Thursday, January 20, 2011

a cool place to stay in bellingham

Next time you're visiting bellingham for a race or training run or what have you consider staying at Casa Valentina Bed and Breakfast. Located in Fairhaven it's very close to the Chuckanut 50k Start/Finish and the Interurban Trail and the trails at Galbraith Mountain. For more info check out their website: or give them a call at 360 527 9113

Oh and they have hot tub to soak your tired body in after you run!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Women's Trail Running and Yoga Camp: May 12-15, 2011

This is not a Rainshadow Running event but it does take place in the rainshadow and is organized by two long time supporters of Rainshadow Running Alison Hanks LMP and Winthrop Mountain Sports.

For all the dudes out there thinking what i'm thinking, that we should have something like this for ourselves--beer, pizza, foosball, white water rafting, epic trail running, and more beer-- then let me know and maybe we can work something out!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 Trail Running Tours

From Adventure Running Company(who i'll be guiding a few trips this year for):

Hello Friends!

We're happy to announce our 2011 schedule of running adventures! We've added a couple new tours that should be spectacular. They're both in prime trail running locations and are sure to satisfy your taste for sublime trail running and adventure!

We'll start the year by partnering up with As Green As It Gets in mid-March to again offer our unique and powerful running tour of Guatemala. You'll have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the culture of Guatemala while also exploring some spectacular trails including a run to the top of a 13,000 foot volcano. This will truly be an adventure you'll never forget.

The first week in May, we'll be offering our new Appalachian Trail tour along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee. We'll run arguably the most spectacular stretch of the Appalachian Trail as we run for miles along mile high open meadow ridgetops commonly called "Balds." The trail running here can only be described as sublime!

The last week in May, we'll again be offering our spectacular Maah Daah Hey Trail tour in North Dakota. We'll cover the 100 mile trail through the enchanted Badlands of western North Dakota over the course of 5 incredible days.

In mid-June, we'll embark on the Superior Trail in Northern Minnesota on our Superior Trail tour. Here you'll traverse ridges and clifftops high above mighty Lake Superior by day and stay in warm and cozy cottages and condominiums right on the lakeshore each night. You'll even have the opportunity to soak your tired legs in the natural ice bath of Lake Superior every afternoon after your run.

In early July, we'll preview the entire Hardrock 100 course over the span of 5 days on the Hardrock 100 tour in Southwestern Colorado. This is the most advanced of all running tours with extremely high altitude, breathtakingly steep climbs and descents and steep snowfields. Your guides will know the trail well, but you'll still need to have map reading and navigational skills to help you along your way. Your reward however will be overwhelming. The San Juan Mountains over which you'll traverse on this tour are some of the most spectacularly beautiful mountains on Earth!

The first week in August we'll spend the week running high above the turquoise waters of Lake Tahoe on the Tahoe Rim Trail tour in California and Nevada.

In mid-August we'll once again explore the high alpine meadows and passes along the Colorado Trail on the Colorado Trail tour with a rewarding and amazing climb to the top of the highest peak in Colorado - Mt. Elbert to finish off the tour in style.

In late-August the 2nd Annual VoyageurQuest Stage Race will follow the amazing northern segment of the Superior Trail and offer exciting competition along with amazing views over Lake Superior from the high ridges. If you missed this race last year, you won't want to this year!

Finally in early September we'll be offering the most epic trail running adventure to date - a circumnavigation around mighty Mt. Rainier on the astonishing Wonderland Trail! We'll spend 4 days running the Wonderland Trail with an additional day of travel and exploration of the Rampart Ridge Trail in Mt. Rainier National Park.

Our schedule this year is packed with adventurous and beautiful trail running tours. We're looking forward to sharing these amazing trails with you. It looks to be a super year and our tours are already filling. For more information about these tours please visit our 2011 Tour page on the Adventure Running Co. website. Hope to see you on the trails soon!

Andy and Kim Holak
Adventure Running Co.
1935 W Kent Road | Duluth | MN | 55812 | 218.728.6443 | 218.340.6170 |

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Snow Fun 35m/22m Registration Open

Click here to go to the registration website for the 2011 Snow Fun 35m/22m on February 26.

