Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tahoe Rim Trail 55k

July 2015, written a month later.

My race reports are too long.  I'm not getting motivated enough or finding the time to edit them.  Let's make this easier.

The TRT 55k/50m/100m is one of the bigger ultras within driving distance, and it caught my attention for simply being, in part, on the Tahoe Rim Trail, which is an important place for me.  I wanted to run a race at altitude this year, and after a lot of lottery luck, I was in for this.  I wanted to run the 50 mile course, but stuck with the 55k in case altitude didn't pan out well.

Altitude affected me, but I was fine.  What hit me unexpectedly was a muscle cramp on the steep descent of the red house loop that never really let up, and I ended up speed hiking the last 14ish miles to avoid having it turn to anything worse, as it was pretty bad.  But it was the TRT, so there was no way I was going to quit, I just stopped running for time and enjoyed the rest of the course.

My version of the laid-out-gear photo.  A pile of everything.  And sorry, that number has been changed.

And another pile of stuff to carry to the car.

Spooner Lake, the start, before dawn.


The post-Hobart climb.  Lake Marlett above Lake Tahoe.

More of Lake Marlett

Above 8000 ft.

Somewhere before Tunnel Creek, where I stopped taking photos.  Not that this was a smart decision, Snow Peak was gorgeous.
I finished in some absurd about of time, over 9 hours, but I was still nowhere near the back of the pack.
Things done well

  • Managing speed at altitude using heart rate worked well.  Until I didn't need to try to limit it.  It especially worked well when it got really warm coming out of Red House.
  • Deciding to power hike the way in after the muscle cramp.  I lost a lot of time, but it made for a much more enjoyable day.
  • Limiting myself to a shorter distance than I really wanted to run to better handle everything that would be new for the first time running ultra-distance in the Sierras.

Things to improve

  • Take a longer no-run break after a race to really work out mobility issues.  I blame Escape from Alcatraz for causing the muscle tightness that led to the cramp.
  • Take more photos on Snow Peak.  Even if you don't want to.
  • Pack a cold coffee drink in the car for the drive home, even if it's well past my normal coffee cutoff time.  
  • Sign up for 16 more miles next time.


  • Bob Shebest, the 50 mile winner, passed through Hobart on the way back while I was taking a long break to manage the annoying muscle cramp.  He was pushing hard, having multiple sponges of water dumped on his head in quick succession.
  • Yes, this is the most gorgeous course I've been on.  Sorry Marin.
  • Best aid stations and finish volunteers I've seen.  Cold smoothies at mile 24ish are awesome.

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