On Sunday the 14th, I ran my third 50k trail race. This was up along the Columbia River, just east of Portland about 40 miles or so. It was named the Gorge Waterfalls because you run past several waterfalls! I’d have to say that this race was by far the most challenging and perhaps the most beautiful. As with most races, I had a game plan going into it with my goals being simply to finish under the cut-off time as well as not “bonk” nor fall. All was accomplished this time. Bonus was getting to meet people from all over the country who came out for this race, especially Austin and Jenna from Chicago. They chose a tough way to see the natural beauty of this area and to them, I tip my hat. My finish time was 8:38:04, coming in 10th place out of 17 in the 50-59 age group for men. Overall, a solid effort on my part, I felt. Current conditions: very sore. Snaps from the day below.

This photo was from the professional photographer on the course, James Holk (@jamesholk). It wouldn’t be a trail run without some walking . . .

Perhaps my favorite photo of the run. Austin and Jenna are in front of me (though we had not met by then), and the sun broke through the fog as we went up and up and up from the Columbia River to the top of the gorge, almost 2000 feet in elevation. The total elevation for this run was 5800 feet.

One of the waterfalls along the route. In this picture you can see the trail to the right, as it winds behind the falls.

For perspective, here I am running behind the falls.

This somewhat reflects the rocky trail and it was rocky! Perhaps the toughest course I have run requiring a lot of concentration with each step.

A trail marker, with burned trees in the background. The burn happened in the late summer of 2017, the Eagle Creek fire from a boy who lit fireworks while hiking in the woods. The fire burned 50,000 acres and burned for three months before it was brought under control. That said, it was a beautiful and stark place to run.

“Smile or you’re doing it wrong” is the phrase that is often stated for trail runners. It was an amazing day out there!