start together in the 4-5 hr group. Heading down we measure our pace well, don't pass... The first 5 miles are a steady down hill. I think it loses 2000' in that 5 miles. We held ourselves back to 10 minute pace. I hated it... I wanted to just fly, but I'm sure it was the best thing in the long run. I'd love to go back and just burn through that section. 5.5 miles was the first aid station. From here on out we mostly ran through trees. Steve and I dropped my brother since he wanted to make a potty stop. Knowing my brother I figured he'd catch us back up. The next couple of miles were a nice uphill stretch. I headed out and Steve stuck to my heals. We maintained our 10 minute pace and passed a good 50 people. at about 10 miles was the second aid station. I had sucked down my first 8 Oz of Nuun water and a power gel. Steve started out in front of me and left me a bit behind as I let my stomach deal with the gel. Near the 16 mile point I caught back up to him. According to my Garmin I ran a 8:45 mile in there somewhere. Good Golly! The third aid station was at about 16 miles. I went through 8 oz of Nuun and my second gel... I was feeling really pretty good. The course really flattened out at this point and my pace dropped to around 11/mile. Steve and I stuck together for a while, but then I left him at about 20 miles. The course got a bit hillier and I just settled into a pace of about 12/mile. I passed a lot of people. The temperature was going up, roots were grabbing everyone's feet and I think everyone's quads were finally feeling our net loss of elevation. the last aid station was at about 22 miles and at a road crossing. I was alone when I came to it and it was great... a group of people let out a roar as I appeared from the woods. I gave them a big thank you.... had another Nuun, doused my head and trudged on. I was still mostly running but I was definitely feeling the lead in my legs. I managed to catch up to a couple people and we supported each other as we ran/trudged the rest of the way in... I think it was about 75 degrees at the finish. I finished in 4:37. I'm very happy with it... I feel like the pace was good and I was smart about hydration and food intake (sometimes I'm not so smart) I'm very sore in my buttochs, hamstrings and quads... Steve came in about 10 minutes later and my brother... he didn't have as good a day. It may have been another 45 minutes before he came in. A middle section really nailed him and his goal switched from 4 to 4:30 - to just finish the darned thing. Overall... Great race. Well organized with great cheering sections at the hwy crossings. The best views are in the first 5 miles, but the rest is still enjoyable with good tree coverage and views of a few lakes. The cool mountain air was refreshing. and.. much to my delight... no yellow jackets! I've had a propensity for getting stung on my recent organized trail runs. oooo I do not like those little buggers. Would I do it again? Maybe. I might just stick with my 25-35 k distance. I might actually be more interested if it went up to the lodge... rather than down. Sorry... no pictures. You'll just have to imagine the beautiful clear day. We could see Sisters to the south pretty clearly! ----- Andy (aka Goat)

    It's hard to look down if you don't go up

      Great job--sounds like an awesome course for a marathon!

      Speed my steps along your path, according to your will.

      Finder of good newts

        Thanks! It was beautiful... I probably should have described the course better... The course can be seen here: There's a pdf if you scroll down. It started at about 6000' at the Timberline Lodge of Mt. Hood. From there it goes south following the Pacific Crest trail for almost the entire marathon distance. Net loss of about 3,000'. I'm not sure what the accumulated ups and downs were. I'm guessing 5,000 down and 2,000 up.

        It's hard to look down if you don't go up

        dork.major dork.

          Awesome RR! Sounds like fun!

          Reaching 1,243 in 2008 -- one day, one week, one mile at a time.

          Finder of good newts

            Okay.. the official photos are up now... Here I am near the start and at about mile 20.. yes, I'm way too happy

            It's hard to look down if you don't go up

              Goat - looks and sounds like it was the perfect day out there. Great job completing another marathon! Congratulations, and thanks for the report. I remember wanting to really let go down that first 5 miles too. It would be a blast to just do the first 11 miles (to the 2nd AS) sometime. Nice photos, too!
              Next up: A 50k in ? Done: California-Oregon-Arizona-Nevada (x2)-Wisconsin-Wyoming-Utah-Michigan-Colorado

              The Goofinator

                Sounds like a great time. Thanks for the report!

                Living and Running Behind the Redwood Curtain


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