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Gardens to Rattlesnake and back 100.2

June 27, 2020

Why? Why not

We wanted to finish out June with a hundred and well there seems to be a pattern here as we also ran a hundred at the end of May, over three days but this one needed to be a real hundred by running straight through so next we need a course.  First we thought it would be cool to run from Bellingham to Seattle.  My husband checked the roads and they did not have a shoulder so he thought that wasn’t safe and came up with another course option for us.  He tells me it’s 51 miles from golden gardens to rattlesnake lake, mostly on trails.  An out and back.  Great.  Amy and Jess were in and some others wanted a piece of the action.

If you know the area here is where we ran.  We started at the port a potties in Golden Gardens park to make it feel like a real race, no we just always have to pee before we start.  I warned Jess this will make it long as it was already a little long.  No worries...I didn’t know her plan.

We followed the Burke Gilman to the UW, then across 520, cool bridge, at the end of the bridge and right before burger master there was a surprise aid station by Lisa. She got both hot and cold Starbucks for us including sandwiches and mommas cookies, what a treat.  We eat a lot on these adventures, sometimes I think running a hundred is more about eating than running.

Next we are off through Bellevue to the I-90 trail.  We head east on the I-90 trail and only make one little miss turn by missing the tunnel under I-90.  We go back a bit and find the tunnel and run the trail that parallels I-90.  Once off the trail we run to Sammamish park and then by Costco and head a little south to meet Mike, Jess’s husband at 26 miles.  Hungry runners eat and drink everything in sight, yum.  Thanks Mike for being there.

Now comes the fun section, the next 13 miles are new to me and I’m a little worried about getting us lost.  I usually just show up to races and just follow the markings and know that there will be aid stations, but I rarely study the course as I just trust the race directors.  Well this time I’m it and know Jess doesn’t want to run any extra as she already has 400 miles on her legs and we are only doing a 100 today.  So I study the maps all week and my husband even goes on his mountain bike to make sure the map is correct.  He takes pictures and shows me all the turns so I try to memorize everything, and of course write it all down.

We headed out on the Preston Issaquah trail which parallels I-90 and goes up up up to Preston.  Next we follow the Preston Snoqualmie Trail which goes through Preston and then down down down, across a road, a little jig jog and then up some switch backs and a right hand turn on some trail.  Now here comes the tough section, take a right on an unmarked trail just after another trail.  We have been on paved or gravel double wide trail for most of this and now we are in rooty, rocky single track and up up up we go, a few turns and we pop out at the power lines on Snoqualmie Ridge.  Whew we made it to the power lines and all I have to do is follow them to our next aid station where my husband is waiting. We see the car, yay, we made it and no one, me, got lost.  Whew.  That was a little nerve racking and exciting.  We should always run somewhere we haven’t been before.  (Now I say this, that is not what I was saying earlier in the week)

We met Chris at Snoqualmie parkway and this takes us down through the little town of Snoqualmie and over a couple bridges to the Snoqualmie Valley trail, a trail we have been on before for the Mt Si relays and ultras.  We run on the flat and then meet my sister in law Sharon who was worried if she could keep up with us and I reminded her we would have 45 miles on our legs and she could definitely keep up.  Actually we had 47 miles so the course was long and Jess starts calculating and now we are finishing at Gasworks or Theos as she was not running more.  She calls Mike and lets him know the new finish location.  Yay we don’t have to run all the way back to Golden Gardens, I think then is it truly an out and back?  There is no arguing with tired legs, we are finishing with 100.2 miles.

We ate pizza and then Sharon entertained us with stories on the way down from Rattlesnake.  Sometimes it is just wonderful to listen to someone else talk and share while running.  The five miles went by fast. On our way back to Seattle we managed to take all the correct turns and pee in all the best bushes.  Drinking is required when running a lot and of course you have to pee out the liquid you are only renting and with all the parks BRs closed (damn Covid) we found a few port a potties but sometimes bushes are necessary.  Alright TMI.

On the way back from Rattlesnake we finally see Rachel again.  Rachel is young and fast and quite a put together 29 year old, so she runs with us at times.  She started late and caught up to us and regaled us with stories and enjoyed the surprise aid station, then she took off as she is fast and was only doing the 100k.  So it was good to see this independent great gal, did I already say she is quite a person at her age and fast, well she is.  Thanks for joining us on the adventure and not getting lost.

On the way back Amy said she saw a place in Snoqualmie where we could get root beer floats and she thinks the town is just a bit up the road.  I tell her we are 5-6 miles away.  So we think about root beer floats for all that time. We get to Snoqualmie and the ice cream shop is closed.  Bummer.  We go to the convenience store and she gets a popsicle and soda, not quite the same thing.  I had my heart set on root beer.  So Jess and I share some root beer.  Tasty sugar that goes right to my brain, wow.  Lisa texts us and asks if we want anything when she comes to meet us.  Of course we request root beer and mammas cookies. Food, it is truly about the food.

It is fun to have people join us on these adventures even if it is only for part of the miles as we look forward to see who is our next person.  In Issaquah, Lisa joined us and we were excited to hear stories and see her.  She has had quite a year and so has Amy so they connected right away.  Secretly I invited her to allow Amy and Jess to go at their own pace and let me have some company because during these long adventures I can keep up pretty good but at the end I tired a little more (I am older you know).  So I invited Lisa to keep me company.  So after she caught up with everyone in the next 10 miles, we told the gals to go ahead and Lisa and I had some catching up time together.  

In Issaquah we of course had to change socks, shoes, clothes and coats as it rained on and off all day.  So Lisa had to wait for us to get ready.  We ate, we changed and it was so nice to have Chris and his car there to hide out a little from the rain. Next and last we would see Chris at 88 miles.  Then our last aid would come from a special visitor who got up super early to support us.  Who are these people that get up at some weirdly hour in the morning to run with us?

Betsy and Matt decided to run out on the 520 bridge to meet us before sunrise and she had wonderful chocolate croissants.  Yum.  Just what a hungry runner needs to finish a hundred.  But more importantly we giggled and laughed and watched the sun rise.  We took lots of pictures because this is our adventure and who cares when we finish so we walked and shuffled a little.  And you know Betsy she has a wicked walk that my little legs cannot keep up with without a shuffle often. 

Giggle shuffle chat, that is how we finished this adventure.  Jess and Amy finished and then drove back to gasworks for a final picture and hug and I still wasn’t done and my face shows it.  I can look pretty pathetic when I want to.  Ha.  We finished by Theos Chocolates but you know it wasn’t quite at Theos so we had to do an out and back and Matt made us cocoa for the finish, Tasty.

Because of the new finish line, we had to juggle my sorry self back to my car and home.  Lisa’s daughter drove me to my car and then Betsy drove me home as it is not safe to drive after being up all night.  Betsy cranked the tunes and we sang a song at the top of our lungs, so fun.  What a fantastic way to end a great little adventure. 

Friends, so many friends to thank.  Chris, Amy, Jess, Rachel, Sharon, Lisa, Betsy and Matt.   I am very grateful for all of you.  

Gardens to Rattlesnake and back, not quite.  I might finish it today, Theos to Gardens walk.


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