Sunday, December 20, 2009

Unique Gifts

If you're still on the hunt for a unique gift -- and who isn't -- check out the beautiful rings and necklaces created by our good friend Leah Kangas Jurek.

Leah, of course, is the artist responsible for those gorgeous hand-carved block prints that all Cascade Crest finishers received in recent years.

Leah's jewelry is handmade from a variety of natural materials, including metal, leather, and wool, silk, bamboo and cotton fibers, the latter of which are massaged together in a process known as felting, aka the oldest-known form of fabric-making. You can now find Leah's jewelry at the Seattle boutiques KOBO on Capitol Hill, Bitters Co. in Fremont, and Juniper in Madrona. Out-of-towners can also contact her via her website.

Friday, November 27, 2009

For the Ultrarunner on Your List

The Tribute to the Trails 2010 Calendar makes a perfect holiday gift for the active or aspiring ultrarunner on your list. The calendar features twelve months of Glenn Tachiyama's beautiful trail photography and a handy ultramarathon schedule for the Pacific Northwest and Western U.S. -- very helpful for making next year's training and racing plans. Plus, all profits go to the Washington Trails Association, a group that protects and enhances trails statewide, including some of the Cascade Crest 100 course.

Purchase calendars for $20 in person or online at the Seattle Running Company; Rogue Valley Runners in Ashland, Ore.; and Zombie Runner in Palo Alto, Cal.; and in person at the Balanced Athlete in Kent, Wash.; Everyday Athlete in Kirkland, Wash.; Fairhaven Runners in Bellingham, Wash.; Fit Right Northwest Walking and Running in Vancouver, Wash. and Portland, Ore.; and Fleet Feet in Bend, Ore. And become a fan on Facebook, if you're so inclined.

UPDATE: Glenn tells me that the calendar raised an amazing $15,000 for WTA last year and more than $35,000 since 2006. Thanks for supporting those who support us.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ultrarunning Magazine Race Report

Charlie's Cascade Crest 100 race report is the spotlight article in November's Ultrarunning Magazine. It's a great summary of this year's event and includes such gems as this one about fourth place finisher Wouter Hamelinck, of Belgium:

"Wouter Hamelinck impressed everyone he met with his adventurous spirit and cheerful, helpful nature. He flew from Belgium to Seattle with his bike and pedaled to the start on Thursday. Friday he volunteered a full day on his feet helping race staff sort and pack gear for the aid stations. After scorching through the Cascades to a fourth place finish and grabbing a nap and shower, he loaded up his panniers and took off bicycling to the East, heading for Minnesota and the Superior 100 two weeks away. Keep that in mind the next time you plan what Wouter described as "a quick vacation from work".

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Assistant RD for Cascade Crest

Lucy Crissman finally arrived on the scene Tuesday morning. Her parents are so grateful to have a healthy little girl back at home. Thanks so much to all of you who have shared your good wishes and offered support. We've put our ultra skills to use and found a new use for duct tape!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2009 Splits

Apologies for the delay stats lovers but I've finally got the splits entered. If you see any obvious errors send me a note (charliecrissman at gmail). Splits are in an excel file. They are entered by aid station arrival using time of day and the excel entries are text strings.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

2009 Race Reports

Check out race reports from runners, pacers, and others involved in this year's Cascade Crest 100. Among our favorites are runner reports from Jen, Christian, Scotty, Franz, Dan, Miles, Scott, Van, and a newspaper writeup about Matt. Also of interest: narration from pacers Cheri and Heidi, runner crew Jessica, sweepers Becky and dogs, and volunteer Jon. And check out a fun race summary from local endurance athlete and coach Matt Hart.

Late additions: More runner reports, from Linda and Rod, and a pacer report from Bruce.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Randy Returns

Among the many great stories from this year's race was that Cascade Crest 100 founder Randy Gehrke returned as an entrant for the first time. Randy, a retired King County Sheriff's deputy, used to mark the entire course in one push, unsupported, under the 32 hr time limit (check the old results) and accompanied only by his dogs and a couple of friends. This year almost a dozen runners shared that same course-marking job.

