I really looked forward to not running Chuckanut this past week. Usually I do run the event, and it is always a great early-year measure of fitness. RDs Krissy, Ellen and their crew put together an amazing event, with smiles everywhere to be seen. Chuckanut was my very first ultra. This year, I opted instead to run two 50ks earlier in the month, and then take the opportunity to watch the "track meet" which this race has become, and volunteer as needed. I've never really done this.
I showed up around 7:30 AM and chattered with friends before the start. Good pre-race chatter. Great weather--a little wind, no rain, 40s during the day, a little cold at the start. Once everyone took off, friend Rich and I zipped down to Aid Station 1, aka Dean's Place, to watch the leaders come through. Thereafter, we grabbed the Topeka Scramble at Tony's, and then rushed back to Clayton Beach to watch the leaders come through again. And then off to the finish.
It's amazing how fast the leaders were, with 10 persons under 4 hours and new course records for both men and women. The whole thing was VERY fun to watch unfold, and had us racing up and down Chuckanut Drive in the morning, just to see the leaders come through at different locations. It was exciting.
Later in the day I worked the walkie talkie, calling in the numbers of finishers, and watching the runners come around the last corner to the finish. I really enjoyed this too. I've had my tough days and good ones at C-nut, and I know the wonderful feeling you get coming around that *last* corner towards Fairhaven Park, no matter how you've ran. Especially for the first-timers, of which there are many in this race. My first year I "ran" with a sprained ankle, determined to finish no matter how slow or bad (and I was both), after signing up and backing out for different reasons the previous two years.
Pics mostly of volunteer friends below, as well as the winners finishing. More photos of the race at this link.