Land Between the Lakes 23K

 A look at the lake behind the start line at Land Between the Lakes Trail Races

A look at the lake behind the start line at Land Between the Lakes Trail Races

As soon as ski season is finished, I like to start the running season at Land Between the Lakes Trail Races. This year, I was signed up for the 60K, but wound up running a nice, tidy 23K instead. After plenty of gout issues to limit my training mileage, I was happy to drop down and turn in a really solid run.

The Perfect First Race. LBL has to be the perfect early season race. You can flex your distances on race day and while the trails have plenty of elevation change, there aren't any steep section to kill your legs. And, although we had a ton of rain and flooding, the trails were in amazingly great shape.

Great Organizers. Durbin Race Management handles LBL, and they do a truly phenomenal job of organizing the event. The emails preceding the race were well written and had all the information needed. Packet pick-up was well staffed and had a great flow. Aid stations were well stocked and had plenty of friendly volunteers. They do a GREAT job!

Useful Swag. It was at LBL last year that I picked up a free technical hat. This was my favorite swag item that I've ever received because it was so useful. To follow that up, this year, I finally have a running beanie. Swag is best when it's not wasteful junk.

Post-run Food and Beverage. For months, I've been craving a Big Mac, and today was going to be the day. Well, it was going to be the day until this...

 The nearest McDonald's was closed, so no Big Mac.

The nearest McDonald's was closed, so no Big Mac.

Of course, Oasis Southwest Grill was a nice back-up option because they just happened to have one of my favorite beers on tap...

 
 Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA at Oasis Southwest Grill

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA at Oasis Southwest Grill