Fragrance Lake 1/2, Fall City 10k, Sound 2 Narrows 12k & the Portland Track Festival’s SEA v. PDX v. BC 3k Challenge

Photo By: Tad Davis

Saturday June 9 – Due to the tragic plane crash that happened on Chuckanut Mountain on Monday, February 12th, Bellingham Trail Running Series’ Fragrance Lake Trail 1/2 (and 10k, 50k) were rescheduled for Saturday, June 9th. The course remained the same, traversing the “scenic and super technical Ridge Trail with views of the Cascade Mountains.” With 3,300 ft. of vert and almost entirely single track trails, the race is a hometown favorite of BDP’s. Our dear Maria Dalzot not only took 1st F, but was 1st OA in 2:01:00 (in the middle of training for the Marathon du Mont Blanc), and Nikki Buurma was 4th F/7th OA in 2:22:08, just shy of a PR. Beautiful race photographs as always were shot by Tad Davis. You can check out Maria’s Race Report HERE! And results HERE!

Photo By: Tad Davis

The same day held many races in the Seattle-Tacoma hood, one being the Fall City Days 10k, where teammate, Amber Morrison competed, taking 1st and earning a new PR in the process in 36:26. Proceeds from the race benefit local schools,; over $48,000 was donated to Snoqualmie Valley Schools and to local youth groups from 2013-17! 10k Results HERE!We wanted to give a shout out to Amber’s mother, LaDonna, who has been working tirelessly in her attempt at a BQ, and we’re proud and ecstatic to announce that she did it at The Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon on Sunday, June 10th! The Tunnel Marathon races offer one of the fastest courses in the country. “This point to point course delivers excellent times thanks to the consistent downhill grade and low starting elevation…” You run through a “dark tunnel lit by your best running mates, gawk at the mountains and waterfalls, take in the sweet Washington air and let your legs go.” Congrats Mama! So excited for you! Saturday was also host to Sound to Narrows, the South Sound’s kick-off to summer, and the state’s oldest 12k. Teammate, Hazel Clapp, along with her husband competed at the race, and both PR’d! Hazel was 5th F/38th OA and 1st in her Age Group in 49:16! FULL RESULTS!
Sunday June 10 – Concluding a weekend of Female Power, Courtney Olsen raced the SEA v. PDX v. BC 3k at the Portland Track Festival on Sunday. Almost 2 weeks out from Ski to Sea, she wasn’t entirely sharp, but did PR off her WWU 3k Indoor time. Unfortunately Team SEA did not take the win, losing to PDX, losing out on the prize $ and more importantly, a giant axe. Until next time PDX…until next time.

Congrats to all of you who raced over the weekend, who earned BQ’s, who tried new things, who endured racing in the middle of hard training and on! We’re proud of all of you!

Rainier 2 Ruston, SoCal Wine Country Wmn’s 5k & 70.3 Victoria

The 16th Annual Rainier to Ruston is a 50 Mile Relay from Mount Rainier to Tacoma’s waterfront, where you’re invited to “commemorate the old railroad by passing through bell standards in each town on the way to the sea.” Starting at the Carbon River entrance in Mt. Rainier National Park and finishing at Marine Park on Ruston Way, the course passes through deep and gorgeous forests, alongside rushing rivers and streams, and through historic Washington towns. Driven by the non profit Foothills Rails to Trail Coalition, all proceeds go towards maintaining the trail system used during the race. Hazel competed for Team GRRLS; together they took 2nd in the Open Women’s 6-Person team category.
RESULTS!In Temecula, on a Bachelorette trip for her dear friend, Courtney ran the SoCal Wine Country Women’s 5k. The race also hosts a half marathon and both distances take place at Vail Lake Resort. The 5k was an out and back with rollers that take racers along Vail Lake. Three of the bachelorette party members including the Bride herself swept the race in 1st through 3rd with Courtney taking 1st. Host of the event, Off Road Pursuits threw down an incredible after-race party with sandwiches, endless wine, fruit, essential oils and sunbathing. The awards were rad – with wine and swag. RESULTS!At the 70.3 Victoria, Leighton and David’s first official Half Ironman of the year, Leighton was 3rd in his Division and 31st M (4:30:31) and David was 2nd in his Division and 17th M (4:20:09). Breaking it down a bit, the Swim Course took place in Elk Lake, the Bike Course was a single loop that began at Hamsterly Beach; racers rode through four municipalities and had stunning views of Haro Strait, the Coastal Mountains and Saanich Inlet. The Run Course took place back at Elk Lake, which hosts 10km of trails that follow the shores of the lake through wooded parkland.  Full results can be found HERE! The 70.3 Victoria is just the first in a string of Tri’s these two are set to do – next up for Leighton – the Padden Triathlon on June 23rd; and for David – Ironman Coeur d’Alene 70.3 on June 24th.

