Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Snow in the Mountains

Recent conditions at the top of Tiger Mountain 3, as brought to you by the good Glenn Tachiyama. Looks more like a ski area than the setting for your weekend trail run. In any case, Happy New Year from us here at Cascade Crest 100, and all of our best wishes for good running in 2009!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Rain Shadow Running

Check out James Varner and Alison Hanks' snazzy new blog, Rain Shadow Running, a resource for Methow Valley trail runners and a great way to stay up to date on the half-dozen Washington state ultras that James and Alison will direct in 2009. The year's first races are the Orcas Island 25K and 50K on Saturday February 7, 2009, two great races on an absolutely beautiful course with lots of uphill and downhill. And bonus, they're perfect timing if you're looking to gauge how training is going right before registration for the Cascade Crest 100 opens on Monday, February 9, 2009.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Branch to Branch to Branch

Check out Sam Thompson's in town training run yesterday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2009 Entry Information

OK, a few basics for runners thinking about running the 2009 Cascade Crest 100, which takes place August 29-30, 2009.

Entry forms will be available on the race website as of January 20, 2009. Entries will be accepted by regular mail starting on Monday, February 9, 2009, until the field is closed at 150 runners. No online entry this year, and no waiting list. We won't open entries postmarked before February 9th or those sent by Fedex / express mail. Take note that we've added a trail work requirement this year, same routine as many other races.

Our 2008 race volunteers have already been offered early entry.

If come February you find you're undecided, consider volunteering in '09 for preferential entry in 2010. Or do it just because it's a fun way to spend the weekend. We'd love to have your help!

Feel free to send questions to charliecrissman 'at'

Saturday, November 29, 2008


After last year's Seattle Marathon, the Seattle Times reported that just 1% of marathon money was going to charity. This was big news for runners, who were let to believe that some portion their $120 entry fee was destined for charitable purposes. In fact, the Marathon was clearing $1 million each year, diverting $330,000 towards race employee compensation, and leaving little to plug into next year's race, let alone charity. The Marathon, a non-profit entity, even has a board of directors giving the thumbs up.

Today the Times reports that the Marathon has a new primary sponsor and no longer claims to benefit a specific charity. But otherwise it sounds like business as usual.

The Seattle Marathon's lack of transparency and misleading claims in '07 earned them a pile of criticism; justified in our opinion. Race directors can do whatever they like in setting entry fees and determining how to allocate the proceeds, but runners should be comfortable asking, and RDs comfortable answering, basic questions about where those fees go.

Friday, November 7, 2008

How Good is Your Italian?

The online ultrarunning magazine Spirito Trail has an article this month on the 2008 Cascade Crest 100. It's a beautiful-looking piece that features some more of Glenn Tachiyama's lovely photographs -- and it's written entirely in Italian. Give us a holler if you can translate.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Oh, And One More Thing

Chances are that your copy of the October Ultrarunning Magazine has arrived, and maybe you've checked out Charlie's '08 Cascade Crest race report. Well, one juicy little race tidbit that didn't quite make it into print was local runner Jeff Mikesell's engagement, to his girlfriend, at the Thorp Mountain lookout during the race. Nice work, Jeff! Seems to me most people hit the coffee or caffeine gels to keep going, but hey, whatever it takes to get you to the finish.

Seriously though, we extend our warmest congratulations to Jeff and his fiancee.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Runner's Best Friend

Check out this and other Cascade Crest 100 pics from the always cheerful Chi-Ping Fu.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jurek Wins Spartathalon

Our good friend Scott Jurek has won the 2008 Spartathalon for the third consecutive year, in a time of 22:20:01. Congratulations, Scott! We look forward to seeing pictures and hearing the stories.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


We threw a big party for the Cascade Crest volunteers this weekend and for the festivities I put together a slide show culled from thousands of pics taken all over the course. While we work on getting posted either here or on the race website, I thought I'd put up one of my favorite pictures, of Idahoans Jodi and Dennis Aslett as they crossed the finish line.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Unofficial Word on Baker Lake 50K

We're hearing that James Varner won today's Baker Lake 50K in 4:07, which sounds like a new course record. James, who looks faster and stronger with every race that he runs, is also the guy who pulled an all-nighter to aid runners coming through No Name Ridge at Cascade Crest this year.

