13.1 Miles of Free Advertising

by Michael Zabel

Issaquah, WA- The Taylor Mountain Trail Run was held this past weekend in the Issaquah Alps of Washington state.  A grueling 13.1 mile course was plotted out on which participants had the option of running either a 5 mile loop, a half-marathon, a full marathon or, for the truly insane, a 50k trail run (this being the half-marathon course twice plus the five mile loop tacked on after that).  Seeing as I am only partially insane, I opted for the half-marathon run and utilized the opportunity to get some free -but not so easy- advertising for my website.  So I made a t-shirt and hit the trail.

The Tee Shirt (pre-race)

   The single lane trail chosen for the race consisted of three river crossings, steep uphills (netting 2,000 feet in elevation), and treacherous downhills that took down even the most experienced trail runners.  In addition to the ludicrous topography of Taylor Mountain, typical Seattle weather decided to show up a full two days prior to the race, cascading copious amount of rain on the trail.  The final tally was said to be over an inch of rainfall, which when added previous rainy days, easily blew away June’s monthly average in just 48 hours.  The result: deep mud puddles spent the day impartially splattering runners and trying to suck the shoes right off their feet.
   Here are some before/after pictures:

What my shoes used to look like.
Stretching out the legs with my “sponsor” gracing my shirt.
Two and a half hours later, legs cramping up at the finish line.
The mud covered shoes.

  
    Running the half-marathon, up and down the mountain, was a physical and mental challenge to say the least. In retrospect, of course, I had a great time slopping through the mud for a couple of hours; slugging it out against the terrain; motivated and determined by the desire to get the most mileage out of the mobile advertisement on my back. 
 

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