Friday, July 25, 2014

White River 50 Pre Race

After several months of planning and waiting, White River is finally here!  This is pretty epic for me, seeing as its my first 50 miler on the West Coast/in Washington (and third ultra here after a couple 50ks) and I’ve been excited to see what a 50 miler our here has to offer.  This is just the day before the race and will be quite boring, without any actual race information, so feel free to skip on.

After getting off work Friday morning, I grabbed a couple hours of sleep with the goal of making it to the packet pick up and check in by three PM.   Seeing as this is me, nothing really happened until a couple hours after the original deadline.  Heading out around one, I made my way down to Target to obtain the rest of my camping supplies and left Seattle behind.

There's a disc golf course at the packet pickup!
After a couple hours of driving in light traffic, I found the general area where the race was to be held.  Now, as is my norm, preparation for the race was put off until the last minute.  While I was hemming and hawing about registering for the race, everyone else was busy reserving hotel rooms and camp sites.  By the time I actually started thinking about this (a week before the race), all the hotels were sold out and the camp sites available for reservations were taken.  Awesome.  My first attempt at the closest camp ground was all full, again, awesome.  A little further up was another campground, The Dales.  If this one had been full, I was running out of back up plans.  Luckily, there was one first come site still free and it was all mine.  Of course, I found out later on that I could have just camped at the race start for free, oh well, thus is life.

Packet pickup is at Crystal Mountain Resort, a very cute and cozy ski resort where a good number of the racers appeared to be staying at.  Easy enough to find, just a couple miles down the road from the race start, I still had my packet all picked up and good to go before the race briefing/dinner.  As such, this seemed the perfect time to settle in for a beer before pasta.  As seems to be standard for most of my West coast races, the giveaway at packet pickup is fairly sparse.  They did however include a snazzy technical shirt with a pretty cool design on it (although I got a small this thing is still huge on me, but maybe it’ll be a good post race shirt in the future).

I especially liked the subtext on the shirt, “Endurance Run.”  Really this is the best way I can explain these events to people not in the community.  Calling it a race is quite a lie as there is no way I’m racing anyone or even myself.  Completion is generally my goal, something that requires endurance, so there you have it, a perfect description.  Just a side note.

Not quite Horton, but also not quite this dark.

Around six, those of us who had opted for the pasta dinner got to eat while the race director started his spiel.  We opened with a sort of mini documentary of the race from several years ago, showing off some pretty bad ass runners on the course.  The race director (no idea his name) went through a pretty standard run down of the schedule, course markings, crew directions, and a very…very….veryyyy in depth course description.  Honestly, I had to leave a few minutes into it. I do care about what the course holds, but I’d rather just find out while I’m out there (as I did).

As I said, the race director guy was pretty cool, but I still have yet to see an event like a Horton riefing.  The man holds court, insults people, gives stuff away, and we all eat it up.  Really, it’s the kind of thing someone would fly across the country for.

With my early departure from the race briefing, I headed back to my camp.  Although still early in the evening, exhaustion from working the night before began to set in.  Not even the normal pre race excitement could keep me up that evening.  After a bit of reading and a small walk in search of the toilets, I was ready for sleep.

Ahhh, a soothing evening in the woods

Alarm set for 4 am…check.  Sadly, no four am Horton wake up call, but I’ll survive.

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