Tuesday, November 1, 2011

McDonald Forest 15k Trail Run Review!

So after missing out on running the Corvallis 5k earlier in the morning, I had to quickly clear my head, and my irritation, and get ready to run a tough trail 15k at the McDonald Forest Trail Run.

We arrived at McDonald Forest with the rain coming down pretty good and the promise of mud awaiting us on the course. Which was fine by me. Really, I haven't had a muddy race all year and with only this race and one more to the end of EPIC 2011, I was sort of hoping for a little mud!

This race was looking like it would start right on time, so a quick trip to the Honey Bucket, then I lined up in the starting chute.

And POW! Off we went. The 5k runners quickly went left, around the lake, and the 15k runners went right, around the other side of the lake, and that was the last I saw of the 5k folks. The first two or three miles of this one is pretty nice. Mostly flat or downhill, with nothing too steep up or down. But as soon as you hit that three mile mark...OOF. This race goes up.

This is an interesting course in that there are a couple spots where you can see the runners ahead of you, but then you take a quick turn and don't end up back where you just saw the other runners for a number of minutes. Tease!

At one point, just past four miles, and going up a nasty hill, my Garmin told me that it lost satellite reception. That's the first time its ever done that to me. It was very cloudy and raining, and we were deep in the middle of McDonald Forest, but it's still annoying to know that your trusty Garmin isn't keeping track of where you're going any more! And if you look at the pace chart above, you can see where it loses it - right where my pace goes to a spiffy one minute per mile pace!

Eventually the Garmin came back online and we were finally nearing the top of the brutal, never ending climb. And then came the part that feels so good the day of...and so bad the next day. The screaming steep downhill section. It's all you can do to keep up with your feet through miles six and seven. You're just flying through the woods! And strangely, even though it was still raining, there were very few patches of mud. The course was actually pretty solid.

So after one last uphill at the nine-mile mark, we were back to the lake and then downhill to the finish. Yes!

I crossed the line with a 1:24:21 time. Not stellar, but hey, that's one steep course. Over 2900 feet of elevation gain, according to my Garmin. I finished dead on in 100th place. Woot! Check the results here.

You might notice that World Champion Mountain runner Max King finished in second place. What?! I know, right? One Chris Reed beat him to the finish line, in an upset for the ages. But as you can read here, young Mr. Reed does in fact know how to run. Still, that's quite an upset. Congrats to Chris!

Also, note the winner of the 5k: Case Regan, a 7th grader from the cross country squad at Linus Pauling. Go LP!

And of course, we've got the always cool McDonald Forest 15k shirt. This year, it was a quality tech tee in a sweet purple color!

And the back, as usual, shows the pain!

Well, as far as I can tell, the EPIC 2011 train has but one race left. Oh noes! And that would be the OAC Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning. Be there!


  1. My apologies on the lack of a photo/blog credit in my post over on OregonLive.com. I was looking for a quick photo to fit in with the post and it was not my intent to be malicious by any means. Still, it should not have happened and will not happen again. I changed the post to reflect this and posted a link to your blog from the picture. Again, I apologize. Happy running.

  2. In Max's defense, I heard he took a wrong turn.

  3. Matt:

    No problem. Thanks for correcting that - I appreciate it.

  4. Mike:

    Well, that makes some sense. I mean, it's not like Max is unbeatable...

    But he's close.

    By the way, I enjoy your blog. Keep up the running and the writing.