Sunday, August 30, 2009

Frog Creek Tail Run

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.)


Gretchen said...

Those pictures came out great! Definitely a fun day. Thanks for running with me!

Peter Lubbers said...

Nice run. I'll try to come out for that one next year.

SnowLeopard said...

I'd like to do that one too next year! Even if it's just for the food. :) The photo you took from the top of Donner over looking the lake has a great shot of the Donner Lake Sprint Triathlon bike turn around point, just before the bridge in that little parking lot. Ahhhh, wish I could have gotten up there for that this year too~

slowrunner77 said...

Holy Crap!! What a run. Those pictures are just awesome...and I like your "friends"...those are my kind a peeps. I couldn't really spot ant big hills, though.

Anonymous said...

YOU WILL LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT! INVITE ALL YOUR FRIENDS RUNNING or just to volunteer, bring in salads, cookies, whatever! What a PERFECT day, don't miss it next summer. Such a fantastic group of people- I wish the next one was tomorrow morning!!!