First Official Ultra

I had a goal when I turned 30. It was to run 30 miles. At the time I had never run longer than a half marathon so this was an ambitious goal. My best friend was already into ultra running so I had plenty of encouragement. I successfully completed the run with his help and ticked off a few other 26-28 mile runs along the way. Distance running fell off of my radar within a year as life got busier.

It’s been a “few” years since that experience but I decided that it’s time to get back into distance running and I signed up for my first official 50K ultramarathon. The Baker Lake 50K has a special place in my heart because it was one of the first races my best friend ran. I got to hear stories about the gorgeous trail and watch him finish the race. It also coincides with an annual camping trip that’s allowed me to watch the runners for a half-decade. I couldn’t think of a better run for my first ultramarathon.

Here’s the course Description from the Ultrasignup website:

The Baker Lake Trail Run occurs in a beautifully serene, fall setting. The 50K out and back course offers unique features, beautiful forested trail, and awesome scenery. The runners leave the campground on a paved road the first quarter-mile, which crosses the scenic Upper Baker Dam. Once across, the road turns to gravel for just over a mile, until runners come to the trailhead of the Baker Lake Trail.

The 14 miles long, single-track trail meanders along the lake with short trips into the deep, old-growth forest. The trail is rolling, with countless rises and descents, and turns along the hillside. Mossy, slippery footbridges are strategically placed to wake the runner from any lapse in concentration. Fresh, fallen, multicolored maple leaves cover the landscape. Tricky steps across log bridges, and views from bridges over cascading streams, can invite pictures and side trips along the lake.
  Baker Lake Trail Map
That description about running through the forest is spot on. I’ve had the pleasure to walk the last few miles of the trail near the turn-around and can attest to its beauty. I’m immensely looking forward to the mutual suffering with my fellow runners. Hopefully, I’ll be race-ready come October and able to enjoy the scenery. Now on to training!