This article was originally published on RunningUltramarathons.com on April 8, 2016.
2016’s Gorge Waterfalls 100k race took place on Saturday, April 2, and the weather forecast for this ultramarathon was spectacular. We were going to experience something the Pacific Northwest hadn’t seen a lot of lately – sunshine and warm temperatures. With highs projected to reach 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit (around 21C), I was pleased that there wouldn’t be too much mud, too many puddles, or a layer of dampness covering the rocky, technical trails we were going to be on all day.
View from the course. Photo: Brie Hemingway
This all started last year, when conversations turned to race selection for 2016. Gorge Waterfalls 100k was placed on the table by a friend. The race is called Gorge Waterfalls because it takes place in the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon. (The Columbia River separates Oregon and Washington). The ~100k route (62 miles) has around 12,000′ (3650 m) of climbing. My response was, “Oh, that will be fun.”
From the moment I hit the registration button for the race, and all throughout training and planning, a positive energy surrounded me. Even when we lined up at the starting line, thinking about our large dinner gathering the night before and the nervous excitement felt that morning at breakfast, I tried to temper my eagerness with trepidation.