Ski to Sea 2017 was as it continues to be – incredible and a catalyst towards a summer of ventures both individual and united. Several of our athletes competed on various teams: CorePhysio, Brandon Nelson Partners and SHEroes, in the downhill ski/snowboard leg and the downhill run leg. In the Whatcom County Women Division, CorePhysio, with Scarlett Graham as DH Ski and Hazel Clap as DH Run, took 2nd in the Division/30th Overall. In the same Whatcom County Women’s Division, Brandon Nelson Partners (formerly Kulshan Cycles), with Amber Morrison as DH Ski and Courtney Olsen as DH Run, took 1st in the Division/22nd Overall. Team SHEroes in the Competitive Women’s Division, with Alyson Carlyon as DH Ski and Aly Howisey in the DH Run were 2nd in their Division/33rd Overall.
Photo by: Annie Hewlett
Incredible Female performances spanned the entire day, though coverage of such amazing feats were little to nil. It all started with Kikkan Randall as the very 1st finisher in the XC Ski leg, over a minute ahead of 2nd place/1st Male, with a time of 19:26. Scarlett Graham was Top Gun (which S2S removed honoring a few years back…) in the DH Ski Leg – 1st Female in 25:31. 2nd Female was Amber Morrison in 26:39. Following in 3rd, 4th & 5th were Whatcom County residents as well – Courtney McBean, Katelyn Steen and Alyson Carlyon. Courtney Olsen was Top Gun in the DH Run, finishing in what might be the highest overall place for a Female in that leg – 5th Overall, in 40:05. Megan Northey of SHEroes was Top Gun in the RD Bike Leg, finishing in a time of 1:45:57. Veronica Wisniewski and Gwyn Howat of Brandon Nelson Partners were Top Gun in the Canoe leg in 1:53:44, a personal best for the duo. Kirsten Jensen of Jack’s Bicycle Center was Top Gun in the CX Bike Leg in 42:45, followed by Brandon Nelson Partners’ Kristen Mckenzie in 2nd in 45:08. Jack’s Bicycle Center’s Sally Wallick was 1st Female/Top Gun in the Kayak in 44:38, followed by Brandon Nelson Partners’ Heather Nelson in 2nd in 46:07, both teams of which would go on to win their prospective division titles. There were so many more insanely inspiring Female performances out there; this was just to name a few…!
For FULL RESULTS see HERE!
Last weekend held two kickass races and even more inspiring performances, which all started with the Chuckanut Mountain ½ Marathon run by Bellingham Trail Running Series. Teammate Nikki Vander Wiele, who’s had a kickass Spring of trail racing, raced the ½ amidst several bulky weeks of training. Her beautiful race report is below:
CHUCKANUT MOUNTAIN 1/2 MARATHON By Nikki Vander Wiele
“In most races I go in with a goal – a time, a place, a feeling – something to drive me, something to chase. More often than not what prevails is a lesson. This weekend’s lesson came to me as soon as I started to climb Hemlock trail.
The past few weeks have been full – full of life, full of miles. I like to be busy and usually have a lot of energy, so I pack in work, yard maintenance, power washing, house cleaning, cooking, groceries, laundry – you know the list – it’s life and it needs to be done. I find the time, squeeze it in and try my best to be organized and power through.
Running is what I love and want to do so I always make time for it. Lately the high mileage weeks require a lot of time, but it’s fun and I can, so I keep doing the miles, and the doubles, and try the hills, and the little workouts, and the weekend long runs with my friends. I want to do it all and I think that I can. I like to call it “wonder woman syndrome.” I look around at my friends and teammates and all that they balance: jobs, relationships, yard projects, adventures, training, travel. I see it in Aly’s “what ski to sea legs?” workout attempt, in Scarlett’s marathon-a-month racing schedule and the odd Mt. Baker summits and adventure races just in case that wasn’t crazy enough. I see it in Corrine’s home for 48 hours-altitude training-international racing-camp leading-poster presenting. We all have it – this drive/motivation/dream that inspires us. How we believe in the endless chase, that we have super powers of limitless energy, no need for sleep, and spontaneously regenerating muscle fibers that instantly bounce back from races and workouts.
Which brings us to the start of Saturday’s race. I knew I was coming off a big mileage push in training (over 100miles in 7 days is the most I have run in a week since 2012) and a couple big weekends on the trails with more elevation and climbing than I’m used to, BUT, I took Friday off and went for a walk so I figured my legs were going to be “fresh” and “spunky” for the race, right?! Sure it was an emotional and stressful week, BUT, I’m tough and resilient and I can just compartmentalize and not let it affect my racing, right?
