Monday, March 12, 2012

Roll, or Powerwalk, with the Punches - Gorge Waterfalls 50K Course Change

So more details are unfolding about the changes for Gorge Waterfalls. It was to be a 32-33 mile (as most people say James' race courses are longer than the advertised minimum distance, c'mon 50K is just a guideline anyway!) jaunt, west-to-east, point-to-point, along the Columbia River Gorge covering about 6500 ft elevation gain, a big part of that being climbing a 1500 ft mountain the first 2 miles. Original Course...

BUT! There's construction on the path. So a week ago the race posted about the construction and hoped to have a new approved course to reveal by March 10.

Today we started to get more info about the new out-and-back course options, starting from the same start line. He needs more distance because the trail construction is at about mile 13.7 of the old course. It looks highly likely now that, instead of the 1500 feet up the first 2 miles and then coming back down, we get to climb all the way to the top of the mountain, to a spot called

Um, interesting. And also 2,460 feet up.

The view from the area of Devils Rest from this website
They are saying there is snow and ice up there right now. So hoping for hot weather to melt that away!

And then when we come back, in the very last miles of the race, "just" (words from the race director) 1600 feet. You know, when we're feeling fresh as a daisy, when our legs don't feel tired at all, ha ha ha!

So now it looks like 6500-7000 feet elevation gain, and per the race, "the majority of which will be in the two big climbs already mentioned the remainder will be from smaller climbs most of which are in the 100ft to 200ft range with a couple 400ft climbs thrown in."

Thankfully, we'll still get to see a majority of the waterfalls as they were on the later part of the course. Of concern, the 9 hour time limit. I was already nervous but have been practicing my mantra of going for it: "Better to try and see part of the beautiful course and have an experience than to not try at all and not know."

And now, if it's a pretty day, I can't imagine how gorgeous the view will be from Devil's Rest. And how often can you say your first big climb in a race was almost 2500 feet in a 50K, and possibly with snow!! It will be an amazing experience, so don't worry about my fretting about the time limit and difficulty, I'm still excited to be going on this adventure!

UPDATE: Just heard from Race Director... We get to go up to Devils Rest on the out AND on the back part of the course. Yes, that's up 2500 feet TWO TIMES. 7500 total elevation gain over the course. This is gonna be a beastly experience - can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. It's gonna be awesome and you'll do great! See you there.