Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fifty for Fifty
A Northwest Runner’s golden challenge

In this month's Northwest Runner Magazine is the fourth installment of my Fifty for Fifty column documenting my progress towards running my first 50 Mile Trail run and raising $10,000 for the Washington Trails Association along the way. Enjoy the column-reprinted below and if you haven't made a donation yet-would you please consider making one on behalf of our threatened trails? Thanks-just click on this link-50 for 50 and make a donation. If you make one of at least $20 I will give you a beautiful Green Trails special map and if you make one of at least $40, I'll give you a map and WTA will give you a one year membership which includes their beautiful magazine, Washington Trails.

Fifty for Fifty
Part Four

As I write this month’s column, my fiftieth birthday is staring me in the face. Looks like I’m going to make that hurtle; but what about the bigger one that I set for myself—running the White River 50 Mile to celebrate this passage of time? And what about the monumental fundraising objective I also set for myself—raising $10,000 for the Washington Trails Association?

            Well, I’m making progress on both counts! On April 9th despite fighting a chest cold, I successfully ran my first 50K. It was the Eastside Runners’ Mount Si Ultra, a perfect first time ultra race with its relatively easy grades and good support. Accompanying (and encouraging) me along the way was veteran ultra runner Mike Mahanay, who I met at a previous trail run. I finished in 6 hours and 12 minutes and I knew that I was capable of running faster. But after being sick for weeks and wanting not to overdo it, I was content!

            As far as the fundraising angle, I raised $1,000 in the month of April for the WTA. I plan on doing more promotions, talks and maybe a group hike and run to help bring in more funds for this great organization that works on behalf of our public lands and trails statewide. I invite you or your club to make a donation through my 50 for 50 campaign by visiting . Maybe we can get a little friendly donating competition going on among the clubs? Skagit Runners, you better get on it!

            And as far as the running? Next month, I’ll let you know how I did on May 7th’s Lost Lake Ultra, a 34 mile trail run with 8,000 vertical feet of elevation. The vertical matches White River, so this run will be a good conditioner and harbinger for my goal race. I’m planning on running the Rainier to Ruston 50K Ultra on June 4th which happens to be national trails day. It would be nice to see some of you there.

            And what else am I doing? Experimenting with new shoes thanks to trail runner Boo Turner of Footloose Communications for setting me up with some Oboz shoes. Trying out some new shorts, packs, foods, and gels too—and hitting the trails around my home in the Skagit Valley. And as always I welcome your comments, suggestions, and encouragement ( See you on the trails!

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