I arrived at the North Lake Whatcom trailhead in Bellingham, WA to find rain that was bordering on a hailstorm. No one considered cancelling of course…runners being as stubborn as they are. The race preparation resumed as scheduled. The starting line was full of stoked runners happy to be outside and about to embark on an epic trail run. The race began with the faster runners breaking away early on the waterfront stretch. We then pushed upwards through the trees heading to the top of Stewart Mountain. Many runners were surprised by the hill climb that was awaiting and the lead pack quickly gained distance on the field.
I maintained lead for the women throughout the race and finished as I started. Congratulations to Nichole Braun who maintained 2nd for women throughout the race. The pace this year was considerably slower than last year due to very tough conditions. The rain and cold temperatures worsened as we neared the top of the mountain and the view of Lake Whatcom was nowhere to be seen. One lead male runner began to feel the effects of the effort and conditions and was forced to ease into the finish at half his pace.
Despite this there was much celebration at the finish…and plenty of pizza for those who’s diet allows for such delicacies. Much conversation was had regarding the conditions and all are stoked for the races to come!
Image: Ross Comer – ComerPhotos.com