Welcome to the Mount Si Race2005 Page - the Seventh Annual Race up one of the the gorgeous Cascade foothills.

Theme for the year ... theme, theme, theme ... hmmm.

After last year's inexplicable defeat at the hands of returning victor Ashley and newcomer Ian (tie for first) my brain is simply blank. I leave you, instead, with a quote.

Kilimanjaro is a snow covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called by the Masai "Ngaje Ngai," the house of God. Close to its western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.

    The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Earnest Hemingway

The race this year only had three people: me (Larry), Ashley and Klim together with our race official and timer, Lydia.

There was a light rain at race time which continued the whole way to the summit. The summit gully was wet and the rain probably added 5 (or more) minutes to the race times.

I took the lead for the first few minutes and then Ashley passed me at a faster rate than I could maintain. I let him break away. Klim dropped back. Gradually, I lost track of both Ashley and Klim: Ashley added to his lead, and rather soon Klim could not be seen beneath me on the switchbacks.

There were at least ten hikers on the trail and from their comments as I passed them I learned that Ashley had put about 5 minutes between us after half an hour, and ten minutes after an hour. Not good for me, but I persevered!

When I got to the summit gulley and shouted and I could hear Ashley call down. He had begun his descent. This was an interesting development! We were now, by my estimation, only about 5 minutes apart. I can only guess he was slow in the slippery gully. It was pretty bad, but I know that gully very well in all conditions. Since I was feeling pretty good, I knew I could mount a charge on the descent. You never know what might happen! A spark of hope came alive.

On the way down, my hiker-reporters (who seemed to be getting into it a little) kept me posted. I was not gaining on him: he was still 5 minutes ahead. But just at the 2-mile mark somebody told me they had heard a scream down below and speculated that Ashley had taken a tumble, always a risk, particularly when it is wet and lactic acid build-up interferes with instructions to the legs.

Of course I was worried about Ashley. Heavens-to-Betsy! What if he had hurt himself? I certainly didn't want that. Not badly anyway. Maybe just a little injury. A little twist in the foot, something not serious of course. The spark of hope became a serious ember and I gave it everything I had left.

At about a mile and a half from the finish line I passed Klim. He was walking down. Evidently he had given up somewhere. He looked uninjured so I pressed on. More on Klim later.

The last mile was pretty painful as always. Everything was really slippery and I just about lost it a couple of times but kept pounding down the mountain. I kept hoping to spot a glimpse of the competition ahead, but no luck.

I rounded the final corner, sprinted hard across the bridge to the water faucet and there, at the finish line, were Ashley and Lydia.

Lydia had gone quite high, perhaps beyond the 3-mile mark, but had turned around in time to be at the finish line at 2 hours.

Our times were

Ashley: 2:06

Larry: 2:07

Klim: Didn't Finish.

Klim is a puzzle that deserves some analysis, given his superb effort in past years. His own words on the matter were "I just knew I couldn't compete with such specimens of male power." I like this idea, but I am dubious.

Upon investigation at the scene, witnesses report (and this witness can confirm) that Klim has taken up smoking. Nasty habit, that. Others claim he "parties" a bit, possibly even the night before this race. Klim seemed to be somewhat defensive, even surly, at this point: not actually denying these claims, but asserting that we should quit badgering him about his harmless amusements. What business could his pastimes be of ours? The fact that His Mother, the Saintly Lydia, has invested 20 years in his well-being is, of course, a non sequitur in this context. Bringing it up could be no more than a devious ploy.

Ahhhh yes. I remember those decades. To be immortal, unstoppable...to sneer at the reaper...what fun! An eon before that bill comes due. You go guy! The truth is just as you suspect: we're a little jealous. I loved it back in the day. You see, I used to be immortal too.

Some people visited the site before the race and voted for who they thought would win. Two voted for Taylor, who didn't run this year. 8 voted for Larry. Nobody picked Ashley, this year's winner.

Click here for race pictures!

For those interested in going back to the overview page or to check out the results from previous years, try:

The Mount Si Race - Overview
The First Mount Si Race - 1999
The Second Mount Si Race - 2000
The Third Mount Si Race - 2001
The Fourth Mount Si Race - 2002
The Fifth Mount Si Race - 2003
The Sixth Mount Si Race - 2004

Link to my Bellevue College Page

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I can be contacted by phone at Bellevue College at (425) 564-2484 or by e-mail at lsusanka@bellevuecollege.edu .

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This page was last modified on 07/19/14 at 16:06.
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