Big congratulations to James and to all of the Baker Lake runners including long time Cascade Crest runner and volunteer Marlis de Jongh, above, who ran like a champ and was waiting at the finish line with beer in hand for our good friend Sam Warren. Sam broke his neck in a climbing accident and was temporarily paralyzed a couple years ago, not very long after running his first ultra. That ultra was Baker Lake. He's been through much rehab and training since, and it's great to know that he's back on the trails again. Photo by John Pearch.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Guy Behind the Lens

Glenn Tachiyama is heading to Greece to shoot his speedy pals Lisa Bliss and Scott Jurek, the latter of whom is chasing three in a row at the Spartathalon. Could one of Glenn's photographs become the next cover of a glossy you know and love? The odds would seem strong. It's a good chance to mention just how much of a contribution Glenn makes to the sport of ultrarunning here in the Pacific Northwest. For starters, we wonder whether Cascade Crest would have gotten so popular so fast without his pics, which help keep the story alive long afterwards. Good old Glenn says that he just takes pictures to document and share the chapters in his life with his family and friends, and I don't think he's being falsely modest. But I also don't think it's overreaching to say that Glenn's pictures have become an important piece of the history and memory of the sport. We just can't recognize this guy enough.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another Race Report

Here's the '08 Cascade Crest race report from local runner Judy, who blogs with the H.U.R.T. team. It's an inspiring story that starts with her breaking a few ribs in a car accident.

Monday, September 15, 2008

First Plain 100 Finishers

Our sources tell us that Allen Belshaw of Steamboat Springs, Colo., has unofficially won Plain in a new course record time of 25:22:30. Tim Stroh of Arlington, Wash., placed second, and Ian Mcllvenna of Quesnel, B.C. was third.

Baker Lake 50K is This Weekend

The spectacular Baker Lake 50K takes place this Saturday, Sept. 20. Race director Shawn Lawson says there's still space for runners who are thinking of signing up. She's also looking for extra folks to help haul drop bags and supplies two miles from the downed bridge to this year's new turnaround point. Email her at if you want to run or can lend a hand.

We have no doubt that Shawn will be a star in her race directing debut. She's the ultrarunning goddess who at Cascade Crest not only checked in the starters and volunteered for the Cole Butte aid station, but also crewed and paced runner Arthur Martineau to another impressive PR. So get out there and support her race!

Cle Elum 50K

Official results are posted at the race web site!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Plain 100 Update

All we know about the '08 Plain 100 is that Tim Stroh, Cascade Crest veteran, finished in second place. Not to state the obvious, but that means at least two finishers, more than in some previous years. Actually, we're betting on double-digit finish numbers and we'll keep you posted as news comes in off the wire.

Angeles Crest 100

AC100 has a very slick system to track runners on the web and this year there were a few familiar Cascade Crest names in the results. Seattleite Justin Angle, who paced past two CCC winners, came in third. Pat Ackley, who made bacon a food group while captaining the French Cabin aid station, put his Western States training to good use and finished. Coming in a bit after Pat was his friend Victor Zamudio who did not make it up to Cascade Crest this year but who was a huge help at the race in 2007. Congratulations to Justin, Pat, Victor and all of the other AC finishers!

By the way, the state of Oregon cleaned up once again in a high profile California ultra. Hal Koerner and Prudence L'Heureux took top honors and both ran the 2nd or 3rd fastest times ever.

Cle Elum 50K Winners

What perfect conditions for yesterday's Cle Elum 50K, where we're told that Canadian runner Gary Robbins broke the course record, with James Varner just minutes behind him and Erik Brooks in third. We've confirmed that James, along with Alison Hanks, will be taking over race directing for Cle Elum next year. Nice job, guys!

