Race: Orcas Island 50k

Runner: Stephanie G

Date: 2/3/2018

Location: Orcas Island, WA

Results: 5:40:39, 1st female, 7th overall

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1390469533

orcas island 50k race report
Photo: Glenn Tachiyama

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

  1. Much of my race experience seems to be based on the weather, so the fact that it was pleasant, not pouring, and not too cold really made me happy.
  2. The trails seemed extra beautiful this year – very green and mossy
  3. I actually like the little warm up on the road. It gets things less crowded and is an easy way to get warmed up without having to think about technical trail right off the bat.

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

This year it was the lakes we had to run through. There were many flooded parts of the trail, with one knee-deep crossing.

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

This happened to be a day where I felt both physically and mentally very good, probably more so than any other race I’ve done. I felt like my pacing came naturally and I was able to keep anxiety down. Everything just felt relaxed.

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

It can be very, very wet out there, even without raining. Everyone talks about Powerline, but there are some tiring climbs before that which don’t ever seem to get mentioned. Be ready for those too!

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

The lesson I “learn” every time – start eating sooner.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Very pretty, even on a day with no views.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

I think it is a pretty tough course. Lots of climbing, with the big one coming at mile 20.

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

Organized, like all Rainshadow Races!

Competition – Is there a strong field?

It is a very popular race, and it seems to draw some fast runners most years.

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.

The lottery and the ferry make this one a little more logistically challenging, but worth it!

Aid Stations

The always great Rainshadow aid stations, staffed by the always great Rainshadow volunteers.

Weather and typical race conditions

PNW in February – 40s and at least drizzling.

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

I might have liked to have changed gloves, but other than that I didn’t wish I had anything but the water and Gu I was carrying.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

They can see you at a couple of spots

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

5/5 and yes!