Hot on the tail of my 16-minute PR at the Moose’s Tooth Marathon the previous week, last weekend I did the Lost Lake Run, a 16 mile trail run down in Seward. Normally I wouldn’t schedule two big races back-to-back like this, but I had already signed up for the marathon, and this trail race just sounded like too much fun to pass up.
I was right.
I had heard about this race in the past and was at least vaguely familiar with it, but I had no idea how popular of a race this was, especially for a trail race. There were around 600 people there, compared to the 400-ish at the past weekend’s marathon.
The first half of the race was basically all an uphill climb to the top of a pass where Lost Lake is located. There was just over 2600 feet of total elevation gain, mostly in the first 5 miles. One thing i learned quickly was to check my ego at the trailhead, because there is often a lot of walking involved in trail running, and this was no exception. There were a number of steep climbs where everyone was walking.
There was actually a single aid station at the top of the pass with water and Gatorade. I’m not sure how they got it all up there, but it was much appreciated. Going over the top of the pass, the weather was getting pretty nasty. The wind was blowing and it was raining pretty steadily, making the trail nice and sloppy.
Coming back down the other side, I was finally able to move along at a pretty good pace. Though as I mentioned, the trail was pretty muddy and sloppy due to all the rain, and I was seeing quite a few people slipping and falling.
I managed to stay on my feet, though I did have a few close calls. The course was mostly a narrow single track trail, meaning there wasn’t much room for error. I saw quite a few people with their legs covered in mud, or even some blood running down their leg. I definitely got muddy, but I was relatively clean compared to some.
If nothing else, this race reminded me how much I love trail running, and that I need to start doing more of it. I’ve been hesitant to get out too much this summer, mostly because I don’t have anybody to run the trails with, and running into bears is a very real possibility. But if I let that stop me, I’ll never (or rarely) get out there. We do have 2 dogs, so really I just need to bring one or both of them with me, and that will be just as good. Either way, I have to do some more trail running before this summer is over. Ok, who am I kidding, summer is already over here in Alaska. I have to do some more trail running before fall is over and there’s snow on the ground!