Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon

This is a beautiful marathon! We drove down to Susanville by way of Crater Lake on Saturday, met my sister and brother-in-law at the Susanville Depot to pick up our race numbers (Harold was doing his first marathon, I was doing marathon #33), and went to bed early.

Sunday morning, we went to the Depot to the line of bus coaches that drove the runners to the start - nice coaches, and warm inside. Start temps were mid-30s. :) The race started at 9:00, and we got to the start at 8:30. Perfect timing for the portapotty lines. The Bizz Johnson is a rails-to-trails trail - very well maintained, and very easy grades. The trail is just over 25 miles long, so there was an out and back at the park where the start was to get the extra marathon distance.
Once on the trail, we enjoyed the beautiful Ponderosa open forests all the way. Mix of shade and sun, a light breeze, perfect running weather. Great scenery all the way!
Just after mile 19, was the only part of the trail that was not the rail grade. A bridge had been burned out, so there was a trail under the bridge, then down to the river under the highway bridge, then back up to the original grade at mile 20. I could tell I was running between 4,000 and 5,000' already, but especially after that climb to the 20 mile aid station! :) I had been running 4/1s until that steeper trail, then did more power walking with some running breaks the last 10K. It was so pretty out there along the Susan River. A big group of bikers passed me about mile 22, they were a class, and a fun bunch of kids and staff. There were two tunnels in this section, too, very fun to run through. Reg met me just after mile 25. He and my sis had been hiking at Lassen Nat'l Park while Harold and I were marathoning. We were just ahead of the first major storm front of the fall/winter season-my arthritic toe was telling me-and he said there was almost no one at the park.

To the finish! My finish time was 6:11, Harold finished 4:27 (yes!), and we headed for home. I did a baby wipe bath and changed clothes in the Shell station restroom. On the way back to I-5, we stopped at an overlook where there had been a recent fire. Mt. Lassen was already being clouded over. A last pic of Mt. Shasta before we stopped for supper then hit the road again. This was a great marathon!


moik said...

great race report - a fun day.


TriMoot said...

Wow, that looks like a great run! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures of your Oregon run. Enjoyed.

Liam O'Malley said...

I have been to Crater Lake but I've never run a trail marathon. It looks so pretty and like it was a wonderful opportunity. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Beautiful race course!! So nice to see pictures along the way. I enjoyed this so much that I want to participate in next year's race! You might also enjoy 'Race to Robie Creek' or the 'Zeitgeist Half Marathon' here in the Boise area. They, too, have beautiful courses.