Deception Pass 25K Race Report

Deception Pass 25K/50K is a VERY popular Rainshadow Running race, and it seems to be the gateway drug for runners in the Seattle area to try their hand (feet?) at trail running. It’s just an hour and a half away from Seattle, and a very runnable course. I’ll admit I haven’t done it before because November/December is generally my off-season (and who wants to train/race when the weather is gross??) However, since I had five months of unplanned off-season due to injury, I’m glad I had the opportunity to get back into it with this classic race.

While I’ve been easing into training after the great fall training camp I attended at the beginning of October, I still felt rather undertrained for this race. Not my usual preference, but just another fun challenge, eh? Also, I may have done a strength workout a week prior to race day (that should have been fine) but left me super sore on race day. Oops. Do not recommend. Lesson learned. Anyway, Adam and I agreed ahead of time that it was okay not to win (unless we magically became Olympians overnight, which seemed unlikely), and our goal was to just finish the race.

When we arrived at the parking lot near the start, the view already caught our eye! A nice, moody PNW sky. Shockingly, the weather held for the race, and we only got a few sprinkles.

Beautiful PNW

We got our race numbers, said hi to some of our friends, and lined up for the start. James Varner, the Race Director, gave a really funny (yet helpful) race briefing. Some great quotes: “If it’s made of wood or rock, it will be slippery.” “If you see caution tape, slow the hell down!” And my favorite in reference to not falling off the very tall bridge at Deception Pass, “It is VERY important that no one dies today!”

James Varner giving a hilarious (but helpful) race briefing

Then, off we went! The course is sort of a series of lollipops/loops. Sometimes this was really fun (seeing and high-fiving your faster friends), and a few times it wasn’t that fun (nearly getting mowed down by faster strangers.) It did allow for some variety in the course, and we loved all of the peek-a-boo views that we got along the way.


Map of the route from my Suunto watch

Example A of great peek-a-boo view early in the race:

The Deception Pass bridge!

The first few miles of the course were very runnable. I felt a little bit rusty going into this race, so this was a nice way to ease into it.

Adam on the aforementioned very, very high bridge

However, the runnability changed a little bit come mile 4. Adam rolled his ankle very badly on a very narrow rooty/rocky downhill, and I thought our race might be over then and there. However, after a bit of walking, he said the pain had faded and we continued on. (In case you were wondering, he did have a bit of a softball as an ankle by the time we got home. Oops.)

After this point in the course, we saw some of our friends three separate times on the lollipops, so lots of mid-race hellos. Much of the course was either overlooking the water, or in a forest with lots of ferns. A great representation of Pacific Northwest beauty!

Adam likes to somewhat jokingly point out that this area “looks just like Scotland.” As though that would convince me we didn’t need to travel halfway around the world to see a beautiful Scottish landscape. Ha! I think not. 🙂

Adam in an action shot!

Their was an aid station at 8.5 and 10.5 (same one), but since it’s such a short race, we didn’t really need much. We moved quickly through it and ended up chatting with a guy running near us, which always helps the miles go by quickly. Near the end, there’s a climb up Goose Rock and it looked like a bit of a death march of runners. Lots of folks just trudging up this steep, switch-backing incline. The trails were keeping everyone humble as always, and reminding all runners to do hill work!

After that, the end of the race came fairly quickly. More high-fives with friends, and some pizza and beer to celebrate. I also brought some Cupcake Royale cupcakes for post-race fueling (because, obviously, yay for us.)

Our friend, Sarah, hilariously (and accidentally) photobombing me as I try to look cute with a post-race cupcake.

One last pic of the day before heading home…


Some quick numbers:

Finishing time: 3:43:15

Elevation gain: ~3,000 feet

Calories consumed: ~400 (5 Glutino Oreos, 1/3 banana, 1/4 roasted purple sweet potato) So, yes, I basically just raced on Glutinos. Whatever. Don’t judge me.



2 thoughts on “Deception Pass 25K Race Report

  1. Pingback: Single Cask Whisky Advent Calendar: Days 9-13 | will run for whisky
  2. Pingback: 2016 in Review – 2017 in Preview | will run for whisky

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