To Randy's right in the photo above are Tim Stroh who helped with course marking and Ron Behrmann, who co-directed the run and handled logistics in the race's early days. Tim finished an impressive 7th overall in this year's race, in 21 hours and 44 minutes.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Glenn Tachiyama's Race Photos

Seattle-based photographer Glenn Tachiyama has posted his photographs of this year's race as seen from Goat Peak, Stampede Pass, and Thorpe Mountain. As usual, Glenn delivers amazing images of the course and the runners. Check them out!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Quick recap

Results for this year's race are up. The highlights: Phil Shaw notched his second win and set a new course record of 19 hours and 47 minutes. Samantha Sigle from Boulder, CO, led her first 100-miler wire to wire to win the women's race.

Jamie Gifford became the first ten-time finisher and received a 1000-mile jacket and a one-of-a-kind buckle that would make Liberace jealous. Jerry Bloom smiled his way to a silver buckle for his fifth finish.

We had a record 75% finisher rate despite a replacement trail section from miles 47 to 53 that proved to be more challenging than intended. Cool and overcast weather on Saturday led to fast times in a very competitive field, with a record 20 runners breaking the 24-hour barrier. In total, 96 of the 128 starters finished the race. Temps on Sunday were significantly warmer and runners were treated to excellent views of Mount Rainier and the central Cascades on the back section of the course.

Thanks to an absolutely stellar cast of 200-plus volunteers. It is humbling to have such a fantastic crew. Please visit this blog and our website for more post-race news and photos in the days and weeks ahead.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

NW Forest Pass - crew vehicles

If you are crewing this weekend, you should get a Northwest Forest Pass, which is required for trailhead parking at several areas where we have aid stations. The Forest Service does ticket. The passes are $5 per day.

You can purchase a Northwest Forest Pass in North Bend or in Cle Elum on your way to the run, or can buy them at any local REI store.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Please bring cardboard (yes, cardboard) to the start

Local runners -- we would appreciate if you can bring flattened cardboard to the start that is kicking around your garage, basement or recycle bin.

We'll use it to help out of town runners package up some of their race mementos. Thanks!

Driving directions to aid stations

Runners and Crew People -- aid station driving directions have been updated and include a map (of sorts).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Race numbers posted

Race numbers were just added to the entrants list.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Re-route of section from Olallie to Hyak

For those who must know where they are headed... The map above shows the old and the new routes from Olallie to Hyak. If you buy the new Green Trails map of Snoqualmie Pass (available at Seattle Running Co. or at REI) you'll be able to reference this picture and see the contour lines more clearly. The course change was necessitated by the closure of the Snoqualmie Pass tunnel which we've used for the past 10 years. The new route has approx. 650' of bonus climb (and descent). To satisfy James Varner there is a section with some less then ideal footing. The new route takes you over the top of Snoqualmie Pass and offers spectacular views of Guye Peak and the Gold Creek Valley although most of you will have to take my word for since you'll be on the top of the Pass in the dark.

I hope you enjoy the new terrain. I enjoyed piecing it together. Thanks to James and William Worrell for pre-running the first version of this route to help me realize it needed to be harder.

Complaints about additional difficulty and ruined PRs should be addressed to James Varner and mailed to the Easton Fire Department.

Reporter interested in interviewing runners

Jim Fossett, a reporter from Cle Elum, is interested in interviewing a few runners before the race. If you'd like to provide Jim with some newsprint fodder feel free to contact him at, or at 509.674.2511 ext 208.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bill Thompson looking for ride to Easton this weekend

Bill Thompson who is over from Australia for the run is looking to hitch a ride out to the course from Portland or Seattle sometime in the next couple of days. You can reach Bill by email at or at 503.296.6271.

Bill is staying with Gail and Sid Snyder in Portland and is planning to get out to take a look at the course this week. If anyone is going near the course from either Portland or Seattle in the next few days (or from anywhere Bill can get to by bus) please contact Bill if you can give him a ride.