This race will be unlike any you have ever done before. In the Methow Valley and North Cascades we are fortunate to have hundreds of miles of trails to run year round-- yes even in the winter when there is 2-5(or more!)feet of snow on the ground. "How is this possible" you ask. "Snowmobiles." "What?" "Yes, Snowmobiles... well actually to be more accurate the snow cats that groom hundreds of miles of mountain forest service roads to be used for snowmobiles." You might then ask "but who wants to run with a bunch of noisy and stinky snowmobiles?" Well you might be surprised but despite the beautiful scenery, amazing views, and easy access I rarely see more than a couple snowmobiles on one run(even on runs that take all day)! And thanks to the grooming which is done frequently there is a wide and compact surface to run on in your normal trail shoes that is neither slippery or so soft that you sink into the snow-- it's like running on a wide, white, soft trail.

This course starts near the tiny town of Carlton in the world famous Methow Valley at the S. Fork Gold Creek Sno Park at an elevation of 2000ft and climbs 11 miles up to a gap in the Chelan Sawtooth Ridge at 5800ft. At this gap the 22 milers turn around enjoying the long descent all the way back to the sno park and the 35 milers continue another 6.5 miles to their turnaround point which is at 6550ft on top of Coyote Ridge. Those runners taking the longer option get views down to the narrow and deep Lake Chelan and near 360 degree views of the North Cascades, Chelan Sawtooths, and Okanogans. The 22 milers also get nice views but not as cool as the 35 milers--go further if you can!

Yakima Skyline Rim 50k/25k Registration Open

Click here to go to the registration website for the Yakima Skyline Rim 50k/25k on April 3, 2011.

Come April you're gonna be sick of the clouds, of the rain, of running through puddles and wet brush. You're gonna be tired of being socked in and covered in mud. You're gonna hate the dark, dreary days and you'll be thinking summer will never arrive. Unless, that is you either live on the East side of the Cascades or you make frequent pilgrimages there. Heading East of the crest you can get a decent dose of Vitamin D and at least temporarily fend of the 9 month long winter blues of the Pacific Northwest. I know this because I've been there. It got so bad for me I moved to the sunnyside.

For those of you who have not yet been enlightened or who are trapped for one reason or another on the wet(sic) side of the hill I have created a cure for your plight(though it's only tempoary). The Yakima Rim Skyline 50k and 25k is your saviour when you need one the most. The sun shines there on that high open ridgeline. It really does. Yes in April. There's no mud either or wet brush that soaks you to the core. You can see forever and it feels good!

Sure the trail is steep and hard and relentless and has more elevation gain than Orcas Island but at least you can see where you're going and where you've been. With each climb you're rewarded with ever expanding views of the Columbia Highlands, the Yakima River Canyon and the Cascade Mountains including Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and the Stuart Range. Also as you climb in and out the Umtanum and Roza creek valleys you see the ecosystem change before your eyes. And the ridge running here is liberating and invigorating.

I've chosen each of my races very carefully and I love them all but this one stands out from the rest by allowing the runners to run moderately high(3500ft) in the mountains early in the year snow free and by being such a great escape of the seemingly endless of winter. Summer starts early in the Rainshadow-- April 3rd at the Yakima Skyline Rim 50k and 25k!

Gorge Waterfalls 50k Registration Now Open!

Click here to go to the registration website for the 2011 Gorge Waterfalls 50k on March 12 just outside of Portland, Or in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

This race is crazy full of waterfalls! There are so many I lost count! The course goes right past Wahkeena Falls, Fairy Falls, Multnomah Falls, Oneonta Falls, Dry Falls and a bunch that I can't remember the names of. Oh, and don't forget that the course goes right under Ponytail Falls!

The point-to-point course is nearly all super fun single track trail that winds is way along the base of the Cascades Mountains where they come down on the Oregon side to meet the mighty Columbia River. The route is mostly in deep old forest with some enormous trees and moss is everywhere (in some places covering every inch of the surrounding ground). We are certain elves and gnomes live here. Occasionally the trail will pop out of the trees and you'll get great views of the river and the mountains towering above it.

I can't think of another race in the United States that is like this one and with out any major climbs(except the first one: 1500ft in two miles) this run should be pretty quick and enjoyable for everyone!