Race: Chuckanut 50k – http://chuckanut50krace.com/

stephanie gundel
Photo: Glenn Tachiyama

Runner: Stephanie G

Date: 3/19/2016

Results: 5:24:44, 23rd Female

3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most

  • Nice soft trails
  • The climbs are done after about mile 21
  • I really enjoy running along the ridge. It’s a fun trail with nice views.

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

There was a lot of time in the first ~7 miles on the Interurban Trail to anticipate the climbs, which made me a little nervous. The race almost seemed like 3 different races: the first 7 miles, the middle mountain-y part, and the last 7 miles.

Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race

Probably how compartmentalized the three different parts of the race felt.

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

I thought I ended up pacing pretty well and my endurance held out. I felt good on the downhills and didn’t even hate the ~7 miles of Interurban at the end (which everyone seems to). Pretty happy with my time too.

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

Might be good to practice the transition from downhill to flat running. Also, I knew the course from practice runs and having run on the Interurban which I think helped a lot.

Aesthetics – is it a pretty course

A lot of it, yes. There are definitely some parts that are less beautiful than others though.

Difficulty – is it a tough course

It felt hard, but I guess my time would say it’s easier than some others!

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

Very well-run

Competition – is there a strong field?

Seemed very strong on the women’s side this year, with 13 women under 5 hours. Average seems to be about 6 under 5.

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.

Sells out, but not super quick. Logistically very easy.

Aid Stations

Somewhat oddly spaced, but worked just fine.

Weather and typical race conditions –

This year was perfect – mid 40s/low 50s and DRY. Even some sun.

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

Cupless race! Probably not a big deal if you’re carrying bottles. But if you have a bladder, might be nice to have a cup for aid stations

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends

There seem to be several accessible points.

Awards –

Very nice custom mugs (among other things I think, but those caught my eye)

The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it

4 stars – not my favorite course ever, but definitely would recommend it. Plus Bellingham is my hometown!

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