Chuckanut 50k Race Report – Nick Keenan

Race: Chuckanut 50k

Runner: Nick Keenan

Race Date: 03/19/2022

Location: Bellingham WA

Results: 6:03

Strava Activity Link:

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  • Amazing course – beautiful, variable, and challenging
  • Big race, big names, well run – 400+ runners, but because of the openness of the first 6 miles, and some of the forest roads, passing and positioning is easy. Great to see some of the top runners in the country there. Race management, aid stations, and finish-line flare are all top-notch.
  • Downhills are all runnable.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

Race packet swag only available if you pickup before race-day

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

Non-race participants out on the trail went above and beyond getting out of the way of racers.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

Loved the scenery and varying terrain and footing. Muddy. Slippery boulders. Hands-on-knees climbs. Some humorous signage out of the course.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

I paced the super-flat first six miles well. The last six miles can be a joy or a death march — save something to finish the flat six miles well. Study up on the pictures of the top men and women runners so you can recognize them at the start/finish.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

First and last six miles are flat bike path, plan accordingly.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Trail section is gorgeous.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

5,000 ft gain/loss. Some tough climbs, and all downhills were runnable. Rooty sections. Rocky/boulder sections. Muddy sections!! The first and last six miles are wide-bike path.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Well-run, top notch.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Extremely strong.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Shuttle from parking at Western to the starting line, easy enough. Simple drive up from Seattle.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Standard fare.

Weather and typical race conditions

March in the PNW – 2022 lucked out with only ten minutes of rain, and good temp.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

Good traction shoes. 7 miles between some aid stations.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Seems like a few spots to see racers. Live tracking was available.

How’s the Swag?

Finisher’s scarf — very cool. More swag if you pickup your packet before race-day