Race: Orcas Island 100 miler – http://www.rainshadowrunning.com/orcas-island-100.html

Runner: Ricardo H

Date: 2/19/2016

Location: Orcas Island

The distance raced and other options

100 miler. There is also on a 25k and a 50k on different weekends.

Results – 9th overall, 26:44

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

  • Scenery
  • Aid stations and race organization
  • Course terrain: single track, loop course, big climbs.

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

  • Nothing. It was a very well organized race and I don’t have any complains.

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

  • Laundry-I didn’t expect that my crew would have to wash and dry my clothes for each loops (and at times, they would have my clothes and shoes ready by the next aid station). I got completely soaking wet and muddy on this course and it was incredibly cold, wet, and windy. My crew would take my clothes and shoes and wash and dry them for me so I had fresh clothes and shoes for the next loop, and this was incredibly beneficial.

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

  • Finishing my first 100 miler with very few low points.
  • Being able to see my crew before the powerline (I was able to get dry clothes and new shoes before the line one each loop).
  • Miso soup and sushi at Mt. Pickett aid station.

What did you learn about racing 100 milers and what would you do differently next time?

  • Patience-better to take it slow and save your energy for the end. I thought I paced my race really well, but overall, I think I was a bit too conservative and I wish I would have pushed a little more throughout the race.
  • Crew Communication-This race was a first for my crew and myself, so we really had to work together intuitively and simply figure it out at some points in the race. We did our best to prepare for unexpected situation, and I was impressed at how it all came together. I also learned what personalities I work best with in my crew team. I would also have less crew members, but it was helpful to see the different crew styles and how it works with my running style.
  • Rental House-I would have gotten a house closer to the race for the sake of the crew.

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

  • Layers- I saw many other runners getting very cold because they didn’t realize how much power-hiking they would have to do. It helped me to have dry shoes with my crew. There were also a few deep and long (unavoidable) puddles throughout the race course, and it was impossible to stay dry.

Aesthetics – is it a pretty courseRicardo Orcas 100-3

  • This was an absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous course.

Difficulty – is it a tough course

  • Yes, 63% completion rate.

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

  • This race was very well organized, and I was impressed with how smooth things ran considering this was their first ever 100 mile race event.

Competition – is there a strong field?

  • There were definitely some amazing runners on the course, but I don’t think Ultra Sports Live will be out there next year.

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 happenings.

  • 8 hours of trail work volunteering required
  • At least one 50 mile race with minimum 7,000 feet of elevation gain
  • The race is on an island and it’s a small community, so make sure to bring what you need. Food, clothes, etc.
  • Book accommodations in advance because places fill up fast.

Aid Stations

  • Four aid stations over-all, one of which crew was not allowed to access. All aid stations were stocks incredibly well with great volunteers. I was very pleased with the aid stations. Mt. Constitution can be a pain for crew to get to (for their sake), and it’s not necessary to have them at the aid station, because it was so well stocked with supplies and volunteers.

Weather and typical race conditions –

  • The weather varied drastically depending on which leg of the loop you were on, and the weather also varied throughout the 24 hour period as well. We saw rain, sun, fog, snow, and strong winds.

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

  • Highly suggest a good headlamp and handheld flashlight. The headlamp was not enough due to the fog.
  • Good winter layers
  • Hand warmers

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends

  • Yes, everyone had wonderful feedback about this course. Most places were easily accessible for spectators and crew, and the overall tone and moral from the other runners, volunteers, spectators and staff was very positive and high. I enjoyed the other runners and my crew enjoyed the folks they met while crewing as well. There was an underlying feeling of camaraderie throughout every aspect of this race.

Awards –

  • There was an award ceremony the next day at the local theater. We received our race buckles and took time to celebrate our accomplishment with the other runners and staff.

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

  • 9 out of 10. Highly recommend this race not only for the race itself, but also for the beauty surrounding you (and your team) throughout the race.