On a theme of chasing my second 50k ultra, I decided I wanted to try a tougher elevation profile race. Before heading off for a trip to Iceland, I signed up for the Baker Lake 50k, a tough and predictably rainy-weather course that looked fun and challenging.
However, I admit that I signed up for Baker Lake 50K as somewhat of a concession. I really wanted to try the Oregon Coast 50k after I saw a video filmed and produced by Ethan Newberry covering the race through the experience of his then fiance, Kimberly. The video showed how beautiful and tough the course was, and I had set my heart on racing it, only to find it filled up so quickly, it sold out before I had a chance to sign up.
After returning from Iceland, I went out for an easy fun run of 10 miles to stretch out the legs and start mentally preparing for the 50k distance again. Everything felt good, the legs were strong, and I had just texted my coach about getting a workout plan up on Training Peaks.
The Mt. Si 50-Kilometer and 50-Miler ultramarathons are a local favorite in the ultra community. Known for its comparatively flat sections and easy-going ten-mile false flat descent back to the finish line, the 50-kilometer trail race is the perfect introduction for the newcomer to this distance.
The course begins at Snoqualmie Elementary school on a low-traffic road, uses a stairway to get onto the Snoqualmie Trail. It then winds through a golf course, park, under the I-90 freeway, across a bridge, and then through the forest on the way to Rattlesnake Lake. At the lake, runners are directed onto the Ironhorse trail, enjoying more forested dirt trail, waterfalls and bridges, while running along the old whistle stops of the former railroad bed. Descending steeply to the 16 mile turn around point, runners encounter the only real elevation change that is not gradual, and after returning through the Rattlesnake Lake aid station at Mile 21, it’s literally all downhill from there to the finish.