About Us

James Varner, doing the race director thing. photo: Glenn Tachiyama
James Varner, race director and owner of Rainshadow Running, has been running trail ultras since 2001 and organizing races since 2004.  His approach to directing races comes from the idea that he is throwing a party for friends that just happens to involve running in the mountains on the most beautiful and tough trails in the Pacific Northwest.  The settings he chooses for the races are a combination of challenging terrain and big climbs/descents with some of the most visually stunning scenery in the United States.  James strives with each event to limit our negative impact on the environment and create and nourish as many relationships with the local communities as possible. 
James on the cover of Running Times photo: Glenn Tachiyama
James enjoys trail running for the solace, simplicity and solitude; for the excitement and the beauty; for the challenge and confidence that comes from meeting those challenges; for the lessons he has learned about himself and his surroundings; and for the connection he makes to the places he runs, the people he meets, and to life itself.

Candice on the Kalalau Trail on the Island of Kauai.

Candice Burt is our Race Executioner, yes that sounds gruesome but it's true she makes sure that all of the race tasks and objectives are executed. And she does it with a smile. Candice has lots of experience from directing her own trail races and has handled just about every task we can come up with at, before and after each of our races with so with her around we're in good hands. Candice has finished four hundred milers and numerous other ultras often placing high or winning and she also has unsupported FKTs on the 95 mile Wonderland Trail and the 47 mile Zion National Park Traverse.  Candice and James can often be found running the trails of Bellingham where they live together with Candice's two daughters.


William Worrell is the Volunteer Coordinator and Executive Assistant and helps with week/day of race preparations. When I used to live in the Methow Valley, William and I would to run together almost every weekend in the North Cascades often on epic all day adventures in places others rarely go. William is training for his 2nd 100 miler.
William Worrell sweeping the Sun Mountain course 2011.  picture credit: Al Coyle

In the Press
A nice article about James and Rainshadow Running from a 2011 OutdoorsNW Magazine by Yitka Winn
June 2011 Running Times Magazine features James as the "trail running elite" for the Northwest
Gorge Waterfalls 50k and James make the cover of the December 2011 Running Times Magazine(see above)
Alexa Martin does an "insane" story about James and Rainshadow for the November '11 Trailrunner Magazine
Seattle Times Reporter Mike McQuaide does a piece on "running vacations" by Rainshadow Running
"Running Man" by Patrick Hannigan about James and the early days of Rainshadow Running