Before loading up the Escape to embark on the journey across country, I braced myself for what I thought was going to be a miserable experience, highlighted by cheap hotels and crappy food and lots of Marc Maron. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised by beautiful landscapes, gorgeous weather, great deals from Hotwire and Expedia and meals that fit my picky needs. We took advantage of the trip and stopped at many cool places to run including Dowdy Draw in Boulder, Colorado, the Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction Colorado, Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake and Cowiche Canyon in Yakima, Washington.
|Our "POD" loaded up and ready to go.|
|Hays, Kansas sunset.|
|Passing through the Rockies at 12,000 feet.|
|View of the Flatirons from Boulder, Colorado.|
|Down in the Cowiche, Canyon.|
After the 7 day drive, we decided to get initiated into the Bellingham running scene by competing in the Padden Mudfest, a 10k trail run around Lake Padden. Temperatures were in the upper 50’s with a light drizzle. I wore my old-school Inov-8 F-lite 335’s, as my other pairs are still in transit. The race was put on by the Greater Bellingham Running Club and many locals showed up to get up, down and dirty as the course had two big climbs and constant rolling and turning. Luckily I tied my shoes tight enough to prevent them from getting sucked off into the 6-inch deep mud pits. I started conservative, as I usually do, and passed 3 women before the first hill and then the first place woman at mile 2. From then on it was me and the boys. I finished first female and 8th overall in 47:29. The post-race spread was organic roasted red pepper soup or chili and fresh-baked bread donated from the local bakery, Great Harvest. This was a great start to my Pacific Northwest racing career and I look forward to the many opportunities it has to offer.
|Lovin' the Pacific Northwest.|