Yesterday we were surprised to discover that the Pacific Crest Trail section that we were hiking on was the site of the Cascade Crest Ultra Marathon, a 100 mile trail running race. The race organizers urged us to help ourselves at the food stations (backcountry buffets) that were stationed every eight miles along the trail. We were keeping a good pace with the competitors, enjoying the bountiful food and having fun so we decided to continue on the race course after it veered off the PCT at mile 50 - we dropped our packs at an aid station and decided to try and finish the race. I ended up dropping out at 4 AM. At this point I had covered 62 miles in 20 hours and while my energy level was great, I was worried about knee pain that I was experiencing. As my primary goal is finishing the PCT and joining the race was a spur of the moment decision I decided to play it safe. My friends Roger Dodger and Spoons continued in the race and crossed the finish line after 31 hours! I couldn't be more proud of these fellow PCT thru-hikers and thankful of our spontaneous decision to jump into this crazy challenge! I can't wait to run a 100 this fall and this time not carry a 25 pound pack for the first 41 miles! I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers of the Cascade Crest Race who warmly invited us to jump in and all the wonderful volunteers who fed and took care of us during the long day and night!

I am now half way across Washington and less than 270 miles remain till Canada. I hope to finish the Pacific Crest Trail with 10 days!

Descending from the Goat Rocks with Mount Rainier in the background, Washington State

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