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SRC-Brooks Team 2024 mid-year report

What have the ten members of the SRC-Brooks team been up to in the first half of 2024? Dive in to find out!

Trisha Steidl

I have continued to deal with a domino effect of injuries since I tripped on a rock at the start of the year. The past couple of months I’ve been navigating a heel injury that had the docs perplexed. I know what caused the injury, but what the injury exactly is it seems we may never fully know. 

I haven’t been able to run much, so I’ve been doing a lot of hiking, strength training, and multiple methods of x-training including doing the stairs near my house, using a new-to-me elliptical that I got from my Buy Nothing group, and doing online video workouts. I’ve also gone up to Camp Muir every two to three weeks and most recently climbed Mt. Baker (on the 5th). My Brooks Cascadia GTX shoes have been ideal for each of my mountain trips.

A recent, little victory was being able to run the day before climbing Baker and again the day after. The day after I ran for 24 minutes without any pain (for context, I haven’t been able to go more than a minute or two before feeling pain)! My fitness is confusing to me right now because I’m very strong and my low-level endurance is on point as I can hike fast for hours and it feels easy, but I never know what to expect when I run. It feels easy and hard at the same time. At any rate, I’m looking forward to when I can run daily again and, eventually, add in running workouts.

While that’s still further out in the future, more immediately I’m looking forward to pacing a friend at the Hardrock 100 mile race on July 13th in Colorado. I’ll be carrying my Brooks Highpoint Waterproof jacket and pants with me so I’m prepared in case any storms roll in, which often happens during this race.

On the volunteer front, I’ve helped out with registration at the Cougar Mountain Trail Series races. It’s always fun to see people come out to the races who are new to trail running as well as folks who have been doing these races for years. Such a wonderful community and a fun time all around!

Barrett Gray

I started 2024 off with the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival where I ran on a relay team with some of my SRC teammates. We came home with the win! I then took a little bit of a break from running to do some skiing. I went on a two-week trip to Norway with my mom in March and we did a 54k classic ski race together. It was fun to try out a different kind of race! I battled some mysterious fatigue for a bit but slowly eased back into running. I kicked off the racing season with a first-place finish at the Yakima Skyline 25k in April. I felt great and it was a good confidence booster! In May, I tackled the Tillamook Burn 50k, securing another first-place finish. Some unexpected life stress leading up to the event made me feel uncertain going into it, and I did experience a bit of a bonk near the end but overall I was happy with my performance given the circumstances and felt ready for Broken Arrow Skyrace 46k in June, which was my “A” race for the first half of the year. This is a mountainous race in Olympic Valley, CA with 9000 ft of gain and even a little bit of scrambling. I had a blast running it and the views were incredible! It was the most competitive race I’ve run, and I was thrilled to achieve my goal of a top 10 finish, coming in 8th place. The hot temperatures and high elevation were big unknowns going into it, so I started out conservatively and was able to gradually move my way up the field. I recovered at Lake Tahoe after the race, and the following weekend, I had the rewarding experience of crewing and pacing my partner Blake at the Western States 100. Broken Arrow and Western States are both iconic races in the trail running world and it was fun to experience them both in one trip!

Outside of racing, I found joy in giving back to the SRC and brooks communities by participating in trail work parties, making pancakes at the June Cougar race, and volunteering at the Brooks PR Invite, where I watched some speedy high schoolers race. Throughout these adventures, the new Catamount 3 shoes have been a reliable companion, still proving to be my favorite racing shoe and getting better with every version. It’s been a successful running year so far, and I’m excited for some summer FKT adventures and for gearing up for my first 100 miler at Run Rabbit Run in September!

PC: Somer Kreisman

Kristi Williams

The remainder of Spring 2024 went well with some highs and lows regarding running and competition! I will start with my shorter tune up races of the West Seattle 5k and the first Cougar Trail Series 5 miler. The West Seattle 5k was a shock to the system with absolute flames coming out of all the high schoolers and younger competitors at the start and I (much more mature and uh, experienced) tried to run more strategically which ended up not working to my favor. To my dismay, I saw two very small and young girls ahead of me and after a mile and a

half….still ahead of me. I went out with a very ambitious 5:45 mile and was still towards the back of that feisty and young pack. I did manage to rein in one of the spry youthful ladies, but one managed to very solidly put me second place. When looking at the results for the Women’s 5k you will see our ages which go as follows: 1st: 11, 2nd: 40, 3rd: 12. I am humbled and excited to see what these ladies can do in the future! The Cougar Mountain Trail series 5 miler went very well  and I was so happy to be back on the trails on such a warm and sunny May day. These races, though fun, were not my focus for the spring. My holy grail was the Vashon Trail Fest 50k which was only my second attempt, at a very lightly put, “ultra”. The race went well despite some funny hiccups including my soft shell water vessels refusing to stay in my running vest which ended with me tossing one at an aid station and holding the other for the entirety of the race. In addition, with the added 20 miler to the race, I found myself in more trail back up because of the looping nature of the course. Also, horses make running hard and inhaling bugs for 30ish miles is gross and not fun. I did find a better fueling method (thanks Trisha!) which enabled me to run the whole race without bonking or cramping. In the end, I ran four minutes faster with the second fastest course time for women and a win to boot! Beer and ice cream were consumed afterwards.

Now, I find myself switching gears (literally) and attempting to race a mile at the Yakima Masters Mile in July. The end of June and beginning of July have been filled with painful speedwork sessions and a very clear reminder of what lactic acid in your muscles feels like for days on end. We will see how this experiment goes! After the Yakima Mile, I plan to race the Bill Burby 5k and the PNTF Masters Trail 14.5 Championships that will be held at Cougar Mountain in August. I am enjoying this attempt at varying my speed and distances this summer!

Volunteer wise, I spent my time in the food tent at the May Cougar Mountain Trail Series cutting up watermelon and doing a pretty good job enticing hot and tired trail runners to some tasty Flying Lion Kolsch beer. I love talking and taking the time to celebrate running with fellow trail folks, especially on the glorious day that it was! In addition, I helped with tear down at the Brooks P.R. Invite and managed to watch a few of the races which is a spectacle to behold! It was fun to catch up with fellow SRC teammates and do odd jobs like tear down tents, pick up trash, and cut banners off of the fences. I love how Brooks makes those kids feel like rockstars by treating them to the best!

My favorite Brooks shoes currently seem to be the Ghost Max because the cushioning has really enabled me to put on more miles without the stress on my knees and hips. I adore the Hyperion Max for road races and speedwork on the track. I have really loved Calderas for trail workouts but prefer Catamounts for racing due to the firmness and closer to the ground feeling that they offer. I appreciate all the support and love that SRC gives me and adore Brooks for making this Mom/teacher/aspiring athlete feel worthy of her running endeavors!

Jenny Easterberg

2024 has been an interesting year to say the least. So many things have happened that it’s hard to know what to share first. I did start the year off with one of my favorite races in Arizona and took a solid second place. I also started a new coaching job which I thoroughly enjoy. I am very much enjoying summer now that it has finally arrived because it is my favorite season in the PNW. One of my favorite parts is volunteering at the Cougar race series. It is fun to be on the other side of the event and to cheer on runners of all different experience levels. When I first started running, I had no idea how much effort goes into putting on a single running event, so it’s wonderful to experience the camaraderie and teamwork at every single race I run or volunteer at.

The biggest hurdle I’ve encountered was being told I am perimenopausal. Learning to eat, train, and get the necessary support has been quite the adventure! I’ve had to completely rethink and reevaluate my running goals and training plans. I spent the spring track season running daily with my athletes. My go-to shoe for track workouts in the Hyperion Tempo. My focus now has been to build up slowly and try different running distances on both road and trail to see what feels best. They are all fun and challenging in their own ways. There is no sugar coating that menopausal running is a very different experience than anything I’ve had to adapt to prior to this point in time. But I am here to tell you that it by no means prevents you from having big running dreams and pursuing them.

Which leads me to my next big adventure run I have planned for this year. In 2022 I lost a very close trail running partner. We did countless runs and races together, and his passing left a huge hole in my life. We had a plan to run the Grand Canyon together in 2024, and I have decided to continue with this plan in honor of him. I find the thought of doing this without him is intimidating on multiple levels, but I feel confident that with the right approach and training I will succeed at this endeavor. This goal has been a big motivating factor as I reassess my summer/fall training plans. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to train down in Flagstaff, AZ both last year and this year which helped boost my confidence a bit as I learned to navigate the different climate and altitude. I have decided that I like both the Catamount and the Caldera for trail runs. I will have to decide which one to wear for the big run! The story of this venture will likely be in my next report, so until then, happy running!

Emily Brain

May was an exciting running month for me, I completed a life goal of mine to run rim-to-rim-to-rim at the Grand Canyon (45 miles with 11,000 feet of elevation gain)! My running partners and I lucked out with temperatures only rising into the 70s and we were able to soak up all the beauty with minimal suffering.  In June, I volunteered and raced at the second Cougar Series race (14.5 mile distances). I felt extremely strong and came in 4th woman! I absolutely loved racing in the speedy Brooks Catamount Agils and can’t wait to use them for the rest of the Cougar Series races this summer, where I will also be volunteering.  In this hot weather, I’ve also been loving the Brooks Chaser 3” shorts and Sprint Free tanks!

PC: Somer Kreisman

Erik Barkhaus

May started off with our club’s Cougar Mountain Trail Series opener. I opted for the 10.8 miler which was the long option. It was a scorcher of a day for early May but I was familiar with the course and happy to be at  my go to training trails. I found myself isolated for much of the race before finally pulling up on the leader only to get dusted in the last quarter mile. Still, I was happy to finish in a solid second and make a beeline for the watermelon and post race refreshments. Towards the end of May I made my way to Leavenworth Skyline 27k, a race with one big climb and one big descent. The thought of 10 + miles of continuous downhill was a little scary for my quads as I’d been prone to big time quad soreness in the past. It was a game time decision between my Catamounts and Calderas. Would Caldera 7s provide the extra cushion for a gnarly descent? I believe so based on my longer adventure runs, but my Catamounts have been my go to racing shoe and the choice boiled down to wanting to jump into the aggressive switchback running in the first 6 miles. The race had some really strong climbers put the hurt on me early. “Surely I’ll get some ground back on the downhill” I thought….well I managed to sneak past third temporarily, but let’s just say when you a crush a downhill for so long , the next little hill you encounter feels like the biggest hill you’ve ever seen! Maybe I should have studied the course elevation a little more, but when you look at the 6 mile 4k plus climb vs a little few hundred foot climb you think “How bad could it be ?!?” Well the answer is bad in terms of losing that last podium spot you worked hard to catch up to, but boy does it feel good just to finish and interestingly the quads held up. You better believe the Caldera’s still got some love and made it into my cooldown. Rotating shoes is an underrated move people!

June brought on Cougar race number two, weighing in at 14.5 miles. I immediately was brought back to memories of my epic duel with Max Ferguson back in the summer of ’14. Which of course ended in a tragic miscalculation of the final climb and perhaps my first trail duel lost on the unforgiving late climbs. Wait am I detecting a pattern? Did I not learn lessons in 10 years? Perhaps mistakes were made but fun was had. Well this one ended in another 2nd place, but I promise you I was soundly defeated before the final climb. Never underestimate the jump from the 10.8 to the 14.5! June also brought the volunteering at the Brooks PR Invite where the best of high school track athletes compete right down the road from me in Renton. Talk about wishing I had more of a finishing kick……kids are fast these days. Awesome to see the best go at and even though the mile was never my event (for reasons you can probably guess) I love watching the 4 lapper. Some fantastic young talent and I hope we see some of them come to the trail world one day, but maybe let me get my Cougar win first.

The end of the month brought me to Missoula for what became the half instead of the full marathon due to an injury bug and deciding to lessen the risk of walking away more damaged. This trip had been long in planning and I would have been more bummed except my mom made her return to the marathon after a 10 plus year hiatus! I was proud to see her step to the plate and tackle this even after a few minor setbacks in training. We both ended the day running a little slower than what we set out to do but it’s a lot better when you make a family trip out of it and you learn to appreciate the loved ones that wake up at 4am to help with logistics and cheer all morning on little sleep. It’s always been a fault of mine to want to wait until I have some arbitrary level of fitness before stepping to the line but anytime I show up I find inspiration from the energy at great event. If you haven’t made it out to Missoula, it’s a great town!

Aaron Roche

January

Volunteering: 4 hours in the absolutely frozen tundra of Bridle Trails State Park, Running:  260mi (419km) @ 33 hours 41 minutes. 

Kicking off 2024, Smu and I continued our New Year’s Day tradition of logging a scenic trail run among the conifers of Cougar Mountain. As the Route Planner in Chief (RPIC) in our household, I assured my favorite run bud that it might take us close to three hours to complete the lollipop from the Licorice Fern Trailhead around the Whittaker Wilderness and Wilderness Cliffs trails. Better prepared for our adventure this year, Anna gave me the OK. We took to the forest, enjoyed the lush tree canopy, ran up and down some hills, and ended our outing at the local diner for brunch before returning to Seatown.

For the rest of January, I stuck to my Boston Marathon training plan like the packaging of a messy energy gel sticks to my fingers during a long run. 

February

Volunteering: 0hrs, Running: 242mi (391km) @ 29 hours 42 minutes

The month of February is my favorite month to run in the Pacific Northwest. The temperatures are ideal for distance running. It’s a fairly gloomy month, and I just absolutely love it. For the Brooks’ team run this month, we met on a damp and dark Sunday morning in West Seattle. I enjoyed getting out on the Alki Bike trail for the first time in a while. We split up once our group rounded the bend towards Lincoln Park.

Teammate Chris C. and I continued through the park. I led him on a route through the middle of the West Seattle peninsula. We climbed up from the shores along Fauntleroy and headed north past the central neighborhoods before descending through a delightful Greenbelt down Fairmount Ave.

The scenery among a dense forest in West Seattle almost compares to the views one experiences along the bluffs running through Ft. Ebey State Park in Coupeville on Whidbey Island. That’s where I opened up my racing for 2024 – the Kettles Trail Run. This one is hosted by our friends at Northwest Trail Runs.

I came away with a ~1-minute P.B. along the half marathon course and finished 4th overall. It was a super fun weekend. Here’s a pre-race snap with me and my friend Matt P. who also did the half.

March

Volunteering: 8hrs. SRC Aid Station atop Cleator Rd at the Chuckanut 50k; Trail Running Film Festival at the Egyptian.

Running: 314mi (506km) @ 37h 9 minutes.

One of the best parts of being on the SRC-Brooks team is getting to experience the annual Chuckanut 50k trail race in Bellingham. Having checked it off of my racing list last year, I planned to once again help out at our team’s aid station atop Cleator Rd. After we finished our shift, a few of us ran along the course, cheering on runners grinding through the last 10 kilometers of their 50ks.

For the second year in a row, the weather was pretty fantastic all weekend in B’ham. Running a 10k shakeout – and imbibing in the post-race celebrations was just about what I needed before one of the last big, long runs of my training cycle for Boston – a 39k (24.2mi) out and back between Sudden Valley and Wickersham.

This.run.was.the.business. I was genuinely terrified and excited to get out along the rolling roads nestled between the foothills of Mt. Baker and the Chuckanuts. On paper, it looked like a twisty, rugged, beast of a run. And it lived up to all of my expectations. With sweeping views of the Twin Sisters range and a few peeks at the peak of Mt. Baker – add that to the serene stretch next to Lake Whatcom, my running heart was full.

Other highlights for the month of March were volunteering at the return of the Trail Running Film Festival and a pair of long runs around Central Whidbey Island. Running along the ridges above the Puget Sound, cresting the spine of the Island, and climbing atop Bush Point Rd at the end of some 2+ hour stretches provided equal parts mental fortitude and lactic burn.

April

Volunteering: 0hrs, Running: 170mi (275km) @ 21h 13 minutes.

It was time to get down to business in April for the Boston Marathon. I’m not sure how many “serious runner” marathon cycles I have left in me, so my mindset was to make this one count. I gave myself ample time to get on the east coast schedule – I spent a few days at my childhood home in South Jersey, a couple of nights in Philadelphia with my brother, and then took the Acela up to Boston – that’s Amtrak’s “fast” train, for all the West Coasters reading this.

Boston really goes all in on their marathon weekend. Here’s an excerpt from the race recap on my personal blog (https://www.rocheam.com/move.html#BOSTON2024):

…everything about the Boston Marathon exceeded my expectations…My number one objective was to stay patient through the downhill parts of the course so that I wasn’t cooked by the time the hill sections appeared later in the race. And, as always, get to mile 20 so that there was something left to give for that last 10k.

…The race is described as a 26-mile-long parade. I saw it more as eight consecutive, small town 5k races…

…Having “summitted” … “Heartbreak Hill,” I prepared for what I expected to be a smooth, downhill cruise to the finish in Boston…

Well, it wasn’t exactly a cruise, but I stayed on my feet, kept up a respectable pace, and persevered better than a whole lot of other runners. From the hills to the finish, there were plenty of runners-turned-walkers who were overcooked from the hills, the “heat,” and their high expectations of running ~fast on this course.

…I craned my neck to look toward the horizon to see just how much farther I had to go for those final two turns at the finish – “right on Hereford, left on Boylston.” I ran beneath the I-90 overpass and climbed to the top of Commonwealth Ave on the other side and finally saw the first turn!

…I crossed the line in just over two hours and fifty minutes. A pretty good day’s work. B+ for the effort. A+ for the experience.

May

Volunteering: 1.5hrs. Brooks PR Invitational, Running: 170mi (273km) @ 22h 23 minutes.

A fun, end-of-spring tradition with the team has been to volunteer at the High School showcase meet known as the Brooks PR Invitational. This year’s race was held at the Renton Memorial Stadium. After watching junior athletes zip down the straightaway and around the track, we got to help with breaking down the event.

It’s a pretty fun atmosphere with high production value thanks to the involvement of major sponsors and top industry media coverage.

My other highlight for May was participating in a 20-mile race in the Methow Valley. From the valley, this race climbed to the foothills leading to the Chelan Sawtooth Wilderness. This run was good for my soul: sweeping views across the North Central Cascades, beautiful wildflowers in full bloom, and absolutely zero sorority members lining the course screeching at the top of their lungs.

June

Volunteering: 0hrs, Running: 216mi (347km) @ 31h 38 minutes.

June was a very chill month compared to May when every weekend I had at least ten things going on. Smu and I took a serendipitous day trip from Whidbey out to the San Juans to check-out the farmer’s market in Friday Harbor. We ran from the ferry and into one of the most beautiful forests I’d ever encountered.

The Friday Harbor Laboratories Biological Preserve was lush with old-growth conifers and melodious songbirds. The brief time we spent running from a peaceful country road and into one of the most exotic landscapes is something that will stick with me for a long while. 

Lastly for this mid-year report, I’ll recap the Brooks team run from Sunset Way on Tiger Mountain. Jenny led us on a casual mid-week jaunt up and around Tradition Plateau. It’s always a pleasure getting to catch-up while logging some miles with my kind teammates.

Well, that’s six months down and six more to go for 2024! Thanks to the support of Brooks Running and my teammates on the SRC-Brooks team. I appreciate ya! 👊 Hydrate. Breathe. Eat yo’ veggies. And Let’s Run There!

Dave Messenheimer

I participated in two Cougar Mountain trail work days, where I helped to clear a few downed trees on some major routes and generally prepare the course for upcoming races. I placed 7th overall and 2nd masters at the May 10.8 mile Cougar Mountain race.  I am excited to get some bigger races on the schedule for the second half of the season, in addition to a full slate of cross country races, culminating at nationals in Tacoma!

PC: Somer Kreisman
PC: Somer Kreisman

Chris Hoffman

The first half of the year was an eventful one for me with more races, including two road 5k’s (it’s been forever since I’ve run one 5k, never mind two!), than in recent years. In addition to the St. Paddy’s Day and West Seattle 5k’s I ran the Yakima Skyline 25k and the June 8-mile and July 10-mile Cougar Mountain races. Solid finishes without any fireworks, which is fine by me at my ripe old age. That said, I did enjoy dueling it out with another oldster at the July Cougar Race. I came up short but have my eyes on revenge at the August PNW Trail championships.

I also kept busy with a number of volunteering opportunities, which began in March with staffing the Cleator Road Aid Station during the Chukanut 50k with a number of my SRC-Brooks teammates. The weather gods shined on us this year with a sunny, warm day. Other volunteering included clearing trails prior to the May Cougar Mountain Race, and managing parking at the June and July Cougar races. This can be a wee stressful but it’s kind of fun to keep everyone organized.