Runner's Manual posted

The 2009 Runner's Manual is available here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

2009 Runner's Manual coming soon

A few of you have asked about revisions to the Runner's Manual. It is undergoing some revision and I plan to post a refreshed copy to the website by Sunday.

Trail work opportunity - Seattle area

For any runners who are still looking for trail work see the details below for a cool opportunity to hike out some gear from a backcountry trail restoration project on Saturday, Aug 15 near Skykomish, WA.

Volunteers needed to assist in carrying gear OUT on Saturday, August 15th. The crew will have finished and hiked out on the 13th, so we will need volunteers to hike in with an empty pack and hike out with a heavy pack (possibly up to 50lbs, but more likely less (30-40lb) with more volunteers!).

The location is Snoqualmie Lake. It is a 14 mile roundtrip hike, with 2,200 feet of elevation gain. Drive time is about 2 hours one way (trailhead is off Hwy 2, 3 miles before the town of Skykomish). Randi Shaw, an EarthCorps project manager, will be going out with the group that day. If you are interested (or know of people who may be interested), or have questions regarding this fabulous opportunity to volunteer for EarthCorps, please contact me by email or phone. See my contact info below. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!

Malia Caracoglia
Field Logistics Specialist


Monday, August 3, 2009

Training Run Report

Devon Crosby-Helms blogs about her training run with local runners on the last 32 miles of the Cascade Crest 100 course -- on the hottest weekend of the year.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

White River 50

Good luck to all running at White River this weekend. Go slow and stay cool out there. At least the race is going to be over before the real heat wave hits with temps forecast in the mid to high 90s on Monday and Tuesday in Seattle.

I will be at Buck Creek aid station with Pat Ackley and a stellar crew of volunteers. If you're running, we look forward to seeing you. If you are looking for something to do on Saturday we can put you to work. Buck Creek aid station is right next to the start / finish area. See the White River site for directions.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

snow is melting

Earlier in the month, Cascade Crest 100 veteran Jamie Gifford was reporting minimal snow over the first 33 miles of the course. Now we hear from shutterbug Glenn Tachiyama that trails are clear between French Cabin and No Name Ridge -- click the link to see pictures from his run yesterday. So we've got a snow-free course weeks ahead of usual, great training conditions if you live in the area. Photo by Glenn Tachiyama.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Refund deadline is today

Just a quick reminder...

If any runners are considering dropping off of the entrants list, today is the deadline to receive a partial refund on the entry fee. Send an email to if you decide not to run.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bighorn 100 article

This past Sunday there was an article in the New York Times sports section about the Bighorn 100. The writer, Kirk Johnson really captured the essence of my favorite ultra event. I also highly recommend Kirk's 2002 book To The Edge about his experience training for and finishing Badwater.

I was sorry to miss seeing friends out at Bighorn. A sore achilles and busy schedule kept me away this year but I hope to be back again in '10. If you have not made it to Wyoming for this great event make a point to get out there sometime. You can run anywhere from 100 miles to 30k and the scenery and atmosphere are first rate.

Congratulations to everyone who had a chance to run around in the Bighorns. Also a big congratulations to everyone who battled the heat down in the Sierras last weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Training Runs

Now that the snow is starting to melt up by Snoqualmie Pass you can begin to think about getting out on the CCC course. For those looking for a pre-race training binge, check the link below. Jeff Wright is organizing a multi-day tour of the course the first weekend in August. If you want to check out the trails before race day this is a great opportunity.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Need some inspiration?

If you are stuck in a training rut and need a little nudge to get out the door, this video by Seattleite Matt Hart will have you calling in sick to work tomorrow and digging your water bottles out of the closet.

