The Course: Steep, beautiful and painful should give you a good idea. The trails through lush, green Pacific Northwest rainforest had a great combination of lightly technical sections and smooth sections but were always flowy. Clear view of Mt. Rainier was a great way to start the day. Here is the strava file if you want stats (GPS lost satellite a few times and data is not 100% accurate, little on the short side in terms of distance) https://www.strava.com/activities/2341568715/overview
Photo credit to Mark Griffith (Big thanks to him for providing photos!)
Without going into specifics of the nature of the race basically runners had to complete three loops up and down Tiger Mountain, but were allowed to choose the order in which they did the loops. It added an element of strategy (and nerves!) having little idea of where you might be placed in the field.
The race started off with a majority of the front pack choosing to run the yellow (least steep) loop first. It kind of made sense to run fast before the legs were too shredded from the descents. While we were nearly together at the top of the first climb, Gus Gibbs destroyed me on the first descent. I felt great climbing early, but it took the entire first descent to wake up my legs for the downhills. I caught up on the next climb and was able to climb and descent well the rest of the morning finishing in 3:13.26. The race really reminded me of a Skyrunning style race, lots of people cheering on the course, rugged climbs and quad shredding descents.
Photo thanks to Mark Griffith
I usually don’t include details about the swag but this stuff was too cool not too at least mention. Shirt from Territory Run Co (not pictured because its already worn and in the laundry…) Patch (which I’ve gotta get a sweet jean jacket for), wood finishers medal and award from Elevation Culture
Gear I used:
Nike Terra Kiger 5: This shoe is dialed in. Loved it for every step, enough protection on the technical sections and downhill sections, and really light on the climbs. Felt really confident hammering even on steep rocky loose sections of trail. (Read a review of The Kiger 5 Here)
Spring Energy: I’ve been using spring Energy for two or three years now. Its made from real food and It just works really well. I never feel like I’m forcing gels down anymore, I actually look forward to taking these. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. The longer you wait the more you miss out on a great tasting easy to eat and effective fuel. Get it here https://myspringenergy.com/
Trail Butter: This is pretty much what I eat on toast or with a bar every day before running, so of course I always eat a pack or two on race morning. Get yourself a jar here! https://trailbutter.com/
Suunto 9: New to using Suunto but its working well and loving the ridiculously long battery life.
Thank you again to Ethan, Kim, all the amazing volunteers and sponsors! When registration rolls around next year you better sign up quick!!! RunTigerClaw.com Check out @RunTigerClaw on Instagram to see photos of Tiger Claw racers!
Is this a good look? Race destroyed me. Loved every minute. Photo from Run Tiger Claw. @runtigerclaw