Lost and Found 10K/30K/55K Race Report
By Kim Yamauchi, TMS Ambassador
The Aug 3rd Lost & Found race in Soda Springs has something for everyone. This race, in its 2nd year, had 3 different distances – 10K, 30K, and 55K. If you can’t do the math, the 10K is 6.2 miles, the 30K ended up a bit long at 19.6 miles, and the 55K is just a very long way (~35 miles). The course for all distances is on trail (single-track and fire roads) and incredibly beautiful, especially this year since the wildflowers are still blooming! I had seriously thought about the 55K (mostly because I had my 55th birthday this year (shhh), so I thought this “might” be a great way to celebrate), but in the end, I decided that the 30K would be a more manageable distance. It was a good choice as the 30K was challenging enough.
The day started off a bit chilly but beautiful. We were delayed a bit from the 7am start due to a stopped train at the Serene Lakes RR crossing. Since the 55K did not need to cross the RR tracks until later, those runners were set on their way with just a short delay. The rest of us stood around, a bit antsy, waiting and hoping the train would soon move. Finally, the race director rerouted the beginning, putting us over the tracks behind the train, and popping out on the road right where we needed to be. It was a brilliant move, allowing us to run on a dirt road instead of asphalt as planned for the first 1/3 mile of the course.
The first half of the course took us out to Castle Peak Valley and then to Summit Lake via the Donner Lake Rim Trail (DLRT). It’s a beautiful section of trail, rolling with a mixture of fire roads and single-track. Aid station #1 at Summit Lake was well stocked and the first turn-around point, heading us back to Castle Peak Valley. Once we were in the valley, we turned and headed towards Castle Peak and started the long climb. At first, there are sections that climb, then flatten, but this only served as a teaser for the actual ascent to the 9,103’ peak. As we progressed into this climb, it became a power hike (at least for me). I’m not even sure the leaders could run this section, as it’s steep, loose dirt, and rocks.
When we reached the Castle Peak summit, we actually weren’t finished with the ascent. We turned and headed towards the next summit, Basin Peak, another 9000+’ peak. This is another tough but very rewarding section that takes you along a breathtaking ridgeline! From Basin Peak, you turn and retrace your steps – yes, more breathtaking vistas, and yes, back to the top of 9,103’ Castle Peak, then down the tough, steep, section. For me, this was slow, carefully picking my way between rocks and loose dirt. I’m fairly certain this is only run-able if you are 20 or 30 something and a bit crazy! So, I hiked! Aid station #3 marked the beginning of the welcome descent down the Hole-in-the-Ground trail. This section is a single-track downhill full of switchbacks through a beautiful pine forest. The tree cover was welcome as the sun was out and becoming intense. We even crossed a few snowfields that haven’t melted with the big winter snows and heavily shaded trail.
At the bottom of Hole-in-the-Ground trail, it became a “race-to-the-finish”. Now it was just a matter of hanging on for the last 3 ½ miles and “bringing-it-home”. These last miles certainly felt longer than they should’ve, but eventually, I popped out of the “woods”, onto the road, and knew the finish line was just around the corner. As I ran across that line, welcomed by the gathering crowd of finishers and race crew, I had a huge sense of relief and accomplishment. I knew I’d put it all out there, and I was so happy to be a part of this great event! If you are looking for a beautiful, challenging trail run next year, consider the Lost & Found race, and I’ll see you out there! As I reflect on this effort, I am incredibly happy to meet my goal of a top 10 female finisher (7th), and actually grabbed the age group win!
My race nutrition did not work for me this day, as I struggled with nausea essentially from the start, and could only take in small amounts of liquids, and very little food. I continue to evaluate my nutrition plan, learn from each race, and hopefully will be able to dial-it-in and feel better next time!
To learn more about nutrition and fueling click here.
There are so many great trail races in Truckee and Lake Tahoe. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Trail Runs to find one for you!