RESULTS from Pigtails 100k, S2S & Run for Water 10k!

On Saturday, May 26 in Renton, WA, Shawn competed at the Pigtails Challenge 100k (the Challenge also featured a 50k, 100 Mi, 150 Mi and 200 Mi…). Results are currently pending, but we are ecstatic to announce that Shawn WON THE 100K finishing the 62.46 mi looped course in 9h34m! Way to go Shawn!

In what couldn’t have been better weather, BDP threw a major showdown against competitors and against themselves in the Downhill Ski/Snowboard, Downhill Run and Cycling legs at this year’s Ski to Sea. Competing at Ski to Sea in general is badass, but throw in Car Free, post-major surgery, head to head, within seconds of each other, glacial creeks, and enduring a bike ride with the best of them after a crash a few weeks back….and you have (at least to me) quadruple badassery.

To start, Boomer’s Drive-In was 1st OA, finishing in a time of 6:06:42, with (3) Top Guns, including Juan Castillo’s 1st OA Downhill Leg performance in a time of 38:08. There followed Beaver’s Tree Service (Whatcom County Open), finishing a few minutes behind in 6:11:05; they had (2) Top Gunner’s. Derek ran for Beavers, and was 5th in the DH Run leg in time of 40:33.

Leighton’s team – Epic Kayaks (Competitive Open) finished 3rd OA in 6:18:44. Leighton was a dominant force in the road bike in 1:33:14 (10th OA in the rd. bike category).

Taking 1st OA Women’s Team, 1st in the Whatcom County Women’s Division and 17th OA, Team Brandon Nelson Partners (formerly Kulshan Cycles), and comprised of Amber (DH Ski) and Courtney (DH Run) was a force, holding off 2nd Place Women’s Team, Jack’s (Competitive Women) by a mere 1:15. Amber was 2nd OA F in the DH Ski and Courtney was Top Gun and 2nd OA, breaking her own record in 38:48 in the DH Run. Team Brandon Nelson Partners had several Top Gun Award winners as well.

Running the DH Leg for Team CorePhysio (Whatcom County Women), Hazel, in her 2nd year running, PR’d over last year and helped her team to a 2nd Place Division finish and 20th OA finish.

DH Snowboarder, Alyson, nipped the Top Gun from BDP teammate, Amber, in a fierce 26:58 in tough snow conditions and handed off to Aly who ran the DH Run Leg in 46:31 to help their team to a 2nd Place Division finish and 27th OA finish!

Competing for Team Wander Brewing (Whatcom County Women), Katelyn did the DH Ski leg, helping her team to a 3rd Place Division Finish and 28th OA Finish.

After surgery, nay, two surgeries, and taking part in the Car Free Division, Scarlett, after biking to Baker, raced the DH Run leg for Car Free Team WompMobile, finishing in a time of 53:14. Her team was 6th in the Car Free Division and 144th OA.

Booze and fun times were had. Champagne was drunk from the Blossom Cup trophy, and everyone is happy. We can’t wait till 2019! Full results HERE!

In Abbotsford, BC, new teammate, Alma raced the Run for Water 10k; Alma took 1st F and 7th OA. Way to go! Full results for the 5k, 10k and 1/2 can be found HERE!