First female at Cle Elum was Alaska native Lia Slemons, a first-time ultramarathoner who finished just 5 minutes shy of Krissy Moehl's course record. Looks like Krissy now has another reason to get herself back up to Seattle. Congratulations to all of the runners!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rumor Has It

Word on the street is that two of this year's Cascade Crest runners will be featured on the covers of Ultraunning and RaceCenter NW Magazines next month. Exciting stuff! Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Carpooling to Races

One irony of ultrarunning is the sheer number of miles driven to support a single runner -- sometimes more miles than even get run. Which is a big reason that Charlie's company created a simple, free web tool, or "widget", that makes it easy for runners and crew to set up carpools to races. Scott McCoubrey premiered the service at the White River 50 miler, and it takes about ten minutes to set it up for your event. Just go to Goose Networks, click on the widget icon, and follow instructions to download. After all, the point isn't to spend your time driving. Thanks to endurance athlete and coach Matt Hart for helping to spread the word.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

And ... More Race Reports

Check out Cascade Crest race reports from Joe, who turned in a sub-24 hour performance, local guy Herb, and from this year's blueberry picker Hao -- click here for parts #1 and #3. Also, more race pics from Texans Robert and Diana Heynen, from Esther Holman and Amy Lynes, who crewed fast guy Stan Holman, and from Eric, who paced Rob Hester. Keep 'em coming.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Upcoming Ultras

A week from tomorrow the local ultra scene yields up not one but two great local races. There's the Cle Elum Ridge 50K, co-directed by Cascade Crest finisher Marty Fagan and his wife and pacer Chris Fagan. The race is full but Marty and Chris are still looking for volunteers, so click on the link and give them a holler if you can help out. And by the way, that was their niece, Jessica Oliver, who sang the show stopping rendition of the Star Spangled Banner before Cascade Crest.

Also on tap is the famous Plain 100, a beautiful and remote race that isn't marked and provides no aid. The race, which starts in Blaine and features 21,000 feet of up and down, is the brainchild of Chris Ralph and Tom Ripley, who were running ultras when Kyle Skaggs was in diapers. In '07 the finisher numbers at Plain hit double digits for the first time ever; the defending champion and course record-holder is none other than the fabulous Tim England, who did a tremendous job marking long sections of Cascade Crest this year. Check out Tim's '07 Plain race report, featuring bears, stars, and voices in his head, plus a five-dog finish. Plain is also closed to entrants.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cascade Crest in '09

Believe it or not, we've already had a few inquiries about next year's Cascade Crest 100. If you're itching to update the calendar, mark the weekend of August 29 & 30, 2009 for the next edition of this ultra. Entry information will be posted here around the turn of the year. We expect the field to fill pretty quickly, and as promised, this year's volunteers get first dibs at running in '09.

Monday, September 1, 2008

More Race Reports

More reports are up from this year's starters and finishers, including Pacific Northwesterner Mike, Rob from Hawaii, and Wasatch Speed Goat Monica, who finished her first 100-miler. We enjoyed Laura's report from the '80s Reprise at No Name Ridge, where James Varner was spotted in tight acid-wash jeans. And check out the hundreds of pics that Tom Riley took on the course before, during, and after pacing another first timer, Chris Askew. For more runner and volunteer crew links, scroll down to a post from last week.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back on the Trail

How sweet was it being back on the trails yesterday? For months we've been out there with a specific mission, like scouting the course or training for a race. Not that those runs don't have their own interest. But this time we were there just to be among the towering cedars, to breathe the cold fresh air. We hit Melakwa Lake first thing in the morning, pointed ourselves towards the Tuscohatchies, then climbed up and past Pratt Lake on an invigorating 14-mile point-to-point that's due east of the Cascade Crest course. With us were prior finishers Jenny Uehisa ('07), and Marlis DeJongh ('05), who helped out at this year's Snowshoe Butte aid station. Nothing like being in the mountains just to be in the mountains. Check out Cheri Gillis' Fifty Trail Runs in Washington for details on this run, plus a few good ones that get onto the Cascade Crest course.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Christmas in August

This year's Hyak aid station drew rave reviews. Hyak was organized by runner Rob Hester and Paul Morrison from Bonney Lake Fleet Feet, and staffed by members of the Puyallup Y Run Club, including George Koski, Monica & Mike Bloom, Linda & Rich Walter, Lesa & Dave Overfield, Abi Brownell, Tom Gibson, Jenny Appel, and Melissa Martin. As runner Joseph Tompkins wrote, "I sure didn't expect Christmas in August! The atmosphere was uplifting. That, with a fresh wardrobe, a double-shot of espresso and some solid fuel, I was on my way for the second half." Another commented that Hyak was just like aid stations at Western States. Terrific job by these South Sound runners! Photos by Jenny Appel.

