The 12th annual 50k and 10-mile Vashon Island Ultramarathon & Trail Run returns Saturday, June 3, to Island Center Forest and Fisher Pond, welcoming new and returning runners to Vashon’s well-kept dirt trails, starting at the Gateway Trail entrance.
While new runners tend toward the 10-mile run, the 50k run is also known for being an “easy” way to join the ultramarathon tribe, as the course is near sea level, and without any long sustained climbs.
Veterans returning to the races this year include island-born Christie Mosley (six finishes and four wins) and islander Nick Keenan (five finishes) in the 50k race, with islanders Kirk Starr (10 finishes), Kati Otto and Amy Broomhall (eight finishes each) in the 10-mile.
Bob Norton, a native of Vashon who now resides in Huntington Beach, returns after seven finishes in the 50k and 10-mile races. At 85 years old, he is the most senior of the registrants.
On the other end of the age spectrum, 17-year-old Isla Chadsey of Seattle may be the first person across the finish line in the 10-mile, given her time of 1:11:14 last year, which broke the women’s track record by eight minutes. Chadsey has run 5:09 for a mile so far in this year’s track season for the Northwest School, with two meets left to go in the season.
The trail runs would not be possible without the help of many volunteers. The runners and fans are fed by a crew led by Vashon Island School District’s food service director and chef Lisa Cyra. The trails are marked by a crew led by Casey Lawrence, with the halfway aid station led by Dave Wilke and Nick Wiggins.
The twin races, held since 2010, are a non-profit charity that benefits other local non-profits and island youth sports. Fans and registrants can view current entrants at vashonultra.com.
— Bruce Cyra is a runner and the race director of the Vashon Ultra.