Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mt. Hood Scramble

Last Sunday, my friend Maggie and I participated in the Mt. Hood Scramble. The event was put on by X Dog Events, and 374 people ran in the race. The course was on Mt. Hood, right off of Hwy 35 a few miles from the Hwy 26 turnoff, in White River Sno-Park. The ride up to the Sno-Park was wet, rainy, foggy and cold, but as soon as we reached Hwy 35, our elevation gain permitted us a window of niceness above the weather line. Mountain ecosystems are amazing.

The race was 6 miles, through boulder fields, glacial rivers, mud pits (that seemed more like the LaBrea Tar pits), snow and ice, forest and tall weeds. It was a blast, and after I warmed up I felt very confident. I began to bound through the forest, scramble over rocks, push myself up hills, and leap over logs.

About 3 miles into the race, I lept over a log and landed on my right ankle, which rolled under me. The pain might have been excruciating if it wasn't numb from plunging through streams, cold mud and snow. As soon as I fell, Maggie turned around and asked me if I was okay. I replied that I wasn't I needed to sit for a second. I felt nauseous as soon as my ankle rolled, felt a gross "pop" inside of my foot. Of course the second things went wrong, an X-event videographer was there, asking me who I was and how I felt. I repllied as cheerily as possible, given the circumstances, "I'm okay. Pan away, pan away!" Some people asked if I needed a stretcher, and I said no, I was still numb from the race (and too impatient to wait for people to trek in to help me out). So I kept on running, kind of limp-jogging, through more obstacles, up and down hills, climbing up riverbanks, sliding down snowfields, it went on forever.

I finally crossed the finish line about the 90 minute mark, which isn't first place but still far from last place. Thankfully there was a keg of beer and first aid guys waiting for trail weary runners to seek assistance. My friend drove, so the beer perpetuated the numbness long after the effects of the glacial rivers wore off. I wouldn't change anything, except hurting my ankle, of course; the event was awesome and I'm hoping I'm better in time for the July 15th scramble event.

All of the Mt. Hood Scramble pictures can be viewed by visiting the photoset on my Flickr site.

By the way, happy first day of summer! Now it's all downhill after today...

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