Loading onto the Ferry to go home from Orcas

Orcas Island 50K – 2016 Race Report

That went (unexpectedly) well! I ran my third Orcas Island 50K last weekend, managing to pick up a 26 minute (course) PR and finally get under the 6 hour mark on this monster of a 50K.  Despite the brutal elevation profile, Orcas always feels low pressure, due to 1) everyone being out of “racing shape” in early February, 2) the festival/party atmosphere around the race, and 3) being on beautiful Orcas Island.  I was feeling uncertain about this year’s race, as I had taken about a six week break from running in October / November, but everything just managed to click on race day. (more…)

Cool, misty starting line for the race.

Shinetsu Five Mountains 110K – Race Report

“Gambatte!”  How many hundreds of times did I hear this during the Shinetsu Five Mountains 110K?  Gambatte is the Japanese equivalent saying for our “good luck.”  While it’s used in the same situations, though, it doesn’t mean the same thing.  Literally, gambatte is closer to “do your best.”  I love the emphasis on your own efforts, rather than some random set of occurrences lining up for you (luck).  Shinetsu Five Mountains 110K was a amazing and REALLY TOUGH race, that definitely required preparation and personal toughness; luck alone would not cut it for this one. (more…)

Clouds rolling in from the east.

Bigfoot 200 Sweeping

Tuesday, four days before the race, the email came through that Angel’s Staircase 60K was being cancelled due to wildfires.  I haven’t been doing much racing this year, but this was one I was pretty focused on, so I was pretty disappointed.  Fortunately Richard Kresser came through with an alternative for me: “Want to sweep 35 miles of the Bigfoot 200 course?”  I had run this area (the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument) earlier this year (somehow in February, with our freak weather this year), and had been itching to get back this summer.  So, with an emphatic “yes”, my tough weekend was still on.


The trademark Rainshadow Running post-race party!

Beacon Rock 50K – 2015 Race Report

I’m pretty much ready to be done with the spring.  It hasn’t been my (racing) year so far, although I’ve had some of the steadiest training I’ve had since I started running.  The Beacon Rock 50K kind of summed it up.  The second lap 45 minutes slower than the first lap.  My overall time 40 minutes slower than last year.  We’ve had a warm year in the Northwest so far… and the heat is owning me, badly.  This racecourse was as beautiful I remembered, but as soon as the temperature rose… (more…)