Bellingham Olympics, Run for Water 10k & Pigtails 100k

In Bellingham, Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with Ski to Sea weekend. Also known as the “Bellingham Olympics.” The “original multisport relay race, from Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay,” teams of 3-8 traverse the following:

  1. Cross Country Ski
  2. Downhill Ski/Snowboard
  3. Running
  4. Road Bike
  5. Canoe
  6. Cyclocross Bike
  7. Sea Kayak

This year we have an insane amount of teammates competing in numerous legs on various teams:

DH Ski/Snowboard – Alyson (SHEroes), Amber (Brandon Nelson Partners), Katelyn (Wander Brewing)
Run – Aly (SHEroes), Courtney (Brandon Nelson Partners), Hazel (CorePhysio), Scarlett (WompMobile), Derek (Beavers Tree Service)
Road Bike – Leighton (Epic Kayaks)

You can follow BDP and other teams at S2S through the Ski to Sea App, via Mobile Notifications or post race results can be found HERE! Good luck to all those racing Ski to Sea, whether for fun or competitively!

Also over Memorial Day weekend, our teammate, Shawn will be racing the Pigtails 100k, which takes place at Lake Youngs Watershed and consists of a rolling loop with 900 feet of elevation gain per loop. Though not considered a technical mountain race, the 900ft per loop adds up considerably. “Since this is a loop course, the option to throw in the towel always looms in the background. It will test your perseverance to carry on lap after lap when you could easily call it a day, pop blisters, get warm, eat and have a beer.” The 100k will take place on Saturday, May 6 @ 6:00 am. The Pigtails Challenge also consists of a 50k, 100 mi, 150 mi and 200 mi…the 150 mi and 200 mi having already started Thursday morning and this morning, so that the culminating end can sync with the “shorter” distance races. Good luck Shawn!

On Sunday, May 27th, new teammate, Alma McCurtry is set to race the Run for Water 10k in Abbotsford, BC. The race series, which includes a 10k, 25k and 50k trail race on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford on top of the 5k, 10k and 1/2 marathon at Mill Lake Park in Abbotsford has helped transform over 40 communities throughout Ethiopia over the past 10 years, raising over $3 million dollars & providing 100,000+ people with clean water for life. In 2018, funds from the Run for Water races will help those who live in Awash Kolati and Gora Bantu, Ethiopia. It’s an incredible race with an incredible cause, and we’re looking forward to Alma racing it! Good luck Alma!

H2H, Sunflower Half & the Snohomish Women’s 10k

Saturday, May 5 – Cinco de Mayo was one of those perfect racing weather, perfect weather in general days. Several of our athletes raced GBRC’s infamous Haggen to Haggen, as was previewed in last week’s blog HERE! It was really rad to have a large contingent at our local race, celebrating our local grocery store and our local running store, Fairhaven Runners & Walkers. Derek led BDP with a top 3 finish, behind men’s winner Juan Castillo (15:20) and Erik Steiger in 2nd (15:34). David was 3rd in 15:41. Derek helped pace Courtney to a 1st place finish in 17:02 (Derek right alongside, taking 8th M), who was followed by Amber, who PR’d in 17:49. Alma McCurty was 3rd in 18:26. Nikki was 4th with a PR in 19:00; Kathryn was 5th with a PR in 19:11. H2H is such an incredible event – with numerous free goodies, of granola, coffee, cold brew, cookies, chips, popcorn, snack bars, protein bars, coconut water, kombucha and on…not to mention the prizes for 1st-3rd, which entails Fairhaven Runners’ goods, a gift cert, and a gift card to Haggen! Full results HERE!

Saturday, May 5 – At the 38th Annual Sunflower Half Marathon, Katelyn took 1st in a time of 1:33:47, 7 minutes ahead of 2nd Place’s Sydney Taylor of Seattle, WA. RESULTS!

Sunday, May 6 – Hosted by our favorites at the Snohomish Running Company, Rachel raced the Snohomish Women’s Run 10k, taking 2nd in her first race since concluding her first year of PT school. Results HERE!

Last Wknd When Everyone Ran Awesome & The Wknd Ahead!

Last Weekend Today – BDP Domination. In the most beautiful way. Shawn was 8th at the Tillamook Burn 50k, Leighton was 2nd at the Mount Rainier Duathlon, Courtney took 1st at the Eugene 1/2, and Corrine annihilated, taking 1st at Canyons 100k!  All the distances! All the styles!

Tomorrow brings our local Haggen to Haggen 5k, hosted by GBRC. Celebrating its 25th year, H2H begins at Sehome Haggen and ends at Meridian Haggen. Proceeds from the event help fund $1000 scholarships and shoe vouchers for low income high school runners. David, Derek, Amber, Courtney, Hazel, Kathryn and Nikki will compete to see what they’ve got on the famed fast course.

