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Capitol Forest 50/100: Olympia, Washington

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |October 13, 2010 10:15 PM
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written by: Evan Plews

Earlier this year my phone started ringing at the top of a climb on a rainy "spring" ride. Against all odds I dug out it out and answered. Turns out it was Roger Michel from 4th Dimension Racing calling to pick my brain about a new 50/100 mile endurance race he was planning in Capitol Forest near Olympia, Washington. We had a nice conversation and I told him if he built it, I would come. Planning progressed and all indications were that the race was on and reaching Roger's attendance goals. Then several weeks ago, I came to the realization that the Capitol Forest Race fell a week after Park City Point 2 Point and just three days before the Pisgah Stage Race. Ouch! At that point I opted out of the 100 miler, but confirmed with Roger I would be there despite leaving early the NEXT morning for North Carolina.

My teammate Marcus and I saddled up the race mobile bright and early and made the two and a half hour trip north. It had been raining that earlier in the week and was sort of foggy, a little atypical for September when we reached the race site just in time to pick up our packets and get changed. We made it to the LeMans start about one minute early, which is much better than 8 minutes late like last week! I was able to run uphill faster than most and got out front early. The course was immediately rad as we rolled up a serpentine singletrack climb punctuated by short twisty descents. It wasn't long before I determined that my Rotor stem wasn't tight. I surrendered the lead while I stopped to fix the loose bar clamp. Luckily, it wasn't long before I rejoined the leader and soon found the tempo to set out on my own.

Words can't really describe the next 20 or so miles but basically it was all beautiful Northwest singletrack. Some was in the deepest woods where even at 10am it seemed like we needed lights. The air was damp and the trails moist making some areas a little soft and slick, but most of the course was simply pristine. Small bridges and armored sections punctuated the track and once we even had to dismount to cross a little waterfall. I was alone with the woods enjoying a stellar time on the bike!

My Felt Nine Carbon and Kenda Small Block 8 tires dissected the course like there were rails invisibly implanted in the forest. Despite the big wheels, I was able to rise out of the saddle for the steeper climbs never needing to shift away from my large chainring. It was as fast and perfect as trail can be! After about 30 miles, we hopped on a gravel road and gently climbed for eight miles before hitting the last section of singletrack down the Green Line. The sun was poking out and this mostly downhill singletrack session lasted nearly fifteen miles and included a short switchback climb that tested ones endurance late in the race.

Once past this final hurdle we soared down the seemingly endless twists and turns through woods and clearcut areas returning directly back to the start area at Mima Falls Campground. The fun factor for this last section of trail was paramount undoubtedly contributed to many post-race permasmiles! After the finish, we chowed down a great meal of burgers, soups, and various snacks while the racers raved about the course, which I would rank right at the top of my list of all-time totally fun rides! It was a stretch to make it this year, but I will definitely mark my calendar better for the next time around.



Open Men 50

1, Evan Plews (

2, Carl Hulit (Recycled Cycles)

3, Matt Hayes


Open Women 50

1, Kimberly Shavender (MerGeo)

2, Erin Roe (GL6 Racing)

3, Beth Brewster


Open Men 100 

1, Garrett Heitman (Cliff Bar)

2, Ian Tubbs (Lenovo)

3, Elijah Romer (Oregon P/B Laurelwood Brewing)


Open Women 100

1, Emily Sportsman (Bigwheel Racing)

2, Monilee Atkinson (Norco)

3, Pia Meurs-Gerken


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