WORDS: The Mt. Spokane 50km

131017_usl_1The Mt. Spokane 50km Ultramarathon was held this past Saturday, October 5, 2013, in the Mt. Spokane State Park, Washington. This is one of a dozen events directed by Rain Shadow Running in the Pacific Northwest. The event, as most all others in the series, offered 25km and 50km options. Mt. Spokane began and finished at the Selkirk ski lodge. The course has been altered each year, with 2013 being the third time the ultra has been hosted. This year the course was a 25km loop (that the 50km runners completed twice). The loop began with a fast 3 mile descent along wide dirt trails through mature forest to the low point of the course, at 3,000’. From there, the trail 131017_usl_2ascended, at times quite steeply, similar dirt trails up to the first aid station at 5.2 miles. The course then took runners onto the Kit Carson Loop road, a dirt road traversing northwest around Mt. Spokane. After 3 miles of sustained climbing along the road, runners turned onto single track and gained the summit of Day Mountain. From Day Mountain, runners traveled across mountaintop meadows and rolling single-track, climbing higher to the summit of Mount Kit Carson. At this point, runners quickly lost elevation, descending back to131017_usl_3 the Kit Carson Road before climbing switchbacks up to the summit of Mt. Spokane –the second aid station and high point of the course at 5,800’. From the top, runners made a steep final 3 mile descent across the ski hill before arriving, once again, at the Selkirk lodge. This year provided sunny and blue skies with temperatures ranging from 35º at race start to 50º in the afternoon. 28 runners completed the 50km and 48 finished the 25km course.

50km Winners:
Jimmy Grant, 5:10:38 (Missoula, MT)
Alexis Braun, 6:12:58 (Seattle, WA)

25km Winners:
Silas Banning, 2:40:22 (Anacortes, WA)
Heidi Dunn, 2:52:46 (Twisp, WA)

-Ian MacNairn