Running On Orcas Island


this past weekend i had the pleasure of taking mandy hosford to the san juan islands for some runnin’ and some campin’. we headed out early sunday when most people were headed back to reality. mandy is a salt lake resident so i wanted to impress her with the best of the pacnw. i have a short list that seems to grow daily, but on that list is rainier, san juans, north cascades, snoqualmie and the olympic peninsula.


the sun was out for her first ferry ride and we arrived with plenty of time to get our run on. i’m on the good side of my recent injury battle. surgery to remove my neuroma was a complete success. i’m still dealing with an ab/hip issue but it might prove to be manageable. at least i feel like i’m doing the right things to make it manageable. regardless, i can’t think of a better place to reacquaint myself with trail running on what i knew would be beautiful and buttery smooth singletrack. plus the quiet beauty of the islands is good for your soul.


with a copy of james varner’s orcas island 50km trail map in my pocket and virtually no recollection of the time i ran the race left in my brain we headed out. we started with the 1,500ft foot climb up mount constitution via the mountain lake loop, then finished with the mount pickett loop for about 16 miles and 3,000ft of gain. the views of the island were amazing. the climate and singletrack were a stark contrast to the trails mandy is used to running in the wasatch. after the running and a soak in mtn lake (for the legs) we headed to eastsound to enjoy some good music and good food. a nap in the sun on the grass finished us off – life is good.




monday started in the fog and was a perfect way to wake up and enjoy the quaint little town of eastsound and the shore before heading home on the ferry. this one should be high on your list of place to enjoy and run.