Crater Lake Rim Runs Recap
August 13, 2007
By JOE DUDMAN
|photo by Barbara Dudman. A view of Llao Rock from near the start. The course climbs a big hill to the left of this formation in the third mile.|
Last Thursday I headed south for my annual trip to Crater Lake National Park. Nine of the past 10 years, beginning in 1998, I’ve spent the second weekend of August at Crater Lake to enjoy the spectacular views, do a little hiking with my parents, and run the Crater Lake Rim Run 6.7-miler along the rim road early on Saturday morning. At around 7000 ft. elevation, and with some serious hills, this race, along with the 13-miler and marathon, is a real challenge. It is also one of the most scenic races you’ll ever experience.
The race begins at 7:30a at a viewpoint overlooking Wizard Island and the deep blue waters of the lake. Runners are shuttled to the start, and I was assigned one of the earliest busses, leaving the campground at 6:00. Probably the hardest part of this race is getting dressed in the dark in your tent at 5:00 a.m. It’s an act of contortion that Harry Houdini would have been proud of!
|photo by Barbara Dudman. Trevor Hanlin and Damian Baldovino lead all runners as they approach the 6.7-mile mark. They finished first and second, respectively, in the 13-miler.|
The course begins with a gently rolling first mile, followed by a screaming downhill for mile two. The third mile is all uphill and quite steep as the road climbs past Llao Rock, and if you survive that you’re rewarded with three miles of downhill and then a half-mile uphill to the finish at the Cleetwood Cove parking area to keep you honest. (The longer races continue up that hill and have many more hills to come, which is the main reason I have yet to deviate from the short race).
Most years the combination of the third-mile hill and the altitude pretty much wipe me out, and I spend the rest of the race trying unsuccessfully to recover and catch my breath. But I felt much better this year. I got up the hill in one piece and had something left for the downhill. Maybe it was the 6.5-mile hike up Crater Peak the day before, or the uncharacteristically mild temperature at 7:00 that allowed me to get in a 3-mile warmup, but for whatever reason I felt much stronger, and finished with my fastest time in at least six years.
|photo by Barbara Dudman. Joe Dudman climbs the final hill at the finish of the 6.7-miler.|
There were two runners ahead of me, but they were running the 13-miler! Those two and another pair running the marathon had close duels for the lead in their respective races, with Trevor Hanlin, a senior at the University of Puget Sound, winning the 13-miler in 1:18:21, and Jeff Caba of Bend taking the marathon in 2:59:40. Becky Kirschenmann of Klamath Falls was the top woman in the marathon in 3:53:16. Other results are not yet available.