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Fragrance Lake Half Marathon - Run


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Bellingham, Washington
United States
48F / 9C
Sunny
Total Time = 2h 58m 55s
Overall Rank = 100/167
Age Group = 50-59
Age Group Rank = 6/12
Pre-race routine:

Took a rest day the day before. First one in quite a while but I knew this was going to be a tough race and while I'm training through this felt like it was a good idea.
Event warmup:

Signed my nine year old son up for the kids 1k race and cheered him on. He was so excited about getting a medal and ran a great race. He had so much fun and can't wait for the next one.

I didn't do any warm up as I was going to use the first mile to ease into things.
Run
  • 2h 58m 55s
  • 13.8 miles
  • 12m 58s  min/mile
Comments:

First 1.5 miles are on wide gravel path to thin the herd before hitting the single track. Had a very comfortable 8:20 opening mile to warmup. Next half mile was about 7:40 pace before starting the climb. About a third of a mile up a very steep section of dirt road that turned onto single track trail.

Another two miles of climbing went well. I felt great all the way up to Fragrance Lake. The trail loops around the lake before getting on another trail which climbs another 1000 ft over about a mile and a half. There was supposed to be an aid station here but alas someone goofed up. I was really thirsty. And then the mud started. Up until then the trail was in very good shape. It was sticky, wet mud which made for pretty slow going. Was still running though and still feeling ok.

After cresting this ridge, the trail drops for about a mile. The trail was straight but again very, very muddy. I heard it described as slip 'n slide mud. Very precarious trying to keep some speed up without sliding off the course out of control or ending up face planted. Very mentally exhausting to be on the edge like that.

Last uphill before the top of the mountain was on what is called the Rock Trail. Steep uphill section carved around massive boulders and cliffsides. Almost 200 steps were built into the trail. I don't think I saw anyone run up this. It was soul sucking.

Just off the summit was the one and only aid station, finally. But what a cf. There was a card table with stuff and about 10-15 people were standing all around the table . A few people were even sitting on the ground right in front of the table. Had to squeeze between people standing there chatting to grab a drink. My only comfort was that while they beat me up the hill I was flying back down while they just stood there.

The next couple of miles were the worst of the race. Extremely technical trail that drops slightly down the top of the ridge. Crazy roller coaster of rocks, roots, drops, climbs. I had one half mile stretch where I averaged a 20:00 mile going slightly down!! This included having to slide down a ten foot boulder and having to rappel down another backwards hanging on to tree roots. Towards the ended on this crazy dance I stepped on a slippery root and my foot seemed to break in two like someone hacked it with a meat cleaver. Just a flash of white hot pain. I hopped on it until it relaxed enough to put weight back on. I think the endorphines saved me from walking the rest of the way. It is a shame as I had to step gingerly the last three miles which were back down all the switchbacks. I lot of pounding on a tender foot but I tried to balance keeping a descent pace with protecting myself from further damage.

Finished as strong as I could and think overall I paced a really tough course about as well as I could have. The course was long at 13.8 miles. I really could have done without the extra. Very happy with the day other than my foot.

What would you do differently?:

Only thing would be to bring a backup gel or two. Last couple of races have been a bit disappointing as far as aid stations go.
Post race
Warm down:

Had my wife drop me and my son off at our local brew pub on the way home. We both wanted to show off our medals. It's becoming something of a ritual.

After the endorphines started to wear off it got more and more difficult to walk. Foot was swollen and tender. Wasn't until Monday that I could walk without limping and now I can walk with no pain. Another few days and I'll start testing it again. Thankfully I can swim and ride ok.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of water due to the non-existent first aid station

Event comments:

Overall this is a great event. Course was very well marked. Trails were amazing.




Last updated: 2015-02-20 12:00 AM
Running
02:58:55 | 13.8 miles | 12m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/12
Overall: 100/167
Performance: Good
Course: Mostly single track with some very technical sections. 3,300 feet of elevation gain. Awesome views of Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2015-02-25 6:47 PM

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Pro
6520
50001000500
Bellingham, WA
Subject: Fragrance Lake Half Marathon


2015-02-26 10:18 AM
in reply to: #5096212

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812
500100100100
Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: Fragrance Lake Half Marathon
Sounds crazy! Sorry to hear about the lack of good aid stations and your foot, way to power through!
2015-02-26 10:19 AM
in reply to: #5096212

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Fragrance Lake Half Marathon

"Had my wife drop me and my son off at our local brew pub on the way home. We both wanted to show off our medals. It's becoming something of a ritual. "  Really, really good stuff right there!  I'm sure you are as proud of him as he is of himself, if not more.

Wow, what a course and what a finish!  My heart was in my throat reading about some of your perils.  Glad your foot isn't seriously hurt.  Great job!

2015-02-26 10:46 AM
in reply to: #5096212

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Master
6587
50001000500252525
Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Fragrance Lake Half Marathon

Wow! Nice job in spite of some serious challenges! Only one aid station for 13.8 is crazy. And repelling with tree roots!? That's like Indiana Jones stuff!  Glad your foot isn't long-term injured. Congrats to you and jr popsracer!

2015-02-26 10:48 AM
in reply to: #5096212

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Master
6582
50001000500252525
Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Fragrance Lake Half Marathon

Wow, that was amazing. Great job and I sure hope you are healing up!

2015-03-02 7:10 AM
in reply to: #5096212

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Extreme Veteran
2261
20001001002525
Ridgeland, Mississippi
Subject: RE: Fragrance Lake Half Marathon

3,300 feet of elevation over 13 miles would be a tough bike ride much less a trail run.  Good job with the race despite the lack of on course support.  Hope your foot gets back to 100%.



2015-03-02 7:33 AM
in reply to: #5096212

Master
10208
50005000100100
Northern IL
Subject: RE: Fragrance Lake Half Marathon

Good job Steve. That is a lot of elevation to deal with! Hope the foot heals up well.

2015-03-02 10:11 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Member
2689
2000500100252525
Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Fragrance Lake Half Marathon

Whew, what a race!!  Made me tired just reading your report.  I'm glad you made it through mostly unscathed, although I'm sure the foot thing was kind of scary.  Love that you and Junior are making a tradition of doing races together.  Keep up the great work!

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