Getting to run the Cascade Crest Endurance Run this year was an experience almost too special to put into words

Getting to run the Cascade Crest Endurance Run this year was an experience almost too special to put into words, which is why it’s taken me a few days to try. This race means a lot to me.
I think the first time I ever really heard about 100-mile races was through a print ad for a performance nutrition product in Trail Runner magazine many years ago. The ad showed a photo of a woman running Cascade Crest. I thought, “People run 100 miles? Huh?”
When I still lived in Seattle, I volunteered at this race. I had the opportunity to pace once before (Mariela!), too. Somewhat inexplicably, given my Midwestern roots, the Cascade Mountains have just always felt like home to me—and the people who frequent them like family. Having the opportunity to return to an event that feels more like family reunion than race was an exquisite joy!
This year’s CC was also an opportunity to get to run again with Ben, Steve’s best friend and, for me, after our overlapping years in Colorado, one of my most awesome training partners and ultrarunning adventure buddies. With the support of him and Elodie—whom I met at my very first trail race ever!—and the hordes of amazing volunteers who make this race what it is, I made it back to Easton in 25 and a half hours. To any of the fools who said things to me beforehand like, “Oh, Cascade Crest will be so easy for you!”, I call bullshit. 🙂 Easy it was not, but it was (mostly) a barrel of fun and beauty.
Thanks and love to everyone who made this weekend amazing! To fellow runner and amazing race director Rich White, to the indomitable interim RD Adam G Hewey, to photographer extraordinaire Glenn Tachiyama, to wannabe-Glenn Lars Larson ;), to volunteers and friends I got to see along the way including Deby Kumasaka, Mateo, George Orozco, James Varner, Andrea Purtzer, Tim Mathis, Laura Houston, Matt Hagen, Tracy Brown, Scott McCoubrey, Jeff Wright, Stacey Nievweija, Kevin Smythe, Michael Yadrick, Shawn Leonard and many more I’m probably forgetting because I was likely a bit loopy when I saw you, to fellow CC runners and friends (both old and new!) Jade Belzberg, Brandi Garcia, Vivian Doorn, Yvonne Naughton, Kristin Elizabeth Moehl, Van Phan, Jess Mullen, Michelle Simon Gale, Michael Linscott and Wes Thurman, to Jennifer Hughes who let me stay at her lovely house, and SO MANY OTHERS.
I’m spoiled as all hell to know so many fine folks. Thanks everyone for reminding me why I love this sport (and state 😛 ) so damn much!
(And thanks again to Glenn, who sure knows how to capture a gal in her happy place.)

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