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Bonking on the Volcanic 50k: Mt St Helens, WA

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"They sent a chopper after me," is how my first few text messages to friends and family went. It was an epic race with a hell of a story for an ending...but more on that later.


The forecast for this past weekend for the Volcanic 50 showed highs climbing into the 90's at 2k to 3k feet of elevation. Higher up it would be cooler but only slightly. Add to the mix a course with very little shelter or shade, 20mph dry hot winds, switchbacks up exposed pumice/sand canyons...and well what we had was a recipe for 'epic' and a fair amount of DNFs. The Volcanic 50 website said something about this 50k running more like a 50mi. I'd say it ran like a 50k around a volcano plopped in the middle of the Sahara desert. Modest elevation gain and loss was upset by the frequent technical trails and/or lava fields. So when my buddy Chris high-fived me at mile 29 for a race well run, little did I know that last 2.5 miles would be my undoing.


In the finish area after the race…