Lost Lake 50k nr Seattle USA

Hi all

Please find a blog on a 50k trail race near Seattle from local runner and friend of Helsby Jeff McQueen

For results and official website see here http://ultrasignup.com/results_event.aspx?did=18606

Jeff McQueens Blog on Lost Lake 50k

On a surprisingly warm Saturday in May, 2013, I took part in a 50k race in the Chuckanut Mountains Part of the Cascade range)  near the town of Bellingham, 2 hours north of Seattle, WA, USA. After opening a decent goodie bag, the 7am early starters set off and an hour later the rest of us took to the trails. Up and up we went past Fragrance Lake and through the tall pines (a lot taller than those in the UK!) and over rough track. At times, all you could do was walk and push on your knees. I guess we had to get through the 8200 feet of ascent somehow. Up onto a ridge with views of snow-capped Mount Baker, made for a few photo stops. With the pace unrelenting and fellow runners not stopping for anything, we ploughed on and on and then down a very long hill to an aid station at the bottom. Friendly folk greeted us with a wry smile – they knew what lay ahead. After a quick fuel up, we set off back up the long hill. We met Johnny – the retiree who walks this hill four times a week to get to his 1 million vertical feet per year challenge. With energy levels depleted we eventually made it up to Lost Lake trail – from where the race gets its name. Eventually we saw another aid station with fun signs warning us of dangerous animals – Princess Ladybird and her sister! With a loop to go, we headed off back through the woods around Fragrance Lake again only to descend enough to get close to home. With the smell on the barbeque in our noses, we were sent back up the hills to that now not so Fragrant Lake. When you go slower than a walk – we call it a sit. But sitting did not help get one there, so on we plodded. Eventually back with the dangerous Princess Ladybird we headed off down the hill again to the welcome end. A rather decent 50k and a tad harder than the Sandstone trail held on the same day.

A great barbeque awaited us. After 5:54, I managed to come home second – having been beaten by a lad half my age, and received a great trophy – a painted rock (about 2 kgs worth – great hand luggage!). A technicality meant that a novice starting at 7 am broke the record and sanity meant that we all moved down a position. No big deal- he was a lot faster than the two of us.

The race was well organised, excellently marked, great aid stations and covered all the great rough territory this part of the world is known for. Great folk and even greater war stories about 100 milers over impossible terrain kept us all entertained until late.

A big thank you to the race directors Kevin Douglas (possible relation to the ‘hare’ of Delemare Spartans – equally invincible, and Heather Anderson – who incidentally is aiming to set the record for the Pacific Walk – all 2700 miles in 64 days!) and the Skagit running club and volunteers for a great race – that made this business trip one to remember.

Add Lost Lake 50k to your bucket list.

Jeff McQueen (West Cheshire AC)

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