Tuesday, June 09, 2015

en currit veritas: the deception pass marathon

"kids, did you know this is the most-visited state
park in washington?"
"how are you doing?"
"pretty good. how are you feeling?"
"not bad. doing okay."

~ passing jonathan dughi on an out-and-back at the deception pass marathon. ed. note: we were both lying.

i only fell down once at the deception pass marathon, the best candice burt course i've ever run.

this is a win, because usually her courses are designed to turn runners upside down and inside out. candice, see, has a wicked sense of humor.

in the spirit of full disclosure, there were a couple times in the last couple miles when i was thisclose to serious bodily harm, tripping over rocky, rooty singletrack on a short, steep downhill. pupils fully dilated, i somehow managed to avoid the ruinous faceplant, and continued on. thanks, trail gods.

yes, this bridge.
moving on...deception pass is also the best marathon course i've ever run. set on miles of washington coastline, some barely above the water, some on cliffs high above, it's the most dramatic venue for a race i've had the good fortune to stumble across, or over, or through.

it's very runnable, with just enough climbing, just enough singletrack, just enough time running through deeply verdant woods. and of course there's the breathtaking deception pass bridge, which you get to cross twice, no extra charge.

as a general matter, it's hard not to feel great in these surroundings, but somehow, mile 16-ish, i managed. for still-unknown reasons my body started to feel all sun-mountain-y, which is to say, not good. hydration? nutrition? training? i'm gonna say no, no, and no...but it's definitely something. i need to get a handle on it, stat, because really there's no excuse.
"out of the way, dude, we're trying to enjoy the scenery!"
(photo by glenn tachiyama.) 

unlike sun mountain, however, this time everything turned around. somewhere between mile 16 and mile 18 i bounced all the way back ~ my legs had renewed spring in them, i was running smoothly, and there was a zip-a-dee-do-dah smile on my face the rest of the way. go figure.

i'm pretty sure i ran a negative split over the last 10k...i can confirm or deny this as soon as i actually figure out how to use my new suunto ambit3 GPS gizmo. the data is uploaded, it just needs to be algorithmically parsed. hello, my name is michael, and i'm a luddite.

sidebar: maybe it's because we live all the way up in the left corner of the country, but this race should be a lot more popular than it is. i mean, there's a race, there's endless natural beauty, there's a great after-party, and there's a band. what's not to love? i have to think if deception pass state park were slightly more accessible, this event would have a wait list every year. but apparently an hour and a half drive from seattle is just inconvenient enough to keep some runners away.

their loss. i will definitely plan to run it again.

many thanks to candice, the bellingham trail running crew, and all the volunteers for their extraordinary efforts. except for the part where mike reopelle wrecked himself four miles in (and still finished third!), this day was perfect.

2015 deception pass marathon
19/54 (overall)
3/6 (m 50-59)
shoes: pearl izumi trail n2


Candice said...

Thanks for the great report!!

spaceneedl said...

thanks, candice. looking forward to the next one!

Sybil Runs Things said...

Great report and photos! I am so annoyed I didn't know about this race until 7 Hills posted a race day pic. Damn. Next year!

spaceneedl said...

thanks, sybil. you'll definitely want to get in on the fun next time!