October 27, 2012
Hilloween is an event started last year by a upstanding young man up in Auburn.
It’s a free event, but you sign up at Ultrasignup.com so he can track participants and
You pick a hill.
You run that hill repeatedly, trying to beat your one day elevation gain PR.
You get 10 hours to do it in.
Laura and I got together with a few friends to tackle one of our area’s most
famously brutal hills for a fun Saturday morning. We decided that since our elevation PR
was set on a ridiculous course in which we spent nearly 13 hours running up and down
11,000 vertical feet, there was nooooooooo way we could hope to match it, much less
Throw in the fact that we had a race the next day, and the goal became to run a
decent amount of repeats, have fun, and not chafe too badly in our COSTUMES!!!
It was a misty morning when we arrived at the confluence of the American river,
by No Hands Bridge. We met up with everyone and started right in with the climbing. K2
is a 1.5 mile stretch with just over 1,000’ of gain, and we planned to run up about ¾ of
the way, then take a trail called “Pig Farm” which winds around a very shaded, technical,
more gradual descent before meeting up with the Western States trail to head to the start
Laura was a trail ballerina, I was Waldo, our friend P was a butterfly, and J was
Bacon. D came along, but wasn’t in costume… at first. He felt left out so on the second
time up K2 he suddenly said, “Well I have gold pants in my car.”
“… um… what? You happen to have gold pants?”
“Yeah, last year I was Shufflebot.”
So we took a detour by the cars the next time around and we ate some cupcakes
and brownies, distracting traffic whilst D depantsed and repantsed behind a car.
Turns out they were gold tights. You gotta rock gold tights if you wear ‘em, so
he did. He totally smoked us on the next climb, and disappeared for quite a while! He
actually ended up getting one more entire repeat in than the rest of us.
Laura and I got warmed up and started speeding through the technical parts,
and J and P stayed a tad behind behind. Apparently he had a blast asking every hiker he
saw “Where’s Waldo?”
When we reached the top of the fourth repeat, we all pretty much felt like it was
time to call it. J had to drive a long way home to run with his beautiful dogs up in the
hills, P had to meet up with her daughter for something, and DW and I had to save a little
in the gas tank for the next day.
We relished every step of the last ride down the mountain and celebrated
joyfully with homemade apple pie at the car! Some friends ran up to say hi and we all
ate together, sharing trail stories and laughing in the misty air, smiles lighting our salt
covered faces. It was great, just great.
We called it a day at 3,087′ gain in 11 miles, our legs feeling deliciously tired and worked.
That reminds me. Where IS Waldo?
Run happy and healthy, jungle friends!