Saturday, January 17, 2009

Nookachamps at 20!

I concluded another successful running of Mount Vernon's Nookachamps Winter Runs. This year's race marked my 20th consecutive Nookachamps! It is my longest race streak and it has more significance than just my resolve to run this race over and over again. I have run this race every year that I have lived in Washington. This years marks my 20th year out here and I now live in the town that this race is held in-talk about fate! Sure glad that I didn't target my streak in Federal Way! I have now been running religiously for 20 years! That's a lot of miles and races and a lot of great cross training for my hiking. But you know, next to hiking, running is the best! It is simple, freeing and you can do it anywhere! Running up here in Skagit County is great. We have wonderful parks, communities, trails and a great running club! Nookachamps is known for its swans and they were out today on the course-although it was tough seeing them in the fog. In 20 years I have run this race in all kinds of weather- mild 50s back in the early 90s, 20s in the late 90s-sunny- icy-rainy- foggy- all kinds of weather. The swans are always there and much of the course remains as it was back in January of 1990 when I first ran this race. Many of my running friends and acquaintances from throughout the Puget Sound region continue to come back to this race over and over again too-and it is always great to see them here.The race celebrated its 30th year today- I have been with it for 20 of those! And while Nookachamps is named after the creek and flats the course runs over and along, I couldn't quite find out what exactly Nookachamps means. But in Hawaiian Nooka means sleek and in French champs means field- so how about sleek field? Why not? Its the only time that I can be part of a sleek field of runners! See you in 2010 for Nookachamps number 21!

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