|(Toward the beginning of our run. One of the many bluffs overlooking the ocean along the trail. Not yet to Ecola Point).|
To put it plainly, the trail is spectacular. In fact, the area is so significant, that upon Lewis and Clark's voyage to the northwest, they exclaimed that they had not seen a more beautiful landscape in all their travel.
With a mile warm-up from where we were lodging, the trail itself began at Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach, Oregon and wound through a small range of scenic, coastal mountains; eight miles all the way to Seaside with an overall vertical gain of only 1000'. It is mostly dense, lush forest with the trail being extremely technical. What I mean is that there were sections of roots in which careful footing was necessary, tight bends that snaked throughout, and due to the moist atmosphere, patches of thick mud. What I am implying is that cruising throughout most the trail was quite difficult since keen awareness of foot placement was essential.
As Sara and I set off from the conference center, we agreed that we would share pacing duties along different sections of the trail. I was particularly looking forward to that because on one hand, it would be good practice for when Sara helps pace me to the finish from Rattlesnake to Cavitt during the Sierra Nevada Double-Marathon and on the other hand, I was eager to help pace her up some of the sustained climbs.
As we entered Ecola State Park and cut a sharp left off of the road and onto the trail, Sara took charge and set a decent pace. As a runner, I admire Sara's ability to whip around tight turns and avalanche the descents. It helps keep me on my toes and encourages me. It was a joy to watch Sara's determination to not only make it to Seaside, but do so with power and style. Here's a little glimpse of that:
|(Sara running strong as she pretty much did the whole 9 miles to Seaside).|
|(Climbing....somewhere in between Indian Beach and Seaside. Little do I know, but there is two miles of muddy trail ahead).|