Poop-Moss and a 50% Fugly White River 50

...On the Path to Bigfoot 120.
If the White River 50 were ever in need of a refresh, the time would be now. White River was my first ultra, and the race that for me inspired many more ultras. It was here I was introduced to the runners high, where a race director named Scott showed me how runner comradery could result in a type of youthful optimism that infused every racer and volunteer at White River with a 24 hour natural-high. It was as if this well-established ultra-community seemed to be hopped up on some uppers which may or may not have been snuck into the pasta feed the night before. Above all, White River showed me running was fun, no matter how much personal torture I might be going through. And ever since I’ve told everyone who’ll listen that it’s the people and the smiles that make the race more than anything else.

Fast forward to July 25th, 2015, give yourself the cloudiest wettest weekend in Seattle so far this year, half a course v-shaped with the rutted after-thoughts of too many mountain bikers, volunteers mostly too cold to be their cheer-leading selves, and a batch of fresh ‘n ugly logging operations cut through the last downhill … and given all this you have a race that is tired and need of a serious refresh. Granted most of these factors were circumstantial but in the end you have an amazing race that is half full of gorgeous and half riddled with ugly. It’s a race of logistical beauty with an oozing chipped-up road-rash of a scar known as “Sun-Top”. Sure the views are great at the top and near the top…but the other 80% of Sun Top is a forest-management travesty. It’s a tragedy written with the fat-tire induced rutted out erosion on the single track (admittedly not that bad…but in need of some attention) and one of the more visibly ill-conceived logging operations near Seattle. Whether it be federal, state, or private running and biking recreation should now be the priority for whoever now is (miss)managing this land. It’s time for the loggers to say audios and get the fuck out. And if some of this land is private in-holdings, then it’s time for the state and/or feds to buy them out. A lot of people enjoy this small mountain for recreation, it’s time this hill gets some more respect.

That said, this race sucked for my friend Chris and a host of others that found the weather ill to their liking. Me, I was celebrating my shirtless hairy self all the way through this 12-hour mist fest. Yes, heavy mist happened and I felt very good in it. I was drier in this mist than I am sweating through the typical sun-scorched White River race. Also, what the hell was with all the wasps? 60 degrees, misting and by all accounts cool…aren’t they all supposed to be dead or something?

In all seriousness this race deserves more. I’d love to see a coalition of trail runners who call the Crystal area home make good friends with the MTB community (if they haven’t all-ready) and start a plan to restore and improve the trails in this area. While we’re at it all our fellow PCT friends and other mountain trail runners ought to get together and give Crystal a stern spanking for what their horse riding operation has done to the trail near and just within its East and South-East permit area. Horse shit and utter erosive destruction. It’s just disgusting. Even worse than your typical MTB erosion/environmental disaster. But I digress.

Aside from my rant I loved my race on Saturday. I felt good and happy 95% of the time. This was a training run for my second 100 mile attempt this coming Fall so I paid special attention to my attitude and body wanting both to feel reasonably good at the end of 50. Skukoom Flats tested this as it always does but in the end, victory!

I ate and drank more than I ever have and this was probably the chief reason for my good attitude. That and the 6-7 poos I took on the race. I passed several of the same people several times and it was seriously tripping them out until I explained my moss foraging ways. (Moss you see is an EXCELLENT form of TP; it is moisturizing and it leaves your butt soft and clean…the shear pleasure of it is almost reason enough to poo in the wilderness where moss is present).

Well that's good enough for a race review and a new nickname. Senior Poop-Moss out.


The Big Yuck.

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