When talking about the Elk Kings 50K race, I think Danny Glick (the third place finisher) said it best when he posted on Instagram that “…it was suffery and verty…”
With over 6,500 feet of gain in 31 miles, and rocky, rooty, and often times slippery terrain (hello fall leaves!), this course is no joke. Needles to say, I worked pretty damn hard for this finish, gave myself plenty of excuses to work with, and struggled my way to a finishing time of 6:14 – taking 12th place overall and 5th female – which I’m pretty darn proud of.
If you’re wondering what the 5th place female (me!) and 1st place female (Megan Flanagan) have in common? Well.. I’m here to tell you, it’s a lot. For starters, we both took epic parking lot photos and posted them as our finishing photos. And for the rest, you’ll just have to listen to her podcast, Strong Runner Chick Radio (hint, hint, I’ll be a guest soon!).
What you probably can’t guess from our beautiful parking lot finisher photos (oops) is that this course is not only challenging, but also extremely beautiful. The Elk-Kings races (a 25K, marathon, and 50K) take place in the Tillamook Forest and offer up two beautiful mountains to climb – The Elk and Kings Mountain (hence the name).
We ran alongside the river, up the mountain, down the mountain, and back up and down again…over beautiful trail, alongside all of the fall foliage, and under big, beautiful tree canopies. And we couldn’t have been luckier with the weather conditions – it was a clear, beautiful, and eventually warm October day – perfect for running.
When we (my friend Andrew and I) first arrived at the starting area (Jones Creek), it was pitch black and cold but by the time we started the race (7:30 am), the sun had just come up, and we had more than enough light for a start line selfie.
As with most Go Beyond Racing races, the race briefing and start line was supes casual. Like uh, watch for the orange cones and ribbons, don’t get lost and uh, go!