Coming off the tornado that is finals, Rachel Cundy is back home and ready to race the 5th Annual Snohomish Women’s Run. The race will be the start to a summer of training, as she gets her feet back under her. We’re so excited to have her back closer to us!

Deeper into Washington, Katelyn will race the 38th Annual Sunflower, using the juicy trail training she accrued over the winter in training for the Chuckanut 50k. The course for the 1/2, trail marathon and relay traverse fields of wildflowers in the Methow Valley, and begins at 2180 ft. in Mazama (high for us Bellingham sea-levelers). With deer trails, single track trails and gravel roads, stunning views of the Methow River, North Cascades and Chelan Sawtooths, Katelyn is sure kick ass with a smile en tow.

Good luck everyone!

Race Preview – Tillamook Burn 50k, Canyons 100k, Eugene 1/2 & Mt. Rainier Du!

The west coast has been incredible this past week – mid-70’s temps, longer days, yoga in the park – and our athletes have been revving up for another big weekend of racing. Rain is predicted for the weekend (at least locally), but we head into our races filled up on vit D. First up is the Tillamook Burn 50k, where Shawn Bussert will run on the trails of the lush and rugged Tillamook Forest in the Oregon Coast Range mountains. The race also features a 20-Miler on Sunday, and the opportunity for racers to do the 50/20 double, if so desired. “The mountainous, temperate Tillamook Rainforest in Northwestern Oregon is steeped in history, most notably, the legendary ‘Tillamook Burn’ forest fires that consumed 355,000 acres of old growth forest from 1933-1951. One of the largest tree replanting campaigns in human history led to the formation of the Tillamook State Forest in 1974. Today, a lush second-growth forest thrives here, offering dozens of miles of exceptional single-track trails for us to enjoy, showcasing hundreds of massive, emblematic “grey ghost” snags and charred stumps– enduring relics of the vast old growth rainforest that reigned here prior to the Tillamook Burn. A portion of race proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust, which provides direct support for recreational projects and outdoor educational programs within the Tillamook Forest.” The Tillamook 50k is also a qualifier for UTMB. Good luck Shawn!!

Canyons 100k, presented by Hoka One One, as well as the 50k and 25k, will take off Saturday morning at 5:30 am. Corrine Malcolm is set to race; the 100k offers a “…double out-and-back course based in Foresthill, CA with a start-finish-village at the old Foresthill Elementary School. It is run mostly on single-track. The Canyons section starting in Foresthill, heading to the Swinging Bridge and back, is run entirely along the historical Western States Trail. The Cal St. section continues on the WS Trail from Foresthill to Rucky Chuck and back.” Oh Rucky Chuck…On the return back down Cal Street to Rucky Chuck there lays “the fastest 16-mile section of the WS Trail,” where racers are advised to save some energy for the climb back to the finish.  In total, racers will experience “panoramic views of the Sierra vistas, descend into intimate canyon gullies filled with vibrant ferns and fauna,” and they’ll dip their toes into the “rushing waters of the historic American River and cross mountain streams and old wooden bridges through historic settlements from California’s gold rush days.” Post-race celebrations will be dank, with hot grilled food, tri-tip burritos, and cold drinks. Good luck Corrine!!

On Sunday, April 29th, Courtney Olsen will race the Eugene 1/2 Marathon. Taking off at 7:00 am, the course starts alongside full marathon racers in front of the historic Hayward Field – “home of five Olympic Trials, ten NCAA championships, and countless national and world record breaking efforts.” The “halfers” run parallel to Pre’s Trail, through the University of Oregon, Amazon Park, Alton Baker Park East, and across the Willamette River twice, finishing through the arches of Powell Plaza and onto the final stretch on the track at Hayward Field. Good luck Courtney!

Rounding us out, Leighton Overson will compete in his third of three Du’s in three weeks, at the Mount Rainier Duathlon, hosted by BuDu Racing. “The gateway to Mount Rainier National Park serves as the host for this popular season opening event.” It begins at the Enumclaw Expo Center, and the long course goes starts with 5.1 miles on local roads, transitioning to the bike on rural, riding up Mud Mountain Dam Hill, and down Highway 410 to the fairgrounds. Once back, you do the 14.4 mile loop once more, before finishing with a 3.8 mile run which stops at the base of Mount Peak (5.12 Mi Run, 28.77 Mi Bike, 3.8 Mi Run). Let’s see if Overson can go 3 for 3! Good luck Leighton!

