2023 SRC-Brooks Team mid-year update

Here’s what our SRC-Brooks Team has been up to in the first half of 2023!

Kristi | Dave | Barrett | Katelen | Trisha | Aaron | Bergman | Erik | Adam | Chris

Kristi Williams

This year I wanted to try to run something new and different than my typical race schedule. This came in the form of a marathon in the Tri-Cities and my first trail 50k on Vashon Island. I sprinkled the winter with some of my typical races like the Bridle Trails Running Festival ten miler (which I managed to break 7 minute pace on and secure a repeated win), Alexander’s Hope 5k (a strong third place finish), and for the first time ran The Honeywagon Half Marathon (a win despite the horrendous wind) all the while trying to ramp up the miles, read articles on running ultras, and try not to get injured.

 I am not a super motivated long distance runner, thus in order to inspire me to run the longer distances required to convince my body that I could do a 50k, I signed up for a marathon in Kennewick with the hopes of running well enough at tempo speed to secure a top three finish. The race went off with a bang with a smooth 6:55 to 7:10 mile pace, when all of a sudden I got misdirected by a water station volunteer and proceeded to run part of the course backward. Now, I know what you’re thinking…you should have studied the map! Yes, I did take time to do this important step, but at mile 18 when your brain cells start to cease to operate and someone who is a part of the race says to go a certain way, I didn’t argue. To say the least, after a 7 minute hiatus at another water station and a call to the race director, I wasn’t disqualified but instead told to run 26.2 miles based on my Garmin and call it good. So with some new course creation and a 26.33 total distance, I managed to secure a win! A month later, the 50k loomed over my head and I was, for the first time in a while, nervous and slightly giddy. I chose this race because it was very controlled in the sense it was tenish mile loops, had aid stations (which I didn’t end up using because I decided just to carry all my food/water), and was on an island…therefore I would hit water or a road at some point and therefore would not end up lost somewhere for days on end (I am, to those who know me, very directly challenged). To my shock, running that distance was surprisingly enjoyable! I found even near the end of the race where I sort of forgot how to run and experienced some intense hunger which I didn’t know how to deal with since I don’t tend to run long enough for the sensation to occur, I was still smiling and finished the race with a women’s win and a fourth place finish overall.

In addition to an already race rich year, I have been running the Cougar Mountain Trail Short Series and have been finding success in that venture despite post 50k legs. Yet, let’s not forget cross country in the fall and how different that training is compared to long miles on mountains. So, squeezing in 5ks like West Seattle 5k (second women), Zintel Canyon 4k (first women), Bill Burby 5k (first women), and West Seattle Float Dodger 5k (5th women) to remind myself what it feels like to run fast and hurt will help in the transition to my favorite running season. 

Volunteering for Seattle Running Club has also been a fun feature of the year as well. I helped out at the food shack at Bridle Trails Running Festival making and cutting up many Nutella and peanut butter tortilla rolls. I attended the Brooks PR Track meet making massive jugs of gatorade and organizing merch. Lastly, I volunteered at all the Cougar Mountain Race Series races directing traffic, handing out race numbers, and cutting up watermelon and bananas.

I love all the time I get to spend with my teammates and appreciate all the support that Brooks has so graciously given us. I have found a new love with the Catamount 2s, have been super impressed by the new Hyperion Tempos, and have gotten more compliments than anything I have ever owned with the Glycerin Cereal design shoes (many of my kindergarten students started noticing Brooks as a shoe brand after I wore them to school one day and asked if they come in their size). The first part of the year has flown by, but I am excited to see what the fall and winter months bring for me and my teammates! GO SRC!

PC: Somer Kreisman

Dave Messenheimer

The first half of 2023 has included lots of miles, lots of trails, and lots of fun times running with other SRC members.  Racing performances have included a win in the 2 person-relay at the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival (a must-do event!), a second place at the Little Backyard Ultra 6 hour race in Olympia (~37 miles), and top finishes at the Cougar Mountain Trail series. In July, I joined fellow SRC member Chris Tremonte in a beautiful run through Alpine Lakes to the top of Alta Mountain (see picture). The Brooks Cascadia has seen me through all these trail adventures, and in style with the Sasquatch collection! On top of racing achievements, I’ve also racked up all time records for distance in a day, vertical in a day, and vertical in a week!

