Chuckanut 50k’s Fastest Washingtonian?

Climbing “Chinscraper” in 2015 – photo:  Glenn Tachiyama Photography

note, there is no in-person race this year

I once overheard some Orcas Islanders say that you aren’t a local until you’ve completed ten winters in residence. By that metric, I will qualify as “from” Seattle as soon as spring starts in 2021. Some people also know that my first ultramarathon was the Chuckanut 50k in 2015. Actually, outside of my family and Joe Creighton (who convinced me to sign up), Strava tells me that approximately ZERO people are aware of this.

I kept at it, made sure I had fun along the way, took a lot of left turns, and here I am in 2021 – thinking of trying to become the Fastest Chuckanut Washingtonian Male – a solitary effort while I patiently wait out the pandemic and, as a personal choice, keep it local.

What is this going to take? It depends on a few factors. The official Top 20 list from the race website has Max Ferguson at 3:47:41, but what about Uli Steidl’s 3:43 in 2005 (I think the course was slightly different), or David Laney’s 3:38:35 (he hadn’t moved to Bellingham yet).

With that, I have a three-tiered goal that I will choose to think of as “three times more likely to succeed.” A) beat David, B) beat Uli, C) beat Max (Ferguson). Well that sounds pretty much impossible.

My training buddy, Rob Bond, has a great story about racing his teammates for the sub-competition within the Boston Marathon that gives an award to the fastest Bostonian. I love that. Wish me luck as I try to climb this Top 20 ladder in about a month! I’ll set the date soon, a weekday morning, preferably slightly cloudy, with a tailwind the whole way (it’s a looped course).

In support of Krissy Moehl and Runner Girl Races, I will donate the equivalent of one race entry to Girls on the Run. If you feel inspired to join me, here’s a link to the organizations that the race supports.

I also never like to only say, “give money here!”, because sometimes people have time and energy instead. I’ve recently committed myself to trail maintenance volunteering in my neighborhood’s West Duwamish Greenbelt. If that’s more your style, see if there’s a nearby group that could use a hand! It’s wonderful to run on paths that you helped build.

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