March 22, 2012 TWEET COMMENTS 1

Too Cool - Page 3

6. A stellar venue.
I stayed in Auburn—the Endurance Capital of the World—the night before and after the race. Steep streets were lined with galleries, boutiques and delicious-smelling restaurants. All that, with palm trees and pine trees, the town reminded me of Leadville, Colorado, and Asheville, North Carolina, all rolled into one.

On race day, when I drove the 15-minute commute to Cool, I drooled at the rolling foothills that dropped away into canyons. The moment I parked the car at the race start, I called Jeremy and Gina and exulted, “Oh. My. Gosh! Cool is soooo cool!”

7. A fantastic course.
As an early season opener Way Too Cool had the perfect balance of climbs and descents, all mostly along pristine singletrack. Plus, I felt giddy with excitement as I tromped along the Western States trail, which encompassed a major chunk of the race.

8. A nearby brewery with craft beer. Nothing is better the night before and afternoon after a hard effort on trails than a cold glass of microbrew. I happily enjoyed the American River Pale Ale along with a gargantuan Cobb salad (twice) from the Auburn Ale House.

9. Organization. While some degree of mayhem is required (IMHO), there is a short list of musts a race should pay close attention to. These are: start on-time, time the race accurately, record the results accurately, stock the aid stations with enough water and fuel for all runners and mark the course well.

I’m hoping to make a return trip in 2013, and, if I do, I am going to eat a frog cupcake!

photo by Joe McCladdie


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