I spent a lot of time training in the new Ghost Max, which is now me favorite road shoes. It’s easy to churn out lots of miles in all that sweet, cushiony goodness and the fit is spot on. On the trials, I have been running a lot, including all my trail races, in the Catamount 2. It’s the perfect blend or trail feel, quickness, and traction; I can’t wait to give the 3 a tryout late this year! A final piece of gear I have been loving is the new High Point waterproof jacket. I got stuck in a late spring snow squall miles from the trailhead in the Teanaway and it kept me absolutely warm and dry. I would have been a hurting until without that layer of protection and now it lives in my pack. The rest of 2024 is shaping up nicely with the Wy’East Trailfest 28k next on my list.

PC: Takao Suzuki
PC: Takao Suzuki

Chris Chamberlin

In January, I started my new life as an SRC-Brooks Team member off right by joining some of my teammates to run the Bridle Trails 50k relay, in unusually frigid conditions. I’ve enjoyed racing the 50k solo there in the past so it was a fun change to have just one five-mile lap to run as hard as I can. I’m primarily an ultramarathoner so hitting a race pace for a short lap is tough but a great way to introduce variety and become a stronger runner. Thanks mostly to my speedy teammates, we got the relay win!

During the dark Pacific Northwest winters, I have two strategies that help keep me active outdoors. First, I embrace the grey on our local trails; Tiger Mountain just feels right when the weather’s a bit ugly and my feet are wet. Second, all my favorite cross training happens on skis, both nordic skate skiing and backcountry ski touring.

As spring arrived my next racing outing was at the Yakima Skyline 50k. This race has been a longtime favorite for me; I have seven previous finishes there, more than anyone else. I love it for the usually warm and dry early-season conditions on the east side of the Cascades, and for the training motivation from remembering how tough its four monster climbs are. My time was about average for me, but was pleased that my out-and-back splits were just a few minutes apart, for a really well-paced race. I ran 6:18:25 to take fifth place among the men.

In June, I ran the Cougar Mountain Trail Series 14 mile race, which was a ton of fun. Trail and weather conditions were ideal, and despite the previously mentioned discomfort with running “short” races – I had a great time pushing the pace. I was happy with my 2:14:16 and 6th man.

The rest of the first half of 2024 was filled with volunteering and training for upcoming summer adventures. Working the top-of-Cleator-Road aid station at Chuckanut 50k in March with my teammates was great fun; filling bottles and handing out snacks is a great way to be a part of the race experience and help others hit their goals. I got in some good trail work days as well, both keeping the Cougar Mountain trails in great shape with SRC, and helping build new trail in the Teanaway with Washington Trails Association. Training is going well as I prep for a big mountain race later in July as well as to-be-determined challenges later in the summer.

The Brooks Catamount 3 was new to me this spring and has been a fantastic discovery! The fit suits me just right and I love the grippy but lightweight sole on smoother trails and when scrambling over rocks. I’m looking forward to seeing how fast and far they can carry me in the rest of 2024.

PC: Somer Kreisman
PC: Somer Kreisman
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SRC-Brooks Team wraps up 2023

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

Kristi Williams

The later half of 2023 has been filled with trails and the cross country courses! The summer was completed with a 5th place finish at the USATF PNTF 14.5 Miler Trail Championships on Cougar Mountain (August Cougar Mountain Trail Series race). I was pleasantly surprised making the top five considering the level of amazing female athletes that were present. Being 39 (an almost masters) and competing on the same level as those who may be close to half your age is challenging and slightly daunting, but at this point in my running career I am happy to be out there still doing what I love regardless of my age and what is going on in my life! “Run happy” is my mantra no matter how I feel, it helps me race with optimism versus stress and anxiety. After the completion of the Cougar Mountain trail series, I was so excited to discover that I had outright won the short series! I never imagined I was capable or talented enough to achieve such an outcome. It just goes to show hard work, commitment, showing up, and doing your best can pay off even if you are not an expert in that area…I still find myself to be slightly naive or blissfully oblivious when it comes to trail running. 

The transition into cross country was a bit difficult. Trying to get my muscles to remember what it feels like to really push hard over a short period of time took some work and patience. I managed to run all the xc races SRC competed in this year, but it took some of the races to really reengage that mindset necessary to run successfully in cross country. I had to accept that I shouldn’t go out with the lead pack, but rather run consistently and slowly work my way up. The Bill Roe Classic was an eye opener which led to a more successful Lower Woodland and an even better performance at Lincoln Park PNTF Championship. XC Regionals in Portland was a hoot mainly because of the tight timeline I found myself on where I drove up with my mother in law, who also raced, and managed to warm up and race within half an hour of the race’s start time.  Let’s just say my hips were solid as a rock and it became a game for me, during the race, trying to figure out how to run quickly with little to no gross motor movement in the lower half of my body. Not entirely desirable results, but the course was long and it was windy so that will be what I will attribute most of my troubles to! The last Cougar Mountain 7.6 miler was a blast and a well deserved change from fast parks and golf course settings! I managed a second place finish and was delighted to be back on the trails.  I love how I crave the mountains and trails now more than flat speedy surfaces of roads and fast grass….who knew I’d really morph into a trail runner after all! I am not racing XC Nationals this year due to how far away Florida is, but plan to run the Christmas Rush 10k to end my XC season with a fast, flat, and fun road race! 

I enjoyed volunteering at the last two Cougar Mountain Trail Series races in August and October at the food tent (my favorite volunteer position!). I love cutting watermelon in the summer and plating pumpkin pie in October. As always, it is a thrill watching people finish their races ranging from first time trail 5kers to 50k studs. It is a blast being surrounded by like minded individuals who value nature, the thrill of trail running, and community. 

I love the new Hyperion Max and have been utilizing its cushion and quick turnover for workouts while the Catamount 2 remains my trail favorite. Although, the Caldera 6 has grown on me for those trail runs with lots of descents…..my knees appreciate all that cushion! 

Thanks to Seattle Running Club and Brooks for supporting my fellow teammates and myself! It is a wonderful feeling to be a full time working teacher and mother while still having support from my local club and running company to help me realize my running dreams and potential! Thank you SRC and Brooks!

Dave Messenheimer

The second half of 2023 has included lots of miles, lots of trails, unfortunately some injuries slowing me down, and lots of fun times running with other SRC members.  Racing performances have included a 3rd place at the USATF PNW Masters Trail champs at Cougar Mountain in August, some middling cross country results for SRC, and being part of the winning team at the Cougar Cup race in October. In September, I joined fellow SRC members Chris Tremonte, Uli and Trisha Steidl, and Erik Barkhaus in a beautiful run to Pyramid Peak on the slopes of Mt Rainier. This was especially challenging for Erik and I, as we had just raced the Bellingham XC race the day before! The Brooks Cascadia and Catamount have become my go-to trail shoes, and I’ve been impressed with how well they grip on PNW trails. 

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 and log removal at Cougar Mountain.  Being part of the SRC-Brooks team has been an honor 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 gotten to know and share time with.

Barrett Gray

For the second half of 2023, I turned my focus to FKT (fastest known time) adventures. I did an FKT around my birthday in early August for the second year in a row with my friend Charlie. For this year’s “Birthday FKT” we ran the Foss Lakes – Iron Cap Loop, a 26.5-mile route in the heart of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness with some scrambling and off-trail travel in the middle section. We set a new Mixed-gender team FKT by almost 5 hours. The Birthday FKT has become a fun tradition! Next up in my FKT season was the Grand Loop, a rugged 44-mile route in Olympic National Park with 13,000 ft of gain. The loop was absolutely stunning and quickly became one of my favorite routes in Washington. My main goals going into the run were to keep moving with few breaks and to be efficient with water stops and pole transitions to prepare me for my bigger FKT attempt on Section J of the PCT a couple weeks later, and I was stoked for that to all go well and help me get the women’s FKT! Two weeks later I set out at 4:45 AM from Stevens Pass on my Section J FKT attempt. 16 hours and 15 minutes later I made it to Snoqualmie Pass for a new unsupported women’s FKT on the 75-mile section of the PCT. This run was a big milestone for me in many ways. It was my longest run ever (by time and distance), and by far my longest solo effort. I backpacked this route a couple years ago over 5 days and it was fun to experience a familiar trail in a new way. There was something magical about experiencing sunrise and sunset out on the trail in the same day and covering so much distance in a beautiful place. This route will always be very special to me!

Running the FKTs was a fun change of pace from ultra-racing, but I didn’t completely stop racing on the trails and enjoyed switching it up with a couple sub-ultra races in the second half of the year. In August, I finally ran my first Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series race at the USATF PNTF Trail Championships. The 14.5-mile race had a competitive field and we started out fast on the flatter parts of Cougar Mountain. I was in 4th place to start, but as the course became hillier and more technical, I was gradually able to make my way to the front for a 1st place finish. It was fun to test my speed on home trails and be out there with many SRC teammates! To cap off my year of running, I decided to do one more sub-ultra race at Run the Rock 20 miler at Smith Rock State Park. Conditions were perfect this year with great weather and dry trails, which made for a very pleasant race experience in contrast to last year when I ran the 50-mile distance and there was a snowstorm the night before and morning of the race. I led the 20-mile race from start to finish and came home with a win and a new course record by 16 minutes. It was a great way to end an awesome year of running!

I’ve still been loving the Brooks Catamount 2 for all my fast trail endeavors. I quickly went through my first pair and was excited to get a second pair in August. The Brooks Cascadia 17 also came out this year, and I’ve been loving the new model. It’s been a great shoe for my endeavors on technical trails and terrain. My Brooks shoes are also great to wear while I’m volunteering at SRC events! I always enjoy helping out at the Cougar Mountain races and had a fun time volunteering at the Billy Mills Run/Walk for Life this year.

Katelen Phelan

Imposter syndrome mainly defines the latter half of my 2023 year in running. I’ve attempted to run, but my body hasn’t healed yet from my high-risk tibial stress reaction (yes, from April). So, my movement has been redirected to neighborhood strolls, bike rides, in-home stationary cycling (have you ever tried Zwift?!), physical therapy and light lifting routines. I can now do multiple pull ups! In September I eventually started getting runner-specific physical therapy through Chris Johnson at Zaren PT. He’s guiding me towards a strong recovery with minimal setbacks. The process takes time, but having tailored physical therapy exercises to get me there is giving me hope. 

This fall cross country season; I was a volunteer coach with the Highline High School Cross Country team again. This year’s coaching staff gelled well together. As the injured coach, I often led modified workouts for fellow injured runners, core work, and stretches. The most rewarding part was connecting with athletes about their hopes and goals both within the xc season and for their future in general. Some of these athletes were former students/athletes of mine at the middle level! The young athletes dialed in on setting PRs, encouraged one another and treated competitors with respect (despite some bizarre race day shenanigans). I also had the honor of volunteering at the Hallows Eve October Cougar Cup Trail Race at Cougar Mountain. So many friendly faces, strong paces and entertaining costumes. It was a frigid and frosty morning with one patch of pre-race sun for runners to huddle up in. 

I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s been a challenge to stay engaged with home gym routines and solo walks. However, this extended recovery time has helped me reach out to and reconnect with friends and family who are also approaching physical activity in lower-impact ways. Turns out the views last a little longer and more can be noticed when you slow it all down. I’m looking forward to lacing up my Brooks shoes and going for runs in 2024!

Trisha Steidl

After spending the first half of the year focused on the 24 hour race, I needed a mental and physical break. I didn’t know how long that break needed to be, but figured my brain and body would let me know. I was also excited to get back out on the trails again. Fortunately, my good friend asked me to pace her again at the Cascade Crest 100 mile race. I was more than happy to oblige and tried to get my trail legs under me. It seemed to work, though my downhill ability was sub-par. I had a blast volunteering the day before the race and being part of a team of incredible women working together to crew and pace her to yet another win and a new course record! Supporting someone else in achieving their goals is a true privilege.

The following week I volunteered at the Buck Creek aid station at the White River 50 mile. It was fun to provide support to so many runners and to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in awhile as well as meet new folks. The August Cougar race was also the PNTF Trail Championships and I volunteered there and the next day drove up to Bellingham to volunteer at the Hamster race. I ended up pacing a guy for a couple of loops around Lake Padden. It was fun to meet him and his family and to support him as he earned his first 100-mile buckle! What a treat to have the impromptu opportunity to meet and help someone towards such a big goal!

A couple of weeks later, I volunteered at the Billy Mills Run For Life race which is a wonderful event that promotes suicide awareness, specifically in the Native American community.

During this time I was getting out on the trails more in my trusty Cascadia 16s and planned a couple of bigger, fall foliage, trail runs with small groups of friends. It’s always fun to take friends to beautiful places they’ve never been before and explore them myself, too. I also got to cheer on my SRC-Brooks teammate and friend, Barrett, as she finished setting a new FKT on Section J of the PCT! More volunteering at the October trail work party at Cougar and the race the following weekend where I got to cheer on my teammates.

Finally, I decided I was ready to race – at least mentally. I brushed old grass and dried mud off my Brooks Mach Spikeless Spikes and ran the PNTF XC Championships at Lincoln Park. Racing 6k after not doing any racing for several months and not doing the training for such a short race meant it was slow, but I felt so good, ran strong, and truly enjoyed the experience. Our women’s masters team earned a 2nd place finish and I was 2nd in my age group. It’s always special to race as a team. Two weeks later I raced at the Regional XC Championships in Portland where our masters women’s team earned 2nd place again and I earned 3rd place individually in my age group on a cold, blustery day. 

I’ve got two more short races on the calendar (Brooks Hyperion, for the win!) to finish out the year. My hope is that by racing more often and doing shorter races, I’ll be able to get to a place of fitness I haven’t been in awhile, gain that fitness in a fun way, and represent my club and Brooks better and more often. What a full year! Huge thanks to Seattle Running Club and Brooks Running for their continued support!

Aaron Roche

For the second half of 2023, I continued the pursuit of the running goals that I had set for myself – race hard, stay engaged with my local running community, and have fun! As an ambassador of the SRC-Brooks team, I coordinated with the United Native Education Alliance (UNEA) to strengthen our partnership at their annual Run for Life event. As a coach at Beacon Hill’s Cleveland High School, I contributed to the progress of 30-plus cross country athletes this past fall. And as an athlete, I competed in four races and one 4th of July Egg Dash. I am grateful for the opportunities afforded to me as a member of the SRC-Brooks team and the support of Brooks Running.

July through September stats. Volunteering: one event for a total of 4hrs. Training and competing: 97 hours across 771 mi (1,240km). For the second year, I led the SRC volunteer effort at the UNEA Run for Life held at North Seattle College. This event is a staple in the UNEA’s calendar of events. It provides important awareness to suicide prevention that disproportionately affects the Native American population and includes a keynote address by Olympian Billy Mills. Seattle Running Club was responsible for helping with registration, course marshaling, and race photography.

Training and racing-wise, I was in the thick of preparing for my big hairy audacious goal of running the New York City Marathon in early November. En route, I was the sole SRC-Brooks participant at the inaugural Redmond Harvest Half Marathon on Labor Day. Later in the month, I joined our harriers up in Bellingham for WWU’s Bill Roe XC Classic. It was an honor and a privilege to suit up in the SRC Sky Blue singlet and represent among collegians half my age.

October through November stats. Training: 48 hours across 389 mi (626 km).

The work continued all through October. I had a massive stretch of back-to-back-to-back weekends with long runs or 39k, 39.5k, and 40k that simulated the various bridge climbs that make the New York City Marathon unequivocally the toughest of the six marathon majors.

November 5th, 2023. The New York City Marathon had finally arrived! I navigated the complicated pre-race logistics with relative ease, made it to the start line on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and raced through the five-borough route to a one-minute personal best!

I had some awesome support that enabled me to achieve this year-long objective. My team of physical and massage therapists are right at the top of those who helped me on my journey. Brooks running has been masterful in creating the best training shoes (Glycerin 20s) for all those long run climbs up Madrona Drive. A huge thanks to my SRC-Brooks teammates for the inspiration to stay fit and keep up my competitive spirit. And last but not least, my partner and fellow 2023 NYC Marathon finisher, Anna Smu, for being with me stride for stride throughout the trails of life. But most importantly for putting up with my alter ego: running Diva Aaron.

Bergman Umana

My second half of 2023 was a blast! I focused on trail races that ranged anywhere from 5k to 20 miles and had the great opportunity to volunteer for Brooks at the Dawg Dash 5k and SRC’s Cougar Mountain October Series.

One of the most memorable races this season was the Backcountry Rise 20m. It was a big reach for me since I had never ran this distance before. On top of that, I had skipped way too many Wednesday workouts this summer to feel confident. But there I was, Mile 13, totally in my zone. I think it was the bee stings at mile 4 that helped me stay mentally grounded, haha. At mile 17, I suffered a fall that slowed me down for about a mile, but I was able to come back and put my batteries on for the last 3 miles. The remainder of the race was grueling, but I pushed through and finished 18th. Completing this race made me excited about my future adventures in trail running.

Another fun race I competed in this season was the Middle Fork 13.1m. This was a fun little race I ran with some of my friends. The goal was to take it easy and enjoy October’s turning leaves. At mile 5 however, my friend realized that she was in 1st place for the ladies, so naturally, we picked up the pace.  I ended up in 6th place and my friend snagged women’s 1st.

In 2024, I’m looking forward to longer distance runs and exploring Washington’s mountains!

Erik Barkhaus

Summer running has traditionally been a time of bulk miles and grand adventures on the trails, yet I found myself heeding the advice of the Dr. and limiting mileage and intensity. Luckily progression in rehab and heeding the advice of my doctor still allowed me to run pain free while vacationing in Maine with my family and visiting my girlfriend’s family cabin in upstate New York. Both completely new territory for me and worth the increased humidity of the east coast summer. I found myself browsing races in the area to revisit in the coming years! In keeping to the cautious side, I did not race in the summer but was a regular in the Cougar Race Series registration tent. I enjoyed observing the various pre-race routines and speaking with all the excited, nervous runners. It’s refreshing to see so many folks out there just enjoying themselves and not overthinking it (Note to self). It’s great to see this series going strong 10 years after I first ran one! It was hard to be sidelined, but I was still able to enjoy some great finishes by SRC Brooks team members and other SRC members. It’s always fun to talk to someone after a race once they’ve caught their breathe but still enjoying the full rush of a runner’s high.

September means cross country season and the arrival of crispy fall weather. I’ve always felt a boost from the cool weather and the balance of speed and trail in cross country has always been a great match for my strengths as a runner. I was a regular at both SRC Wed night XC workouts and races from September through November. In late September we kicked off racing in Bellingham for the Bill Roe Invitational, I was quickly reminded that running in college races means going out fast but I was still able to run the race I wanted to, an even effort meant to be a rust buster for my body to acclimate to racing again. I ended up running three more XC races, culminating in the Regional Championships in Portland where I was able to run a full minute faster than my first race of the year. While I felt some of my goals for 2023 were derailed by injury, I was able to pivot and make the best of the second half (thus far) and reconnect with one of my favorite running disciplines. XC is more team oriented and generates an exciting atmosphere so it is a welcome change from the usual routines of individually focused efforts that are common in a post college world. I’ve still got several weeks left of 2023 and I’m already excited to ramp up training again. In past years I found myself needing an extended break towards the end of the year, but perhaps my caution early in the year set me up for an even stronger end of 23’and beginning of 24’!

Adam Hewey

The second half of my year was a whirlwind or should I say Worldwind? I had the good fortune to be able to travel all over Europe and beyond for two and a half months. The problem with living out of a backpack is you can only bring one set of running clothes and laundry is a luxury. This led to much less running than I’d have liked but the running I did was unforgettable. My three favorite runs I did on vacation were:

Tour of Porto, Portugal on foot. 

My fiancée Elly and I ran all over Porto one day. Amazing views were in abundance and we stopped a few times to visit art galleries, step into very old churches and we may have paused to have lunch and a glass of wine. Not the fastest run but way more fun than most. 

Sunrise in Tangier.

We set the alarm early and ran into the sunrise as it came up over Africa along the beach in Morocco. Some runs tick a bucket list box you didn’t even know you had.

The Ladder of Kotor.

