Wednesday, February 8, 2012


(The view from the ferry on our way over to Orcas Island)

I have wanted to do Orcas Island 50km for a few years now. I was signed up in 2010 but had to transfer my entry because I was unable to race. I was lucky enough to enter this sold out event and was excited to be taking part. With a 100km looming over my head on March 17, I figured I should be able to at least run 50km by this point.

I found out that Jen Segger was also entered and asked her if I could carpool with her. Turns out my good friend Jenni Chancey was coming down as well. She was not racing but rather, just out to support and get a weekend away. My new friend Poala Chadwick also came along for the ride. Both are training for the Gorge Waterfalls 50km in March!

I got picked up around 10:30am on Friday and we swiftly made our way to Bellingham, making sure to stop at Trader Joe's along the way. Oh, how I love that store. We also managed to hit up one of my favorite cafe's (Jen's too) in Fairhaven for some amazing sandwiches. I don't remember the name but I always go to it after doing the Chuckanut 50km.

We got to the Ferry in Anacortes at 2:47pm. There was a 3pm, 4pm and a 7pm sailing over to orcas Island. We were told that the 3pm was full and that the 4pm was broken down and they may or may not have it fixed by then. We were not stoked about getting on the 7pm and waiting around the ferry terminal for 4 hours but in the end, they had fixed the 4pm and all was good again!

Once on Orcas, we quickly made out way over to grab our race packages and then went straight to the cabin we had rented on the beach for some dinner (thanks Paola!!). The cabin was super cute, rustic, and it was great falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing up on the beach.

I woke up at 6:15am excited for the day. The race start was cold and I was happy to be wearing 3/4 length tights and a long sleeve shirt. After a quick race briefing from James and a 10 second countdown...we were off!

(The race start, Photo by Glenn Tachiyama)

To my surprise I ended up being right beside my favorite ultra runner, Pam Smith. I just think the world of Pam and was so happy to see her. I quickly fell in behind her and Amy Sproston, another great runner and the 3 of us ran together for the first 4-6 miles. Amy ended up dropping back and Pam and I went back and forth a couple times. At some point though she got ahead of me on a hill and then I never saw her again! She went on to win by quite a gap.

(One of the spectacular views, photo by Jenni Chancey)

The trails were beautiful and I would highly recommend this race to anyone. The views at the tops of the climbs are out of this world. Linda Barton, Gary Robbins main squeeze told me prior to the race that it was a tough one and I would agree with that. There were 3 major climbs, which made for some wicked descents.

(Having way to much fun smiling for the camera, Photo by Glenn Tachiyama)

I personally struggled a bit and went through a couple highs and lows, which I guess is pretty typical in an ultra. However, I met some really wicked people out there. The encouragement you get from strangers is so cool.

(Tom Craik and I before he dropped me like a bad habit, Photo by Jenni Chancey)

I was pretty beat in the last 10 miles, but I`ll blame Tom Craik (my nemesis) for that one as he caught up to me, got me chatting, wasted all my energy, and then left me in his dust!

In the end, I finished 4th female in a time of 5:30. Full results can be found here. and I was stoked to be out enjoying the trails on such a beautiful day with all my ultra folk. I can`t wait for my next event (yes, I say this now)! Thanks to James Varner for putting on such an amazing day. Not only is there a full on post race meal with a band playing music, there was a pizza dinner party, with free beer and a dance party!

(Jenni and Paola, the greatest ladies in the world)

Also, Thanks to Paola and Jenni for being out cheering and supporting Jen and I. Your smiles, cheering, and laughter were a big part of my day. And lastly, thanks to the guy who made the `Shit ultra runners say`` video as it gave us lot`s to laugh about the entire weekend.

Next up, Terawera 100km in New Zealand (March 17th) and 3 months of glorious exploring!

1 comment:

Alanna said...

Congrats on your finish! As an aspiring ultra runner I can't believe how fast you ladies are. :)

Is the cafe in Fairhaven the Colophon? They're excellent.