Cle Elum 50K, Finished the Ultra Series

Post race
What an interesting weekend... Cle Elum 50K marked the end of the Washington Ultra Series and the birth of my new running goals, of which I will elaborate on later in this post.  Cle Elum 50K is directed by James Varner of Rainshadow Running.  Visit his website for challenging, fun trail races, plus the new Winthrop Road Marathon which debuts this coming weekend, September 26th. 

The weekend began with a bit of a crash....
Oops... my car was fine though.  A little collision backing up in Seattle.
On another note, I got a nice camping spot by the river the night before the race...
This particular area near the Taneum junction Campground had some not so scenic views as well
some carnage
evidence as to what may have happened to the cow
Cle Elum 50K starts and ends at Taneum Junction Campground, a haven for ORV's.  The trails were pretty rutted, muddy and sometimes rocky with plenty of puddles and river crossings and the occasional thunder of ORVs.  Elevation gain is 7,000 feet, with two major climbs and lots of little ups and downs, especially in the last 12 miles. 
My Cle Elum Race gear
This race marked my first initiation to getting off course, a problem I have not encountered until now.  Just before the Aid station at mile 24 I took a wrong turn and climbed up a road for 3 miles, finally realizing that I was off course.  By the time I made it back to the trail I had run 6 bonus miles.  It was a humbling experience and I decided to be thankful for the extra mileage (that's why I'm running after all) instead of dwelling on what could have been.  In the end I went 37 miles instead of the usual 31 and still finished in the middle of the pack, despite waning motivation and losing a good hour off course.  Oh, and I want to show you my blisters, a result of new shoes and a wet, technical course, not for the squeamish:
As far as the Washington ultra series goes, I am excited that I placed first for women and third overall.  The series scores your top four races.  I also did all the races in the series.  It was a great way to initiate myself into trail running.  Alex Henry finished first for men.  He is also new to trail racing.
The finish, Race director James on the left
icing in the river the day after the race
 I said I'd get back to my goals for the end of 2010 and the new year, 2011.  Here they are:
*up my running mileage to 80 miles a week
*weekly tempo run of about 10-15 miles
*50K weekend run, preferably in the mountains, which brings me to:
*get in more elevation running
*do the ultra series in 2011 and a few new races
*volunteer for more races in 2011
*do my first 100 mile trail race next summer
Some pictures from my drive...

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