'70s Revival Night

The photos and reports continue to come in. We especially enjoyed pics from the '70s Revival Party, a.k.a. Mineral Creek aid station. Above is Terry Sentinella, who pulled an all-nighter to staff Mineral and sweep the last 20 miles of the course, presumably in more suitable attire, along with Scotty Railton. And what's not to love about Rich White and Linda Barton, who served up potato soup in the fancy duds modeled below. Photos by Linda Barton.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back in Easton

This morning we headed back to Easton, where it's been raining ever since the last runner crossed the finish line on Sunday. We really lucked out with good weather for race weekend! Well, the firefighters had cleaned up the station, washed all of the pots and pans, broken down the boxes and donated our leftover food to the food bank in town. So all that was left for us was to pack up the last of our gear and give a big hug to Jenny, firefighter and medic extraordinaire who takes great care of our finishers. We also presented a donation on behalf of the race to Easton fire chief Craig McKee, as has been done every year. We're just so happy to have the connection we do with these fabulous folks; it would be impossible to pull off the race without them.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Split Times

This year's split times are now posted. The splits were a collaborative effort on the part of many aid station volunteers plus Cheri Gillis, Lucy Iglesias, Baldwin Lee, Jenny Uehisa, and Jenny Smith, who did triple duty as Phil Shaw's Mom and crew. Thank you for all of your help in getting these done! Photo by Jenny Uehisa.

Race Reports

The first race reports are up. There's one from first-time 100-miler Ben, who sprinted across the finish line in Easton. There's another from Rob, a second-time Cascade Crest finisher who recruited fellow Puyallup Y Run Club members for our fabulous Hyak aid station, and from Eric, Rob's pacer. On his blog, Arthur debriefs about another impressive PR that was -- no kidding -- seven hours off his original time. Pacer Olga describes her day and night on the trails with runner Gail Snyder at Run More. And check out pics from Lucy, who crews runner Giles Barbeau, plus a thought poem from celebrity sweeper Lisa and her dog Steely.

Glenn Tachiyama's Race Photos

Photographer Glenn Tachiyama has done it yet again. Check out his fabulous runner pics from Goat Peak, Tacoma Pass, Stampede Pass, Ollalie Meadows, and Thorpe Mountain, the last of which are particularly stunning. Glenn's photos are one big reason Cascade Crest has gotten so popular. Let me just say that I knew this guy when he had a point and shoot. Photo of Glenn by Olga Varlamova.

Kevin MacDonald's Race Photos

Bellingham performance photographer Kevin MacDonald has posted his runner pics from Blowout Mountain, Stampede Pass, and Silver Creek; there's a link if you'd like to purchase.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PCT Through-Hikers

Check out this Cascade Crest race report from a couple of through- hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail. It's a tribute to our amazing volunteers and to the whole spirit of the event. Photo by Tom Riley.

Finisher Awards

This year's finishers received a buckle as well as a numbered block print carved and rolled by our good friend Leah Jurek. All the more reason to get to that finish line! The print is the second in a series Leah's producing for the race. Leah is an artist, ultrarunner, and massage therapist from Seattle, and we're thrilled to feature her beautiful work.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Official Results

Official results have been posted! Splits should be up later this week.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Runners Are In

The 10th Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run is history! Seventy-seven runners went the distance. Overall winner Tom Ederer of Seattle, Wash., woke up the town of Easton early on Sunday morning when he crossed the finish line in a time of 20 hours, 49 minutes, 40 seconds. Suzanna Bon of Sonoma, Cal., was first female in at 23 hours, 6 minutes, 13 seconds. Congratulations to everyone who started yesterday morning. More soon. Photo of Suzanna by Paul Brunner.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cascade Crest 100 in the Seattle Times

Check out this great article by Benjamin Romano, who paced his cousin Kyle Amstadter in the 2007 Cascade Crest 100.