Mother Nature made sure our first Pullman Winter 50k met all the proper winter requirements.
Warm temperatures the past two weeks melted 100% of the snow and ice that had covered the 7.75 mile loop course since November. The course is a single loop through and around Pullman, WA. Participants have the option to run one, two, three, or four laps.
Seven runners and an ultrarunning dog lined up for a cold 8am start. Within 15 seconds of the start, the first snowflake fell. The rest of the morning was a battle against the winter storm that came in fast and hard.
Four of the runners opted for the single loop option, which was (besides not running at all) probably the smartest thing to do Saturday morning. Three of us weren't so smart.
The snow wasn't so bad...compared to the wind. About 4 miles of each loop were straight into the constant snow gusts. The kind of wintry wind that makes you wish you were had a pair of ski goggles. And a cup of hot cocoa. And a Florida address.
Sadie helped power me through. She has endless energy and excitement when it's snowing. It's easier for me to keep running when Sadie loves it just as much (okay, probably more) than I do. We fought through the wind and snow and finished in a 50k PR of 4:45:26. Granted, this was my first non-mountain trail 50k, so I expected to PR -- but it was still hard earned. I must note that the Brooks Utopia Soft Shell jacket is the best jacket I've ever run in.
Enjoy a few ultra-winter images.
|Mile 3.5 of loop 1 -- wind and snow.|
|Mile 5 of loop 1 -- relentless wind.|
|By mile 6 of loop 1 there was this much snow on the ground.|
|With Sadie after the first loop.|
|Sadie playing in the bushes.|
|A few inches of snow piled up fast.|
|"Look, Ma! I can't feel my toes!"|
|My Brooks Racer ST 4's after 50k.|
|After-race beers at Palouse Falls Brewing Co.|
We have another Pullman Winter run on Jan. 15. It probably won't be warm.