After a week of not being able to motivate myself to run, I figured I just needed to get out and do something. So Saturday morning I drove myself up to Donner Lake to do the Frog Creek Trail Run that Gretchen blogged about last week. It was a benefit for the (and I'm copying directly from Gretchen's blog here, spelling and all) Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation. One of the kids of a local family (owners of the Frog Creek Lodge?) suffers from hyperoxaluria, which from my limited understanding, basically turns the body into a kidney stone making machine. Yikes.
Found the place Surprisingly easily, up a steepish dirt road off of a side road off Donner Lake Road. From the moment I pulled in, it was obvious this was a low-key event. I loved the makeshift start/finish line, ingeniously set up using a few branches.
After a briefing by the course setter, we set off uphill. The first half of the race was primarily climbing, with the descent coming toward the end. I ran with Gratchen for quite a bit of the race, and it was wonderful to have someone to chat with - I'm usually such a solitary runner, and it was a welcome change. here she is leading the way:
After the climb brought everyone to a walking pace, there were some nice flatter spots as we passed some beautiful alpine lakes. (Sorry, I missed the names of these - they all seemed to start with "A".)
One of the runners had a dog along with them, and he tagged along near us most of the race. His collar said "DOG", so that's what I called him...
DOG even took the opportunity to cool off in some of the lakes:
Another lake - and a blurry shot of Gretchen that seemed perfect for the "watercolor" filter in my photo editor. Click to enlarge this one:
An example of one of the serious hills:
And the views that we were then rewarded with:
After descending through a ski area (Donner Ski Ranch?) We ran on the road for about a quarter mile, then hopped back on the trail (The PCT, actually) Had s great view looking over Donner Lake and the highway from here:
The rest was mostly downhill, and I kept my camera in it's case. Good thing, too - at one point, I took a nice head-over-heels spill on a bark-y area. Gave my upper back a little sore spot that I'm feeling today. But I made it to the finish in time to get a photo of Gretchen finishing:
The finish line was like a cool family barbecue, with kids running all over, live music playing, and dogs everywhere. Great food started showing up - burgers, salmon, homemade pasta salads and cookies, and watermelon. Couple of kegs under the porch. I could've hung out all afternoon, but needed to get back to town.
Here's a couple friends I made:
All in all, a really cool little race. By far the best vibe of any race I've been to this year, and for a really good cause. I hope they can draw a few more people if they do it next year.
(Oh, and all these photos are on my flickr page as well.)