As important as the running accomplishments have been this year, getting to volunteer with SRC and Brooks has been equally enjoyable. We’ve helped maintain trails and performed some heavy blackberry removal in Cougar Mountain, and volunteering at the Cougar Mountain Trail races has really helped me feel at home in the Seattle running community. I really enjoyed helping set up at the Brooks PR Invitational in June and it was inspiring to see so many fast high school runners. Being part of the SRC-Brooks team has been an honor so far this year, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities it has granted me, not just for the actual running but the amazing people I have met and gotten to share time with.

Barrett Gray

This year’s racing started out at the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival which is always a blast! I ran on a 50k relay team with my teammate Trisha and SRC member Natalie. We each ran two laps for 10 miles total, and I was proud of myself for running even splits, even though it got pretty dark during the second lap. I then turned my focus to ultras. I raced Chuckanut 50k in March and accomplished my goal of placing top 10 with a time under 4:30:00 for a 7th place finish! It was a fun speedy course with a little bit of everything, and it was so great to see some of my teammates at one of the aid stations. In May, I raced Tillamook Burn 50 miler in Oregon where I battled for the podium and managed to place 3rd by only 34 seconds. It made for an exciting race, and I got a PR for the 50-mile distance! My legs felt strong for this one, but I experienced a couple bonks during the race, which I fortunately came back from but it really highlighted the importance of nutrition and hydration for these long races.50 miles seems to be my distance for the year. I raced Silver rush 50 in Leadville, CO in July, and it was one to remember! It was my first time running a high elevation race, with the entire course being between 10,000 and 12,000 ft. I got there a week early to acclimate, but my lungs could still really feel the elevation on the climbs, so I made sure to take those easy and focus on making up time on the flats and downhills where my lungs felt great. After bonking in my last 50 miler, I really focused on my nutrition and was able to get in the most calories I’ve ever had during a race and my energy levels felt good the entire time. I didn’t have many expectations for this race so was super happy to get another 3rd place finish! My entire family, my partner, my coach, and some Colorado friends came out to support me which made the experience even more meaningful. I couldn’t have done it without them!

Katelen Phelan

This 2023 year on the Brooks Team has been like no other. I’ve had two solid race personal records (PRs), volunteered for several running events with Seattle Running Club folks, bagged a race due to illness, and paused on running due to injury.

January 2023 started off strong with trail runs and running community comradery. I volunteered at the bib pick up and raced at the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival. I did the 5-miler, earning a new course PR and women’s 1st place win. A week later, I planned to race the Orcas 25k trail race, but I was recovering from being sick, so I enjoyed a non-race weekend on Orcas Island instead. In March, I had a few friends running the Chuckanut 50k and I happily supported them at the Seattle Running Club Aid Station with SRC-Brooks Teammates. Throughout this time, I was tuning up for my focus race of the year. 

That big race was the Boston Marathon (for the first time). A friend knew my PR streak over the past year and encouraged me to go for a PR at Boston. The idea sounded absurd and challenging, but other running friends encouraged me to go for it. Soon, I was training to not just race the Boston Marathon (a dream deferred since 2020 cancellations) but to get a PR. I consistently ran most days and dug deeper into my speed work. One week before the Boston Marathon, I felt a sharp pain in my left shin. I got an x-ray and was cleared to keep running/racing. On race day, my shin was okay and I cruised through the course in my Brooks Hyperion Elites, focused on fueling well, maintained my goal pace, and rode the energy of quick runners alongside me and enthusiastic cheer squads on the sidelines. My goal time was 3:12 (hh:mm), 3:10 (as a stretch goal). I finished with a solid 3:08 a ~9 minute marathon PR!

Since the race, my shin pain resurfaced. I got an MRI, and a stress reaction (early stress fracture) was detected. The injury has forced me to rest from running, focusing on cycling and strength training instead. It’s been 3+ months since my marathon and I am still building up to running without pain. Fortunately, I’ve been able to stay somewhat connected to the Seattle Running Club through volunteer opportunities at the Brooks PR Invitational and Cougar Trail race aid station, as well as attending the SRC Member Party and monthly SRC-Brooks Team meet ups.