Montenegro is an amazing country just South of Croatia. Limestone mountains hover over sheltered bays and tiny medieval towns dot the coast and hilltops. Above the walled city of Kotor is a steep switchback trail called The Ladder of Kotor. It goes up 3,000 feet to what was a mountain top town. The views were memorable and the hike up and run down was exhilarating.

It has been a blast wearing my Seattle Running Club gear in so many countries. It has been a pleasure being part of the SRC Brooks Team. 

Chris Hoffman

The second half of the year flew by and I’m happy with what I was able to accomplish with my racing even as my training mileage has decreased. At the July Cougar race, I came in 3rd in my age group in the 10-mile race and was even able to improve upon my time from last year. From there, I transitioned to longer races, with a 2nd place finish in my age group at the 20-mile Backcountry Rise race. I finished up the year with the last race of the new Vert Series at the North Bend Trailfest 30k. While I finished out of the medals at that race, I was able to lock up a 3rd place overall finish in the series for the masters category.

On the volunteer front, I continued to lead work parties for SRC at Cougar Mountain. Running around the Cougar trails with club members and SRC-Brooks team members is always a good time, especially when you feel like you are helping maintain one of our local treasures. I also volunteered at the Brooks display at the University of Washington Husky Dawg Dash. The love for Brooks is strong here in the PNW and that came across loud and clear from all the racers who came by the display. As a SRC-Brooks team member it’s very rewarding to be associated with Brooks since they are such a community-focused company.

Summer and fall is always prime time for hitting the trails and I got out on some old time favorites like Section J of the PCT and tried some new to me trails including Panhandle Gap/Indian Bar at Mt. Rainier and the Foss Lakes Trail in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The latest iteration of the Cascadia (the 17) has grown from a casual fling to a full-fledged love affair. I expect to be running happy in these for a long time!

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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.

RACES:

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!

VOLUNTEERING:

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

Categories
Uncategorized

2022 SRC-Brooks Team year-end-review

Read on to see what the SRC Brooks team was up to this year!

Dave Kwiatkowski

Towards the beginning of July, I had a fun time volunteering at an aid station in the Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series with Alex Kylyukh! We rolled 2 full wheelbarrows of food and supplies out to an intersection on the trail and set up a table full of running goodies. There were a lot of flying bugs at our station, but we joked about it and had a blast helping the runners. When it was time to pack everything out, we zipped up and down the trails once again with our wheelbarrows, and we may have taken a wrong turn down a long hill that we had to trudge back up.

At the end of July, I headed out to Colorado with my trail friend Chris Wu to run in the Never Summer 100K. Since I DNF’d my first 100K last year, finishing this race would mean a lot to me. We spent some time getting to know Boulder and northern Colorado for a week, and then we both finished our first 100 kilometer race! Though it was a tough course, the event was beautiful, everyone was nice, and it was very well run. I had fun!

In October, I spent some time with my family in Charlottesville, Virginia, and I was also there to run in my dad’s backyard ultra, Andy’s. The course of Andy’s Backyard Ultra was marvelous with all of the autumn colors. The runners, supporters, and spectators of the race were just wonderful too. I ran Andy’s Backyard Ultra, and was the only finisher after 32 hours and 133.3 miles of running.

After this event, I traveled back to Seattle and spent some more time commuting from Bellevue to Seattle by foot and running up and down Howe Stairs in November. In December, I’ll be running the Hellgate 100K through the dark, cold Blue Ridge mountains. Afterwards, I’m sure I’ll enjoy too many holiday treats and cookies. The Seattle Running Club made 2022 a year to happily remember, and I am forever grateful for my teammates and this organization!

Jenny Easterberg

First off, I absolutely loved the long summer we had! The sun and the heat made for glorious mountain runs. It was by far the driest cross country season I have ever coached. I enjoyed mini trips to places like Lake Chelan well into October. It is always fun to represent Seattle Running Club in different parts of the state. Like many runners, I was challenged by the smoke and forced to be not only smart but also creative with my exercise. I was also grateful that many of the races I annually volunteer at took place earlier in the year, before the smoke moved in.

While beautiful, it was also the most challenging time for me regarding running. I unexpectedly lost my closest trail running companion and race partner in the beginning of October. I attempted a run the next day and found no comfort in the mountains, which is my usual place of sanctuary. I was shocked and disappointed in this, and hoped this wasn’t a new permanent reality for me. However, I persisted with my daily runs and within a couple days I was able to let the mountain air and serenity of the woods begin the healing process. This experience has also reminded me that life is short, and I have now set some solid running/race goals for myself over the next couple of years. Being a runner isn’t always easy, but overcoming challenges helps me to grow both as an athlete and an individual.

Aaron Roche

The end of the year is near! Here’s what I’ve been up to as a member of the 2022 SRC-Brooks since the last report in August.

Thanks again to Seattle Running Club and Brooks Running for presenting me with this opportunity to fulfill my potential as an athlete!

Here’s the month-by-month summary of my volunteering, training, and racing between August and November.

July through September stats. Volunteering: two events for a total of 7hrs. Training and competing: 108hrs across 921mi (1,483km). 

Highlights!

  • The Billy Mills Run/Walk for Life. This event hosted by the Urban Native Education Alliance was remarkably impactful. It was quite humbling to be able to leverage our role in the local running community to support the messages of suicide awareness and prevention, as well as community health and wellness.
  • After having a chance encounter at a friend’s wedding and feeling empowered by my position on the SRC-Brooks team, I connected with the South Seattle scholastic running community. Members of Cleveland, Franklin, and Rainier Beach High Schools welcomed me to attend their summer cross country camp in Seward Park. Later in the summer, I started helping out as an assistant coach for the Cleveland High School cross country team.
  • The Brooks Mobile Tour was in town in July and a few from our squad met up to lead group runs around Green Lake. I had a ton of fun helping local runners *and friends!* demo the new Brooks line and then lead them on a run around *LOOT LAKE!*
  • Other highlights:
    • Support squad captain for Anna at Race the Reserve on Whidbey Island.
    • Group run leader for attendees to the PATH International Conference
    • XC Season opener at the WWU Bill Roe Invite.

October through mid-November stats. Training and competing: 49hrs across 415mi (667km).

  • This was a lot of *ME* time. And a lot of smoke!! Training got challenging due to the bad air in and around Seattle, so I ventured out to Whidbey Island quite a bit to get in some quality workouts leading up to the Philadelphia Marathon.
  • I got engaged to my partner Anna!
  • The Philadelphia Marathon! This was a top five day. There’s so much to unpack from that experience that it will get its own report. Watch this space! rocheam.com/move

So that’s it for the 2022 recap! Thanks for your support this year and every year. I am continually inspired and impressed by my fellow SRC-Brooks teammates and their dedication to our Seattle running community.

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

Clockwise from top left, Brooks Mobile Tour, Green Lake; with the SRC Women at the WWU Bill Roe XC Classic; Leading Amos from PATH on a tour of Elliott Bay; with my Philadelphia Marathon Support Skwad; Southend Distance Summer XC Camp at Seward Park; with Billy Mills and fellow SRC board members at the Run/Walk for Life; supporting Anna at Race the Reserve; waving to my fans at the 35k mark during the Philadelphia Marathon.

Clockwise from top left, a new pattern on the sherpa shorts!; the Hyperion Elite 3s at the beach on Mutiny Bay; New Run Happy Socks with the Ghost 14s and a special guest appearance by Charlie! 😻; Canopy jacket and the Glycerin 20s in the fall color of Hunter Blvd S. Me in a Brooks Running face mask and *MY fiancée*!; A trio of Brooks Ghost 14s at a group run in South Lake Union; and the Glycerin 20s again from the fall color photo shoot at Hunter Blvd S.

    Alex Kylyukh

    2022 has been an excellent year for me as a runner. I met many wonderful people in the running community, discovered new running trails, competed in new running races, and became a more resilient runner overall.

    At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to be a more consistent runner throughout the year. As the year is coming to a close, I’m happy to report that I have accomplished this in 2022. Of course, my training had setbacks and gaps, but I’ve learned to rebound quickly, stay focused, and be consistent. In this report, I want to share the lessons I learned.

    1. Eating more is good. 
      As I increased my weekly mileage and training, I found it challenging to find the time to have scheduled meals, despite feeling hungry more often. Juggling my running with my work schedule was sometimes tricky. I noticed I was skipping meals, forgetting to eat, or eating unbalanced diets. As a result, I discovered that my running performance was starting to suffer. I felt sluggish and sometimes couldn’t finish my scheduled long runs and workouts. After talking with my coach, I concluded I needed to prioritize having regular and nutritious meals. Soon I found that eating more helped solve my concerns. I learned that you burn a lot of calories while running, so consuming a lot of calories becomes acceptable and even necessary.
    2. Sleep aids muscle recovery.
      As I started to run more, I felt more tired and exhausted throughout the day. I realized I needed to adjust my sleep schedule, so I started going to bed early and ensuring I got a whole night of sleep each day. This helped me feel stronger and recovered during workouts.
    3. Journaling helps me stay consistent.
      This year I started logging all of my runs daily. I note the distance and time of each run, how my muscles feel, and any other observations and thoughts. Taking time to reflect on my running regularly helped me stay more consistent. When I didn’t feel like going on my scheduled run on a given day, I had to explain it in the journal. Sometimes I didn’t have a good reason not to run, so doing this helped me stay disciplined and helped me identify and address roadblocks as they came up.
    4. Compression socks are great for muscle recovery.
    5. Compression socks help with the tightness and swelling of the calves and aid with muscle recovery, especially after vigorous workouts or long runs. Nothing feels more pleasant than a pair of quality compression socks tightly hugging your calves.

    Overall, I’ve grown considerably as a runner in 2022 and am happy with the progress. However, I also recognize there is much more growth and lessons left to be learned, which keeps me excited and motivated to make great strides.

Kristi Williams

The remainder of 2022 has been an absolute joy for me in the world of running! After a successful Cougar Mountain Short Series win this summer, I utilized the strength I built from all those mountain miles with some wins on the road racing scene. I managed secure victories in the Bill Burby 5k, San Francisco Marathon 10k, Alki Sunset 5k, Sounders 5k, and Sam 6k with the last two races first overall wins! Wow, it has been a while since I managed to earn outright victories. I owe this success to Brooks for the awesome shoes and stellar gear, my teammates for the endless encouragement, and my son Felix, for some seriously strenuous stroller runs with him in tow! After almost a year and half post baby birth, I finally find myself strong if not stronger with a new appreciation for running and those who support this endeavor in my life. After a full summer of racing, I found myself happily entering cross country season with added joy due to the prolonged summer we had well into the month of October. Nothing like cross country racing in late September with temperatures well over 70 degrees! After some strong cross country finishes at Bellingham, Woodland Park, Lincoln Park, and Chambers Bay Regional Park, I found myself signing up for USATF Nationals which I have not done since my infancy with Seattle Running Club way back in 2018. I am so excited to compete with my teammates on the infamous Golden Gate Park course and truly soak up all the energy and love for running with like minded folks!

Volunteering remains important to me and plays an important role in building camaraderie amongst fellow runners and enables me to spread the love about our amazing running club. All summer I volunteered at the Cougar Mountain Trail Series in addition to racing them! Helping make everyone’s race experience more memorable and enjoyable brings me great satisfaction. I love handing out race numbers to excited runners and prepping tasty food for those who finish. The food spread at the Cougar Mountain Series is amazing! What is not to love when eating pizza, watermelon, and even pumpkin pie! In addition to my time volunteering at the Cougar Mountain Trail Series, I spent one afternoon spreading the love for Brooks with their Mobile Tour. My time was spent helping people get fitted into Brooks shoes that exhibited their new cushioning technology and going on fun group runs. It is a blast sharing my love for running to anyone who is willing to hear and I love helping others in any way I can to help their running journey be that much better! 

I want to thank SRC and Brooks for all their support and love in helping shape my running journey into one that is truly cherished. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing team and teammates whose positivity and presence makes my running journey meaningful and special. 

Photo credit: Barrett Gray

Backcountry Rise – Daybreak Racing
Run the Rock 50m – Alpine Running

Barrett Gray

Since the last report, I’ve run two more ultra-races in the PNW. I ran both in my bright pink Brooks Cascadias which have been the perfect complement to my often colorful running outfits. In August, I ran Backcountry Rise 50k near Mount St. Helens where I finished as the 1st female and 4th overall. The views along the course were absolutely stunning, and it was fun to test out my uphill running on this technical course. 

Most recently, I ran Run the Rock 50 miler at Smith Rock State Park in mid-November and the race itself and leading up to it ended up being a bit of a rollercoaster. Three weeks before the race, I started experiencing some pain in my left hip flexor, particularly on uphills and during workouts. In hopes of being able to make it through the 50 miles, I had to limit my training to mostly easy flat runs, which was not really ideal for a trail ultra. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the race and some fresh snow and a stormy morning made race day even more interesting. Fortunately, my hip flexor pain was pretty mild during the race, but my legs seemed to turn to cement halfway through and they struggled to get through the second half. This was my most challenging race this year given the circumstances, but it was a good experience to have to push through that challenge, and I managed to snag a spot on the podium with a 2nd place finish! 

While I was unable to join SRC for cross country races due to my hip flexor, I enjoyed supporting the team while volunteering at the October Cougar Mountain race and cheering them on at the PNTF XC Championships. I always enjoy watching and supporting friends at their races when I’m not running myself. It’s been a fun year of trail racing and FKTs, but I’m looking forward to taking a little break and doing some skiing before turning my focus to next year’s races! 

Trisha Steidl

I’ve been enjoying the cross country season this fall. Racing alongside your teammates is a special experience that I appreciate more as I get older as it’s the only opportunity to compete as a team. 

The Bill Roe Classic was a true rust buster for me. I made a poor shoe choice, going against my gut, and paid for it. The shoes are good generally, just not the right choice for this bumpy course. I generally have a fairly competitive nature, but in this race I just didn’t care. I’m still not sure what that was all about, but the post-race frustration fueled my competitiveness going forward, so for that I’m thankful.

I scheduled my COVID bivalent booster and flu shot two days before the Emerald City Invite. I didn’t experience much in the way of side effects from either vaccine previously, but this time around it hit me. I didn’t feel bad on race day, but I also had nothing to give. All I could do was run a moderate type of effort. After the race I wasn’t tired, but during the race I could not go any faster, despite trying. It was a most odd and frustrating feeling. The biggest positive was running in a group with my teammates and encouraging one of them to go chase after the next woman ahead of us. I also, again, made a poor shoe choice. I’ve been running XC for a long time. How am I making rookie mistakes? Good grief!

I felt more in my element during the Cougar Mountain 7.6mi race – finally! I made a good shoe choice (finally!) wearing my Catamounts. I paced well, was smart with my race tactics, and ran what felt like a strong, solid race (finally!). At one point I could hear a woman closing in on me, then I heard another woman’s voice. Where did they come from? And two of them?! This got my competitive juices flowing (finally!) and made the rest of the race a lot more fun.

The last race I ran was the PNTF XC Champs at Lincoln Park. Another appropriate shoe choice (Brooks spikeless spikes FTW!) and the competitive juices flowing made for a fun day. Unfortunately, my right hip started bothering me after my workout the Wednesday before which made it difficult to move my leg on uphills and downhills during the last 1/3rd of the race. I was happy that I stayed mentally in it despite the pain and body frustration. I got to race near a few of my teammates, too, which was fun.

Next up is the Club Nationals meet in San Fran in mid-December! Hopefully by then I can get everything to come together on the same day – fingers crossed!

Outside of the XC season, I had the awesome opportunity to volunteer with a couple of my teammates at the Billy Mills Run/Walk for Life. We got to talk with Mr. Mills a decent amount and have a photo taken. It was a great event focused on suicide prevention and health put on by the Urban Native Education Alliance on the North Seattle College campus in Northgate. It was nice to connect our two communities and I hope we can connect again for future events.

Photo credit: Taryn Graham
Photo credit: Somer Kreisman
Photo credit: James Holk

Chris Hoffman

The second half of 2022 was bookended by two very different races: the hot and dry August Cougar Mountain Trail series 14.5 mile race and the snowy and cold Run the Rock 20 mile trail race at Smith Rock State Park in central Oregon.

The August Cougar race also doubled as the Pacific Northwest Trail Running Championships. As an over 50 master’s runner I really didn’t think I had much of a chance to be in the hunt for a medal, but I ran hard and was vey happy to come across the line in 3rd place in the master’s (over 40) race. I was also 1st in my age group, which was a nice little bonus! 

As I woke up to fresh snow and cold temperatures and I knew the Run the Rock race was going to be a challenge. I had thrown my micro spikes in the car at the last minute, but I really wasn’t mentally prepared for the weather. I took a deep breath at the starting line and focused on maintaining a consistent pace. The race unfolded without any big surprises, except for what felt like and endless (and ridiculously steep!) hill at mile 17. I recovered from that and was able to bring down my splits over the last few miles to finish 3rd in my age group. I was hoping for a better time but considering the conditions I was pretty happy with the results.

As the club’s trail work coordinator, I wrapped up the year with a final work party in October, where we cleared the Cougar Mountain racecourse trails ahead of the year’s last race. I really enjoy this type of work and signed up to do it again next year. I’m also excited about a serving on the SRC Board as the Brooks Team Manager.

All in all, 2022 was a rewarding year. I was able to get back in shape after a cardiac ablation to address my atrial fibrillation, performed reasonably well at my races, and volunteered at several events. I also found my new favorite Brooks shoe, the Caldera 16. I wore them on several long trail runs and raced in them the second half of the year. They kept my feet happy and my legs feeling fresh. What more could I ask for!

Katelen Miller

Trails and Cross

This summer-turned fall season was all about racing on trails and staying injury-free. On 9/10, I raced the Middle Fork Trail Run 22-miler as a speedy training run for my upcoming 50k. I secured 1st place female (among 4 women total) and 3rd overall. The Perpetua Coast 50k was the year-end goal race I trained for all summer. I finished 10th overall, 4th female, and just 30 seconds away from the 3rd place female. It was a beautiful sunny day along the coast, cliffs, and forested trails. 

Club Cross Country Season: I’m fortunate to have made many of the cross country races this season with the Seattle Running Club (SRC) Team. Our first race was on 9/24 at the WWU Bill Roe Classic in Bellingham. I raced in the Hyperion Elite 3s and finished out with a new 6k personal record (PR) by ~65 seconds and was the 2nd female for SRC. Next was the Emerald City Open on 10/8 at Lower Woodland Park. I’d just finished my 50k a week prior, so I biked out to cheer on our women’s team, who all ran strong! On 10/30 I raced the Cougar Mountain 7.6 Mile (cross country edition). I beat my prior PR by ~4 minutes, placed 2nd female, and didn’t roll an ankle. At the PNTF Championships on 11/6 at Lincoln Park, I raced really hard alongside SRC teammate Katherine, got coated in mud, managed a ~15 second PR, and placed 2nd female for SRC. I planned to run the Regional Championships on 11/19 but I got sick and my lungs weren’t well enough to race. Now I’m healing up for a strong race at the National Club Cross Country Championships in San Francisco this December.

Throughout this season I also volunteered weekly as a coach with the Highline High School Cross Country Team. Several of the junior and senior runners at Highline were my former cross country athletes at Sylvester Middle School, where I teach and coach. It was a heartwarming reunion for us to run together again. It brought me a lot of joy knowing these student athletes are making positive life choices and are continuing to build community through running. The team started off with minimal training, but over the season, student athletes increased their stamina, felt comfortable with more miles and performed really well in their races!  

Photo credit: Steve Mortinson
Cougar 7.6. Photo credit: Taryn Graham

Adam Hewey

The second half of 2022 was an interesting experiment. I did not have any races on the calendar and was mostly running for the joy of running. I took my Brooks Launches out for casual weekend runs along the coast and on commutes to work and back a few days a week. My fitness and endurance slowly slipped away. Then I heard about Puerto Vallarta 50K by UTMB!

Game ON!

50K race in Mexico starting at the beach, going up into the jungle, past Agave fields and back to the beach the same week as Halloween, Day of the Dead and my birthday! I had NO excuses to pass up this race.

I had 10 weeks to get my 54 year old body back into race shape. I slowly built milage and intensity. I crammed for the test. I felt heavy, slow and sweaty. I went from 8-16 miles a week to seventy miles per week over the course of my training. I stayed healthy. I stayed focused. I skipped XC with Team SRC because I needed to follow my plan. 

