Bib #28 – Cougar Mountain Trail Run 19.5

5:00:21 was the time to beat; set in 2016 by a woman who was exhausted in every fiber of her being. Just returned from a 6-week work stint in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where she ate Amy’s frozen rice bowls for lunch and pasta for dinner; politely accepting the chocolate covered potato chips and deep fried Oreos she was offered as “local delicacies.” Despite finishing a 19.5 mile trail run on her first weekend back in Seattle, she just didn’t feel well.

That woman stuck around until October when, deep friend Oreos nearly forgotten, she crossed the finish line of the Chicago Marathon with a 7-minute PR.

Back on Cougar Mountain one year later, I had something to prove. I’d followed up that Chicago PR with three near misses between January and April, a 100k run good enough to qualify for the 2017 Western States Lottery, and my fastest 10k in eight years. Still, I couldn’t be certain that woman was gone until I looked for her on Cougar Mountain, where the course climbs 3700 feet over 19.5 miles.

For four hours, thirty four minutes and forty six seconds, I searched for her.

When the race was over I collected my commemorative Cougar Mountain Race Series rocks glass, filled it with keg beer, and sat on the grass.

Now I was sure; that woman was gone.


Bib 28-3 (July 8)


4 Comments on “Bib #28 – Cougar Mountain Trail Run 19.5

  1. Just found your blog.

    As my name shows – I’m learning French – while training to run my first ultra (50 miles). I love to run and I love France so why not.

    I’ll be reading your blogs for inspiration and motivation.

    Great articles – good job. Cool concept the 40 bibs.



    • Suz – Thank you for the kind words! I just spent a week at trail running camp with an amazing and accomplished Canadian mountain runner who works full time teaching university French. As she taught me to say – bon courage on your running! My first ultra was also a 50-miler. 🙂 Best wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Trail running camp – now that’s a great vacation!!! And how cool – they teach French.

        Thanks and I’ll need all the courage I can muster up.


        Liked by 1 person

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