A tale of my trials and tribulations out on the trails. I hope you find my rewarding experiences inspiring for yourself.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Sasquatch and Mt. Hood
Friday morning at 7 a.m. Matt Burton, Jason Durand and I headed out on the road for Mt. Hood Oregon. Saturday I was to be competing in the Pacific Crest Trail Mt. Hood 50 mile. I was very stoked for the race, since it had filled up very quickly last January. Oregon is a terribly boring drive along I-84, 5 hours on that highway seemed way too long. We set up camp and drove out to Portland, and checked out the Widmer Brothers Brewery. Oh the building smells of sweet, sweet wort! That was a lot of fun. Got back to camp, awake at 4:30 to the hoots and hollers of the early starters getting up. Pre-race night is never easy to sleep through, as the nerves and anticipation for an exciting day build up. We were camped at the Clackamas Lake Campground, just a short 1/2 mile walk from the race site. Olga and Monika got us started with this ridiculous kiss, which threw me off for the start. Later I found out they were sisters. I was so happy to be out on the PCT! Timothy Lake was covered by clouds, hiding it's immense size. I ran very conservatively the 1st half of the race. Got up to Timberline Lodge at mile 25, took a short break, and threw on the IPod. Blazing down the mountain jammin' to Dragon Force, I made it to the next aid station in 40 minutes (6:20 miles!). I was in serious race mode. The next 5 1/2 miles though were a long climb, and I hit my major low of the race. Got in at mile 36 and my mind was fried. I told Matt "I need the ssshhhhhhh" (referring to the coppertone spray), spraying an invisible aerosol can on my arm. He figured it out. So I was running along the trail and out of a bush jumps Erin Keller! Cool girl, I guess she was having some bouts with GI distress. We ran together for a few miles, then I peeled off. I was running very quickly. I don't think I stopped and walked the last half marathon. Ran past the little Crater Lake, which is perfectly clear and very cold! Cool sight. Timothy Lake is a very beautiful sight in the daylight, and even better because you are on the home stretch. I was minding my own business at about mile 45 when Sasquatch jumped out of the woods and started running with me. He complained about not being able to find running shoes that fit. There was a guy that did the entire race in Vibram FiveFingers, and beat me by over an hour! Well, I was so ready to be finished with the race that I left Sasquatch in the dust, and all over a sudden, found myself on the road to the Ranger Station where I had started at the crack of dawn. After 9 hours and 37 minutes, I called it an excellent day of trail competition, and can't wait to do this race again. A big thanks to Olga and Monika for putting this event on, and happy trails to everyone who was out there!
Hey there! Ben Blessing is my name. I am a former Marine who is working towards my Bachelor's in Music Composition. Other than that, I spend my time on crazy weekend trips running insane amounts of miles. I am currently training for the Cascade Crest Classic 100 mile Endurance Run. I have high hopes of getting into the Badwater Ultramarathon next summer.