Sunday, January 31, 2010

ORCAS: 50K or 55K?

It's been a year now since my first Orcas Island 50K and we're a week away from this years. Ward, Kev, Duncan, and I will be making our way across the border and into the San Juans on Friday evening, for some good food, some running movies, and a bit of pre-race chit chat. With visions of Mount Constitution in our heads, we'll fall asleep all snug in our sleeping bags upon the sweet vinyl beddings of Camp Moran.

Orcas was good to me last year and I was very happy with my 5:48 finish. Without a doubt I was in a world of hurt by the finish, but all in all I walked away feeling good about it. With volcano vistas in the back drop, new terrain to explore, and incredible people all around, how can one go wrong. Maybe by running 50K . . . in February. Considering the very, very snowy circumstances of last year however, I was thrilled. 2009's huge snowfall definitely put a twist on both training and racing. It wasn't impossible, but being one of those folks with a hate on for road running, I was fairly limited in the places I could turn over. I did what I could and on race day I ran happily over some of the greatest trails in the Pacific Northwest.

This year things have been a bit different. The weather gods have smiled down on the trail runners, while frowning on the Olympics. No snow however, means open trails and no excuses. I've put in my time, I know about the powerline climb at 13-ish miles, and I sincerely hope my work is evident. A few weeks back I worked through a calf area injury, but it seems to have been remedied by reluctantly resting, stretching, massage, and ice/cold bath therapy. If it stays at bay and all my training comes together, I am aiming to run closer to 5:30 over this 50 K course. Or is it 55K?

Race director, James Varner, seems to indicate the actual distance is closer to 55K. Of course I'm thrilled about that. It makes it my longest race distance and I know the course as being 50 K. It's not like another 5 K has been added. It's just all of a sudden longer. Either way this course is filled with big, sneaky climbs , fast loamy downhills, beautiful views, and a Lakeside finish area.

I'll be sure to report out this time next week. Until then, get out there and Run Now.


  1. Wish I was joining you guys, if I knew I'd be recovered like this I woulda signed up. Best of luck this weekend, kill it Craik!!


  2. Thanks, GR. We're going to miss you down there this year. Competiton looks like it would be good for you.