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#18 – Woolley Trail Run

Marathon Man - Woolley Trail Run

16 February 2013 – 5 hrs 8 min

It had been great to share the week with Cami Ostman and Bill Pech a legendary couple based in Belllingham, Washington State.

Now Cami is a real super star of the running world in the USA having completed 7 marathons across 7 continents and published the book “Second Wind” detailing One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons On Seven Continents.

I was fortunate to be able to cross the border on Valentine’s Day and share lunch with Jennifer Hill from the Vancouver Marathon to review opportunities following our meeting at the Honolulu Marathon Expo in December last year. Despite the interrogation process at the border crossing, it was awesome to return to Canada and visit Vancouver briefly for the first time and hopefully will be back for the marathon on 5th May.

I had been looking forward to making my way to Sedro-Woolley for the Woolley Trail Marathon. It was a good turn-out with a large group of runners gathered early for the start of the 50km, marathon, and half marathon events. Following the previous weeks smaller events it was good to have a few more people around on the start line with a number of Marathon Maniacs turning out. The consistent marathon schedule was starting to catch up with me physically as I have not had the fortune to find a massage or physio treatment during my travels for a number of weeks with the result being primarily tightness in the hips and claves most noticeable over the opening stages.

Marathon Man - Woolley Trail RunThe Woolley Trail Marathon is staged by the Skagit Ultra Runners on an out and back railroad grade gravel path with the course having a slight uphill grade on the way out and the same downhill grade on the return. It was great to see the event so well supported by a solid group of volunteers with very well stocked aid stations at miles 4, 6.6, 13.15 and 15.7. The Race Director had suggested that I pick up a water bottle belt in preparation, and while good to have found that, it was not all that necessary with steady rain falling throughout the day.

The course was run along the picturesque Skagit River and while there were parts of the course that were subject to flooding we were fortunate that the rivers did not rise during the event. It was important to be careful at stages with the rain making some challenging navigation with parts of the course really slippery under foot. The green pastures, raging Skagit River, roaming horses and backdrop of the picturesque snow covered Cascade Mountains provided a spectacular canvas for this latest running adventure. It was awesome to return to trail running following the recent events for a change of scenery. The majority of the day was spent solo with the priority to get the job done as soon as possible as the day was freezing cold with the rain making the day all that more challenging.

Marathon Man - Woolley Trail RunThe beautiful surroundings continued to provide inspiration although as the cold continued to chill every inch of my body I looked to push homewards to make it across the finish line. I had resisted the urge to listen to music in such peaceful surroundings although in the end decided to tune into my favourite tunes to forget about the pain and cold to bring it home. This worked really well and I was able to make up some ground over the closing stages to finish in just over 5 hours in such testing conditions. It was good to meet up with a few other runners gathered around fires with warm soup, hot dogs, soft drinks, beer and snacks provided to all. It was a great day out and pleased with another solid result in the lead up to the Birch Bay International Marathon tomorrow.

Woolley Trail Run Gallery

2013 Statistics:

Marathons Run – 18
Total Distance Run – 759.5 km / 471.6 miles
US States Completed – AZ, CA, FL, NV, TX, WA
Total Drive Distance – 1,816 km / 1,129 miles
Total Flight Distance – 13,889 km / 8,631 miles

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