Come April you're gonna be sick of the clouds, of the rain, of running through puddles and wet brush. You're gonna be tired of being socked in and covered in mud. You're gonna hate the dark, dreary days and you'll be thinking summer will never arrive. Unless, that is you either live on the East side of the Cascades or you make frequent pilgrimages there. Heading East of the crest you can get a decent dose of Vitamin D and at least temporarily fend of the 9 month long winter blues of the Pacific Northwest. I know this because I've been there. It got so bad for me I moved to the sunny side.
For those of you who have not yet been enlightened or who are trapped for one reason or another on the wet(sic) side of the hill I have created a cure for your plight(though it's only temporary). The Yakima Rim Skyline 50k and 25k is your savior when you need one the most. The sun shines there on that high open ridge line. It really does. Yes in April. There's no mud either or wet brush that soaks you to the core. You can see forever and it feels good!
Sure the trail is steep(the 25k has 5000ft of elevation gain and the 50k has 10,000ft) and hard and relentless and has more elevation gain than any other race in the Northwest of the same distance but at least you can see where you're going and where you've been. With each climb you're rewarded with ever expanding views of the Columbia Highlands, the Yakima River Canyon and the Cascade Mountains including Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and the Stuart Range. Also as you climb in and out the Umtanum and Roza creek valleys you see the ecosystem change before your eyes. And the ridge running here is liberating and invigorating.
I've chosen each of my races very carefully and I love them all but this one stands out from the rest by allowing the runners to run moderately high(3500ft) in the mountains early in the year snow free and by being such a great escape of the seemingly endless of winter. Summer starts early in the Rainshadow... Why Run Anywhere Else?
Yakima Skyline Rim 50k/25k - 2013 from Project Talaria on Vimeo.