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Nick Young

[TR] Mt. Rainier National Park - Running the Wonderland Trail 09/08/2018

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Trip: Mt. Rainier National Park - Running the Wonderland Trail

Trip Date: 09/08/2018

Trip Report:

Hey everyone - I know it isn't climbing, but I recently completed a run of the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier and thought I'd share.

I started my run on Saturday, September 8 at 8:45AM and finished just over 29 hours later. An ankle injury around mile 60 slowed me down significantly, and shattering my chance at a sub-24 hour run (before that I was ahead of schedule, but I may have been over-ambitious).

 

Elevation gain was somewhere around 25k and just as much loss. 

The route I chose started at White River and went counter-clockwise around the mountain. This late in the season, I ended up spending about 10 hours in the dark. 

Fortunately, I had a couple of friends who met me for resupplies at Mowich Lake, Longmire, Reflection Lake, Box Canyon, waiting for me at the finish. 

Due to the massive amount of information and photos included in my report, I figured it would be easier to link to my blog post - so I'll put that here:

https://nicholasyoungphoto.wixsite.com/mysite/blog/the-wonderland-trail-102-1-miles-around-mt-rainier

 

I've tacked a few photos onto the end of this as well. 

I'm planning to tackle the Infinity Loop next summer, so I'm hoping to find some other mountain running enthusiasts that may be interested in doing some training/mountain runs/bigger trips together. The community for people that want to get out for this kind of stuff has been, in my experience, decidedly small!

 

Thanks for reading

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Gear Notes:
I ran with a Salomon 12l Running vest - packed with 2 liters of water, trekking poles, an emergency blanket, a light rain jacket, my InReach, and enough food to sustain 200+ calories/hour for each section. I switched shoes between a pair of Salomon XA Elevate's and a pair of Hoka One One Speedgoat 2's.

Approach Notes:
Definitely the longest approach I've done to date.

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Great job!  You should feel really good about your accomplishment!  

It takes a lot of ambition to tackle such a run by yourself. 

My old ultrarunner hat is off to you!

I attempted a completely unsupported run in late September 2004: went clockwise from my car at Ipsut Creek; got to Indian Henry,  concluded I was carrying too much weight, turned around, and ran back to my car.  

Still one of my best runs ever.   

The running community for these type of runs, although tiny, is much bigger now than it was back then.  It was pure lunatic fringe back in 2004. 

I am too old to hang out with you, but every dog has his day and I had mine.  Very happy to see that you are making the most of yours!

Good luck on your Infinity Loop!

Doing my own Infinity Loop next year as an unsupported hike because the young can't have all the fun. 

 

Edited by Big Mitch

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Interesting and good timing on the season as far as weather. In a nutshell how did the ankle injury occur? I have a pretty good idea how but wouldn’t mind hearing firsthand. TTT

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Lando and Jon - Thank you!

 

Big Mitch - Thank you! It's definitely taken me a while to process and wrap my head around it. I'm starting to feel more proud of the accomplishment, but a big part of it still doesn't feel real. I suppose that will come with time and reflection. I have a ton of respect for people doing this run unsupported - its a  beefy course even with the limited aid opportunities, the mental crux and physical difficulty increases significantly when you remove that! I'm stoked that you're going out for the Infinity Loop - maybe I'll see you out there, and thanks for being part of the sport before it became what it is now!

 

To_The_Top

I'd love to hear your hypothesis on the ankle injury! I'm still just guessing here, as I never got it officially looked at aside from sending some photos to a few physician friends - but my best guess is that it was a number of factors that played a role. I didn't get in as much training earlier in the year as I'd have liked, as I was fighting off one injury after another until June. I personally think that the elevation and stress of the beating that I took on the run caused my calf muscles to overwork, and in turn, stress my achilles to the point that it got so enflamed that I lost any range of motion with it, and gained a good amount of pain. 

I'll follow this theory up with the fact that, A. I am not a doctor, and B. There are a lot of sections on the train that I don't really remember too concisely. It's very possible that I hurt it earlier on somehow and didn't notice until I was way too far down the rabbit hole. 

 

What are your thoughts?

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