Deception Pass 50K Trail Ultramarathon

At Mile 29 of Deception Pass 50K
Picture Courtesy: Glen Tachiyama

On Sunday, I ran the Deception Pass 50K Trail Ultramarathon, held by Rainshadow Running. It was some of the most amazing trail running I have ever experienced. The course is designed with several lollipop loops, so as a middle of the pack runner, I frequently was cheered on by the lead pack as they passed me. The party at the end of the race was great; food and beer was amply supplied.

Deception Pass Route Map

The Pacific Northwest is known for it’s lush and verdant environment and this race did not disappoint. I ran through groves of ferns which were taller than me and under thick canopies of trees so dark that I wished I had a headlamp! The trails were soft underfoot and, in all but one section of the race, fairly free of mud swamps.

Deception Pass Elevation Profile, Speed, Gain

There were 185 racers and I came in 105th place. Out of the females, I came in 31 out of 87. I was happy with the race result, even though it took me about 45 minutes longer than expected.

The course was challenging, with over 5,500 ft of elevation gain. It was very hilly, with very few flat sections. The downhills were especially challenging as it was not always possible to see roots or muddy sections in the trail. It rained for over an hour during the run and I was never dry during the race. All these things added to the difficulty of the event, but also made it appealing as a test of endurance.

I would recommend this race to runners who enjoy constant ups and downs, fantastic trails, an intimate setting, and no frills. There were no medals or swag. Unless one purchases the race shirt or pictures, there is no evidence one has attended.

2013 Deception Pass 50K Starting Line
At the Starting Line

2013 Deception Pass 50K - Starting View
Our View for ~1 mile from the start!

Deception Pass 50K Early On
~3 Miles In
Courtesy of Jenny Manning with Uphill Running

Deception Pass 50K - Near the Bridge
Where Racers Leave Single Track to Run Across The Bridge

Deception Pass 50K - South End of Bridge
Racers Heading Up To the Bridge

Yay to Deception Pass 50K
Thanks to Glen Tachiyama for taking this fantastic shot. Deception Pass Bridge in the background!

Clare Conquers Goose Rock
Somewhere in the Middle of the Race, we ran over Goose Rock. Jenny Manning of Uphill Running captures the thrill of the summit.

Deception Pass 50K - South End of Bridge
Around Mile 11, I’m running South on the Bridge, for the rest of the race.

Deception Pass 50K - Hoypus Hill Loop
There are two loops around Hoypus Hill. This was after my first loop. Now, I have done ~2/3 of the race.

Deception Pass 50K - Hoypus Hill Trail
In the middle of the Hoypus Hill Loop. Dennis had a mini-aid station for me with extra special food. Also, a colleague of mine, Nancy and her friend was there to cheer me on. I grabbed some lunch meat and Havarti cheese roll-ups and dashed off into the forest.

2013 Deception Pass 50K Finish Line
The Finish Line!

2013 Deception Pass 50K Picnic Area
The picnic area near the Start/Finish.

2013 Deception Pass 50K - Party Time!
The Post-Race Party! Super fun!

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