Quick background. I spent the first two weeks of July working on the Steens Mountain in South East Oregon for the Steens Mountain Running Camp, a wilderness running camp for high school cross country runners. It is an experience that bettered me as a runner and person and I love going back to help kids have a life improving experience (and having a lot of fun exploring the mountain as well) check out pics from Steens here http://photos.steens.camp/2015-Session-1.
After Steens I headed to Joseph Oregon to train and test some great new Nike products in the Wallowa Mountains, You can check out my gallery of pictures from those adventures here http://davidlaneyrunning.com/2015/07/22/not-colorado-not-the-sierra-not-the-alps-oregon/
I left Joseph Oregon and headed to Bend for the US Mountain Running Championships. After spending much of the spring and summer training for Western States 100, a tough 12k sounded really fun, and really challenging. Needless to say, it was just that.
After packet pickup and dinner The Nike Trail Crew found some great free campsites at Sparks Lake just a few miles from the start line. Seeing a few shooting stars the night before a race is always inspiring, but waking up to find a family of mice have helped themselves to some of your bagels brings everything back into perspective.
Race morning was cool with some low clouds and a light breeze. The course consisted of three 4.1 Kilometer loops up and down the ski hills on the north side of Mt. Bachelor. The uphill was pretty rocky and sandy, while the downhill was very fast service road. It was really fun to hammer the uphills and then blast the downhills with reckless abandon. In most ultras there is some drama, ups and downs, dark points and high points. This race was a blur. I just remember hammering really hard for about 50 minutes and that it was really fun. Luckily I was able to move up very steadily throughout the race from about 25th on the first loop to 9th by the finish. The short tough distance combined with great spectators made this probably the most fun I’ve had during a footrace in a long time. Having a bunch of teammates out on the course made it a pretty great event as well.
The Nike Trail Crew post race in front of the Trail Bago (Mario Mendoza, Ryan Bak, Zach Miller, David Roche, Patrick Smyth, David Laney)
Big Congrats to the top six men and top four women who will represent team USA in Wales!!
Huge thanks to Race director Max King for doing an amazing job with the course and organization of the event, thanks to all the Central Oregon Running folks and FootZone Bend who worked hard to put on a great event. Thanks to USMRT, Richard Bolt, Nancy Hobbs, Paul Kirsh and the USATF officials that made the event possible. Thanks to IRunFar.com for providing awesome coverage of the races. Also thanks to Nike Trail, Picky Bars, and all the other supporters, sponsors, spectators and all who helped make the event great.