Sunday, May 03, 2015

MeOw Marathons

I ran the MeOw Marathons this weekend. Styled loosely after Barkley, and similar to Euchre Bar Massacre that I did last October, this is a race where you follow an unmarked course using written directions and gathering pages from books hidden in designated locations to prove that you went where you were supposed to. I was signed up for the Quads (there were 1x, 2x, and 4x options available, of approximately 35, 61, and 105 miles) but since my knee has not fully recovered from Zion three weeks ago, I thought going in it was very unlikely I'd finish all 100+ miles. My knee balked a bit when I ran, so I hiked the vast majority of the time. I finished the first 61 mile loop in just under 24 hours, and that was it for me. (I missed a cut off by a couple hours, and I was fine with that.)

So that's an abysmally slow 100K, right? When you factor in that it was off trail, following powerline cuts or abandoned and overgrown trails through poison oak, with 22,000 feet of vertical gain, on a pretty warm day, and I was mostly just hiking, I feel pretty good about it. The race is in Whiskeytown, and was quite pretty. Books were hidden at four sets of waterfalls, there were really nice creeks, and we summited Shasta Bolly, at over 6,200 feet, with very nice (if a little hazy) views of Shasta, Lassen, and the Trinity Alps.

Also, while I was hiking with my iPod going, after dark, but without a headlamp (I have pretty good night vision, and there was a full moon) I treed an itty-bitty bear cub, and its mom was right there next to the trail to express her appreciation. She didn't do much that aggressive, but I gave here plenty of space.
Proof

Indeed



1/3 of the way from the right is Shasta, the rest of the white is clouds.

Northwest off Shasta Bolly






Here's the Strava:

It was a pretty good day. I'm glad my knee was able to do as well as it did. I've got another one of these adventure run-style things coming up June 6 with some of the same crazy people, and I'm hoping by then I'll be able to give 100% effort.

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