October 29 I was at the start of my first ever race in Mexico. Me and 700 excited runners. I was planning on a conservative 6 hours for the race. The race had other plans. Hot, crowded, crazy jungle footing, humidity, wild parrots, cool plants, awesome volunteers. I hit the halfway point in 4.5 hours! The heat got to 95 degrees with 88 percent humidity. I hydrated like a champion and didn’t dance with Mr. Bonk or Lady Nausea. I dragged my carcass back to the beach in 8 hours and 20 minutes. I proudly wore my Team SRC/Brooks kit. I love representing SRC/Brooks at international races. My decision to wear the Brooks Cascadia 16s was spot on. 

The rest of 2022 will be more volunteering, more running for fun and possibly I’ll jump into a shorter race or two now that I’m fit.

Categories
Uncategorized

2022 SRC Brooks mid-year updates

Read on to see what SRC’s Brooks team has been up to in the first half of the year!

Adam Hewey

This year started off with horrible weather! The solution? A race in Arizona!

February I ran the Elephant Mt. 50k just outside of Phoenix. Sun, huge cacti and desert running was just the ticket to dry off after such a winter. I ran well in my Brooks Catamounts and finished with a smile on my face and only a few cramps in my calves.

I have been racing for twenty years. This year I decided to give back more and focus on volunteering. I was the aid station captain at the Chuckanut 50k, worked Two Cougar Mt/SRC races, Bridle Trails 50k, White River 50Mile and was the Assistant RD again at Cascade Crest 100 Mile. 

My racing may have taken a step back but my heart is full. I have been enjoying running socially and feeling less pressure to perform. The redesigned Brooks Cascadia has been my best friend on big trail runs and the Brooks Launch still has my back and feet on in city commutes.

PC: Somer Kreisman – @somerrunner

Katelen Miller

Putting Fitness to the Test

The first half of my 2022 race calendar was full of surprises. I raced the January 29th Tukwila to Alki Half with expectations simply of logging miles, competing with a friend, and exploring my current fitness. Unexpectedly, I got a 2 minute half-marathon personal record (PR), 20k PR, 10 mile PR, and 15k PR! A few weeks later I had low back and nerve pain due to excessive gardening and a weak core. While wallowing in my upset about the back pain and it’s impact on my training, I volunteered at the Chuckanut 50k with the Seattle Running Club Aid Station. The weather was cold, the snacks were plentiful, and the runners were inspiring! I was getting cautiously optimistic about my early April 50k.

Come spring, I had two big races: the Gorge Waterfalls 50k and the Eugene Marathon. Fresh off the back/nerve injury, I was nervous, so felt grateful for the support I got from friends and family. The Gorge Waterfalls 50k course was stunning! I finished with a ~45 minute PR and fueled consistently throughout. The Eugene Marathon on May 1st was yet another PR and Boston qualifier for me! I raced it in the speedy Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 shoes, cut ~ 10 minutes off my time, and somehow got a half marathon PR in the mix. Summer volunteering looked like Cougar Mountain trail work and race day registration help. I also got to lead several runs at Greenlake as a part of the Brooks Mobile Tour. My favorite Brooks Running shoes this spring have been the Adrenaline GTS (road) and Catamount (trail).

Chris Hoffman

The two themes for first half of 2022 for me were recovery and staying local. I spent time in early 2022 recovering from a cardiac ablation, which is a fairly minor procedure, but it sidelined me for a couple weeks. The good news is I haven’t had an atrial fibrillation episode since the procedure; I was able to slowly resume running and felt good as I trained myself back into shape. Just as I was at a high point in my training, I got the dreaded COVID in May which knocked me down pretty hard, even with two vaccinations and two boosters. I had to drop out of a planned 50k and had a lingering cough that made running no fun. 

My local activities included volunteering at several local races and events, including the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival, the Chukanut 50k, several Cougar Mountain races, and the Brooks Run Club Mobile Tour. My biggest news on the volunteering front was taking on the role of coordinating volunteers at Cougar Mountain work parties. We typically maintain trails one week before each of our Cougar Mountain races, but this year we were also able to help King County Parks remove over 900 pounds of Blackberries. This, and working with all the Seattle Running Club’s committed volunteers, is a really rewarding way to give back. 

My racing also had a local flavor. I started the year off running the Yakima Skyline 25k, which is a great race to use as an emergence from the winter doldrums. I was only 16 minutes slower than the last time I ran it in 2015, which, as a guy in my middle 50’s I will definitely take! I followed up that by running three of the four Cougar Race series, running identical times in the 10-mile race in May and July (at least I didn’t get slower!) and taking third – and winning a little cash prize – in the men’s masters race at the 14-mile race in August. Not a bad start to 2022. I hope to get at least one long race in before the end of the year and I’m looking forward to hitting the trails in the Cascades this fall.

PC: Somer Kreisman
PC: Matt Hagen

Trisha Steidl

At the end of October, I had PRP injections in both of my hamstring tendon insertion points. What I thought was going to be a few months of recovery and progressing back to normal training ended up being a few months completely off from running and a much longer progression that still isn’t fully back to normal.

Fortunately, I was able to skate ski during the winter in addition to doing a whole lot of PT exercises, which was helpful for re-building my aerobic capacity as well as gaining lots of leg and core strength.

During this time, I enjoyed volunteer at the registration table at the club’s Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival in January and at the SRC aid station at the Chuckanut 50k in March.

In May I joined the SRC trail work party at Cougar Mountain and, the following weekend, was able to run the Cougar Mountain Trail Series 5 mile race, wearing Catamounts. While I can’t say it felt great to race with so little running under my belt, it was nice to be back out there with my teammates and the camaraderie races bring.

My big goal this summer was to climb all five Washington state volcanoes in five days or less. That meant focusing in on hilly climbs, so I took my trusty Cascadia 16s up and down Mt. Si and Camp Muir, climbed Mt. Baker/Koma Kulshan two days in a row (one day wearing my Cascadia 15s), and did some other steep hikes and runs off the Cascade River Road, wearing a variety of shoes, including the Adrenaline GTS. I wasn’t sure I had done enough training as it was the least amount of running I had done in over 15 years, but in July I was able to make it happen! 

During my recovery after the volcanoes, I volunteered at the Brooks Mobile Tour at Green Lake. I got to facilitate a track workout and trail running cool down for one group, take another for a stroll around the lake, as well as introduce folks to some of the awesome, new(er) Brooks shoes – Hyperion Tempo, Glycerin 20, and Caldera.

I’m now finally getting back into more focused running training. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I’m slowly progressing back to mileage that is more normal for me and it feels good to get back at it. 

Part of this progression included deciding a little more than an hour before the start of the Cougar Mountain 14.5 mile race – which was also the Pacific Northwest Track & Field association trail championships! – to represent my club. I ended up 3rd woman overall and 1stmaster! I also volunteered at the food table shortly after finishing my race, which is a fun way to give back and chat with others about how their races went.

I’m looking forward to racing more later this year and, hopefully, getting into a place of good enough fitness to go after some big running goals.

HUGE thanks to the Seattle Running Club and Brooks for their wonderful support of me and my goals!

Barrett Gray

My main running goals this year were to run my first 50-mile trail race and to run my first FKT (fastest known time), and I have accomplished both those goals so far this year! I started the year running some shorter trail races around the PNW. I raced with some teammates at the local Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival, where I won the 5-mile race. My work then took me to Oregon for part of the spring where I ran a couple races. I placed 3rd in the Mastondon 10 milerand placed 1st in the Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 miler, where the top 3 women finished within a minute of each other. I spent most of the race in 3rd place but paced myself well and was able to pull ahead in the last few miles. It felt good to run a smart race! I then had a blast racing the Sun Mountain 50 miler in May, where I finished as the 1st female and ran over an hour faster than my time goal.

In addition to racing, I have started to explore the world of FKTs this year. I set my first FKT up Mount Teneriffe in June by running the fastest known female ascent time. I then decided I wanted to go for a longer FKT and did the Cushman Six Peaks route in the Olympic mountains with a friend in early August. The route linked up six peaks over 23 miles and involved trail running, bushwhacking, and rock scrambling. We finished in just over 12 hours and set the overall FKT by over 4 hours.

I have also had a blast volunteering with my teammates at SRC events this year and have done a little of everything. I did trail work at the Cougar Mountain trails in preparation for the May SRC race, I helped with registration and at the food tent at the June Cougar race, and I helped at an aid station at the August Cougar race. I always enjoy giving back to such a supportive running community through volunteering! 

Kristi Williams

It feels good to be back at it! After endless hours of pelvic floor therapy, lots of lifting and alternating pool running with actual running, I finally am back in tip top shape! In fact, with the addition of lots of B.O.B. stroller jogging with a baby in tow, my strength and stamina have reached new heights. Now when I run, I feel grateful for having a body that literally went through the ringer and proud of what I accomplished both mentally and physically. 

I have been racing quite a bit with some notable mentions including winning the Whidbey Island Half Marathon, winning the Cougar Mountain short series with a second place open women finish for the PNTF 14.5 mile trail championships, winning the San Francisco 10k, winning the Bill Burby 5k on Vashon Island, and winning a few races put on by Sammamish Running. Though I have truly enjoyed being back in the saddle in the racing world, the role of lactating mother has had its difficulties when trying to figure when and where to pump prior or after races. Often hiding in my car, I find myself taking care of this seemingly natural thing, but often feeling alienated because of it. It makes me hope that in the future, there will be a place for mothers to go to pump at race events!

Footwear wise, I have found a new love in the Brooks Hyperion Tempo. This shoe is so versatile in that it can be used not only for workouts but also for racing. I have raced a variety of distances in the Hyperion Tempo ranging from 5k all the way up to half marathon and found that, regardless of the distance, my feet were happy and well taken care of! On the trail side of running, I have grown fond of Brooks Catamount for trail racing, but still stick to the Brooks Caldera for my weekly ventures into the woods. For my daily run or jog with Felix, I stick to the ooey gooey cushioned world of the Brooks Glycerin. I thoroughly enjoy the ahhhh inducing result of these squishy shoes! 

Though racing is a focus for me, volunteering for SRC has been just as fulfilling and fun! I love helping out at the Cougar Mountain Series with registration, food tent, and parking. It fills me with joy seeing all the runners full of excitement and anticipation of the race ahead! In addition, I volunteered at a Brooks running club event where I ran with fellow athletes who got the opportunity to test run the glycerins and the new cushioning system they recently developed. It is was fun to talk shoes, give prizes, and share my knowledge of Brooks and their amazing shoes!

I am truly grateful to be a part of Seattle Running Club and indebted to Brooks for investing in local athletes who not only play hard, but work hard with jobs, families, and lives outside of the running world. I have found, in this newly embarked role as parent and working mother, that balance is necessary for happiness and success. Running is a part of me as much as the blood that runs through my veins and I will always make sure that I find a moment in time to engage in what I love and share about it to anyone who will listen. 

Alex Kylyukh

So far this year, I have run more miles than I initially believed I could. Why? You may ask.

The first reason is that I got new running shoes and running clothes. I used to find every possible excuse not to run in cold or rainy weather. This year, I learned I could change that with proper running gear. I now have pants, a fleece, a running jacket, gloves, and running hats. I wear a tank top and shorts when it’s too warm outside and hydrate myself more. I bring a headlamp and wear bright-colored clothes when it’s dark. And when I get bored, I start switching things up, like getting new running shoes or running in unfamiliar neighborhoods.

The second reason is my dog, who loves to run even more than I do. When I run slow, the dog pulls me and helps me to speed up. When I don’t feel like going outside to run, the dog never forgets to remind me to put my shoes on and take us out. 

The third reason is that I joined a club and made more friends who run. I volunteered at races, set up aid stations, wheelbarrowed supplies, and helped maintain trails. We ran at parks, on tracks, beaches, and trails. We’ve had adventure runs when it was too hot to run. After some of our weekly workouts, we grabbed dinners, ate ice cream, and even went swimming at the beach. Running is much more fun when doing it with others or in a group or community, so I’m glad I joined one this year.

Lastly, I ran more this year because I started working with a running coach. I find it valuable to work with someone who helps me set my running goals, plan my runs and workouts and keep myself accountable. In addition, the coach provides personalized feedback, which is sometimes critical and honest but offers the opportunity to learn, grow, and adjust the course as needed.

I intend to continue running as I have been through the rest of the year and beyond, and I can’t wait to continue to learn and share the new lessons learned.

Aaron Roche

For the first half of 2022, my running adventures as part of the SRC-Brooks team have been quite rewarding! I’m now on my way to chasing down some exciting goals for the second half of 2022. As always, I appreciate the support of those on my team and for Brooks Running who provide our gear and shoes that allow us to pursue our passion.

Here’s a brief, month-by-month summary of the histrionics.

January through March stats. Volunteering: two events for a total of 7hrs. Training and competing: 100hrs across 780mi (1252km). 

Highlights!

• Winter Running Festival at Bridle Trails in Kirkland. For the second year in a row, I worked as a volunteer parking lot attendant before racing and winning the 2-lap, 10-mile race.
• Meeting up with our new pals in the Seattle Running Collective for a group run in Magnuson Park.
• Training for my A-race of the season – March’s Lake Sammamish Half Marathon. I did the bulk of my runs in the cushy Glycerin 19s and the reliable Ghost 14s. The workouts were split between the zoomy Hyperion Elites and the Tempos.
• Another volunteer outing with the team! The Chuckanut volunteer squad returned to Bellingham for our annual visit to the SRC aid station. I don’t recall the exact pair of Brooks trail runners I was wearing at the time, but they did not keep me warm!!

April through June stats. Volunteering: 3 events for a total of 9hrs. Training and competing: 90hrs across 690mi (1115km).

Highlights!

• Solid training days with my main dude Johnny in the build up to his marathon.
• Enjoying the cherry blossoms during runs along the lake.
• Flying down to Eugene with my other run buds for the Eugene Marathon weekend.
• Running the last half mile with Katelen as she finished her epic, 20-minute P.B. in the marathon!
• May trail work par-TAY at Cougar Mountain. Teammate Alex and I ran half of the short series course and trimmed and cleared some obstructions from the trail.
• Volunteering at COO-gah May races! Here, I helped by volunteering at aid station #1! It was fun supporting the event *AND* keeping warm for a change.
• Global Running *Week*. This was another opportunity to hang out with our pals in the Running Collective.
• June trail work party! There was a lot more to clear this time around from the recent storms that came through the region.
• As for training and competing, I hopped in the Fall City Days 10k for a fifth-place finish. I ran about a minute faster than my last time there in 2018.
• It was back to the track! For workouts and for actual races!! For the first time, I made it up to Shoreline for a Club Northwest All-Comers meet. I went full-on dual meet style and raced the 1500 and doubled back in the 3k. 4:32.5 in the 1500 and 9:55 in 3k.

• After a quick trip down to SoCal for my cousin’s high school graduation, I was back at the last all-comers in June. I won’t bore you with the deets here. I got a race report for that one up on my workout webblog. Anyway, long story short, I did the damn thing – 16:36.77. It was another super fun and rewarding evening at the All-Comers meet.

Super fun and rewarding! That is the underlying theme of all of my endeavors with the SRC-Brooks team. One half of 2022 down and another half to go, full of potential! Thanks for the love!

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

PCs: David Jaewon Oh, Emilia Bajkowska Photography.

Jenny Easterberg

The first half of 2022 has actually felt somewhat more normal compared to the previous couple of years. The highlight for me has been finally getting back into a regular running plan with actual race goals. After having mono in December, and then Covid in January, my return to fitness has been a painfully slow process. Through this I have learned to have an incredible amount of patience with myself. I realized I lost touch with my inner runner, and now have been focused on tapping into my why and what really drives my passion of running. It isn’t about speed or placement in a race at this point in my recovery. It is simply about getting out and enjoying the process of a run; the mental, emotional and physical aspects. There are so many components that factor into what being an athlete really feels like!

I have also had a superb time this year being on the other side of the finish line by volunteering. It’s great to have an opportunity like the Cougar Mountain Series to volunteer at. I have honed my cheerleading skills nicely at this point! It is always a true pleasure to give back to the running community because I know at some point these roles will be reversed and soon someone will be there cheering for me as I run through the aid stations and finish line.

Dave Kwiatkowski

The first couple of months of the year started with some wins for me. In January, I ran a 5K time trial with the club, running a 16:35 which was one second from my PR from high school. In February, I ran a new overall and unsupported FKT of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. I ran this 50K in 3:06:46, beating the previous supported time by about 2 ½ minutes. It has since been reclaimed by Ben Brown, but records were meant to be broken! After this, I focused more on the marathon.

In March, I volunteered at the Chuckanut 50K and witnessed some tough and fast athletes running on a beautiful course in Bellingham, WA. This gave me some extra motivation for my marathon training, and it was going super well; I had some of the best workouts I ever had. Everything was looking green for a 2:35:00. However, my races did not go as well as I hoped. In March, I ran the crowded Cherry Blossom Half in 1:16:41 and was not satisfied with my result. In April, I ran the Boston Marathon and had a blast with my family! It was an experience I’ll never forget. It was like running through a parade! That being said, with nutrition problems, I bonked at mile 16 and my pace fell off considerably from my goal pace and finished with a 2:43:25. Once Boston was over, I was psyched to get back into ultra training.

Once I recovered from Boston at the end of April, I got the overall and unsupported Burke-Gilman Trail out and back FKT, which was 40 miles in 4:37:13. I ran it as a progression run, averaging 7:25 pace for the first half and 6:30 pace for the second half. Next, I had a blast cleaning up the trails on Cougar Mountain with the Seattle Running Club. At the end of May, I reached a new personal best of 37 yards (37 hours in 154.1 miles) in the Capital Backyard Ultra. I ran 4.17 miles every hour on the hour until “I forgot how to run.” I finished the first half of the year with a long recovery in June!

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2021 SRC Brooks Year-end Review

The SRC-Brooks Team is comprised of 10 current Seattle Running Club members – 5 men and 5 women – who exemplify a commitment to MUT (mountain, ultra, trail) running and racing, volunteering, and leadership within the local running community and the Seattle Running Club as well as being positive ambassadors for the club and Brooks. 

Read on for a review of 2021 from this year's team, in their own words!

KristiChrisJennyKatelenAdamTylerRoseAaronTrisha

Kristi Williams

Wow, what a year it has been! I feel like I have literally run the gamut of all potential emotions a human can possibly experience. Fear, excitement, and stress started my year with the knowledge, a short few months prior, that I was pregnant with my first child. Every woman’s experience is unique and special in this bizarre experience of creating life, but to say the process was flawless for myself would be a bit of a stretch. I had issues from the very beginning with preeclampsia, a detached placenta and a slow growth baby which culminated in the birth of a four pound preemie with extreme jaundice, anemia, low blood sugar levels, and negative RH factor syndrome. Trust, support, and faith in the doctors, neonatal nurses, family, and friends enabled me to see the light in the otherwise dark situation my husband and I found ourselves in. Running, my ultimate stress relief, was not feasible during this time and was truly missed. Though I got to volunteer more at the Cougar Mountain races than I have ever had, my heart belonged with those out on the trails. I was able to run through the first six months of my pregnancy and even compete in cross country last season, but this important aspect of my life was no longer safe for the baby, so I had to stop something that is so important and vital to me. 

After the six week period post birth (where doctors essentially forbid women to run because their bodies are healing from the trauma associated with birth), I was cleared to run but found myself plodding along at fifteen minute pace, urinating all over myself regularly, and wondering if I would be able to run again. I did what many women do as they desperately try to get back at what they love, started too quickly and injured myself. Frustration, anger, fear, and other powerful emotions flooded my body at this time. I struggled accepting my current state postpartum and truly questioned my ability to run competitively again. Yet, with the support of other running mothers, a month of pool running, and eleven weeks of pelvic floor therapy, I started to feel like myself again. The final test came in August when I ran a Cougar Mountain 5k and managed to secure a victory, when my esteem was rebuilt and feelings of joy, elation, and pride in myself came back again. Since that pinnacle event, I have run a few small road races, another Cougar Mountain race, and participated in cross country. Though I am still a far cry from my former running self, I am revived with hope for my running future and lucky to have a small six month old baby boy, named Felix, who is now in ideal health. 


Chris Hoffman

Like many, I had high hopes for a return to “normal” in 2021. My expectations for normal included a full race schedule and staying healthy. However, as runners know (especially us older types), we have to be flexible and adapt to the situations we are given. For me, the three common themes of the year were starting fast, taking time to heal, and re-prioritizing.