Bryan Clay Invite, Fun with the Fuzz 5k, Vancouver Sun Run, Tenacious 10, Yakima Skyline 25k & the Spring Classic Du!

On Friday, April 20, Brittany Grant competed in the 1500 at the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific, and was just shy of PR’ing in 4:31:86. Grant donned the gorgeous new Citius Mag kits that we’re fanning over. The track meet was stacked with pros. FULL RESULTSSaturday, April 21 was bountiful in races, with our local Fun with the Fuzz 5k kicking it off. Fun with the Fuzz is an incredible event, which, alongside Behind the Badge Foundation, honors the sacrifices of officers who have died or suffered a catastrophic injury in the line of duty by serving as the trusted resource to families and surviving officers, providing immediate and on-going support and maintaining the Law Enforcement Memorial for fallen Washington officers. Katelyn Steen & Hazel Clapp repped BDP at Fun with the Fuzz; Steen used the race as a nice warmup leading into the Whidbey Island 1/2 the following day, and took 2nd to Bronwyn Crossman. Hazel also nabbed a PR and  5th F! Results HERE Saturday also featured Oiselle’s Tenacious 10 (10k & 10 Mile), where Aly Howisey raced the 10k. “Since day one, Oiselle has been about running and racing. So to have the chance to sponsor a premiere race in our hometown is incredibly exciting. And we like to think a ‘tenacious’ themed event is perfect for Seattle. We are a hearty, outdoorsy, fun and fierce community. The race will welcome everyone, every pace, getting tenacious from start to finish,” says Sally Bergerson, Oiselle Founder and CEO. The race featured a ton of awesome Oiseller’s, the likes of Kara Goucher, Lauren Fleshman, Sabrina and Regina Lopez, Theresa Hailey and Lyndy Davis, plus many many more. We were also fanning over Ladia Albertson-Junkans who used the race to simulate MP work. Kara Goucher won the 10 Mile in 58:16, followed by Abigail Lang in 58:25 and Albertson-Junkans in 3rd in 58:48. In the 10k, Oiselle’s Mel Lawrence took the win in 33:30, followed by Tara Welling in 34:35 and Caroline Austin in 3rd in 34:45. Fleshman led the 7:00 min pace group in the 10k, where Aly ran for fun, able to utilize the wonderful cheering displayed by Fleshman. Full results for both races HERE!Sunday dominated with, duh, the London Marathon (will the women’s marathon record fall?? No.) We were excited to follow Steph Rothstein-Bruce and Becky Wade; for her pre-race Q&A preview check out – Q & A With Steph Bruce and Ben Rosario Ahead of Virgin Money London Marathon). Rothstein-Bruce didn’t have her best day, but was happy for 10th in 2:32:28; Becky Wade was 11th in 2:35:01. Results for the London Marathon can be found HERE! Closer to home, the famed Vancouver Sun Run 10k, the Whidbey Island 1/2 and Full, the Yakima Skyline 25k & 50k, and the Spring Classic Duathlon happened. Woof. That’s a lot. The 34th Annual Vancouver Sun Run 10k boasts Canada’s biggest start line and is it’s largest 10k road race. “The 10k route is a beautiful scenic course which begins in Vancouver’s downtown core at Burrard St. and Georgia St. Participants will enjoy the downhill start as they make their way towards the world famous Stanley Park, continuing along English Bay to Hornby St., then onto Pacific Avenue, across the Burrard St. bridge exiting onto 2nd Avenue. Winding along Fir St. to join 4th Avenue, the route continues east on 6th Ave. to the Cambie St. Bridge for the final stretch across the bridge to the finish line…The 10k route is sprinkled with gentle, undulating hills making it both fun and enjoyable, while providing breathtaking scenery which includes the snow-capped mountains along Georgia Straight, water views along English Bay and False Creek.” David Larpenteur and Courtney Olsen competed in the Elite Division, and both proffered PR’s. The Sun Run is stacked, and its a great place to race against Canada’s best. Larpenteur was 36th M in 32:38 and Olsen was 16th F in 35:01. Leading the men’s race was Brendan Gregg of Davis, CA who finished in 29:14, followed by Geoff Martinson of Vancouver, BC in 29:35 and Stephen Kersh of Flagstaff, AZ in 29:49. Leading the women was Monica Ngige in 32:23, then Emma Bates of Boise, ID in 32:36, followed by Canadian babes Rachel Cliff in 3rd in 32:41, Natasha Wodak in 4th in 33:04 and Dayna Pidhoresky in 5th in 33:11. Full RESULTSSunday, April 22 also featured the 11th Annual Whidbey Island 1/2 and Full, where Katelyn doubled back for the 1/2, and former Bellingham local and overall stud, Bronwyn Crossman doubled back for the Whidbey Island Marathon. The 1/2 is an out-and-back loop course, which starts at the Bayshore Drive Waterfront in downtown Oak Harbor, winds through a combo of paved city streets, country roads and trails, takes runners through Windjammer Park toward Penn Cove, and back along the waterfront to the finish. “For most of the race, the 1/2 offers gently rolling hills, with the most significant changes in elevation occurring between the quarter-point and half-way point in the race.” The Island lies just north of Seattle in Washington’s Puget Sound, and is a “treasure of scenic natural beauty – with ample views of the nearby ocean, peaceful back-roads through the island’s farmland areas, and the snow-capped peaks of the nearby Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges.” The two women dominated, taking 1st across the distances, after finishing 1-2 in the Fun with the Fuzz 5k the day before. Results HEREThat same morning boasted Rainshadow Running’s Yakima Skyline 25k & 50k in Yakima River Canyon, WA, outside of Ellensburg. Maria Dalzot raced the 25k, which is known for its hot, dry conditions, its 5k in vert, its quad-burning climbs and screaming downhills. Dalzot took 1st F/4th OA, and was a little over a minute off her PR on the course, which is also the current CR. She finished in 2:29:36; her CR is 2:28:10. The OA winner was Duncan Hoge of Portland, OR, who finished in a time of 2:14:22. Ending another epic weekend of racing, Leighton Overson competed at his 2nd of three weekends in a row of duathlons, at the Spring Classic Duathlon in Portland, OR. The Spring Classic features a 5k run, 15 mile bike, 5k run format. The ride and runs follow the Columbia River and is considered flat and fast. The Sprint Du’s course records are held by Andrew Langfield (1:10:31, 2012) and Juliet Hochman (1:22:24, 2017). Overson had another good day, taking 1st once more (1:14:10 – which broken down was a 17:38 5k, 36:57 bike, 17:04 5k *not including transitions), two weekends in a row. Can he keep the streak alive next weekend at the Mt. Rainier LC Duathlon?? Full results for the Spring Classic Du HERE!

