We travel to Sisters Oregon to run the Three Sisters Skyline 50K. While in the area, we swing through Bend.
In a sign of the times, we saw a particularly exuberant political demonstration. It amounted to 10 or 15 locals driving around in circles, revving their engines and honking their horns. People shouted at each other. Some hooted in support and others hurled insults. It was obnoxious in many ways and for both sides. I got to tell you … it really persuaded me in their direction. I jest of course, but it was fascinating to see. What a time to be alive.
Race Report: Three Sisters Skyline
At a time when race directors were canceling races, not issuing refunds, and telling runners “too bad, so sad”, the crew at Alpine Running did things differently. They worked the problems and found solutions. Hats off to Alpine Racing for getting it done.
What a lovely race. The weather was perfect. The course was gorgeous. The runners were experienced, determined, and oh so polite. It almost made waiting all year for our first trail race worth it.
The trail is mostly single track. There was a mix of hardpack, slightly technical sections, and a surprising amount of soft sand. We toured through coniferous forests, standing dead, burned-out areas, mountain meadows, and even had a small stream crossing. It almost reminded me of Colorado and was not exactly what I expected from the Pacific Northwest, but it certainly did not disappoint. While some of the course was exposed, much of it was shadier than I thought it would be. Even the exposed areas and the mid-day sun were not too terrible. The weather was mild and overall not a hot race.
The first 9-10 miles are uphill but it is a gentle climb with much of it runnable. You then return from once you came and are able to really make up time, assuming you are a decent downhill runner. You take a slight detour and do not pass exactly through the start line, but as near it as it does not matter. From there you have 15 miles of mostly downhill and on a reasonable grade to coast to a finish. To be honest, I expected something much worse when I looked at the course profile.
Annie and I, true to form, made things harder than they had to be. The London Marathon was postponed for 2020 and then converted to a virtual race. It just so happened to fall on the same day. So, why not sign up and double-dip? Well, being in Oregon we were at a time-zone disadvantage. We needed to complete the marathon distance by 4pm local time. This is not normally an issue, but our 50K didn’t start until nearly 8am. That is not too bad. 8 hours to complete a trail marathon should be easy enough. Well, to “count” for the majors, we needed to complete the marathon portion in under 6 hours. Totally doable for us … until you consider the 6-mile victory lap we would have to run to finish the 50K. Oh dear …
It turned out that we paced just about right. We completed the first 13 miles in 3 hours and completed the marathon just under the 6-hour mark. As expected, Annie beat me to the marathon distance, and by about 7 minutes. As we neared the finish line, we were side by side, until she made her move, finishing 6 seconds ahead of me. All told, this was our best 50K performance to date. No complaints here.
Race Website: https://www.alpinerunning.co/three-sisters-skyline
Approximate gain: 3,700 feet
Approximate descent: 4,700 feet
Annie's Finishing Time: 7:22:46
Scott's Finishing Time: 7:22:52
View all race results by clicking here.