Starting fast. Remember my high hopes? Well, in early 2021, they were a bit of a reality. I ran in the St. Patrick’s Day 5k Dash at Green Lake. The 5k distance isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse, but it presented a chance to race early in the year, and I grabbed it. I ended up running a petty good race: 51st overall and 8th in the 50-54 division with even splits. In April, I headed east to run in the Ancient Lakes 25k. The race was a blast and the scenery was pretty amazing too. I was worried about my fitness but felt great the whole race, pushed hard, and finished 3rd in the 50-59 division and 12th overall. I debuted the Brooks Catamount and I have to say they are my new favorite shoe – a nice mix of nimble and comfort. I may have pushed a little hard because on my next run after the race I felt a familiar twinge in my left calf muscle.

Taking time to heal. The twinge I felt on that run turned into a more serious issue that put my running on hold for a while. I tried hard to be patient, put in the rehab work, and stayed active by hiking, which didn’t aggravate the injury. Slowing down for a bit was nice with some time to recharge and take an adventure long on my bucket list. I was fortunate to join a 16-day private rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. Our time on the water was magical, slowly opening up the secrets and the gifts that the river has to offer. One of those gifts included a midnight hike up and a sunrise run down the Bright Angel Trail. That experience marked the highpoint of my running year. I really felt like I was in a dream and had to pinch myself; the views were that unbelievable and something I’ll never forget. I retuned from that trip fully healed, inside and out! The river magic worked for me as returned to Seattle and a month later ran in the August Cougar Mountain 14.5 Trail Race and came in first in my age division and 20th overall.

Re-prioritizing. As summer transitioned to fall, I had hoped to run in the Three Sisters Skyline 50k and the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon. I was feeling good and went on some long trail runs to set myself up for good races. However, on one of those runs – The High Divide Loop in Olympic National Park – I just felt off. My heartrate was all over the place and I didn’t have my normal energy. After the run, I returned to our basecamp and my heartrate was still irregular and I felt lightheaded. Long story short, the Atrial Fibrillation I have previously experienced returned in a dramatic fashion. After extensive testing and consulting with my cardiologist, I am going to have an ablation procedure, which should address the electrical misfiring in my heart. The silver lining in all this is that besides my electrical issues, my heart is in good shape. I have running to thank for that (my cardiologist said I have the heart of a 41-year-old. Yes!). My priorities definitely shifted this fall – from racing to taking care of myself – which gives me a chance to take a step back and reflect.

Looking back, running this year gave me a lot; it wasn’t what I expected or what I hoped for, but I will take it and be forever thankful for it. Looking forward to 2022, I have the same hopes I had for 2021: to stay healthy and race. However, I have learned to take what running gives me and that’s usually exactly what I need.


Jenny Easterberg

Going into 2021, I had no idea what to expect after the year of Covid 2020. Being in long-hauler Covid recovery, my running took a back burner while my body healed and as I focused more on work: coaching at the high school and coaching at the boxing gym. The fall 2020 XC Season got bumped to spring of 2021 so I got to do a solid 8 months of coaching in 2021 alone. It was so incredibly fun and really wonderful to give the high school kids both their XC season and spring track season. I have viewed it as a year of service. Covid taught me to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life. It also taught me not to take anything for granted, especially my health and my family.

The highlights of my year: lots of coaching; a road trip to Arizona in January to seek out the sunlight and long runs in the desert; and my 10 year recovery/sobriety birthday in July that I celebrated on the Olympic Peninsula. I have my sights on several races and running adventures for 2022, and can’t wait to see what next year brings.


Katelen Miller

The year of ‘we’ll see what happens’. Back in the spring of 2020, I was hopeful that by 2021 the pandemic would be smoothed over and my originally planned big races (Boston and the Oregon Coast 50k) would be in the books. Alas, by early 2021 I lost faith and got impatient patience with all the uncertainty and resigned myself to once again push these goals further into the future. Someday soon I will re-qualify for the Boston Marathon and race it with a true crowd of spectators cheering me on. Someday soon I’ll do another 50k trail race. 

But some incredible things did happen in 2021. I turned 30 and am now in a new age group for races. I rang in this new decade with a dirty thirty ‘13-mile going on 30’ trail run with Seattle Running Club (SRC) members Bryan Hamilton and Aaron Roche. I got to run with teammate Trisha Steidl more frequently than before AND have the honor of her as my wedding officiant this past July! I am now a married woman with a new last name to see on race signups- Katelen ‘Miller’. 

This year I hit up local Washington trails with close SRC buds like Mariangela, Aaron, TJ, Bryan, Trisha, Anna, and Amie. Thanks to them, SRC Wednesday Workouts, and pent-up energy from not marathon or 50k training, I seem a bit speedier at Cougar races too! I ran the June Cougar Mountain 14.5-mile race and got a ~17-minute PR. In October, I ran the Cougar 7.6-mile and surprised myself by getting 3rd place in the women’s race and ~7-minute PR. Thank you Kristi and Mariangela for setting the pace! 

PC: Aaron Roche
PC: Aaron Roche

This year I also had the pleasure of volunteering with great SRC folks at the Cougar Trail Work party in May, the June Cougar Trail Run, Brooks PR Event in July, and the White River 50M. Volunteering with a joyful group is a wonderful time! After having ran White River once, I especially enjoyed being of assistance at SRC’s Buck Creek aid station for White River. Some truly heartfelt moments between runners and their loved ones happened there, which I got to witness. Think: small children running with their parent and a significant other sweetly greeting their runner who had a tough race day. 

My favorite Brooks Running shoes this year are still, the Adrenalines for my weekly street miles (got to have that support). For trails, I’ve been loving my pair of Catamounts in the Blue/Nightlife/Biscuit color. I’ll be ending this year with a 6k cross country race in Portland, OR and 5k Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day in Camas, WA. If a December race strikes my fancy, I just might jump in. 

A huge thanks to my biggest running (and life) support crew this year: My husband Thomas and these lovely fellow running friends: Aaron Roche, Mariangela Cruz De Jesus, and Trisha Steidl. Extra thanks to Aaron for the great pictures he snapped of me running this year!


Adam Hewey

I came into 2021 in mid pandemic shape which means I lost all my endurance. The year turned around quickly when I got chosen in the Hardrock 100 lottery! Suddenly I had 6 months to get into trail beast mode. I downloaded the entire Game of Thrones catalogue of audiobooks onto my phone, dusted off my Brooks Calderas and Launches and started training hard. 

First race of 2021 was Badger Mountain Challenge 50 Mile in Richland, Washington. I had done the 100 miler there in 2019 and really enjoyed it and was thrilled to be back to in person racing. The race was a fitness test in which I scored a C. Still had fun though. July found me in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado at 10,000 feet. I had one singular goal and that was to finish the Hardrock 100 for the 5th time. I wasn’t racing, I was finishing. This was a whole new strategy for me and if was amazing. I fell in with a friend who was doing the same and we ran/hiked the first 40 miles together. From there my pacers took me up and down 13,000 foot passes and back to Silverton and the finish. I wore the Brooks Caldera 3 for the first half then switched to the Caldera 4 for the last 50 miles.

Post Hardrock I became very busy recovering and putting on races. Needles 50k was the week after I returned then planning for Cascade Crest 100 took my attention for the rest of August. 

In September I jumped into the Middle Fork Half Marathon on a whim. Half Marathon Trail races are super fun! I decided to use the Brooks Catamount as the trails at Middle Fork are not very technical. Right shoe for the day! I had a blast racing and got 3rd

My last race of the year (I think) was the Cougar Mountain 7.6 mile. This race is a Seattle Running Club race. I had been volunteering at the previous Cougar Mountain series races and it was fun to actually run it this time. I again donned the Catamounts for the buttery trails at this race. I had a blast red lining such a short distance and chased a fellow SRC member all the way to the finish. I snuck into the top 10 which was pretty good for a guy turning 54 the next day. 

I had a great time being a SRCBrooks team member again this year. I love sporting my SRC and Brooks gear at races big and small. The remodeled Cascadia is my new favorite shoe! The Cascadia was my first trail shoe and it’s fun to see it come full circle back to my feet. 


Tyler Vasquez

Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning is not a sometimes thing, but an all time times thing.” When correlating this to my 2021 running experience, “Running has been a sometime thing and not an all the time thing.” COVID-19 Pandemic has brought a large amount of ups and downs which led to running races to be put on the back burner and running to becoming an outlet. 

As a community driven individual, I have used the running community and running in general to remind me why I appreciate the trails, roads, and urban greenways. It has reminded me that Seattle is a city that has the infrastructure to promote a healthy relationship with running and that races do not need to be the key driver for me to run. Whether connecting Volunteer Park, Interlaken Park and the Arboretum on a 5 mile run, or connecting the Arboretum and Seward Park on a longer run; running has connected me with Seattle’s infrastructure which has reconnected my love with this city and community.

Tyler Vasquez

In 2021, I finished 4th in the Fort Ebey Half Marathon and also ran competitively through the Cougar Mountain Trail race with finishes of the 14.5 miler and the 8-mile race. What I appreciate the most about being on the Brooks team is the camaraderie that my other teammates have shown me on the trail. I believe that being a part of the team has opened up lifelong friends. When I noticed my relationship with running ebb and flow it was the text from other Brooks teammates that got me to appreciate what Seattle has to offer by foot. The Seattle Running Club is more of a club, but a community of like-minded individuals that motivate each other to push through the ups and downs and commune around running!


Rose Hoonan

This year I stuck to trail races, running and volunteering at most of the Cougar Mountain series. I kicked off the season with a 5 miler win. In the 7 and 14 mile races, I soaked in the lovely PNW forest for the last time, as I moved to San Francisco this fall. The city delivers on hills and a short trip to Marin for some of the most fun trail running I’ve done. I joined a local running store’s weekly trail runs and am starting to get to know the vast trail network in the Marin Headlands. I capped off my 2021 racing with the Mt. Tam 30k, taking 3rd place female. It was a beautiful, sunny November day filled with 4k of climbing around Muir Woods, Mt. Tam, Muir Beach, and parts of the Dipsea trail. 

rose hoonan

Aaron Roche

The second half of my second season competing with the SRC-Brooks Team was about as normal as things could get while running and racing and volunteering in a pandemic. Here’s a brief recap on the highlights of a relatively ordinary four and a half months!

Favorite Volunteer Opportunity: White River 50-mile, Buck Creek Aid Station – I joined about 6 or so clubmates to support this aid station — at about halfway to the finish, we greeted runners with twice as much energy and excitement than what they had just seen the previous 27.2 miles!

Favorite Shoes: Hyperion Elite 2s! Yeah they gotta carbon plate. And yeah they got super bouncy and cushy foam! When 90% of your competition is wearing Vapor this or Meta that — even on the XC course?!, you gotta go with the SPECIAL SHOES to make sure you level that playing field, bby! Bonus: these shoes totally saved this vegan runner’s bacon after some seriously hard races and workouts. Spikes are still faster. Heh. 

Favorite Race: Cross country has been grand. The Cougar Mountain 7.6-miler was a pretty good day. My *FIRST EVER RACE* at Seward Park was a Seafair, Pirate par-TAY boat-load of fun. But nothing, nothing beats racing down Broad Street, in Philadelphia, to thousands of spectators, for the first time in twelve phlippin’ years! Smash that P.R. alarm, team!!

At the end of June, I put together a mid-year report. This can be enjoyed at your viewing leisure, here.

Photo credits: Heather Gonzalez (@bonfirestardesigns), Marathon Foto, Helen Sherk @ WednesdayNightRunners.com, Nick Danielson, Anna Smukowski.

From Top left, clockwise: Brooks P.R. invitational volunteer swag! White River aid station goodies. Cougar mountain October runners + volunteers. Chuckanut Aid Station stock photo. Aid station gear for Aid Station #2 at Cougar May race. Brooks P.R. invitational. SRC runner at the W.R. aid station. Cougar May: Aid Station #2 co-captain, Tyler V. Center: White River 50.
From Top left, clockwise: Hyperion Tempos, Cascadia 16s!, Glycerine 19s — midnight edition!, Mach Spikes 18 (in action for their 3rd xc szn!), Glycerine 19s — gray!, another pair of Hyperion tempos because they’re such an excellent trainer *AND* racing flat , Hyperion Elite 2s (in action at Broad Street Run!), Ghost 14s Carbon Neutral!
Emerald City Open XC, Broad Street Run final kick for the finish, 3000m Steeplechase @ Seattle Masters Classic, mountain trail racing! at Back Country Rise in July, chasing down 2nd place at Cougar October’s 7.6-mile race, thumbs way up across the finish line in a brand spanking new 10-mile p.r. at Broad Street Run, noshing on another gold medal at the Seattle Masters Classic, finish at Cougar October. Center: next to the timing board at Seattle Masters Classic.

Trisha Steidl

What an interesting year. Races weren’t in full force at the start of 2021, though that changed as the year progressed.

I wasn’t in a place to race anyway as an issue with my right hamstring and a nerve became so inhibiting that I could not train normally. In mid-March I had a hydrodissection to help heal this issue. This meant taking about six weeks off and to progress back into full running again. 

Fortunately, during much of this time I was able to cross country ski. Taking skate ski lessons earlier in the year was a blast and opened up a new-to-me opportunity to cross train. I found it also benefitted my running significantly.

At the end of May Uli and I finally climbed Mt. Baker (wearing my trusty Cascadia 15s*) for the first time with our friend Dan. It was a beautiful, peaceful day and fun to finally climb my “hometown” mountain.

With the trails being fully open this summer, unlike last year, I took full advantage of getting out into the mountains. 

I organized a group to learn about mountaineering, culminating with a Mt. Baker climb (yes, in my Cascadia 15s again) in mid-July. This was after the heatwave we experienced in our area and let’s just say the conditions on the mountain couldn’t have been more different from what we experienced in May.

Rewinding a little bit, I was honoured to pace my friend and SRC teammate, Chris Chamberlin, at his first Western States 100 Mile race. He had a super strong race and finished 16th! I also had the privilege of coaching him for this event, which made the whole thing even more special.

Racing at Cougar (PC: Heather Gonzalez)
Post-pacing at Western States 100
Heading down from the Mt. Baker summit. I’m the second person, leaning to the right. (PC: Marcelo Suarez)
After my solo Glacier Peak FKT

In mid-July I climbed Glacier Peak once with Uli (in the new Cascadia 16 GTXs) and again a couple of weeks later on my own (wearing the same shoes), taking a couple of hours off of the women’s unsupported FKT. It was a really cool experience to do something that long and remote on my own and my first time summiting a glaciated peak solo.

In August I won the PNTF Masters Trail Championship at the Cougar 14.5 mile race, my one race of the year. A week later, Uli and I ran The Northern Loop at Mt. Rainier, setting the mixed gender FKT in the process. A week after that, I had the privilege of pacing my friend Yitka Winn. She notched her third win at the Cascade Crest 100 Mile race!

On back-to-back weekends in late September, I set women’s unsupported FKTs on The Northern Loop and at Shriner Peak. For all of these experiences, I was wearing my Cascadia 16s and, of course, comfortable Brooks apparel.

In October I took advantage as much as I could of heading out to the trails to enjoy the fall foliage, often with my SRC teammates. This was important to me both to enjoy the season and time with friends, but mostly to get in as much fun running as I could before I was to have PRP injections in both of my hamstring tendon insertion points, which meant I’d be out of running likely for the rest of the year. 

About a week out from my PRP injections, I ran one final FKT on Amabilis Mountain. I had wanted to run this since cross country skiing there in early April. It was such a different experience (and so much faster for me) on foot! How fun to have a run time and ski time on the same route!

Throughout the year I volunteered at one of our club’s trail work parties at Cougar Mountain, three of our club’s Cougar Mountain races, and at the Brooks PR Invite. It’s always so fun to help out and give back to the community that has given me so much.

Big thanks to the Seattle Running Club and Brooks for the support again this year. It’s a great honour to represent the club I have been a member of for so long and our local running shoe and apparel company. 

Here’s looking forward to more exciting things in the coming year once my hamstring/nerve issue is fully healed!

*I have 17 years of mountaineering experience. I do not recommend that most people wear trail shoes to climb glaciated mountains.

Uli and me immediately before starting The Northern Loop
Categories
Cross Country Featured Race Reports Uncategorized

#SRCBROOKS 2019 YEAR END Update!

Boy howdy it’s another #SRCBrooks update! This time we rehash the end of summer, the perfection of autumn, and coming of winter. Which means TRAILS & XC! Or, if you’re Joe Kelly, road marathons!

Onto the (squints)…..bloody nipples?! Take it away, Joe!


Joe Kelly


The second half of the year was a big change of pace for me compared to the past 3 years on trails. I was focused on racing the Philadelphia Marathon, which would be my first road marathon in over 3.5 years. I got myself into great road shape by October with hopes of sharpening my speed with some XC races. Unfortunately, I pulled my hamstring in early October and wasn’t able to race until the end of the month. I raced the 7.6 mile distance at the October Cougar Race and placed third overall improving my time from last year by over a minute. A cool aspect of this year’s race was that it was scored like an XC meet. We went toe to toe on trails with the CNW guys. SRC went 2-3 but did not have the depth to beat our rivals on the men’s side. This result gave me confidence going into my marathon taper. Unfortunately, less than a week later, I sprained my ankle running on trails. I recovered quickly enough to be healthy on race day, but any confidence in my fitness was certainly lost. Philly Marathon conditions were very Seattle-like – windy, rainy, and cold. I went out conservatively and ended up negative splitting by 1:45 – my first negative split in a marathon. I ran my first marathon in Philly in 2009 on almost the same course and I beat that time by over a minute. It was also my fastest marathon since 2013 and 3rd fastest of my life. 2019 was an up and down running year for me but I’m proud to have represented the SRC Brooks team during that time. I won’t be returning for the 2020 season as I enter fatherhood but hopefully I’ll be back on the squad in the future.

Kristi Houk


Wow! What an amazing year for running. I find myself in a very happy state where I have finally found my stride and able to race, rally, and rumble! Through my most epic of trail races, I have developed a more realistic sense of what constitutes hills and running up them. To be frank, I do not enjoy torturing myself slogging up mountains (nor running recklessly down them either), but as of late they seem to be a consistent feature in many of my races. All year, Cougar Mountain has been what I would like to consider “difficult trail running” but that has all changed with my most recent endeavor, the Don Diablo 35k. The reason behind this particular race selection was not the eternal glory nor the numerous peso prize purse, but rather the ticket we (Alex and I) needed in order be invited to stay at a family member’s home in La Ventana (the race’s finishing point). Heck yeah I will run a race to stay in Mexico! Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Prepared is not a word I would use to describe myself for this race. Yes, I had been running but not in heat, on mountains, or long distances. So with one sixteen miler under my belt, I deemed myself prepared…enough. The first day of “trail” desert running in Mexico was doable though running in sand and heat amongst organisms that stab, puncture, and sting was a bit challenging…and unnerving. After an hour and a half of running and one liter of water later, my prospects looked bleak. Nevertheless, the weather Gods heard my cries of desperation and brought forth a tropical storm which quenched my dehydrated spirit. Despite the relief, this particular storm almost canceled the race in its entirety with the dooming prospects of flash floods and eroding cliff sides. Yet, in Mexico, caution tends to be thrown to the wind and race went on as planned.

Race day started with guava empanadas at four in the morning with occasional swigs of GU. Breakfast of champions. Race start involved digging a potty hole in the sand like a cat and a mile sand shuffle before the major climbs and descents which left me grumpy and questioning my sanity. When the storm hit and the rain started, floods of mud cascaded down the mountainside causing me to lose a shoe, fall on a barrel cactus, and slip and land on my butt so hard that I got a bruise the size of a grapefruit on my rear. Navigating the race involved looking for Pop-tart sized markers on rocks, trees, and cacti. Did I get lost? Short answer, yes. Did I stubbornly go on without making sure I was on the right trail? Short answer, no. Alex, my voice of reason, made a point to tell me before the race to not trust my own instincts and go blindly in the desert at the risk of saving a few minutes. Bah. I guess the five minute time loss of waiting for some fellow runners to catch up so I could follow was small price to pay instead of the bleak alternative (obviously I would be chupacabra food). Though challenging, I have never felt more invigorated by such an experience that pushed me outside of what I thought I was capable of. From this point on, in my running, I crave that feeling where panic, bliss, and pain all meld into one insurmountable human experience.

