Daily Archives: February 17, 2014

Fort Ebey Trail Runs — February 2014

The approach to the start–what we call the upper prairie at the Gun Battery

HPIM4017
The starting area from the Gun Battery

The beautiful background does not show the bending grass, the dancing tree tops, or the white caps on the waters of the strait.  The people watching from here are friends, family, or race staff.  Their concern with the wind will be real, but not met with the same emotions as that of the runners waiting down on the lower prairie.

The starting line -- Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains as a backdrop.
The starting line — Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains as a backdrop.
Looking southeasterly across the strait--runners getting anxious--two minutes to...
Looking southeasterly across the strait–runners getting anxious–two minutes to…
Run goes to walk as they go into the woods--returning 10k or a half marathon later.
Run goes to walk as they go into the woods–returning 10k or a half marathon later.

 

The bottleneck as prairie and picnic area leads to the trail.

 

 

 

 

...and they're gone.
…and they’re gone.

Kathy Vaughn leads UltraPedestrian Ras into the woods to one of our many insignificant hills.

 

 

 

Only to emerge a couple of miles mile later–coming off Kyle’s Kettle Trail and safely finding their way across to Raider Creek Trail.  There were even rescue dawgs available to drag the downed, dawdling, or dismayed back to the recovery area.

Crossing -- Kyle's Kettle to Raider Creek
Crossing — Kyle’s Kettle to Raider Creek

 

Just going where they were told to go... into the woods.
Just going where they were told to go… into the woods.

Betsy Rogers, Matt Hagen (trying to pass), and Lisa Wood lead a train off the endless stretch of pavement and head up Raider Creek–never to be seen again while I had a camera.

Volunteers -- the backbone of any trail run.
Volunteers — the backbone of any trail run.
Cedar Hollow Trail -- empty at the moment.
Cedar Hollow Trail — empty at the moment.

The sun coming through the trees on Cedar Hollow Trail. The beauty of our forests totally hiding the wind that was blowing steady at 25 and gusting to 40; a preview of what was coming from the southeast.

 

 

 

The end — not really.  There were over two-hundred runners.  The breezes at the start turned into serious wind as the day and miles passed.  It was the usual-unusual gathering of many people who smile a lot and cope with changing conditions.  I got to put faces to names, managed a few conversations, wished I could run with someone, anyone, just to share the joy and beauty of our trails.

Thank you all for making my day so much easier by taking care of the park while you were here.  I had almost no trash to pick up.  Race Director Mark Taylor and Northwest Trail Runs are to be commended for putting on the event while being considerate of our park.

—– Run Gently Out There —–