I love adventure. I love running crazy distances. So this naturally has evolved into a solo run “across the state” of Washington on the Iron Horse/John Wayne trail that is part of the old Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad line turned into a bike/pedestrian/horse trail. The public trail runs (pun intended!) from the WA/ID border outside of Tekoe, WA and ends in N. Bend, WA. The trail meanders through an amazing diverse landscape giving the trail user a taste of many different environments in the state, including Palouse, desert, semi-arid land, and wooded evergreen forests of the Cascades.
Last year I ran the trail solo from N. Bend, WA to the Idaho/WA border in Tekoe, WA. Due to some construction on the trail, logistical, and isolated safety issues I fell short of doing the entire trail and was forced to skip sections. The entire distance is roughly 321 miles and I completed 200 of those in 7 days. I was the first (and still only) person to attempt to “through run” the entire trail. Many people have biked and rode horses the entire distance but none have run it. This is a massive undertaking logistically and may explain the lack of interest in people doing an FKT on the trail!
This year, as the difficult logistical issues have been worked out, I am going into it with my mind better prepared and I intend on running all of it in 8-10 days. This will once again be a solo assisted attempt at an FKT. As was the case last year when I attempted to complete the entire the trail, I will have my life partner, William Paige, there the whole time driving the support vehicle meeting me at points along the way. In addition, I will have some just as adventurous friends meeting me along the way to keep me company and experience the vast beauty of the surroundings.
So, why am I doing this? Good question! Running is a way for me to feel as though I am me and I am free. Running this crazy ass FKT enables me to be one with nature in “my church”, my “happy place”, “my sanctuary”. How one can feel happy, miserable, tired, and invigorated all at once is one that is easier to experience than explain. In addition, I’ll be running for a cause, YouthCare, a resource center for Seattle and King County at risk and/or homeless youths between the ages of 12-24. Raising funds and awareness for this organization enables me to bring attention to the importance of such a valuable resource in the community I live in.
If you are able, please consider giving generously to YouthCare. Conveniently, there are several ways to contribute:
By credit card online
Visit YouthCare’s Donation Page on their website and click the orange Donate button on the right-hand side of the screen or go to the page directly then fill in the information for your donation and make sure to write “in honor of Ellen’s Road Run for Charity” in the comments box.
You can call Yvette Sumner at (206) 267-3084 anytime Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm, and indicate you’d like to make a donation in honor of Ellen’s Road Run for Charity, and she will take the donation over the phone.
If you prefer to write a check, make a check out to “YouthCare” and write “Ellen’s Road Run for Charity” in the Memo line and then send the check to YouthCare at the following address: YouthCare, 2500 NE 54th Street, Seattle, WA 98105
The following sponsors have made various generous donations enabling me to attempt this massive endeavor: