Saturday, May 27, 2017

Soaring Eagle Marathon Race Report

I had never run an Evergreen Trail Runs race before, but wifey had run Dash Point and I was feeling frisky, so I signed us up for the race. She opted for the 10K and I decided on the Marathon. It only took us 1:30 to drive up there from our place, which was awesome, and we were unaware of this forested oasis right outside of the city!
The Soaring Eagle Marathon consists of four 6.5 mile loops in Soaring Eagle Regional Park with a total elevation gain of 2,700 feet. There aren't any major or "memorable" climbs to be aware of, just consistently rolling PNW single track. The race starts of with almost a mile on a flat gravel path where you can really get going at a good clip before taking a left and dropping into the forest.
Most of the run is on beautiful rolling singletrack through a leafy green wonderland. It's smooth and fast, but hard to get a rhythm as the trail constantly darts to the left and right with no consistent straight stretch to be found after the start. The trails meanders through the forest, under moss covered evergreens and over root strewn singletrack. The end, before the descent to the start/finish area, had us running through patches of lightly aromatic wildflowers. The smells coupled with the warm breeze certainly took away the pain I started to feel in my quads on my final loop!
The majority of the loop is shaded, which was wonderful today as the temperatures kept climbing. Even shaded, all of us PNW runners were pretty warm. I drank 30 oz of water per 6.5 mile loop, which is a lot for me! Luckily there were two aids stations. One at the start and one about 4 miles in, both of which were thoroughly stocked and manned by uber friendly volunteers. Thank you all!
This was a great intro back onto the trails for me as I had been spending the majority of my time trying to get fit enough to run a decent road marathon. My legs were ill prepared for the modest elevation gain and loss though. That, coupled with the fatigue from last Sunday, had me in the pain cave for the last 6 miles, but I just loved it! I felt like I was in my element. I felt happy.
I managed to run 3:34 which was good enough for a new course record. I don't really care much about all that right now, but I would be lying if I didn't say it felt nice to run a consistent race after last weekends epic and seemingly annual blow up.
I inhaled a total of 3 bugs and got stung by some nettles during a bathroom break, but I'll still call it a good day :) Alicia ran the 10K in 01:17 and also had an absolute blast. We then destroyed some MOD pizza. The perfect way to start a 3 day weekend!

Gear Used:

5 X Strawberry and Citrus ClifShots
Patagonia Pro Strider Shorts
Patagonia LoPro Trucker
New Balance Trail Prototype

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