On my warm-up my legs felt a little heavy and my hammy and back were really tight. I ran an extra mile hoping it would loosen me up. I looked around the start line to scout out the comp, noticing that several were missing I’d expected to see there. From the start, the first 4 miles cruises down the Interurban; I felt good, hit sub 7 pace and thought, This could be a good day! The top 2 women were out ahead of me but I knew my strength was in the second half of the course and hoped I could reel them back in then.
…then I made the turn to start climbing through Arroyo and up Hemlock trail and I realized I had no power. This was where I was struck with the lesson of the day: “I am NOT wonder woman.” Turns out I cannot do it all. I can’t run high mileage and workouts and expect to still feel fresh as a daisy. I can’t skimp on sleep and load up on chores and expect not to feel tired. Will power, determination, guts, and never giving up can fix a lot of things, but they can’t fix everything and sometimes just trying harder isn’t enough. So the second lesson of the day became “Grace.” I decided not to be frustrated or worry about whether or not this was going to be my best performance or most fun race ever and just accepted where I was at – 5 miles in to a 13 mile race with tired legs and crampy calves. I decided to do my best with what I had. So I walked more climbs and technical sections than I would have liked and I charged the downhills with all I had to make up time and I kept telling myself, “See how fast your tired legs can go!” I never saw the two female leaders again, in fact I ran most of the rest of the race completely alone. But I stayed engaged and was proud of myself for fighting as best as I could. My Strava splits show where I’ve made improvements over last year as well as the few miles I clearly struggled, but I closed the last 1/2 mile at 6:11 pace chasing that PR with all I had. I finished in 2:07:01 and was 3rd Place Female. It wasn’t what I hoped for but it was all I had that day. In the end the goal isn’t to stop believing that I am wonder woman, it’s to give myself enough grace to know that even when I’m not, I am enough.
Special thanks to Destination Trail for hosting another great race, all the other competitors for making it fun, and to Sierra, Anna, Tad, and Maria for the cheerleading on the course!”
We are fans of Alicia Jenkins, who raced the Chuckanut ½ as well, a mere 6 days post Ski to Sea, where she raced the DH Run Leg. After completing this race, Jenkins took 1st in the 2017 Bellingham Trail Running Series. Our dear dear friend and supporter, Max Antush won the Chuckanut Mountain Marathon, breaking the course record in a time of 3:47:54 (that’s with 4,525 ft. of elevation gain!) For FULL RESULTS see HERE!
Photo by: Mount Baker Ultra Marathon
At midnight on Sunday, June 4th, Scarlett Graham took off with a group of adventurers for the inaugural Mount Baker Ultra Marathon, “a 50 mile out and back foot race from the town of Concrete, Washington to Mount Baker’s Sherman peak at 10,160 ft. (3,097m). The race draws its inspiration from the century old Mount Baker Marathon that lasted for three years from 1911-1913.”
“The idea for the Mount Baker Ultra Marathon was conceived in 2012 by Daniel Probst. 2013 saw the first attempt at the 108 mile route from Bellingham Bay to the summit of Mt. Baker and back without success. All three attempts would end without a return trip; lightning storms, pouring rain and exhaustion delayed success. On the fourth attempt in August of 2014, Beat Jegerlehner, Aaron Poh and Daniel Probst finally made the return trip to Bellingham in 48 hours and 17 minutes. These group runs were repeated in 2015 and 2016 with 12 more runners adding their names to the list. The Mount Baker Ultra Marathon is a Haggard Events LLC event and directed by Daniel Probst.”
Our team was eagerly tracking Scarlett and the other racers all day yesterday, the tracking of which was a little wonky. We heard word back from Scarlett that she had completed the race at 3:10p – about which meant she completed the race in 15 hours and 10 minutes, roughly. Flagging was off on the way back, and four racers went the wrong way, but Scarlett had a buttload of fun. If you haven’t heard, we’d love to break this down for you – this is what Scarlett has done in the last 2 months:
1. Birch Bay 30k (3rd Place) – 4/1/17
2. Krank Adventure Race – 4/5/17
3. Boston Marathon – 4/17/17
4. Sunflower Marathon (3rd Place) – 5/6/17
5. Kulshan Quest 12 HR Adventure Race (2nd Place) – 5/13/17
6. Ski to Sea DH Ski Leg (Top Gun) – 5/28/17
7. Mount Baker Ultra – 6/4/17
Check out more information about the Mount Baker Ultra Marathon HERE!