|(Calm Lake Padden Park)|
|(A sample of the trails we would find in the first few miles)|
- Defending champion Patrick Smyth (Nike/Utah), coming off a year that includes being the 2015 US Mountain Running Champion, 2015 Xterra National Champ (he's also the 2013 and 2014 Xterra World Champ), 2nd at the 2015 US 50k Trail Championship, and 4th at USATF XC Nationals. Oh yeah, there was also that redonkulous new CR at the 2015 Way Too Cool 50k (3:04:48). He recently moved from Salt Lake City to Sante Fe, NM, and it hasn't appeared to slow him down.
- Andy Wacker (Adidas/Colorado), who won the 2015 US 50k Trail Championship in the Marin Headlands ahead of Smyth, was 2nd at 2015 World Long Distance Championship, won the 12-Mile Barr Trail Race on Pikes Peak, and was 2nd at the 2015 US Mountain Running Championship.
- Max King (Salomon/Oregon), was here just a few weeks after winning the Warrior Dash World Championship for the 2nd time, collecting a $30k payday. He has been enjoying a season in Europe, so you know he has his climbing skills dialed.
- Tim Tollefson (Nike/California), the 2014 US 50k Trail Champion, was 2nd at the 2015 UTMB CCC 101km, and is a 2:18 Marathoner.
- Jared Bassett (Brooks/Oregon), the 25-year-old track phenom (3:43 for 1500m, 8:36 for Steeplechase) who is quickly showing his trail abilities with a 5th at 2015 US 50k Trail Championship.
- Sam Robinson (California) was 2nd at 2015 Table Rock 27k, 5th at 2014 US 50k Trial Championship, and has finished well here before.
- Women's defending champion Maria Dalzot (La Sportiva/Bellingham, WA), who was also 18th at 2015 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship in Wales.
- Kimber Mattox (Nike/Oregon), the 2014 World Xterra Trail Champion (in her first trail run race ever), 2014 Warrior Dash World Champion, and was 6th at 2014 World Mountain Running Championship.
- Allison Morgan (Brooks/Oregon), with a 4th at the 2015 US Mountain Running Championship, 18th at 2014 World Mountain Running Championship, and a 32:46 10k best.
- Jamie Cheevers (Brooks/Washington), a fast local who was 12th at 2015 USATF Steeplechase Championship.
- Michele Yates (Colorado), who cleaned house in 2013 with a win at the 2013 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile Champion, 2013 TNF 50 Mile Champion, 2013 US 100k and 50m Trail Champion
- Ladia Albertson Junkans (Washington), an NCAA DI XC All American, was 6th at 2015 US Mountain Running Championship, and boasts a 1:13 Half Marathon.
- Caitlin Smith (California), on a tremendous year that includes becoming the 2015 US Trail 50k Champion, and finishing a 2:42 Marathon.
- YiOu Wang (California), the 2015 Table Rock 27k Champion, she was also 3rd at Way Too Cool 50k, and boasts a 2:38 Marathon.
- Lindsay Tollefson (California), who was 3rd at the 2015 US Trail 50k Championship, and is capable of a 2:41 Marathon.
- Amanda Lee (Colorado), who was 10th at 2015 US Mountain Running Championship
- Chris Lundy (California), the 5-time USA Mountain Running Team member.
- Samantha Rivard (Oregon), an NCAA DII XC All American, who has a 16:29 5k, and is the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon Champion.
|(Andy Whacker gets into Oktoberfest spirit, while chatting with Race Director Tad Davis)|
|(Hanging with the elites at the press conference)|
|(Sam Robinson and Caitlin Smith hamming it up, photo courtesy of Richard Bolt)|
|(Meeting Kimber Mattox before the race, and learning she trains daily on the tracks of South Eugene High School where I attended...ahem...30-some years ago! Photo courtesy of Richard Bolt)|
|(Ad page in the local Adventure Journal...lots to choose from!)|
|(Getting in the zone)|
|(Patrick Smyth, ready to roll)|
|(Max King picks a winner, while Kimber Mattox, and Tim Tollefsen get their game faces on)|
|(And we are off!)|
|(Running with the gazelles along the lake path)|
|(Flying! Photo courtesy of the Bellingham Herald)|
|(The women sprint down into the canyon)|
|(Maria Dalzot takes us up into the hills)|
|(Some great long climbs!)|
|(Hauling ass, photo courtesy of the Bellingham Herald)|
|(Volunteers were amazing, photo courtesy of the Bellingham Herald)|
|(Patrick Smyth lays it down, photo courtesy of the Bellingham Herald)|
|(Lap 2! Photo courtesy of Takao Suzuki)|
|(Saturation NOT turned up!)|
|(Patrick Smyth takes the win, photo courtesy of the Bellingham Herald)|
|(Kimber Mattox, 2015 USATF Trail Half Marathon National Champion, photo courtesy of the Bellingham Herald)|
"There were so many ups and downs in the hills, I couldn't tell if Allison was right behind me or I had a big lead," said Kimber at the finish, "believe me, it's a big motivator to know Allison and the others could be a pounce away. I pushed right to the finish."
|(The Patrick Smyth cut out got a lot of love...some here from teammate Tim Tollefson)|
We all enjoyed soup and snacks as the remaining finishers came across the field to big applause, and soon had some time on the podiums to crown our national champions. Small town, but big time fun...so great! I continued to be blown away by how impactful this race was to the local community too...funds for Rebound, the draw of the nations fastest trail runners, the unmistakable cheers for finishers who had decided to do something big today, and then got it done. This feeling never gets old. I signed over my winnings (a whopping $50) to contribute to the cause, feeling just as much the angel investor as I do in Silicon Valley. Great things are happening here.
|(Top Ten Men)|
|(Top Ten Women)|
|(Good for AG gold)|