This is a lot of racing. Brain tired. Must eat Nikki’s homemade cookies.

Sonoma 50 Race Report by Nikki Buurma

LAKE SONOMA 50

By Nikki Buurma

They say that if you want to try an ultra you had better know your “why.” Why run 50 miles? Why spend weeks training? Why keep going when it gets hard? Going into my first 50 miler I tried to think through my reasoning. Because my favorite part of training is long runs with friends and big weekends of training, it seemed like going up in distance might suit me well, especially if it was on run-able California-style trails. So with the encouragement of Corrine and my coach, David, I decided to enter the lottery for Lake Sonoma. My friends, Scarlett and Mitch entered too and we were super stoked when we all made it in. Lake Sonoma 50 offers beautiful trails with views of the lake, is a well organized and fun event, and boasts a competitive field. Due to the out and back nature of the course I knew I would get to see all the pros in action mid-race; an added incentive for this super fan.

With the lottery and registration process it felt like the race had been on the calendar for months – the big goal, the big question…can I even do this? Have I trained enough? Can I do 10,500 ft of vert at once? That is more than I normally do in 2-3 weeks combined! I always have doubts. Luckily I have amazing friends and training partners who constantly tell me I’m more capable than I believe I am. I think that’s another one of my why’s – to test myself and remind myself that I’m stronger than I think. Running is such a great practicing ground for life. You can dream big, take risks, test limits, learn, grow, fail – all things needed for a full life – but in running, the consequences of not achieving are minimal, so it’s ok to practice. The lessons and knowledge gained can then be applied to life situations where the impact really does matter. Kind of like a fire drill, a low pressure practice so that when the crisis occurs you know what to do. In the past 2 years of dealing with real life, I’m really glad I had done all those running fire drills. Some of the most important lessons learned: 1. That you can achieve a lot with a good attitude and continual forward progress, 2. You don’t have to know everything you just have to know who to ask, and 3. Being vulnerable shows you just how much love and support you have. So in the interest of continued growth, upping the challenge, risking failure and trying something harder – seemed like a good idea because we all know life isn’t getting any easier and might as well prepare for it.