Trisha Steidl

I decided to take on a new, scary challenge this year – train for and race a 24-hour race. There was a lot to teach my body and mind in order to be properly prepared for this big event and I learned so much throughout the process. Ultimately, things out of my control ended up impacting my target race performance, but it was still a good experience. I learned things that will help me with all of my running going forward as well as for my next 24-hour event. More important, I got to reconnect with a friend and make new ones as I joined a new community of ultra running folks. I look forward to the opportunity to use this knowledge and these experiences in my future training and racing.


Tiger Mountain Fat Ass 25k: really more of a fun, reunion, non-event, training run, which was even more fun since I hadn’t run on Tiger Mountain in many months; I think I was the 2nd woman, but I honestly don’t recall for sure because I wasn’t treating it as a race

Bridle Trails Relay: with my awesome SRC teammates and friends Barrett Gray and Natalie Roberts each of us running two consecutive laps (~10.4 miles); not sure what place we were as that wasn’t the focus and we only had three people while competing against teams of five or six

Dizzy Daze 12-hour: this was one of the most painful race experiences I’ve ever had, made slightly more tolerable by having so many friends join me throughout the event; First Overall and tied the overall CR and set a new women’s CR by 2 laps (6.4mi) with 73.6 miles total

Lake Washington Loop FKT: with the support of my husband and several friends, I ran around the lake as part of my training for the 24-hour and improved (by a very small margin) the time I previously had for this route

Six Days In The Dome: on an oversized, indoor track around an ice skating rink, I didn’t get bored for a second and I ran my first 100 miles and earned my first buckle; 6th woman, 103.33 miles

While it wasn’t my race, it was just as important as my own race. I had the privilege of pacing my good friend, Yitka Winn, for the last 22 miles at the Cascade Crest 100 mile race where she got her 4th win!

Big thanks to Brooks for the awesome gear that I’ve used throughout my training and racing so far this year! Comfortable, durable, looks good, and works well. Can’t ask for much more than that!


Bridle Trails registration, May Cougar Mountain registration and food tent, June SRC/Cougar Mountain trail work party, June Cougar Mountain AS#1, NWTR Seward Park event finish line, Cascade Crest 100 mile water jug filler upper and other miscellaneous, pre-race prep, White River 50 mile Buck Creek AS

Volunteering is something I would do whether I was on the SRC-Brooks Team or not. I believe it is important to give back to our community and I enjoy doing so. These races can’t take place without the help of many volunteers and it’s oh-so-fun to support people going after their goals!

I’m looking forward to the second half of the year with more racing, pacing, training with my SRC-Brooks and SRC teammates, and volunteering!

PC: Somer Kreisman

Aaron Roche

For the first half of 2023, being part of the SRC-Brooks running community has empowered me to pursue new *AND* continuing opportunities. I volunteered. I fundraised. I coached high school athletes. And I competed in my first Chuckanut 50k! I also face-planted while ice skating and from early through late May I was sidelined with my first running-related injury in five years!

As the world has progressed beyond some of the restrictions related to the Coronavirus Pandemic, I feel it has enabled our team and the club, at large, to get together more often. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the added opportunities to connect and hang out in social settings.

January through March stats. Volunteering: one event for a total of 4hrs. Training and competing: 90hrs across 685mi (1,103km). The first event of the year was our club’s annual Winter Running Festival at Bridle Trails in Kirkland. I was a volunteer for this event and worked in the legendary aid station! It was a blast being part of the crew serving up warm beverages and snacks to the runners.

Training and racing-wise, I dived straight into training for my first 50k – the iconic Chuckanut 50k! I put in some strenuous climbs and treacherous descents while wearing my original Catamounts and a handful of training runs in the trails of the Cascades while wearing a pair of the Cascadias. On race day, it was the Catamount 2s that helped me navigate the route in the Chuckanuts for a well-deserved, first-time 50k finish.

April through June stats. Volunteering: two events for a total of 7.5hrs. Training: 66hrs across 515mi (830km).

Upon completion of the Chuckanut 50k race and training cycle, I set my sights on Memorial Day weekend’s Ski-to-Sea. I was recruited to join “The Buff Gandalfs:” a band of misfits, ski bums, and has-been cyclists trying to rekindle the glory of their youth! I had planned to bring my aging body to their squad as an expert in downhill running for the 8-mile running leg.

