Untamed TigerApril 13, 2009
Tiger Mountain is a popular destination for Seattle-area trail runners, and I’ve gone there numerous times in the last couple of years, almost always doing one or more repetitions of the 15-mile loop known in various circles as “Seattle’s Favorite Loop” and/or “the Fat Ass loop.” Despite this persistence and focus, my Tiger runs never go as smoothly as planned. My complaints and excuses:
6-3-07: Got dehydrated. Lost ten pounds.
5-10-08: Planned to run two counterclockwise laps. Quads were dead after the first descent from West Tiger peak #3; skipped the second lap. Will go clockwise in the future.
6-21-08: Ran clockwise. Brought directions to stay oriented. Got lost anyway. (Turned left prematurely from TMT onto Hidden Forest rather than waiting ’til One View.) Fell five times in two laps — a lot, even for me.
7-5-08: Rainy. Legs were lashed repeatedly by wet brush along overgrown trails.
3-7-09: Lots of snow at higher elevations; hard to run fast there. Couldn’t quite remember the entire route from last year; made a wrong turn at the One View/W. Tiger Railroad Grade intersection.
4-13-09: Thought the snow would be gone after a couple of 70-degree days earlier in the week. Wrong. Copious snow at higher elevations; copious rain and mud lower down.
A true trail enthusiast might welcome these varied challenges, but I mostly feel as though I’m fighting the mountain in a protracted war. And losing, I might add.