Cue months of training, countless long runs with so many different friends, all the tips and advice from Tad, Corrine, my coach, and lots of encouragement from my teammates, and going into the race I felt healthy, happy and like the training itself was satisfaction enough. The race was just icing on the cake. Race week workouts and runs were about the best I have had. Ever since Chuckanut I had been feeling really good and just having so much fun with training. Because I have been extra busy with work and coaching track I didn’t have time to over-analyze or psych myself out. Getting to travel with Scarlett and Mitch and knowing that Scarlett was a trip planner-organizer extraordinaire took all the pre-race logistical anxiety away as well. I felt totally relaxed, trusting that I’d be well taken care of. The days before the race we trail ran, explored the coast, wine tasted, and went to the pre-race dinner.

Race morning went smoothly and we arrived in plenty of time to…not warm up (never raced without warming up before!), drink some coffee , and rearrange layers. All the runners lined up, a horn sounded, and we were off! The first few miles are downhill on road to let the pack thin out before you hit the single track. I tried to hold back and run relaxed but found myself right behind Megan Laws and Amy Sproston, experienced fast runners, and I felt out of my league – staying behind them seemed like a good idea. I ended up running behind Megan for the first 8 miles, the nerd in me was taking notes on the way she ran the uphills at a nice easy pace and then opened up on the downs. At one point she asked if I wanted to pass, and I said, “No that sounds like a bad idea, I know how much experience you have!” The first and last 18 miles of the race were rolling single track with short, punchy climbs, lots of turns, and multiple creek crossings. Most just got your feet wet but the bigger ones were stretches of almost knee deep water and if I ran too fast it would splash up and soak my shorts. There were a number of guys around and we would form trains and work together. It felt fun and fairly effortless, just soaking in the beautiful scenery and the atmosphere of the race. I lost Megan at around mile 8, caught back up around 16, then lost her again. At every aid station Scarlett would be ready and waiting with the spare bottles I had borrowed from Corrine. It worked so smoothly to trade out for new, grab more gels, and head on my way. The awesome crewing definitely saved me time and energy throughout the race and I am so thankful to Scarlett for still coming along to crew when she found out she couldn’t race. Good friends are an invaluable resource.

After 18-20 miles the trail opens up to more of a double track or fire road with some big sustained climbs up to the turn around point. I felt great and powered past a bunch of guys going up the climbs and then really got to open up on the descent (even had a 6:58 mile). This section of trail was the most fun for me. I got to pass all the pros as they headed back past the turnaround. Like the dorky super fan that I am, I would enthusiastically cheer, congratulate, and tell them their place. “Go Jim!” “Way to go Mario!” “Doing great David!” “Keely you are killing it!” They may have thought I was nuts but the excitement gave me tons of energy. At the turnaround they told me that I was around top 10 women. I was shocked. Top 10 had been my dream goal going in but I did not expect it to happen. My goal for the day was just to finish my first 50, so hearing my place and having spectators along the course tell me I was looking strong and gaining on the women ahead of me motivated me even more.

At the top of the 3rd big climb I saw Mitch, Megan, and Amy at the aid station. I stopped quick for more roctane and left ahead of Mitch and Megan. I caught up with Amy at around 30 miles. She asked if I wanted to pass but I declined, hoping to work with her for the next 10 miles or so, but she sped up a little and dropped me easily so the last 20 miles were mostly alone. I couldn’t believe how good I felt through 30, I was truly having so much fun. Through 35 I felt good, but had to start walking more climbs. In general I was moving well. I had fueled and hydrated more than ever before (probably 2-3 times as much), totally lost count of how many gels, water, and roctane I had gone through but I am so glad I did because my energy was good, stomach was fine, and everything was going great. At mile 39 Megan Hicks from irunfar asked me my name and told me I was running well and in the top 10, and I was pretty stoked to be talking to someone I am always following on twitter for race coverage. When I got to the aid station at Warm Springs (11 miles to go), I exchanged bottles with Scarlett and somehow mentally started to think I was almost done. I wasn’t. I think the last 10 miles are harder than the whole first 40 combined. There were few spectators, no other racers, and it was really really hot and sunny. Plus I stopped eating and drinking as diligently as I had all race. Each mile got progressively harder. I tripped , hit my head on a rock and almost rolled off the hill and into the ravine with about 5 miles to go. I was fine but it spooked me, knowing my legs were too tired to react and maintain balance anymore.

