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The first (possibly annual) running of the informal trail gathering dubbed the Wilson Creek Frozen 50k (and 20M and 10M) can be considered a great success. No one got permanently lost, for most of the morning the really bad mud stayed at bay, only one person reported blood (with pride and a great description of the fall, of course), and many milestones were achieved.
You never know what you are going to get in the Owyhees this time of year. It could have been epic mud or blizzard conditions. It could have been 0 degrees with a -20 windchill. Turns out, we were blessed with a best possible case scenario for course conditions overall. For the first half of the day, a blanket of chilly fog kept the ground mostly firm, so the infamous Wilson Creek clay mud only attacked the small group of 50k runners who were braving the 10 mile loop in the afternoon. Chill wind was nowhere to be found. And above the fog, 50k and 20M runners got to enjoy the most spectacular views in the brilliant sun from Wilson Peak (elev. 5363’).
Even at a small, informal gathering like this, inspirational stories abound. One girl finished her first-ever 50k and was so excited about it. One guy ran his 4th 50k in as many weeks to celebrate his birthday two days later. The 50k winner took his first-ever win, amazing everyone with his speed, even after accumulating several bonus miles on an unflagged section; and then he hung around until late in the afternoon waiting for everyone else to finish. Truly cool guy. Two ladies ran the longest distance they had ever run, tacking 5 miles onto 10 mile run on their own. One lady ran her first trail run ever, on a challenging course no less. She can’t wait to go back. Many others accomplished something great for themselves that day. I am so honored that I was able to share this beautiful country with an awesome group of trail runners.
This run would not have happened without three people: Davina Jackson, Sam Collier, and my husband John. The three of them spent the day before the race marking trails, and Davina and Sam swept the course, clearing course markings and making sure no one was left out there at the end of the day. Special thanks goes to Davina’s parents for manning the aid station for the morning and taking pictures until John got done running. Thanks to everyone who brought goodies to share at the trailhead, also. Thanks last but not least to Mike and Leone at Shu’s Idaho Running Company for sponsoring this run with great schwag bags and race numbers.
Maybe we’ll see you all next year???
For complete run details and results, visit www.emilyberriochoa.com/Frozen50k/