My aging body had other plans, however! The Achilles tendon on my right side began to flare up during training in early May. I mostly ignored the pain and did self-massage to keep it at bay until I heard a “pop” during a long run, which left me with a swollen ankle. It stayed that way for an entire week! “Welp,” I thought. “We had a good ride.”

It had been five years since my last running-related injury. And I was long overdue. So, I put my body in the care of some expert Physical Therapists – Kate Bailey of KBWell and Linn Zhang and Kristen Hicks at Vida’s Ravenna clinic. They helped me navigate my injury in record time – thanks to my care team, I was back up and running in exactly three weeks!

Despite the absolute bummer of being sidelined by an injury, I kept my head high and stayed involved in the running community. I helped coach one of my Cleveland High School athletes to districts in the high jump and two others to PRs at the metro meet. Once again, I helped out at the Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series races in May and June. And I had a fun time walking in Seahurst Park and taking photos of my teammates during the May team run.

Now that I’m fully back on the grind, storming into the month of August, I have my steely gaze directed toward November’s New York City Marathon! My partner Anna and I are fundraising for cancer research leading up to the race – more info here! Thanks to the generosity of friends and family, since June, we’ve raised over $6,000! It’s been a real thrill to have the support of the SRC-Brooks team and the Brooks running family to help amplify my message of running and community.

Breathe. Hydrate. Eat your veggies. And Run Happy!

SRC and SRC-Brooks skwad at the Chuckanut 50k finish line. Bellingham, WA. March 18. 2023. Photo courtesy of Anna Smu.
The Brooks Team May run through Seahurst Park. Burien, WA. May 18, 2023.

Bergman Umana

So far so good!

I participated in two ra ce events, Lake Sammamish half marathon and the Sun Mountain 25k trail run, these two went great for me and exceeded my own performance expectations.

For the lake Sammamish half, I finished it in 1:24:13, which was a whole two minutes faster than last year and a new PR. This PR was surprising since I was recovering from a small foot injury. I wore the Hyperion Elite 3 and felt great the whole 13.1 miles.

Sun Mountain was a bit out of my comfort zone, I’ve been doing most of my running on roads for the last 3 years. But 6 weeks before the race I began doing more trails and quickly fell in love with the challenges and settings that trail running comes with. The day of the race I felt sturdy and even with all the wrong turns I managed to finish strong and quicker than expected. I wore the Calderas 6 in the Rooibos colors, this shoe is a bit bulky, but it did the trick for me.

Now I’m just looking forward to doing more trail running, and excited to run the Backcountry Rise 20 miler along with Chris.

Erik Barkhaus

I’m finally used to writing down 2023 instead of 2022 so that signals to me that we are very much halfway through the year. As always there were ups & downs and changing plans, but when sitting down to write this, positive experiences came to mind first and that is certainly a good sign! Perhaps the biggest change in my running this year has been moving south of the city to Burien right next to Seahurst Park, one of the hidden gems of the greater Seattle area. I’ve been able to design runs that take me from my front steps to dense forest then to beachside trails all in a matter of minutes. Perhaps the only downside is no 100% flat days when you want to get the good parts of the park. The daily dose of hills took some getting used to, but we are, after all, trail runners.

My first race of 23′ was as it should be, Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival, the longtime rust buster of many a Seattle area trail folk. Coming off my first ever 50k race in December, I was relieved to be doing something more familiar and being less concerned with sustenance strategy & route finding. Bridle Trails is a unique race in that all distances and relays start together and the use of the same 5 mile loop can make for a muddy merry-go-round of near constant action at the finish. So long as you come prepared with layers and warm beverages, I’d call it one of the better spectating events coupled with the fact you might not be too far from home once it’s over. I managed a 2nd place showing in the 10 mile, relieved not to have grossly overestimated my fitness and managed balanced splits. The real highlight of the show was a stare down with a horse at which point the pack yielded (as you’re supposed to). 30 secs felt like an hour when you’re in race mode but it was a reminder to be prepared for anything and 30 secs isn’t worth a kick in the face.