Unlike Chuckanut, which is full of funny and encouraging signs along the way, Sonoma only has three. The first “You aren’t almost there,” then, “Are we having fun yet?,” and last, “Help is not coming.” A little disheartening, especially that last one because at that point I was totally out of water and felt like I was going to have heat stroke. At the last big creek crossing, the sandy bank on the opposite side was shoulder height, I kept trying to make a foot hold to climb up but the sand would slip away and for a minute I thought I’d be stuck in there! Made it out, but was covered in sand. I fell one more time with about a mile to go – just fatigued legs not clearing the rocks. I had been through in 4 hours at the halfway point so I hoped to be around 8:00 for the finish, but the course is harder (more uphill and all single track, no road) on the way back, so I wasn’t surprised to positive split. 8:36:29, good enough for 9th female and 37th overall. I moved up over 30 spots during the race and never got passed in the second half. Overall it was such a great experience, I couldn’t have asked for things to go any better and am so thankful to have been healthy enough to toe the line and to have a really good day when it counted. Maybe one of my  “why’s” is the post race feels, because the love, support, encouragement, and kudos from family and friends is pretty awesome. Thank you all!

BDP Performs Well at Sonoma 50, Rage in the Sage, Deception Pass 1/2 and the Seattle Spartan Sprint!

Saturday, April 14 – Buurma takes top 10 at Sonoma 50; 9th F in 8:36:59! The women’s race was led by Keely Henninger, 1st in 7:13:55. There followed Taylor Nowlin in 2nd in 7:44:52, Camelia Mayfield in 3rd in 7:45:55, Gina Slaby in 4th in 7:54:10, Amy Leedham in 5th in 7:59:54, Abby Mitchell in 6th in 8:17:14, Ashley Nordell in 7th in 8:21:27, Amy Sproston in 8th in 8:27:21, and our badass teammate, Nikki Buurma in 9th in 8:36:59. The men’s field proved exciting, with Jim Walmsley breaking his own record, taking 1st in 5:51:16, followed by Coconino Cowboys’ Jared Hazen in 2nd in 6:18:10 and Eric Senseman in 4th in 6:33:34. Mario Mendoza broke up the Cowboys with a 3rd place finish in 6:25:30. Since Walmsley had already earned a golden ticket to Western States, Hazen, Mendoza and Senseman happily earned their golden tickets at Sonoma. Full results can be found HERE! Stay tuned tomorrow for Nikki’s race report!

Saturday, April 14 – Overson is 1st OA at Rage in the Sage Duathlon! In his first multi-sport event of the year, Leighton took 1st (Results currently unlisted), in the 2.5 mile run – 10 mile mountain bike – 2.5 mile run duathlon event. Rage in the Sage was his first event in what will be several weeks of racing ahead. Next up – the Spring Classic Duathlon in Portland, OR this weekend!

Saturday, April 14 – Howisey takes 3rd at the Deception Pass 1/2 Marathon! Despite her winter and early spring training being mostly road focused, Howisey couldn’t resist the Deception Pass 1/2, a race close to her heart. Aly placed 3rd to Seattle’s Rachel Mokrey in 2:02:44 and 2nd place’s Lizzy Moran from Jackson, WY, who finished in 2:03:14. Aly was 3rd in 2:04:21, faster than her time the year previous. Full results can be found HERE!

Sunday, April 15 – Carlyon takes 3rd in her Division at her first ever Spartan race – the Seattle Spartan Sprint! The Sprint race consisted of 3+ miles run and 20-23 obstacles. After some really debilitating injuries, Alyson is healthy and, as you might imagine, incredibly strong, because this burpee machine just podium’d! RESULTS!