I went out today with the intention of doing a course preview for the newly designed Forest Park 50k. The only reasons I did it were because I wanted to get some good miles in, and Todd Janssen told me he'd buy me lunch afterwards.
Sean Meissner and Cassie Scallon joined me for the first portion of the run and we started at 7 a.m. heading up the Macleay trail from Lower Macleay Park. As we climbed up Wildwood and then Wild Cherry all the way to the top we could see the magnificent Mt. Hood making her presence felt through the bare trees. Pink and blue skies were making way for a beautiful day, not to mention the bright green ferns and foliage heightening our senses.
After about 90 minutes and descending Firelane 1 Sean and Cassie took a right back down Leif Ericson and I headed left to continue on the rest of the course. It was such an amazing morning! The birds were happy and chirping, other hikers and runners were smiling, and I stopped and talked to a few folks about how lucky we were on this February 2nd. I still cannot get over how awesomely mild and beautiful it was out there today...I even laughed out loud a couple times!
The course utilized many different trails and really has nice variability. For example we jump on one of my favorite trails in the park (Maple Trail) for a pleasant section, and then flows nicely around using Firelanes, other "off the beaten path" (a.k.a.Wildwood) trails, and Saltzman Rd/Leif Ericson sections (not too much...just right). It then returns on Wildwood for a good portion but not before dropping down Alder and making one more climb up Dogwood all the way to the top so you can get one last view of Mt. Hood towering over the great city of Portland.
I am highly recommending this race for anyone that is on the fence....The course is challenging but not too overwhelming, absolutely breathtaking, and it's sure to be a great vibe. I know I'll be there trying to defend my title! ;-) I hope to see you there! :-)
Learn more about the race and registration HERE
PS: Thanks for lunch Todd...Sorry I ate so much...I hope I didn't break the bank!