Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lost Creek Trail Runs 30K Race Report

I ran the loop around Lost Creek Lake about 10 days prior to the race. At the time I didn't realize I was going out to run the race course I had signed up for until my friend Becka told me. I was just going to check out a new area I had found in a book. It was beautiful! I had time that day to take some photos, so I will use some of them in this race report, although the course was much more muddy on race day.
The day before the Lost Creek 30K I stopped into ADAPT physical therapy for some stim and compression.
"Take it easy" Aaron said.
"Never mind. Race hard and we'll deal with the consequences on Monday."

Alright! Story of my life! 

There were 120-something runners signed up for the 30K, which started at Joseph Stewart State Park at the reasonable time of 9 a.m. It's pretty convenient because it's only an hour drive from Ashland and a 45 minute drive from Medford off of highway 62. We lined up at the start and listened to the usual pre race briefing and we were off!

Photo by Shahid Ali
We started off on the road, which about a mile later turned into an asphalt walking path. I asked my friend Pete why we were out front.

"I don't know" he said "I like to start fast and blow up."

"Yea, I might blow up too!"

I started to pull ahead and decided not to stop.  I passed by my teammate and good friend Joe who is currently sidelined due to an ankle roll. He was out photographing the runners. It's always good to see a friend along a course to get those words of encouragement and positive vibes. The race continued along this walking path for about two miles and over some very slick wooden bridges where I almost busted my ass.

Photo by Joseph Chick
After the walking path the course dropped onto the shoulder of the highway for about another mile or so. There were beautiful views of the lake from here. As I turned the corner I looked back over the bridge. I could see a few other runners dropping down onto the road about a quarter mile back. I just kept a steady pace.

After that section of smooth, fast road running I hit an aid station. I downed some electrolytes and dropped down on some single track to continue around the lake. It had been raining all week so the course got pretty sloppy in some sections. It was hard not to hesitate on some of the down hills with such slick and muddy trails.

I kept maintaining my pace. Around 50 minutes into the race I ate a ClifShot to give myself a boost. If you've never eaten a gel packet with a dry mouth and no water while running at race pace, it's a pretty unique experience in itself. Nonetheless the carbs and sugar gave me an immediate mental boost. Any time I felt negative or like a might need to slow down I would just smile.

Think of how it will be when you cross that finish line.

Around mile 14-15 I saw Shahid. He offered words of encouragement while snapping some photos and I continued on straight passed the aid station.

"Do you know where you're going?" They yelled.
"Follow the arrows!"

Photo by Shahid Ali
From the last aid station I passed over a dam. I looked back and couldn't see anyone so I  guess I got a little lazy. This laziness in the last 3-4 miles was the reason why I didn't break two hours. But the views from this section were beautiful and the non technical nature of the terrain made it possible to appreciate that beauty. Bright purple flowers were also blooming along the dam. I could smell them. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, felt the sun against my face and smiled. 

From here I continued onto more single track, past a waterfall and onto another asphalt walking path. I found myself slowing down a bit and had to really focus to try and keep going at the pace I had set. 

I rounded a corner and saw the finish line through the trees. As I got closer I saw Renee. I saw Joe snapping pictures. I saw the volunteers. I was stoked! 

Photo by Joseph Chick
I finished 1st overall in 02:03:44 while teammate Becka Kem Finished 3rd overall, 1st female in 02:13:30

Photo by Joseph Chick
The after-race-festivities were quite fun as well. There was chili, there were prizes, there was beer (300 of them as Justin Rosas, winner of the 5K can attest). It was a good time. The Southern Oregon running community, and the national trail running community for that matter, is small and close. It's  like being part of a big family. 

Photo by Shahid Ali
I had a really great time at this event. I really needed a good race after my poor performance at Orcas Island and my DNF at the Gorge this year. I've been dealing with injuries for the past 4 months. And I, like many runners, can be extremely hard on myself. So it felt really good to perform well here. I had also never ran 6:38 per mile for 30K on the trails, so I'm pretty happy about that as well! 
Thank you to the RDs Tyrone and Laura Raber and to all the volunteers that make this race possible. It's a beautiful course and it's definitely worth running, even if you don't live in the Valley. And thank you to Pearl Izumi, ClifBar and ADAPT physical therapy for your continued support.

See ya out there!


  1. nice report, amigo. great job capturing a race I love running even though hobbled at this time. it was fun to see you come through and ask if I thought you'd blow up (I knew you wouldn't!). great work!!

    1. Thanks man! Good to have you out there. Chill time soon!