My second race of the year was Snowshoe Nationals held in McCall, Idaho. This race presented quite a challenge as I had never officially raced in snowshoes before and the course was 5000 ft starting elevation plus a healthy amount of climbing, but I was able to do some workouts in the shoes and used skinning/uphill skiing to prep the body for the mile high beating. The constant change of the snow footing based on where the trail was positioned in the sun and the hills delivered on the promise of a challenge. My foray into a new running discipline ended in a 3rd place finish behind some highly decorated snowshoers, including Joe Gray, a mountain running US & World Champ who put on a masterclass in churning snow into victory. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I can’t wait to jump in another snowshoe race once I admit to myself that it’s not so much my hip flexors are tight, they are in fact weak little rubber bands that become tight when I skip my exercises.

My next race was the Lord Hill 20 miler, which was to be my final tune-up before Chuckanut 50k, the big finale of my first training block. Like Bridle Trails I lucked out again with weather cooperating, eliminating one of the trickier variables in those early winter races. Unlike Bridle Trails however , I was not intimately familiar with the course but that’s the job. The race itself went off without a hitch and I found myself enjoying one of those days where you actually felt pretty decent from start to finish. No falls, no sustenance failures, perfect layering decisions, my only regret perhaps not just going for the full 50k option,  if only I had the foresight to know Chuckanut would end in an injury and DNF. Fast forward to July I am now running consistently and excited to ramp up harder workouts and racing in the fall. My advice to you all and my future self, should I lose sight of it as we sometimes do…..take the time for the little stuff, selfcare, stretching, rolling rest etc….and don’t forget to enjoy the little runs in between “the big stuff.” 

Adam Hewey

Nothing feels better than giving back. This year I decided to take a step back from running races to concentrate on volunteering for races. It felt great!  After winning my age group at the Polar Bear Plunge for New Years while wearing my Team SRC/Brooks gear and Brooks Launch, I ate some chili and started planning out my year of service. 

I am the Seattle Running Club Aid Station Captain for the iconic Chuckanut 50K in Bellingham. A wonderful day in the Chuckanut Mountains helping runners with other Team SRC/Brooks teammates. This is a great bonding experience for the team and totally worth the time and effort to organize.

Next up was working the Shy Bear Aid station for the Cougar Mountain Series. Wheelbarrowing all the supplies for an aid station over a mile into the woods is an act of sacrifice and also a lot of fun. I did a lot of travelling in June and put many miles on my Brooks Ghosts while running to keep my sanity. Both are showing a bit of wear. 

July is all Cascade Crest 100 Mile! I am the Assistant Race Director and put in massive amount of time and energy to bring this race to life each year. This  year we had a great showing of local runners. The majority of the locals wore Brooks shoes as did most of the volunteers and staff. 

I am proud to give back and proud to do it while wearing the Team SRC/Brooks logo.

Chris Hoffman

As I transition into my late 50’s, I have found I need to focus on overall health and managing recovery. Putting in lots of training miles and recovering from races doesn’t come as easy anymore and the impact of putting in those miles often outweighs the benefits. I am generally okay with that (not that I have a choice😊), but I have had to listen more to what my body is saying and diversify my training with different activities and put quality miles over quantity to stay healthy. That said, I still enjoy racing and doing my best to stay competitive as I age. The good news is that as I get older there are fewer competitors in my age group! With that in mind, I kicked off the year with a 1st in age class finish at the Bridle Trails Running Festival in the ten-mile race. That was a nice start to the year and although I haven’t been able to replicate that finish in races since then I have been able to bag solid age group finishes at the June Leavenworth Skyline 27-kilometer and the July Cougar Mountain 10.8-mile races. One notable highlight being that my 2023 splits in the 10.8-mile Cougar race were significantly faster than in my 2022 race. Maybe my approach to running fewer miles is paying off?

While running fewer miles may be working, I have done my best to stay very active volunteering. I am in my second year of coordinating Cougar Mountain Trail work parties and have enjoyed organizing and attending those events with my fellow SRC members. I also volunteered at the Bridle Trails race, the SRC Chukanut 50k aid station along with several SRC-Brooks team members, and at the July Cougar race.

Brooks has been an amazing partner for SRC, supplying the team with the shoes and apparel that allow us to run and look our best. It’s an honor to wear their products, especially since they are such a positive and inclusive presence within the running community. While I will always choose trails over roads, I have to say the Hyperion Max is my new favorite for my daily runs since it is very comfortable and cushy, and incredibly light. 

I’m looking forward to logging more miles in my Brooks shoes as I prepare for the Backcountry Rise and Perpetua coast races later this summer and fall!

PC: Somer Kreisman