Deception Pass 50k

 by ultrarunner Robert Bondurant,

Team Silverdale RIOT


   It was a rather windy morning when I toed the line with 300-plus other runners. Race director James Varner announced that the forecast was for the wind to pick up dramatically; and for everyone's safety, might result in the race distance being reduced to 13 miles. I was happy with running either distance; in not only (but most importantly) avoiding the risk of trees falling on runners but also thinking 13 miles would be better for my training since I had only tapered my intensity but not mileage during the weeks leading up to the race. So I decided to run a relaxed but pleasantly hard effort so to avoid any suffering that quite often occurs in the second half of a race at this distance. Most of all, I wanted to relax and have fun.

  At 8am we were off; with the opening mile on a paved road; which allowed the field to spread out before hitting the single track. I cruised along through the roots and rocks; cheering on the runners, volunteers and spectators I passed on each of the lollipop loops in the first half of the race. I power hiked most of the hills; except for the little rollers and coasted down the descents. The wind was a little stronger in the very scenic bridge crossings, so I carried my Rainshadow Running trucker hat in my hand so it didn't blow off into the bay. After the biggest climb up Goose Rock, I was glad not to have attempted my original goal time as the legs didn't have much hill running power that day.

  Into the Coronet Bay aid station, it was time to increase the rate of calorie intake by going from a gel every 45 minutes down to every 30. The wind continued to howl through the trees, but not enough to call the race, so runners proceeded to run two rather muddy loops at Hoypus Hill. The second loop was extra fun because I went in behind all the runners that were still on their first loop. Again, kudos and more words of encouragement were exchanged with each runner I passed. At one point, I went over the top of a log as another was crawling under it.

  The final 5km from the aid station back to the finish went a little slower; due to the heavily rock and root strewn sections above the bluffs; where photographer Glenn Tachiyama was waiting for unsuspecting runners. There has been some funny faces in some of his photos! After that I cruised on in to the rooting and high fives from James and everyone at the finish line. We all shared beer, Pizza Jim's wood fired slices and tales of adventure, while listening to bluegrass. Rainshadow Running always puts on a fantastic party with a run thrown in. Special thanks to RIOT team president Becky Rogers for all her time and hard work with supporting the team with great media coverage!