Thank you to all SRC community, Brooks, friends, and family who help guide, challenge, enhance, and nurture me. I wouldn’t be half the human I am today without your support! I have enjoyed volunteering at the Cougar Mountain Series races, helping out teammates who are in a bind, and lending a hand in local fun run around West Seattle!

Here is another brief glimpse into my world of running:

  • 9/14/19 Redmond 6k 1st F, 1st overall 22:55
  • 9/22/19 Sounder Rave Green Run 5k 1st F 18:45
  • 9/29/19 Burien Brat Trot 5k 2nd F 19:02
  • 10/5/19 Curtis XC Invite 1st F on SRC Open XC team
  • 10/26/19 West Seattle Monster Dash 5k 2nd F 19:45
  • 10/27/19 Cougar Mountain Series #4 4th F
  • 11/10/19 PNTF XC 2nd F on SRC Open XC team]
  • 11/17/19 Don Diablo 35k (La Paz, MX) 1st F 4 hours 41 minutes
  • 11/23/19 Regional XC (Portland) 3rd F on SRC Open XC team
  • 12/14/19 Winter Wonderland 5k 2nd F 20:16
  • 12/21/19 Santa Paws (Palm Springs, CA) 1st F 18:38

Alex Bowns


The 2nd half of 2019 was a good one. I got another PR, found a few new running routes, and did some running with my local Lake Union SRC’ers.

I ended the year with a marathon PR down in Sacramento where I got to run the race with other SRC teammates! The race was a blast, great course with excellent organization and a high quality of runners. I didn’t know if I would be in shape to run a PR this year, but having other teammates running with me kept me motivated to push myself the whole way.

I did a little bit more volunteering at Cougar Mountain this fall. When I was out on the trails I was running with a little hand saw that I could use to clear downed branches and thin logs from the trail.

My highlight of this years running would have to be a trail run I did by myself out at Spray Park in the Mount Rainier wilderness. It was a 17 mile loop with a lot of elevation gain and great single track trails. While out there I ran past two bears! After that run, my quads were so shot that I could only hobble for the next couple of days while they recovered.

Aside from running, I celebrated a few other new changes. I started a new job, became a bike commuter, and got married! Looking forward to running into 2020!

Trisha Steidl


I thought I raced frequently during the first half of the year, but it turns out I ran more races in the second half. What fun! This was due to participating in the PNTF Masters Grand Prix, Cougar Mountain Race Series, and the XC season.

The Four on the Fourth and Labor Day Half Marathon (photo at right, PC Amon Mende) were both part of the Masters Grand Prix. I had never run the former and found it to be a fun race in a welcoming community with a “surprise ending” up a big hill into the finish. The latter, as usual, provided a competitive field which made the race experience more fun for me. I had not prepared for this race, so it was fun to set myself a goal pace and work to stick to it – which I did, despite it being quite warm!

I ran the July and August Cougar races this year. Looking back, I wouldn’t say my preparations were very smart. Not by design, Uli and I climbed Mt. Rainier 5-6 days before each race. In fact, I did a few dumb – but fun – things in the week leading up to the July race. By no surprise, I did not feel good for that race and it didn’t go well. The August race went better, mainly due to a significantly improved mindset/game plan…and doing fewer dumb things beforehand. While I wasn’t fresh for the race, I had a fun time competing and ended up gaining a new friend and SRC teammate out of the experience (photo at left, PC Somer Kreisman)!

The 2019 XC season was fun as usual. It’s always a blast – and a shock – to go from running for hours on end to racing for less than 25 minutes. We had a solid women’s team this year and I enjoyed racing with them throughout the season (photo at right, 2nd PNTF race, PC Somer Kreisman).

Mixed in with those races were two very different “race” experiences. I had decided early in the year that I wanted to challenge myself to run new-to-me routes and attempt at least one FKT (fastest known time). I found one route that particularly intrigued me in part because it included a trail I had run on last year as part of setting a FKT and quite a few people had run it previously. The short story is the first time I ran it, I had to keep stopping to check the route to ensure I was going the correct way, which cost me a bunch of time. I wanted to do it again with the confidence of knowing where to go and, thus, the mental freedom to put my head down and just run. It was very wet and foggy the second time, which wasn’t too bad, but also meant no views. The worst part was tripping on a tree I didn’t see due to an ill-timed check of the watch and falling hard on my knee and hands. I wasn’t able to run normally from that point on, but was determined to grit it out because I was running significantly faster than my previous attempt. I made it through and took a big chunk of time off the women’s FKT that will hopefully provide some fuel for other women to go for it! (photo above about a half mile from the finish, PC Michael Havrda)

My final two races of the year are the Kent Christmas Rush 10k and the Yukon Do It! Half Marathon. These are both a part of my build up for the Houston Marathon. Keep your fingers crossed for me on January 19th!

Along with racing, I had a good time volunteering at the Cougar races as well as participating in the final King County Parks & Rec/SRC trail work party at Cougar. I got a group of folks to run together for the trail work party and we were able to move three significant trees off the trails (photo at right of the group moving a tree).

Big thanks to SRC and Brooks for another great year of support!

2nd Half Race Results:

  • Four on the Fourth – 1st woman, 1st master
  • Cougar Mountain 10.8 mile – 3rd woman, 1st master
  • Chinook Pass Loop FKT – women’s FKT of 6:14:16; fastest time overall (as of July 19, 2019)
  • Cougar Mountain 14.5 mile (PNTF Association Trail Championships) – 1st woman, 1st master (PNTF Champion)
  • Labor Day Half Marathon – 11th woman, 2nd master
  • Chinook Pass Loop FKT – women’s FKT of 5:49:32; 2nd fastest time overall (as of September 16, 2019)
  • Emerald City XC Open – 14th woman, 3rd master 2nd SRC
  • WWU XC Classic – 2nd master, 2nd SRC
  • PNTF XC Masters Championship – 4th master, 3rd AG, 2nd SRC
  • PNTF XC Open Championship – 19th woman, 1st master, 3rd SRC
  • USATF XC Regional Championship – 24th woman, 3rd master, 2nd AG, 2nd SRC
  • Kent Christmas Rush 10k – 3rd woman, 1st master

Tyler Vasquez

Accomplished, tired, and reflective are some of the adjective and verbs which describe the second half of 2019.

Accomplished. We are always searching for the next goal. After finishing my 100 miler, I was searching for something new and felt that I needed more. This want and need made me feel unsettled. My mom referenced to me that I have accomplished many things in 2019 and that I have just glazed over them. At this moment, I realized that I have achieved more than I could have imagined. I have raced hard for 8+ months and the time has come to realize that I can feel accomplished with myself and my achievement. No need to prove anything, but just a general acceptance of my accomplishments.

Tired. As the darkness began to become a large part of our days so did sleep. Sleep became my best friend. I needed recover from the thrashing I did to my body and the sleep was the only way that I could recover. The heart was happy, mind was satisfied, and the body was tired.

Reflective. Running has become a part of me. As my body did not permit too much running in the latter part of 2019; running became a part of me, but more importantly being active became a part my life. I have become reacquainted with the athlete that was always there.

Thank you Seattle Running Club and Brooks for the experience of running hard, running with fellow runners, and running happy!

Adam Hewey


My marquis race for this year was the IMTUF 100 mile in McCall, Idaho in September. I was undertrained and underexcited. I thought I could mail it in and just finish for my 15th 100 mile race. I couldn’t, I didn’t. I DNFed at mile 50 because I really didn’t have it in me. It was and is a pivotal point in my maturation as a runner.

I have always been quite competitive and willing to work very hard to achieve my race goals. I enter races to be on the podium. I have many friends who are not blessed with speed who run for the love of running and race to be social. This year I turned 52. The competitive fire is still there but the commitment to the work in getting this jalopy on the road was missing. It all came to a head at IMTUF when I couldn’t let go of racing to just enjoy running. I wasn’t enjoying it at all and I stopped. Then I had to take a break and recalibrate.

I started running again a few weeks after my failure in Idaho. I ran because I wanted to. I ran because I wasn’t training for anything. I ran happy (Brooks, see what I did there?)

SRC Brooks team members get free entry to Cougar Mt. races. In all my years running in Seattle, I have never run a Cougar Mt. race. The 4th Cougar race this year happened to be the PNTF Championship in the 14.5 mile race. I signed up because I wanted to be part of the team. I was stoked to wear my Brooks SRC team shirt and toe the line with team mates. I had an absolute blast! Running fast on trails is so fun after a summer of slow 100 miler training. The racing is also a reminder of how much you can muster when you see another runner to catch! I caught a few and finished 13th overall and 4th masters.

The next Cougar Race was the final of the series and a chance to do an 8 mile race with Cross Country scoring. Fun. The trail was in excellent shape partly because a cadre of SRC runners, myself included, did some serious trail work clearing large trees and sawing off errant branches the week before.

I strapped on my trusty Brooks Calderas and braved a very cold morning to start with team mates and rivals from the dreaded Club Northwest. The race was fast and I thought I was doing well until I was passed by a guy in orange who I’ve battled with at all the XC races I’ve run. I let him go, relaxed and ran my race. A mile before the finish I caught him back. We battled all the way to the final puddle where he slipped and I beat him and another Club Northwester by 2 seconds to take 17th overall and 2nd masters. Both guys behind me were masters! Racing is fun.

My final race of the year was the PNTF Cross Country regionals at Woodland Park. 6k was the distance for Masters. I am not very good at XC but I love the camaraderie of the SRC team. I ran a very mediocre race and huffed and puffed to a sub par finish. The CNW guy I beat at Cougar finally beat me and was really happy. I was kind of happy for him too.

This year on the SRC Brooks team was great. I really enjoyed being part of a bigger thing and loved training in the Launch and Caldera. Trisha is an amazing leader and the team is a great asset to SRC, Brooks and the Seattle running community.

Somer Kreisman


I spent the summer throwing myself up and down mountains nearly every weekend, hellbent on developing the prerequisite neuromuscular groundwork and nutrition/hydration experiments required for trail racing. I’m not sure how many times I went up and down West Tiger 3 between June and September, but I’m certain I could tell you every strava segment location on the route.

The first four trail races in 2019 left me with valuable experience but little tangible success. Then there was Cougar July (10.8 miler). I started this race in my typical fashion: sprinting off the startline. I’m sure every coach will tell you this is exactly what you should do in any distance beyond 5K. Things were going well until the Wilderness section. For as long as I’ve been a trail runner (10 months?!), I’ve harbored this previously unfounded fear of downhill running. If you’re familiar with this section of the course, it’s a lot of switchbacks and a whole lot of descent. The week before, I did a course preview and told my training partner that if there was a section I was absolutely going to biff it on during the race, this was it. I’m not saying that I’m clairvoyant, but I’m not not saying it. Two to three switches in, in full send, I suddenly found myself sliding on my elbows in the gravelly dirt. Ouch. A quick damage assessment and a bee sting to my shin later, I started power hiking out of the bowels of Wilderness. I drifted into second place and then decided not to give any more time or places back as there wasn’t much racing left. I put my head down and held on til the finish, executing another trail race with 100% self-extraction. Bandaids aside, this marked the first inkling of success on the trails.

In August, I snagged a late entry into Rainshadow Running’s Oregon Coast 32K in October (#Baby’sFirstRainshadow). This became my ‘A’ race for 2019. The one I was going to put every bit of fitness I harvested all summer toward. A trail running festival featuring a half marathon in my hometown (Whidbey Island) was the week prior, and I thought this would serve as an excellent tune-up for Oregon Coast 32K. Well, as the saying goes: everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Or, more accurately, badly sprain their ankle… During the Whidbey Woods half, I was solidly in the lead for the women’s race, when at mile 6 my right foot hit a root at the perfectly wrong angle. On contact, I heard my ankle pop and I instinctively clutched onto the nearest tree for support. Instant pain. Many swear words. I checked to see if I could put weight through it. Nope. More treeholding. More thoughts swirling for what this was going to do to my 100% self-extraction streak. Another minute passed and I put my foot down. It wasn’t great, but I could hobble. Then hobbling gave way to jogging, jogging into running. I crossed the finish line and managed to hang onto first place despite slowing substantially. One trip to urgent care and a podiatrist appointment confirmed an incomplete avulsion fracture in my fibula and two ligament sprains in my foot. This also confirmed Oregon Coast was definitely out. I was heartbroken.

After a week, I could run without much pain or increased swelling. I felt robbed of the opportunity to compete at #BabysFirstRainshadow but decided this was not productive. While trail running was out for the next month to avoid a re-sprain, I could still accomplish a decent training block for the Seattle Half Marathon in December. I’ve got a lot of history with this race, so it proved to be a good substitute. I put my nose down for four weeks leading up to it, reeled everything back the week before, and gave myself permission to try on the day. I walked away from it with a third place finish and zero injuries, which was a fulfilling way to close the book on 2019.

Having the opportunity to be a part of SRC Brooks this year helped my running in ways I didn’t anticipate. I’ve always been trail-curious, but being a part of this community really pushed me into it head first. What I didn’t realize is that all those mountain days over the summer served as invaluable strength training that translated to road fitness in the fall and helped me whittle down my 5K season best from 18:47 to 18:14. Volunteering and giving back to the running community also makes participating in it even more rewarding.

2019 results through July-December:
-2F: Carnation Run for the Pies, July
-2F: Cougar Mtn Series 10.8 miler, July*
-1OA: Cougar Mtn Series 5K, August*
-1OA: Summer Blast @ Redmond Watershed 10 miler, August*
-1F: Labor Day 5K, September
-1F: Whidbey Woods Half Marathon, October*
-1F: Capt Jack’s Treasure Run, October
-3F: Green Lake Gobble 5K, November
-3F: Seattle Half Marathon, December
-1F: Kent Christmas Rush 5K, December

*=Trail

Olin Berger


Races

  • Cougar Mt. 50k: 4:41, 2nd OA
  • TNF Endurance Challenge 50m: 8:01, 33rd OA

Well, I did not quite have the redemptive upswing at the end of the year for which I was hoping. At least, not performance-wise. My biggest struggle in the second half of this year, apart from a pretty tenacious hamstring issue, has been finding/maintaining motivation to race, train, and generally just spend the same amount of time running that I normally do. I’m still working on what that means for my next year of racing, but think it’s an exercise that will help rebuild the mental platform on which the leg works rests.

The Cougar 50k was great this year since about ten times as many people were at the start than is normal. Though I quickly learned that they were all there to run a cross country race, so it was back to running around Squak wondering if anyone else had even signed up for the 50k. Someone had and they beat me.

I was primed to run the TNF50 last year when I was in great shape and injury-free, but then the wildfires came. Years of watching Joe Creighton practice his vape plume “magic show” had acclimatized my lungs to the most hardy of pollutants, but not all were so prepared and the race was canceled, leaving me to run it this year with a dearth of training and motivation. However, not caring a ton can be a huge benefit to one’s nerves and mental state during a race. I actually enjoyed a good chunk of it, appreciated the beautiful trails, and even logged some race miles with SRC friends.

I focused a lot on racing this year and ultimately came out a bit disappointed, as expectations were high. But improvement is a long process, should you decide to stick with it, and I’m not quite ready to shift my focus to becoming Seattle’s top scorer on Fleet Feet’s Track & Field arcade machine. I’m looking forward to looking forward to running more next year.

Tyler Cox


Fall of 2019 has been of fun time of running with friends and welcoming back that lovely PNW, grey raininess. After my 2-day jaunt around the Wonderland Trail towards the end of summer, I took a little time off before training for a fall 50k. I took advantage of some of the SRC related racing opportunities to do my best at not getting crushed too badly in a few cross country meets. I always love the feel of XC meets, although I likely could have used some more 8k specific training! My last big long run coincided with the October Cougar Series races, so I took the opportunity to run the hilly 19.5 mile course. I felt much better than when I ran this same race about 1.5 years ago, and managed to snag the win, which was a nice plus.

In November I traveled to Moab to meet up with some college friends and take my shot at breaking 4 hours on the speedy Dead Horse Ultra 50k course. While I almost went up in a ball of flames in the last 5 miles, I managed to hang on and run 3:49 for 5th place! The rest of this fall has been filled with recovering and trying my best to translate 50k fitness into 5k fitness in 10 days (it didn’t work very well).

Rob Bond


Back to the roads. The second half of 2019 was anchored by the California International Marathon in Sacramento. The race was in December and required a plenty of work on the flat path around Green Lake. My trips to Cougar Mountain were mostly to volunteer for the trail run series. We ran the Squak Mountain aid station during the 50k race in October and cheered the tired runners home. Fortunately, the weather that day was fantastic.

After a busy first half of racing, I ended up competing in only 3 events after August. I continued my unusual streak of silver medals by finishing in second place at both the Green Lake Gobble 10k and the Olympia Turkey Trot 4 miler. Both of these were smaller events centered around Thanksgiving, so the stakes were low and the blood sugar was high.

The final effort of the year came at CIM. The goal was to break a 3-year old marathon PR. Thanks to a solid crew of Seattle Runners I was able to knock 2 minutes off my time and run a 2:27. It was a great weekend for SRC with lots of PRs, PBRs, RNR, and DOMS.

Overall 2019 was a strong year of running for me. I ran over 4000 miles, had some really great PRs, and finished second in 8 races. Hopefully 2020 will include more great running and ideally a few more wins.

Katelen Phelan

Photo Credit: Somer Kreisman

  • Curtis Cross Country Invite 5k- 21:08, 4th F for SRC
  • PNTF Cross Country 6k- 26:40.44, my 2nd fastest 6k on course
  • Regionals Cross Country 8k- 35:11, 7th F for SRC

Photo Credit: Kristi Houk
It was cross country that got me into the sport of running back in high school. It was the chance to race cross country again that sold me on joining the Seattle Running Club (SRC) back in 2014. Since then, I’ve consistently raced each cross country (xc) season with SRC, but this sixth year of xc turned out to be my lowest racing season so far. Somehow, I managed to be available to race only three xc races this year, all of which were slightly different distances. The Curtis Invitational was a gorgeous and fast course. I had the pleasure of seeing a handful of former cross country runners of mine (I coach cross country at Sylvester Middle School) after their morning high school races and before we SRC ladies went head-to-head with collegiate runners. At PNTF, I had my second fastest time at the Lower Woodland Park course. At XC Regionals in Portland, I ran my first ever 8k and loved the distance because it felt like my endurance training was on my side. In my opinion, if all women’s xc races switched from a 6k to 8k, it would be the right choice. The SRC Wednesday Workouts during the xc season are always a treat because we’re off the track and in the parks and trails. Since spending the first half of 2019 training for my Boston qualifying marathon time, it felt refreshing to get back on some trails for the last bit of 2019. There’s a sense of comradery and friendship during xc that keeps me coming back year after year. Training-wise, I’m still getting a healthy dose of runs in with fellow SRC members at the Monday Flying Lion Brewing Runs, Wednesday Workouts, a couple tempo runs, and few Discovery Park trail runs. In the fall, I had the pleasure of coaching alongside former SRC member-Paul Young at the middle school where I work and occasionally now, we meet up for runs in Burien before the sunsets on these short winter days. In time for Christmas, I came down with pneumonia this year, so until I’m fully recovered, my training will be on pause.
Photo Credit: Doug Brown

Katy Gifford


After SOB 100k, I wanted to focus the rest of the year on improving my strength; physical and mental. I’d been giving myself too many breaks. Even though I had finished all the races, I felt I just scraped by. After a few weeks off, I decided to join a few SRC workouts and wanted to give cross country a try. While this was new to me, it gave me a new focus. The camaraderie was awesome! Between race and personal schedules, I was only able to race and attend one cross country race. I brought my parents along too; and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the vibe. Everyone was so welcoming; I can’t wait to join again in 2020.

In July, I had the honor of pacing a friend (Ling) at Cascade Crest 100. She and another friend were planning on running together, but the other had to withdraw from the waitlist due to injury. Ling was also contemplating removing from the waitlist, as she didn’t want to run alone. Thankfully, it was a “Seattle weekend” for me, and I was able to help in any way! I do enjoy running races, but I also really enjoy helping others achieve their goals. During the race, her crew kept me updated with her progress. I drove out to their rental house and was able to get a few hours of sleep in before meeting her at mile 69. Ling is super strong and determined, and also a gift to the running community. She captains aid stations at many Northern CA races, and has been doing so for many years. We set off before sunrise; she was in great spirits. She had the course notes for me to help keep her on track. We climbed to meet the sun, talked about her day, and saw her favorite animal – the pika! We never saw a goat, but I told her all about them. It turns out we just missed one! The course is beautiful! I took pictures as she continued toward the finish. She has many buckles, but that hoody was calling her name! She kept joking with me that I now need to run it just for that hoody (I do love hoodies)! That was her attitude the entire time; just kept it light and pressed to the finish. I was a great day; we’re talking about repeating in 2020.

