Race Week Update

Hello Everyone!


Thanks for signing up for the race and being one of the lucky ones to run this awesome course in it's first year. As you may have heard the race filled to it's 150 runner limit pretty quickly which is a testament to just how cool these trails are. You may have also heard there's snow and some ice on the course thanks to some unusually cold temperatures in the Gorge lately but it has been warming up...more about this below. I've got some new info to share with you and some reminders of the key stuff to remember for race day.



Where to go?

Unlike most races runners must park and check-in at the Finish(Wyeth Campground). This is a point-to-point style course so you'll leave your car at Wyeth and be bussed to the Start(Wahkenna Falls Trailhead). There will be just 15-20 minutes from your arrival time at the Wahkenna to the Start of the race so there will be no time to check-in then. Driving directions to Wyeth, Wahkenna and the two aid stations can be found on the website.



Timeline

6:00am-6:45am Runner Check-in(there is no check-in/packet pick up prior to this)

6:45am-7:00am Board the Shuttle Buses

~7:40 Arrive by Shuttle Bus at the Start

7:55am Course Briefing

8:00am Race Start (there is no early start option)

11:15am Aid #1 Cutoff

~Noon Post Race Meal/Party Gets Started

2:00pm Aid #2 Cutoff

5:00pm Course Closes

6:00pm-whenever Post Post Race Party @ Double Mountain Brewery(Hood River, OR)



Weather/Ice & Snow/Safety

So I broke my #1 rule and created a race that was not in a "rainshadow" and it looks like it's gonna be a wet race just as it should be considering it's not in a location protected from the rain like nearly all of my other races. But rain is not the biggest weather related problem it's rain's colder less friendly siblings, snow and ice, that have me a little worried. When I ran parts of the race course the weekend before last there were numerous spots where the trail was covered in a sheet of ice and often it was in an area where no one would want to take a fall. Thankfully since then it's warmed up a bit(still colder than normal though) and some of that snow and ice has melted and the current forecast is calling for temperatures that are for the most part above freezing. So by race day there might not be any ice and snow left but we should expect and prepare for the worst. I recommend strongly that everyone bring with you and or wear traction devices on your shoes, like yaktrax or microspikes, or turn your shoes into "screw shoes". I will have caution signs placed on the trail right before you come to any icy places and in these places I ask that you take extreme caution and walk if nessecary-- a few of these icy spots are in places where you could fall 20-40 feet down into a rocky and icy creek or at least slip and land hard on frozen rocky ground. There is also snow on parts of the course right now and that too might not melt prior to the start of the race and even though it's not deep(3-6" at the deepest) you may want warm socks and possibly gaiters to help keep your feet and toes warm.


Also as a matter of safety in the popular sections of these trails I ask that you be very careful to not run into other trail users especailly when running downhill in areas with sharp turns where you may not be able to see around the corner. The waterfalls on this course are spectacular and attract tons of visitors every day, even when the weather is crappy and the there's snow and ice on the ground, and some of these hikers/tourists are not going to be very mobile or have the fastest reflexes so it's up to you to err on the side of caution. We will have course marshalls out in a few of the busiest and most dangerous locations to remind you and to inform the other trail users but you still need to be mindful, respectful and careful. Thanks!



Drop Bags and Warm Clothes for the Shuttle Ride

You can have drop bags at both aid stations. Please label your drop bag with your name and bib number. At the check-in at Wyeth there will be two tarps, one for each aid station, laid out for you to place your drop bag in/under.


Also you can have your warm clothes that you wear for the ride to the start on the shuttle bus transported back to the Finish. Please bring with you a bag, also labeled with your name and bib #, to put your clothes in to keep them from getting lost and to keep things tidy. There will be a white ford pick-up truck at the start with the tailgate down please place your warm clothes and anything else you want sent back to the finish in there.



Parking, Crew and the Gatekeeper!

Parking for the race is at Wyeth Campground. The campground is closed for the Winter but we've been granted use of the grounds for the race, including parking, the post race party, and for camping the night before and after the race. Since the campground is closed and it's only open for us(the runners, their friends and family and the volunteers) we'll have to make sure no "outsiders" park inside the campground otherwise they risk getting locked in once we leave. To help prevent this we'll use to methods a combination lock for the slow times and a Gatekeeper(super volunter Allen Skytta) for the busier times. To keep traffic moving quickly please roll down your window and tell Allen, the Gatekeeper, that you're the Keymaster so he knows your with the race, or if you're the serious type and that seems to silly then just tell him you're with the race. The combination for the lock is 3027 and you'll need to use that to get in and out of the campground at the times where the traffic has slowed down, please be sure to close and lock the gate after you and don't let in some one unless they are with the race otherwise they might get locked in!


As for Crew they are welcome to drop you off at the start if you wish but there is very limited parking there at that trailhead and we'll need all of that space for the the buses to drop of the runners and for the runners to mill around. So if you're crew is dropping you off at the start please have them park half a mile away at the Multnomah Falls Parking Lot(East of Wahkenna Falls) and there is a trail there on the south side of the road for them to walk to Wahkenna on. Crew is also welcome at both Aid stations, however parking is limited at both locations. Everyone must park in respectable, safe and courteous parking spots-- don't block the road, don't block driveways, don't get stuck in a ditch or on soft ground, and don't run over any body's lawn ornaments. Be nice, park in a good spot even if you have to walk a couple blocks. Thanks.



Post Race and 2 Nites Free @ a Vacation House near Mt. Baker for the Winners

One thing I often neglect is to do is get prizes and awards, I guess I'm kinda old school and see the race and crossing the finishline as the reward. Every single runner out there is amazing in my opinion and everyone is a winner but every once in a while I have the oppourtunity to do something extra for the overall male and female winners and when I do it always feels like the right thing to do. So here at this race the fastest runners will be duking it out to win a 2 night stay at a vacation house that sleeps eight, has a hot tub and is close to the trails at Mt Baker! more details about the house at: http://www.mtbakerlodging.com/vacation-rental-home.asp?PageDataID=32318&ad=2/15/2011&dd=2/17/2011


Another thing that makes me old school is that I like for everyone to hang out afterwards, tell lies and get to know each other. To facilitate this we'll have a keg of beer from Double Mountain Brewery and lots of hot yummy food. And then once everyone has finished and had a chance to hang out at the race we'll move the party to Hood River to Double Mountains's Anniversary Party.



Up Next in the Rainshadow

The next two Rainshadow Running races, Yakima Skyline Rim 50k/25k and Sun Mountain 50m/50k/25k/1k, are both filling up fast and in general all the races are generating lost of interest. So don't wait too long to sign up for your favorite Rainsdow races they might fill up faster than you think--Yakima is already more than 80% full and Sun Mountain is more than half full! To get more info about these and all the other great trail and road races go to

www.rainshadowrunning.com and don't forget to "friend" Rainshadow running on Facebook .



Thanks again for signing up and I hope you're just as excited as I am for this great new race! See ya soon!


James Varner

www.rainshadowrunning.com