Bridle Trails State Park
Kirkland, WA 

 1. Scott Boettcher                     3:59:34!
 2. John Carlson,AK                     4:09:45
 3. Rob Lang, B.C.                      4:12:59
 4. Mark Hartinger                      4:22:35
 5. Greg Koenig                         4:38:48
 6. Mike Miller                         4:42:00
 7. Karen King                  F       5:10:55!
 8. Randy Gehrke                        5:28:35
 9. Doug McKeever                       5:31:25
10. Jamshid Khajavi                     5:59:02
11. Miller Meyer                        5:59:45
12. Steve Frederickson                  6:14:36
13. Mark Schofer                        6:17:36
14. Patrick McLaughlin                  6:20:20
15. William Leitch, B.C.                6:21:26
16. Karl Jensen, B.C.                   6:26:20
17. Ken Macleod, B.C.                   6:26:20
18. Ron Nicholl                         6:40:38
19. Tom Cole                            6:57:38
20. Chris Ralph                 F       8:10:36**
    Tom Ripley                          8:10:36**
    Frank Fleetham                      5:55:00*
    Janine Duplessis            F       6:25:00*
    Gary Wright                         7:35:00*

41 Starters
25 Finishers

* Early Starters
** Trail Sweeping - Last Lap

New Course records for the 4th Bridle Trails 50K. Scott Boettcher from
Olympia, WA ended Rob Lang’s three year reign of the Bridle Trails 50K
by breaking the 4 hour barrier with a 3:59:34. Karen King trimmed
seven minutes off of her last year’s course record, running a 5:10:55.
John Carlson of Alaska came down to get away from running on snow and
ice and caused a little chuckle at the start when he said he wanted to
run on some dirt for a change. Dirt doesn’t come to mind when thinking
of Bridal Trails, just mud and more mud.

The lead pack of 6 runners finished the first loop of 6 in a
blistering :37 minutes. Two of those dropped later as the top four
continued to battle it out. Boettcher took the lead in the fourth lap
and never relented. This was undoubtedly the strongest running field
assembled in the four year history.

Due to a minor omission in a local race announcement, a number of
non-ultra runners arrived to do the 5K that was really 50K. A high
school coach even called up the RD’s to see if he could bring his
soccer team over for the 5K in order to give them some cross country
training. It certainly generated some extra interest in our race this
year. One individual did go ahead and run one lap with us. If he
decides to take up ultra running after this cold, dark, muddy
introduction, we’ll know he’s made of the right stuff.

This year had very little standing water that we had to plow through.
The disadvantage of not having the water is that the mud tends to get
stickier. By the 5th and 6th laps the mud was well worked up. There
was one 50′ section on the SE side of the park that felt like 8″ of
fresh concrete. Shoes may be redeemed this spring. I was always
hopeful that I could get through before I was planted in cement boots.

Race Directors, Chris Ralph and Tom Ripley, once again pulled off a
memorable well run event. The aid station, that we passed on each of
the six laps was well stocked with soup, food and beverages. Food
Frau Ripley brews up a good batch of soup. Many thanks to the
volunteers who helped us replenish before heading back into the dark.
A special thanks to Mary Wellborn, Washington State Parks and her
assistant who were out clearing trail for us right up to the start of
the race.

Every year I come up with a seemingly better strategy to cope with the
trail conditions. Most years, whatever I change works for about the
first 3 laps and then the mud wins out. My strategy for next year,
maybe I’ll try the 5KÉmy foreign correspondent recommends a well timed
winter vacation.

Ron Nicholl