The rest of the year I focused on road running, in preparation for my pace leader duties at California International Marathon (CIM). This would be my 14th consecutive CIM, 10th as pace group leader. I had a pretty good training block leading into CIM; the Sammamish River Trail is a great training area! I joined the YMCA and found a few classes to attend during the week to break up the running. Saturdays I ran an out and back from the Y, so that I was back in time for yoga. I felt really good going into CIM. Unfortunately, the weekend didn’t go as planned (at least the race portion). It has always been a great weekend, as this was my first marathon. It is also the same weekend as the Western States lottery. CIM…well the first 17 miles went well. My co-pacer and I were chatting and right on pace. Unfortunately, I had some stomach distress that caused me to stop (this never happens). I hoped I’d be able to catch her and the group, but I just wasn’t able to do so. I felt horribly for leaving her, and really felt bad in general. But, then I realized no one cares! I took in the cheers from the crowd (it really is an immense crowd, especially the closer you get to the finish). And ran with gratitude.

The day before CIM was really the exciting part of the weekend (and year). With 32 tickets (6 consecutive years), my name was selected! I don’t remember much of it; everything went quiet in my head, but I was told it was really quite loud in the auditorium. Those who are selected and are present in the audience, come up to the stage and have photos taken backstage. It was amazing! Many friends were also selected; it will be a great year!

Categories
Featured Member Information Race Reports

SRC Member Race Reports – October 2019

Once a month (lol) we’d like to showcase the races for members courageous enough to spend a few minutes filling out a Google Form, and until we get that sick shout-out from the CEO himself on Twitter or, preferably, Instagram® or Bumble, we will *NOT* promote Run Gum!

Your submission can be as brief or long as you’d like! Better believe I’m deleting any references to Run Gum though, unless I forget!

Are you racing or have you raced in NOVEMBER? I *might* race XC Regionals down in Portland if anyone wants to watch the slower CNW guys get visibly frustrated cause a fat 39 year-old passed them at mile four. Feel free to join me! We can simultaneously write our reports from the Olympia Jiffy Lube when TJ’s car breaks down on the way home.

Here’s an incomplete list of “races” I accept:

  1. Real races! (road, track, trail, relays, obstacle courses, bike races at Seward Park cause you’re tired of hanging with your run friends)
  2. Not really races(?) (stair climbs for cancer research, color runs, certain Mario Kart levels, Track & Field arcade tournaments at Fleet Feet Ballard, etc)
  3. Strava CRs! (no bikes)
  4. Strava CR attempts! (definitely no bikes)
  5. Short distance personal records running away from teens who you think might have just seen you get turned down asking for an job application at QFC.
  6. If you’re even wondering if it counts, it probably does! At this point I’m halfway to accepting E-bike racing vs. heavy-legged run commuters on E. Marginal Way, so check your Strava fly-bys to see if you’ve recently taken me on!

Submit Your Race Report!

Let’s hand it off to OCTOBER’S 2019’s *two* (squints at paper, grimaces noticeably) NOT WOMEN!
🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻

One of the Aarons

Member #: 1960
Race name: Cougar October! 7.6mi (~12k)
When was this race? Not a date; or rly a race. At least it wasn’t for me. 😻
How did you place?! Good question. It’s something I’ll never know and will always wonder about.
Race website: cougar.src.org/
*Your* website URL: https://www.rocheam.com/move.html
Race report:

Crashed car. Dealt with that for an hour and a half. Ubered to the race 35 minutes late. Got a bib. Ran hard. Finished knowing that was probably the right thing to do with the rest of my morning.

[This is more of a diary entry than a race report.] Sorrynotsorry, Joe. 😻

Dear diary,

Phew. Where to start? Well, I was up quite early, eager to get everything organized to make it out for my *FIRST EVER COUGAR MOUNTAIN RACE.* I ate, dressed, shaved, taped and body glided-up the important areas, rolled out, and fed kitty, not necessarily in that order, before heading out the door.

I hopped in the EV for the ~20minute ride out to Sky Country. It was still dark when I left at that morning hour, though visibility on the Seattle streets was fine. I got out of the neighborhood with no issue and almost made it to 90 before being run off the road by a guy trying to make a right turn from the left lane. He didn’t see me driving up next to him, pushed me onto the curb, and my tire was shredded from the impact.

I crawled to the next intersection and he followed me there. We exchanged info. We waited for SPD. He left, I waited for a tow company and listened to Jeff from Lincoln towing complain about my car not having a spare. “Sorries Jeff; just do your thang as quickly as possible and keep the conversation to a minimum” were my internal thoughts as I awkwardly grinned and nodded as he patronized me in this moment of extreme joy.

Shortly after Little Boy Blue was towed away, I re-downloaded the Uber app and asked for a pickup from where I stood on the side of MLK Way S and Renton Pl S. To passersby, I probs looked like someone who just escaped from a nearby tent city – hovering around my possessions.

These included:

  • one bag for race clothes.
  • one small backpack with post-race clothes and pre & post-race nutrition. @seattlegummycompany #seattlegummysquad #seattlegummyathletes.
  • one pair of trail runners.
  • two water bottles.
  • a few milligrams left of my self-worth. #metricfreak

Uber driver Issa arrived in his Prius (b/c of course it was a Prius) and when I told him wha’ ha’ happened he was equally appalled and upset about the way my day had started. So, ya know, that was just a refreshing reminder: EVEN UBER DRIVERS CAN EXPRESS EMPATHY. #theh00manrace.

We made our way to Sky Country on Cougar, just past the endless line of cars lining the road leading to the trailhead and the parking lot that was for sure 100% full! I shame-walked with my gear to the start/finish area and was first greeted by Christopher who notified me that I was in fact late to the race. Lol. Yeah. Fashionably late, AMIRITE??

Then I saw Eric and William; gave them the brief “TIFU. Got into an accident on the way to the race.” T.J. at some point came and gave me a pat on the back after asking if I was okay. Then Michael asked if I still wanted to race.

My response must have been “yes” because he handed me a bib in like record time. I pinned it to whatever clothes I was wearing atop my soulless body, tied my shoes with fingers that were already numb from jotting down insurance claim numbers, tow company phone digits, and the names of body shops that were recommended to me, and eventually found the starting line.

T.J. counted me down, I clicked my watch, checked to make sure my head was still attached to my body, then took to the 7.6mi course like a GD man possessed. ish. 55’ later, I got back and, hey people were there!

***

Stay tuned for the report on my actual race in about a week or so. Or, well, whenever I get it up on my blog. By then, hopefully the insurance company will have the towing sorted out so that my car actually makes it to the body shop. Maybe I’ll even have Little Boy Blue Back among all of my possessions! And those gloves that I threw into the air after I crossed the finish line! Thanks again for recovering those, Dustin!! Ugh. What a day!
#seattlerunning #blessed #humansbeingbros #alwaysanadventure #🌊

H/t Michael for getting me my bib. “As long as you finish before Trisha sweeps the course, then you’ll get an official time!” Uli for the mid-race high-five at the top of Tibbetts Marsh trail. Ryan for quickly grabbing his camera as he saw me approaching his spot on the E. Fork Trail. Kristi, the expert *navigator,* who drove me back home in her Escalade. And last, but not least, Dustin, for his race direction all year out from Sky Country on Coooo-gah Mountain! Photos: pre-race, T.J. capturing some memories on my phone. Race: Ryan Thrower, NW Trail Runs new “resident” photographer. 🤩. Post-race: William w/ 👊 on that team snap!

Did iRunFar interview you before or after the race?: No
Race image(s):

Shoeless Joe Sez!

“Ubered to the race”

“shaved”

“one small backpack with post-race clothes and pre & post-race nutrition. @seattlegummycompany #seattlegummysquad #seattlegummyathletes.”

If you think I’m linking to what is surely Nick Symmonds’ little side hustle venture, when he’s had two years to acknowledge that **I EXIST** and decided not to, then I’ve got an emoji I can dare you to use next to a misspelled word of your choosing.

“#seattlegummyathletes”

Ahh cool! Love this viral stuff!

yyyyyeesh

(tip toes away, stealthily)

“‘Sorries Jeff; just do your thang as quickly as possible and keep the conversation to a minimum’ were my internal thoughts as I awkwardly grinned and nodded as he patronized me in this moment of extreme joy.”

All my women readers/fans are nodding along with this sentiment, knowingly.

“Then I saw Eric and William”

For the record we’re about 1100 words into this ‘race report’ and Aaron has just now arrived at the race. ⏳

“T.J. at some point came and gave me a pat on the back after asking if I was okay.”

“…the names of body shops that were recommended to me”

WE GET IT, you’re a bad driver! Get to the race!

“55’ later, I got back”

aaaaand that quickly the “race” portion of Aaron’s race report has ended.

Seriously though, good on you for getting out there after #baddriving, and racing #alone, and most importantly of all, fitting this race report in between all that #socialmedia’ing!


Olin Berger

Member #: 1579
Race name: Cougar 50k
When was this race? 10/27/19
How did you place?! Who cares?
Race website: cougar.src.org
*Your* website URL: https://www.monsterenergy.com/us/en/products/muscle-monster
Race report:

Fresh off a hot string of DNFs, I came into this year’s Cougar 50k looking to be able to just finish the distance and not quit ultra running immediately after. Fortunately, it was a beautiful day and I’m pretty sure I was contractually obligated to do so.

The race started and, quicker than a male masters xc runner can jump ship to CNW, I needed to go to the bathroom. Too late I realized I could’ve taken one for the team and distracted the other xc teams by causing a commotion right next to the trail, but the SRC squad would need to fight their own battles.

I did my best Joe Creighton impression coming down from Wilderness Peak, hoping not to recreate a fall from last year which ruined my Cool Guy (TM) tights and, despite that, made it all the way to the top of Squak without yet seeing another 50k runner. This is when young Michael Tappel caught up with me. Instead of doing the polite thing and accompanying an “Out of the way old man!” with a shove into the bushes, he rode my bumper down to the next aid station, making the whole event suddenly a race, which is all very frustrating. I would’ve been fine with a nice cushy win, but having to work for it, ugh. Michael then had the audacity to let me leave the aid station at SR-900 first, forcing me to run almost the entire climb until tight hips shut me down and I waved him in front so he wouldn’t try to trick me into any speed on the flats. Then it was just the good old shuffling plod to the finish that wins the hearts of ultra runners the world over.

I finished just shy of my time from 5 years ago when I first ran this race, met Joe Creighton, and got involved with SRC. So maybe there’s some good way to cap off the report there with a kind of flashback montage of how far we’ve come to get to the same place, yada yada yada.

Did iRunFar interview you before or after the race?: No
Race image(s):

Shoeless Joe Sez!

“Fresh off a hot string of DNFs, I came into this year’s Cougar 50k looking to be able to just finish the distance and not quit ultra running immediately after.”

This is the kind of hard-nosed ambition you’ll get from our former World Championship team members!

“quicker than a male masters xc runner can jump ship to CNW…”

Speaking as a 39.7 year old…..I cannot *wait* for the email I’m about to receive from the Orange Boys. There are a ton of hard bodies over there I wanna interview!

“I needed to go to the bathroom.”

Gotta be all that Monster Muscle you’re (pretending to be) drinking.

“I needed to go to the bathroom. Too late I realized I could’ve taken one for the team and distracted the other xc teams by causing a commotion right next to the trail, but the SRC squad would need to fight their own battles.”

I can’t tell if this is coded language to appeal to your secret reddit group, but…did you actually end up shitting or were you just clenching cheeks for 30 miles?

I’m not going to let you drop this plot point like we’re writing some Gilmore Girls spec script.

“I did my best Joe Creighton impression coming down from Wilderness Peak”

“…from 5 years ago when I first ran this race, met Joe Creighton, and got involved with SRC.”

💋

“yada yada yada”


Archived Member Race Reports

Categories
Uncategorized

#SRCBROOKS 2019 So-Far Update!

Once again thanks to Brooks Running for keeping our children shoe’d and warm! Be it dirt, grass, mud, gravel, or the occasional foray onto concrete, the Beast B-Teamers have been everywhere in 2019!


Somer Kreisman


In 2019 I finally joined the trail running and racing party. My first race ever—the Fort Ebey Kettles Trail Run half—was the ugliest race I’ve run (in a while). Being absolutely new at something is both exciting and terrifying. During the warmup I asked my training partner how the course was marked, like how do you know where to go at a split. I think he laughed. My only goal when the gun went off was 100% self-extraction. Based on the scant training I had done for this, I knew anything beyond nine miles was going to be a mystery. Sure enough, at Mile 9 four women blew past me like I was standing still. I probably was.

The good things that happened from this experience was that I was able to finish under my own power, I didn’t get hurt, and I learned where I needed to really lean-into training. I needed to focus on both ascending and descending hills, getting more distance on trail under my belt, breaking in my trail shoes before racing in them, and running without headphones.

Over the next two months I put in all that work and more. The second trail half came around, the Deception Pass Half, and it turned out there was still more lessons to learn. This race was the first—and unfortunately not the last—time I would get lost on course. Somehow with a bonus mile and plenty of anxiety, I managed to finish fourth. Next lesson: maps. Read them. I would go on to relearn the need for this lesson in June at the Cougar Mountain Series 8.2 miler.

I retreated back to my comfort zone on the road in March on familiar course, the Kirkland Shamrock Run. This brought more success. I was able to win on the lady side for the third time, but lost to a guy wearing a leprechaun hat, so there’s that. I ran the Big Backyard in June, and it is the fastest 5K I’ve done in three years. Maybe there is something to be said for all this newfound trail strength.

Currently, I’m still below-average at downhill running and map reading. I’m hovering around 30 MPW, and for the first time in a long time I’m excited about the training and racing I’m doing. Next up is Oregon Coast 30K.

Outside of running and racing, I’ve been able to volunteer at the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival and the Cougar Mountain Series with my SRC teammates, as well as at the Rock n’ Roll Expo with Brooks, and a Brooks PR event. Giving back to the running community I get so much from has been both fun and fulfilling.

2019 results through June:
-23F: Tunnel to Viaduct 8K, Feb
-8F: Fort Ebey half, Feb
-1F: Kirkland Shamrock 5K, March
-4F: Deception Pass 1/2, April
-3F: Snohomish Women’s Run 13.1, May
-16F: Beat the Bridge 8K, May
-2F: Cougar Mountain 5.1, May
-2F: Big Backyard 5K, June
-LOST: Cougar Mountain 8.2, June

Katelen Phelan


2019 was my year to finally go after my goal of a Boston Qualifying (BQ) marathon time. My goal marathon day was the Jack and Jill Downhill Marathon along the John Wayne Trail on July 28th. This was a lofty goal, since my prior marathon time was 25 minutes slower than the current qualifying time for my gender and age group. Along the way I raced quite a few tune up and fun races (Bridle Trails 5 miler, Redmond Rain Run half marathon, Blooms to Brews Marathon, Carnation Run for the Pies 5k, and a couple Cougar Mountain series races). I got a 3+ minute PR at my half marathon in January, cut 15 minutes from my prior marathon time at Blooms to Brews in April and had a 43 second PR in my 5k time on July fourth at Run for the Pies (I also won a pie!). When my July marathon race rolled around, I had to cut 10+ minutes from my April marathon time. All the nervous energy and uncertainty that I felt at the start of my April marathon was gone. I knew my body better and how to maximize race day success. My approach was: get to bed early, download Podrunner episodes that compliment my goal race pace in bpms and add to podcast cue, get dropped off at the start to maximize sleep, get into bathroom line early before race, use handheld water bottle with attached pouch full of energy chews, request cheers and support from loved ones/friends along the route. How it went down: smooth cruising to start, so smooth that I toned it down a bit once I realized, a boost of energy at halfway where Thomas (my fiancé) cheered me on, and then I picked up the pace a wee bit to stay on track. At mile 21 I was anticipating Herb Sitz would be on the trail to run alongside me (only if race officials approved). This gave me a mental goal to focus on when I was no longer amused by the gravel trail and bridge crossings. I found Herb (race official-approved) with 4.5 miles to go. He reminded me a) I needed to pick up my pace to make that BQ time, b) that I shouldn’t be able to talk if I’m trying my hardest, and c) that it would all work out. I then felt the most pained finish of my life thus far, rolling in 2:13 mins faster than my necessary Boston Qualifying time and a new marathon PR!

I took a lot of rest from running after that race to recover and do some traveling. To gear up for cross country and to enjoy time with Seattle Running Club folks, I ran the Backcountry Rise 20 miler at Mount St. Helens this past weekend. The views were stellar, while my trail running fitness was suboptimal. Volunteering as an SRC Brooks runner was a blast so far this year. There’s nothing like cheering on fellow SRC folks mid-race and bragging to other runners at a race that you know those people who just placed in the top 10. As a volunteer, this happened at Bridle Trails, the one and only Tunnel to Viaduct, Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series, and White River 50-Miler (the day before my BQ). While the bulk of day-to-day runs are on my own, I cherish the Monday Flying Lion Brewing runs, Wednesday workouts and tempo runs I’m able to make. I continue to become a stronger runner and that is only possible with the right gear, mindset, support and ambition.

Olin Berger

Races

  • Bandera 100k: 9:59:51, 13th OA
  • Chuckanut 50k: 4:05:42, 5th OA
  • The Canyons 100k: 10:17:46, 6th OA
  • White River 50 mile: DNF
  • Cougar Mt. 14.5 mile: 2:02:06, 10th OA
  • CCC-UTMB 100k: DNF

It’s been a busy year. And not one is which I’ve been that happy with performance; correlation? I’m not sure, but it does look like a full schedule. There’ve also been some rough conditions. A freezing, sleepless pre-race night at Bandera. Snow at Chuckanut. Heat in the Canyons. Injured for White River. And a mix of pretty much everything at CCC.

I am certainly trying to appreciate context when thinking about my races and goals this year. I haven’t achieved a lot of the goals that I set out for myself. But they’ve been admittedly lofty goals. After all, even Joe Creighton cannot achieve 100 push-ups in Week 1 of his “100 Push-ups” training program (please ask him about it). But, remove those high level goals from consideration, and I’ve been able to run in some very beautiful places and experience a large range of courses, competition, and community in this sport. It’s been a rough year, but varied and exciting. Certainly enough to keep my interest. I’m ready to see what the remainder of the year will bring at the TNF50, Cougar 50k, and Deception Pass 50k.

Of course, the highlight of any racing season has been representing the team at Aid Station 2 for the Cougar Mt. Trail Race Series. No finer place for PB&J and a drink in Western Washington.

Katy Gifford


The first half of 2019 was marked with many new experiences. I moved to the Seattle area in January 2018, and had yet to truly experience all this area has to offer, especially WINTER! I was fortunate that I still travel to Northern California frequently, so I was able to maintain some semblance of training. But, unfortunately, when winter really hit, I was unable to get the quality of running that I should have. I’ve since learned that it is, indeed, possible to run in snow; I need more acclimatization!

I was very happy to finally run Chuckanut 50k in March; it had been on my radar for quite some time. Great race and people! In mid-April, I ran Lake Sonoma 50M. This was my seventh finish and is probably my favorite race; amazing crew and volunteers. The best part of LS50 was running with my running partner since 2014; this was her 10th LS50 finish!

In late April, I ran Canyons 100k, to ensure I had a qualifier for Western States (6 years of tickets for 2020!). I took it easy early, knowing it was going to be a long day. Unfortunately, at about Mile 26, my knee started to bother me; IT pain perhaps? I walked a bit, and ran when I could. There was a lot of runnable section of the second half that I needed to walk. I had finished every race I started prior to this, and I really didn’t want a DNF that day! I power hiked and made my way back to the finish before cut-off and under the WS Qualifying time. My fourth Canyons finish and continued my 0-DNF trend! The race crew and volunteers are top-notch here; highly recommend!

An added bonus race (WS Qualifier) was Siskiyou Outback 100k. It was the inaugural year, and it was tough! Beautiful first half, very difficult second. I was extremely happy to finish!