I hope everyone getting ready for Cascade Crest -- and other ultras -- is having an enjoyable spring.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2009 Entrants List

The list is posted here. Contact Charlie at charliecrissman@gmail with questions or spelling, age or gender corrections. Thanks everyone for being patient.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Registration Update #2

If you mailed your entry on Feb 9 you can count on running this year. We will be able to admit some runners with later postmarks but we are going to wait for another mail delivery on Tuesday before posting an entrants list. Thanks for your patience.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Registration Update

We've removed the entry form from the race website and are waiting for the remaining entries to arrive from further-flung locales before determining the entrants list. If needed, we'll draw names according to postmark date. Thanks for your patience! Our hope is to have an entrants list posted this weekend.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cascade Crest Registration is Open

We're taking all qualified entries that are postmarked starting today until the field is closed at 150 runners. Expect not to hear about the entrants list until the week is out, as we want to make sure all entries are accounted for first. Hope to see you at the starting line!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ain't Easy Being Green

We wouldn't have missed James Varner and Alison Hanks' Orcas Island 50K for anything this weekend. It's a terrific race on a beautiful course, and it proved just how green these two are.

By green, of course, I'm talking about the recycled t-shirts screened with the race logo. How they asked all runners to carry a water bottle, eliminating the need for single-use paper cups. Even the black bean stew at the finish was served in reusable containers. In all, the garbage generated by a race with this many runners was impressively small, and the trails they left behind were pristine.

We've tried greening up Cascade Crest before, and it's not as easy as it seems. Last year we attempted to separate garbage from recycling and compost, for example, but we still generated a jumbo Dumpster of cardboard boxes and banana peels. What's the message when an event to purportedly celebrate the outdoors is actually populating a landfill somewhere?

A 100-mile race faces somewhat different constraints than your basic fat ass, but even so we know there's plenty of room for improvement. So look for further efforts coming this year to keep the trails looking good during and after the race. And if you're running or crewing, thanks in advance for your help in minimizing the waste we generate.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tunnel Closure

The Seattle paper carried a story this week on the closure of several tunnels on the John Wayne trail. The longest of the tunnels closed for repairs is the one we use to get runners over to the Hyak aid station.

It is possible the tunnels will be reopened by August but that seems unlikely. We'll probably have a new route between Olallie Meadows (47m) and Hyak (53m) and it won't include a dripping, 2+ mile tunnel journey.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Postmark Your Entry on Feb. 9 or After

OK. Just a friendly reminder to NOT send in your entry form until February 9, 2009. Any that we receive prior to February 9 are being recycled and checks will be shredded.

If you messed up, just re-send your entry like the directions tell you to do, by US mail and postmarked no earlier than February 9, 2009.

We are accepting entries on a first come, first serve basis starting with the February 9 postmark. Thanks for your help in making this process as fair as possible.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some details on the trail work requirement

Answers to a few questions about the trail work requirement for Cascade Crest:

-Where can I complete my trail work?
Wherever it is convenient based on your schedule and location.

-Can I do it on my own?
We expect you to do trail work through an organization like the Forest Service, Washington Trails Association or a similar state or local government or non-profit organization in your area. If you want clarification from us just ask.

-Does the trail I work on have to be part of a race?

-Can I volunteer at a race instead?
No. While we strongly encourage runners to volunteer at races, we expect all entrants to complete 8 hours of trail work.

-Why the focus on trail work?
Trail work makes a difference for non-running trail users. By improving trails in your area you make a contribution towards all sorts of trail recreation.

-How do I report my trail work?
You'll do that via the website. We'll have you tell us the location, the date and the name and email of a contact at the organization you helped out.

-Will there be organized work parties around Seattle and Easton?
There are plenty of great opportunities around Seattle to help maintain and restore trails. We encourage you to consider events organized by EarthCorps and WA Trails Association. Work party details are updated frequently on their websites.

Other questions? Leave a comment and we'll get them answered.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Get all the facts on your favorite race director in this month's Ultrarunning -- like that he's missing most of his right lung and also fears alligators (two apparently unrelated items), that his favorite race food is cheeseburgers, and he can claim 70-plus ultra finishes. And the thing about him swearing off crew after my sandals melted on the dash at Western States, well, I can confirm that one's true.