Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bridle Trails 50k Race Report

Going into this race I was a bit nervous, having only run one 12 mile and one 5 mile run since my last 50k on December 19th. Well, physically I was nervous. Mentally I was more psyched than ever just to be running in lovely Seattle! New part of the country, beautiful spruce forests, and currenty the warmest place in the country. So I made it my goal to set a new PR for myself (under 5:02:39) and to come in at a higher place than my last race , the Seashore Nature Trail 50k.

The race was scheduled to start at 3 pm but ended up starting a bit late. They started the 5 mile race at 3:05, the 10 mile at 3:10 and the 50k relay, pair, and solo at 3:18. Being a horse park and so close to the ocean and lakes, I was not expecting the Bridle Trails State Park to have any hills at all. Boy was I wrong. About half a mile into the race, we went straight up for about 100 yards. At this point I was running in the lead pack with three other guys that were on relay teams and passing people from the 5 mile and 10 mile race about every fifteen feet. After about 3 miles I decided to back off their pace a bit as I knew that they had to only do 1 lap each while I had to do 6 laps of the 5.2 mile loop. All in all I still ran the first two laps very fast, as a lot of people from the 10 mile race were on the course I would just make it my goal to keep catching the next one in front of me.

Halfway through lap 3 the course started getting dark, and rather than using my head lamp I tried to let my eyes acclamate to the dark. This worked just until the end of the lap and I threw my headlamp on starting lap 4. Lap 4 was when the cramps really started to hit. Having not done much training in general for this race and in addition NO elevation training, the hills were starting to strain my muscles quite a bit. The downhills irritating my vastus medialis (one of the four muscles of the quadricep) and the uphills irritating my semitendinosus (part of the hamstring) and my gastrocnemius (calf muscle).

Lap 4 and 5 were a mixture between some really hardcore powerwalking (I'm talking arms swinging, I should probably have been wearing a neon jumpsuit and a headband powerwalking) and trying to run but failing every 300 yards because my muscles would tense up again. So finally I decided to walk it out for almost all of lap 5 so I could hopefully run some of lap 6 and still get my goal of my PR and rank.

Finishing lap 5 I had about one hour to complete the last 5.2 mile loop which would be possible, but I would have to run some. Noticing that my cramping was coming from mostly the uphills and downhills I decided to run all the flat sections on lap 6. This proved effective and I could run just about half of the loop. All in all I came in 18th place with a time of 4 hours 50 minutes, hitting both goals! Bridle Trails I would say has to be one of the most beautiful courses I have run on and although it was a loop (which tend to get boring), the single track trail, surrounding environment and plant life had my mind fully captivated throughout the race, so cheers to the Seattle Running Company for holding a great ultra!

Totals on the Day -
Miles - 31.1 miles
Time - 4 hours 50 mins
Song - Ozone - Dragostea Din Tei
Shoutout - Steph Stepanchick! for coming to watch! So good to see you and I hope your feet have warmed up by the time you read this.


  1. Thanks Henry, I had a great time watching you finish 31.1 miles!!! My feet are warm now. Congrats again. --Stephanie Stepanchick

  2. Varmint Half 2010. Be there