Between racing, I had the opportunity to get to know more SRC members and other runners in the community. What I really love about the running community is that it’s just that – a community! So much camaraderie, no matter where you are. Everyone has been so welcoming. Volunteering at Tunnel to Viaduct, RnR Expo, the PR Invitational, and trailwork really gave me the best opportunity to make new connections.

I’m looking forward to the rest of 2019; new experiences and time with our community!

Tyler Vasquez


This year, I wanted to race with more of a sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the trails, friendship, and my body to push through. Through friendship, being mindful, and grit, I was able to have a zest for each race that I took on. This zest had many shapes in sizes but in all the zest allowed for an immense amount of gratitude for the ultra running community.

Chuckanut 50k had the theme of friendship. I was able to run the course and share the ultra-community with my friend Aaron who came up from San Diego. We ran the trails of Larrabee State Park strong, and I was able to PR this course by 1 hour and 10 mins. In addition to setting my own personal record, the ultra-trail running community welcomed Aaron full heartedly.

Yakima Skyline Rim Races had the theme of mindfulness. My dear friend Adam and I were embarking on the back to back (50k and 25k). In order to do this, we needed to be mindful of every aspect of the weekend. Quantity of sleep, warming up, food intake, and ease of the self-critic and ego during the race. We both understood that these races were about finishing, not placement and that is what we did. We both finished the races. To top it off, I finished 30th in both races.

Sun Mountain 50miler had the theme of grit. This race was a test for my overall fitness. I wanted to see if I could hang with the fast people. I ran the first 20 miles with the top 10 participants, but as day went by my miles and my lactic acid began to build up. I bonked and walked from mile 20 to 31. This experience gave me the confidence to head into my 100-mile race with a sense of humility.

San Diego 100miler combined all these things. Aaron and Adam made an appearance at my 100miler and were my team. I was eternally grateful for their effort and sacrifice to help me accomplish this goal. Lessons were learned, grit surfaced, and memories were made. During this race, I was able to learn how running and being a part of the ultra-community has aided in my overall development of myself as a whole person.

Races and Ultra Runs
Chuckanut 50k 5hrs 16 min- 5k of Vert
Yakima Skyline 50k- 6 hours 37 min- 10k of Vert
Yakima Skyline 25k- 3 Hours 4 min- 5k of Vert
Sun Mountain 50miler- 10 hours 37 min 7500k of Vert
San Diego 100miler- 29 hours 34min 14k of Vert
Timberline Trail- 41+ Miles 10k of Vert

Next up
CIM- BQ Attempt3
Ironman St. George Utah- May 2020

Trisha Steidl


The first half of 2019 was full of fun and challenging races. Things started off well as I managed to defend my masters title and represent SRC and Brooks well at the US 50k Trail Championships in California. After some “roller coaster” training and racing, I found some level ground so-to-speak and was able to finish off the first half of the year with a couple of wins. While it wasn’t my own race, I had a ton of fun pacing a friend for 50 miles of her 100 mile race!

I also spent a good chunk of time volunteering at the Bridle Trails Running Festival, SRC aid station at the Chuckanut 50k, working with young athletes at the Brooks PR Invitational, and helping out at our club’s Cougar race series. Giving back to my club and our community, especially when it’s alongside my teammates, is not only helpful to those putting on and participating in local events, it’s also nourishing to the soul…and fun!

So far this year I’ve enjoyed training, racing, and volunteering with many of my teammates. The best part of being a SRC-Brooks Team member is having awesome teammates to cheer on and who support one another. I’m thankful to Brooks and the Seattle Running Club for providing this opportunity to our club and, specifically, for their support of me and my goals over the years. That support means more to me than I can effectively convey. Here’s to a great second half of the year!

RACES THROUGH JUNE 2019:
US 50k Trail National Championship (FOURmidable 50k) – 7th woman, 1st master (overall women’s masters and age group)
Mercer Island Half Marathon – 6th woman, 2nd master
Whidbey Island Half Marathon – 2nd woman, 1st master
Vancouver Marathon – 10th woman, 2nd master
Rhody Run 12k – 6th woman, 1st master
Whistler 30k – 1st woman, 1st master
Fragrance Lake Half Marathon – 1st woman, 1st master

Tyler Cox


In 2019 I wanted to really dive into trail running and racing. I started off running my second 50k ever at the Chuckanut 50k, and it went far better than I could have expected as I placed 8th overall and actually felt strong the last 6 miles (a flat gravel path likely helped with this). The next month I followed that up with a trip out to Yakima for the Yakima Skyline 25k. The course follows a ridgeline for much of it and was more scenic and rugged than I expected. In May I trekked out to Winthrop to run the Sun Mountain 50k. This may have been a bit too ambitious of a racing schedule for me as a newbie trail/ultra runner, as I felt gassed at Sun Mountain, but thankfully still held on for a 2nd place finish. The race finishes by a lovely lake, which was the second nicest body of water I’ve jumped in this year.

This summer I spent more time running trails along the I-90 corridor and volunteering with Seattle Running Club than I did racing. I had a blast volunteering and watching some high schoolers run faster than I ever will at the Brooks PR invite and got my first taste of a 50 mile race at the White River 50 Miler SRC aid station. To close out summer I took on two last big endeavors. The first was the Volcanic 50k, and wild and awesome race that takes you all around Mt. St. Helens. I was afraid of the heat going in, but a relatively cool day helped propel me to another 2nd place finish. I then found a divine river to go cool off in, making this the nicest body of water I’ve jumped in this year.

Finally, I challenged myself, and somehow survived, a 2-day trail run around the Wonderland Trail. I saw gorgeous terrain and found my legs have more strength in them than I previously thought.

Jenny Easterberg


Once again, the first half of this year had many fun running and racing experiences! I have had a great time on both familiar trails and a good number of new ones as well.

I ran several of my favorite races, such as Eldrith’s 25k at the start of January, where I placed 2nd for the women. My biggest venture was running the inaugural Tiger Claw in May, which was a grueling 22 miler and a total body test. This race certainly pushed me way out of my comfort zone. I have also already done 3 Ragnars this year simply to get out and truly soak in the experience of a 30 hour team race. Very fun to meet people from all over the country. The same goes for the volunteering I did with Brooks at the Seattle R&R marathon expo. So many interesting people of all different backgrounds who came to our beautiful city to experience the wonderful running community we are so fortunate to have.

The highlight of my running and racing remains the sharing of my recovery story of surviving an eating disorder. I love to give hope and inspiration to anyone who struggles with chronic illness. I will say it again that people still find it difficult to believe I went from a wheelchair to podium finishes. I couldn’t have done this without the support of the running community and SRCBrooks. Brooks, a nationally known running company, supports the most modest of runners and continues to impress me daily by providing encouragement and sponsorship to everyday athletes. I never thought my survival story would be powerful enough to make my dream of being sponsored come true, but here I am. Hence I am a firm believer that sharing my recovery story is paramount and that anyone who truly desires to accomplish something can indeed do so despite the odds.

That being said, my biggest running accomplishment this year was doing a solo run down into the Grand Canyon to Phantom Ranch and back out in roughly 4 hours. Not the fastest but certainly an epic adventure. I learned about pacing, hydration, and fueling in such a dry and rugged climate. Most importantly, I took the time to thoroughly enjoy being in the moment. It was a true test of body, mind and spirit. Such a challenging yet truly amazing experience!

For the remainder of the year I plan to stick closer to home and enjoy the glorious fall the PNW provides. Many more adventure stories to come, just ask! Fun running to all and see you on the trails!

Rob Bond

Photo Credit: ironadventureworks.com
Ups and Downs. Lots and lots of ups and downs. The first half of 2019 involved more training in the mountains than I have ever done before. The big goals were the mountainous Catamount 50k and White River 50 mile so I had to head to the hills. The King County Trailhead Express bus to Cougar Mountain was to be my chariot to get me there. The year’s racing started on the dirt with a repeat victory at the Bridle Trails 50k race. The soft dirt and friendly faces on that 5 mile loop made it seem like a nice rust buster. It’s the only 50k I know that deliberately runs through sunset. This turned out to be great as no one could see my grimace on the second half. 50k is too long for rust busting.

The Trailhead Direct doesn’t start running until April 20th, so the only thing to do to pass the time was train on some roads for the Boston Marathon. Like most of the Seattle running community, I celebrated the opening of the new Route 99 car tunnel by running the Tunnel to Viaduct 8k. It was quite an experience to run through a loud echo-y tunnel with thousands of other runners. I’ve also never ran up such a long, steep slope entirely underground. After that, me any my trusty Brooks Hyperions had a string of PRs and 2nd place finishes with the silver spot at the Lake Sammish Half, the Love em’ or Leave em’ 10k (I left em’), and the Cambridge Spring Classic 5k. Gotta love the consistency, but I’ll admit finishing 2nd three races in a row was a little frustrating. No danger of that in my next race, however, as I ran my 5th consecutive Boston Marathon on April 15th. It’s my hometown race and it means a lot to me to travel back and run that course. It wasn’t the PR I was hoping for, but I had a good solid day and saw a lot of friends and family along the way.

After the Boston Marathon, I transitioned to the mountains for some dirt practice. Volunteering at the Chuckanut 50k Aid Station showed me what real speed on the trails can look like, so I spent a lot of time practicing hills in the Issaquah Alps. I had a great spring training with my friends and going on adventures in the woods I ran a great race to set the Course Record at the Stowe, VT Catamount 50k in June. The course, people, and beer were all wonderful. The big test of the summer came at White River. It was my first crack at a 50 mile race in 3 years but I had put together a really solid block of training including a few Cougar Mountain trail races, of course. Race day was a beautiful one at Crystal Mountain. I was having a great time running on some amazing trails. I tried to push for my familiar 2nd place, but I made a mistake with my nutrition and ran out of water up the second big climb. The last 2 hours were pretty miserable but I held it together and finished in 7th. Rare are the days where everything goes right, but it was still quite an adventure. I hope to be back in the future. Up next, it’s back to the roads to train for the California International Marathon.

Thanks to the King County Metro Trail Head Express for the rides!

Results
Bridle Trails 50k – 3:34 – 1st
Tunnel to Viaduct 8k – 25:42 – 5th
Love ’em or Leave ’em 10k – 32:20 – 2nd PR
Lake Sammamish Half Marathon 1:09:10 – 2nd PR
Cambridge Spring Classic – 15:38 – 2nd PR
Boston Marathon – 2:32:45
Catamount 50k – 3:46:52 – 1st CR
Cougar Mountain 20 miler – 1st
White River 50 mile – 7:49 – 7th

Adam Hewey


2019 has been a year of growth and getting back to what I love to do. Last February I did in my MCL while ski racing which derailed my entire race season. I cobbled together a few good races at the end of the year but also appreciated the time to let my body recover.

2019 started off great with a 4th place at the Capitol Forest FA 55k. It was great to be back running an ultra after such a long break. I followed this up with a fun trip to Whidby Island and the Fort Ebey trail Marathon. It was fast! It was fun! I got 2nd place!

Next up was a volunteering gig at the Chuckanut 50k with the SRC crew. I brought my daughter and we had a blast cheering on runners and feeding them while chatting it up with teammates.

2018 was the first year since 2008 in which I did not run a 100 mile race. I was antsy so I signed up for the Badger Mt. Challenge 100 Mile in Richland, Washington. The race started on Friday morning, my divorce finalized on Thursday before I left town to drive to Richland. I ran light. I ran happy. I ran smart. I ran to a 4th place finish. It felt great to be back. It was fun to know I was running not only for myself but also for the team SRC Brooks.

The rest of the spring was a mix of recovery blending into training. I also put in a crazy amount of time planning and organizing the two races I put on: Needles 50k and Cascade Crest 100 mile.

July started with putting on Needles 50k and ended with my running White River 50 mile. Needles went great, White River not so much. I blew up tremendously and managed to glue the wheels back on for the final 12 miles to finish in my slowest WR50 time ever. Lessons were learned and fun was had. It was comforting to commiserate with fellow SRC Brooks runners at the finish festivities.

August is filled with Cascade Crest 100 prep. I am on the board of directors and hold two positions on the race committee. Luckily, the race went really well for the 21st running of this classic event. Again, the SRC Brooks members were out in force pacing, crewing and volunteering. GO BLUE!

All those months of training and racing lead to the race I’m most excited about. My marquis 100 mile of the season The IMTUF 100 in Idaho. Gulp. The race starts next Saturday at 6:00AM. I am not sure if I have done enough or too much training. I have questions which only the course and weather will answer. Tonight I will pack and tomorrow I’ll drive to Idaho and see what happens.

Huge thanks to Brooks for supporting the SRC team. I have become enamored with the Brooks Caldera for trail runs and races. I have put in hundreds of miles in the Launch and Ghost on the sidewalks of Seattle. I have worn my blue kit with pride.

Joe Kelly


I had big racing aspirations coming into 2019 but unfortunately my body had other plans. I entered the year ready to improve upon my strong 2018 Chuckanut 50k performance and then race my first 50 miler at the Tillamook Burn. Instead, a nagging Achilles injury from the fall XC season limited my training for over 4 months. I managed to get to the start line for Chuckanut but stomach issues lead to an epic scream vomit and a DNF. I subsequently took a couple weeks off to heal and slowly worked my way back into shape. My new goal race was the White River 50. I spent most of the summer rocking my Caldera’s (my new favorite trail shoes) all over the Cascades and Olympics. Highlights include a win at Cougar #2, a double out and back to Kendall Katwalk, and Mt. Townsend with SRC Brooks teammate Rob Bond.

White River started out great as the weather was pretty ideal. Unfortunately, the rest of my first 50 miler didn’t go as planned. I was plagued with leg cramps for the entire second half and finished over an hour slower than expected. I was disappointed with the time but happy that I was able to tough it out.

This fall I plan on running as many SRC XC as I can as well as the Philadelphia Marathon in November. This will be my first road marathon in over 3.5 years so it’ll be interesting to see if I can regain any of my speed back!

Kristi Houk


2019 has proven itself to be a year of rediscovering the joy of running. I have taken this year to step back from an uptight and anxious competitive mindset to heal not only body but also, mind. I have spent the majority of the year spending an ungodly amount of hours in rehab for my brain and body after a traumatic collision with a van the previous summer. After said event, I decided that running is a gift and not granted. I would choose to find joy in running regardless of times, progress, and pride.

I have found myself with a lovely group of runners who value not only running but also commitment, sportsmanship, volunteering, and beer. Seattle Running Club has put no pressure on my performance but rather has been my biggest fan. SRC keeps me motivated, excited, and thrilled to be running. I love the camaraderie I feel with my teammates; acceptance, love, encouragement, and amazing conversations are normal and consistent traits I experience. I have found volunteering to be fun as well. I do enjoy being bossy and loud as my Kindergarten teacher background kicks in. Getting people oriented and excited at races has been a blast. I have volunteered at all the Cougar Mountain Trail Races and the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival as well.

Race wise, I am loving to explore my options with trails. I ran the Cougar Mountain series this year with bated breath and nerves. I, though wanting to call myself a trail runner, am a novice when it comes to the techniques (and sometimes etiquette) of trail running. Nevertheless, wipeouts, bee stings, and blisters did not stop me from completing all the short series and…..winning it! I feel such pride to represent my team in trail racing (especially the Cougar Series) because trail running is a world of its own. Grit and determination are more important than times or speed. Despite my budding love for trail running, I do often find myself running road races. I took many weekends competing in several road races including the Viaduct race, St. Patrick’s Day Dash, Whidbey Island half marathon, Rhody run, Mt. Si relay, Hood to Coast relay, and many others.

Here is a look into my world of racing for 2019:
Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival 1/12/19 1st F 10 miler
Viaduct Race 2/2/19 10th F 8k
Sam 6k Corporate Challenge 3/10/19 1st F 6k
St. Patrick’s Day Dash 3/17/19 13th F 5k
Whidbey Island Half Marathon 4/14/19 1st F Half Marathon
Mt. Si Relays 4/28/19 No Brain, No Pain mixed masters team 1st masters team, 3rd overall
Cougar Series #1 5/11/19 1st F 5.3 miler
Rhody Run 5/19/19 3rd F 12k
Big Backyard 10k 6/2/19 1st F 10k
Cougar Series #2 6/8/19 1st 8 miler
Zintel Canyon 4k 6/29/19 1st F 4k
Yukon Do It Half Marathon Summer Series 7/7/19 1st F Half Marathon
Cougar Series #3 7/13/19 4th F 10.8 miler
West Seattle Float Dodger 4th F 5k
Cougar Series #4 8/10/19 3rd F 14.5 miler (1st PNTF open woman)
Chief Seattle Days 5k 8/18/19 1st F 5k
Hood to Coast Relays 8/24-25/19 3rd Open Women’s team: Team Joha
Alki Sunset Run 9/6/19 1st F 5k

Upcoming Races:
I am planning to participate in as many XC races as I can this season. In addition, I plan to run the Seattle Sounders 5k, the Don Diablo 35k (in Mexico), the Burien Brat Trot, and a myriad of other fun runs in the area (the more the merrier)!

Thank you for supporting the SRC elite and keeping us well dressed, shoed, and championed. I love Brooks and appreciate their efforts in keeping their local athletes supported. If anything, I use my running shoes to help herd my wild group of kindergarteners. My Ks are the fasted in Seattle…watch out!

Alex Bowns


2019 has been a fun one for mixing up my running and other outdoor activities. I’ve done a good mix of running between the trails, roads, and track. Along with that I’ve been staying active with skiing and cycling too.

I took a long break from racing during the start of 2019, getting in some skiing while I took it easy on my legs. After some time off, I hopped in last minute to the Viaduct 8k race in February. I ended up having a great run despite not feeling very prepared. Most importantly my legs had no aches or pains and I felt mentally refreshed from my break.

After the Viaduct run, I decided I was ready to slowly build up my fitness. After a few months of light training and staying injury free, I ran the 14 mile Cougar Mountain race. The week before some SRC members and myself volunteered and went out and cleaned up the trails so they were in great shape. I ended up winning the race and felt great on my new Cascadia trail shoes. I hadn’t ran in many trail shoes before so it was really noticeable feeling the extra grip on big descents.

Feeling pretty fit and healthy I thought it’d be fun to hop in a half marathon and see what I could run. I signed up for the Evergreen Half in Snohomish in June. I was running by myself but my fiancee was out on her bike pacing me through the whole run. I had never ran a half before so I knew I was going to get a PR, but with the help of my fiancee, I broke 70 minutes! Right after the run I hopped in my car and drove to the Brooks PR invite to volunteer. I thought I was fast and then I saw those high schoolers, they can fly!

Knowing I was pretty fit, I thought it would be fun to go to the track and run a 10k. So at the very end of June I went over to the track and ran a time trial by myself. I ran even splits and broke 32 minutes! Another PR since I had never ran a 10k on a track before. After that, it was time for me to take another break so I could recover my legs and focus on my wedding (which went perfectly!).

So here I am now at the start of September, feeling mentally refreshed and very strong in the legs. I’m about to start my 12 week training cycle for the California International Marathon where I have a stretch goal of running an Olympic Trials qualifying time. Here’s to the next pursuit!

Categories
Race Reports

CCC-UTMB 2019: Melted Blocks of Cheese

The CCC-UTMB experience was awesome and terrible and I highly recommend it. It’s really hard. It’s really beautiful. It makes a small sport feel like a big deal. There was a good three-hour period during this race during which I had embraced the freedom of quitting competitive running forever and doing anything that doesn’t involve brutalizing your body for a period of time longer than most Netflix binges. I ended up dropping around mile 44 probably more beat up than I have ever been in a race. I was ready not to race again for a long time.


A few hours of hanging out in Chamonix post-drop started to change things. The energy in the town is immense. Thousands of runners and running fans (it’s a thing!) from all over the world are really excited to be there and it’s hard not to get some of the #stoke rubbed off on you, even if you’re feeling like a Garbage Patch Kid. It’s gorgeous; one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Stunning views that impress even as you consider taking up a new life as a Swiss cowherd to avoid having to continue a race. It’s huge for a sport that usually considers a big scene being at least 10 people hanging out for a while after a Cougar Race and it’s cool to feel like part of something big even while relishing the sport’s weird niche. It’s immensely motivating to talk to runners from around the world and trade stories and race suggestions. One of the highlights of the local cuisine involves melting and eating a giant block of cheese. What more do you need?

Dropping is always a bummer, but injuries happen. My takeaway from this race is how exciting and beautiful this sport can be, even on a miserable day. It makes the prospect of a good day sound like something really incredible.