Founder's Corner 2019
Race Director re-hired - again!
Sasquatch is really excited about the 2019 R2R. In 2018 Race Director Sabrina Seher broke her 2017 record for the number of participants, registering 1500+ runners despite dropping the ultra event and competing with Hood to Coast WA on the same day! Sabrina is an energetic and motivated runner, well known in the running community both locally and nationally. See News Tribune article here. She is experienced as the Race Director of the Cascade Super Series, as a USATF Coach and owns a traveling Super Pacers Team for full and half marathons and opened up a training/coaching studio in Tacoma called Super Studios 253. Sabrina has completed 269+ full and ultra-marathons, 52 in one year!
Sabrina has added a 5th wave to the starts (6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 am), so Sasquatch predicts that another registration record will be broken with this year’s R2R on June 1, National Trails Day 2019, our 17th year!
The Mayor's Cup is Back!
In 2013 the R2R introduced the Mayors' Cup, a beautiful trophy made for us by the Tacoma Museum of Glass. Unfortunately, after it was awarded in 2014 it was dropped and broken. The division was dropped as well, so no awards were offered in 2015 and 16. Now we have the repaired Mayors' Cup back and THE COMPETITION IS ON to see which team sponsored by the Mayor of a town along the Foothills Trail will be the fastest on National Trails Day this year. Mayors, start recruiting and training! Here is the list of past winners who have displayed the cup in their town hall.
2013 Sumner, Fleet Feet Sports in 6:03
2014 Buckley, Rise and Shine in 6:31
2015 No award given
2016 No award given
2017 Tacoma, Start Slow Then Taper Off in 6:09
2018 Puyallup Parrotheads in 7:12
2019 Puyallup Parrotheads in 7:23
Rules: The only requirements are that the mayor's team consist of 2, 3, 4 or 6-runners, and that the team must be registered as sponsored by the Mayor of the town (only one team per town, please). It couldn’t be simpler. There are no rules about who pays the registration fee, where the team members live, who must be on the team, genders, ages, etc. Runners must take turns running their assigned legs, alternating through the order of their listed positions by handing off at each exchange like any team expecting to receive an award. Simple and fun!
Here is the list of eligible towns: Carbonado, Wilkeson, Buckley, South Prairie, Orting, Puyallup, Sumner, Fife, Tacoma, and Ruston. Mayors, put your team together and start them training to win the R2R Mayors’ Cup.
Each year the R2R Race Committee presents the Founder's Award to someone who has made a significant contribution to the event. Here is a list of past winners:
2006, John Selby for founding the R2R in 2002
2007, Russell G. Matthews, for work on Race Committee
2008, Thomas Moeller for the creation of our original website
2009, Tom Faubion for the BackCountry Horsemen trail crew work
2010, Don Partington for trail crew work
2011, Tom Gibson for the website management
2012, Bob Rowan for video and photo documentation
2013, Alan Hughes for radio communication and first aid
2014, John Downs for leadership of exchange volunteer teams
2015, Buzz Grant for work on the Race Committee, Trail Crew and the Bell Stand Team
2016, Ernie Bay for co-founding the Foothills Trail Coalition and leadership in advocating for trails
2017, Bob and Diane Kastama for R2R volunteering and leadership in the Friends of the RiverWalk
2018, Dixie Gatchel for volunteering every year of the R2R and leadership in Friends of the RiverWalk
2019, Wouldn’t you like to know!?
What's new for 2019?
The solo runner option is back! Ultras must prequalify with the Race Director by running another 50 miler in under 13 hours, and they must be have a support vehicle to provide food, water, etc. Check out the registration page for more details!
Due to the major washout along Wilkeson Creek in beautiful Gale Canyon, we thought Leg 4 would have to come down John’s Road or through neighborhoods to the trail below the washout. However, we found a way through the washout by running on sand bags against the bank of the creek! Beyond the canyon, runners will enjoy the most recently paved trail section from the Coalition Bridge across So. Prairie Creek and crossing the creek again at the Fire Station in South Prairie. The newly paved section is about one mile long and completes the Foothills Trail from Buckley to So. Prairie. It also avoids that nasty uphill coming up out of Lower Brunett Road to the highway. And no more running along the highway either!
BAD NEWS: It was expected that the Puyallup River Bridge would be re-opened in time for the race this summer. Unfortunately, it will still be under construction, so Leg 11 will resume its torturous route of last year. There are several RR crossings on this route, so runners may be stopped by a train on the tracks as they were last year. We will have course monitors available to note bib numbers and arrival times so as to adjust team finish times. And SOME GOOD NEWS: Last year’s course has been adjusted to allow runners to enjoy the beautiful Thea Foss Esplanade past the Museum of Glass into the exchange.
REALLY SAD NEWS: On May 23 we lost a great friend and advocate for public trails, Buzz Grant, the President of the Foothills Trail Coalition. I can not put it any better than his daughter, Tami, who wrote:
When Dad first started work on the Trail he told us that he was doing it to leave a legacy of open space to his grandchildren and beyond. What a legacy he left! Dad was able to do something very few of us are able to accomplish by combining his enthusiasm for his career in title insurance and maps, his love of steam locomotives, engines, and railroads, into an organization that enabled him to exercise not only his mind, but body and spirit while touching countless numbers of people with his kind ways and determination to "See the Trail to the Mountain." Although he did not see the Trail make it to the Mountain, he left behind a group of dedicated people that not only share his vision and true friendship, they will be seeing the Trail into the future and to the Mountain for him. Although his physical presence has moved beyond our grasp, his passion for the Trail and people will be a physical reminder to us all, I hope, of his genuine love of the people he encountered along his journey through this life and his determination to leave open space and the natural beauty of Puget's Sound that he loved so much, to many generations to come.
Please consider joining Sasquatch by donating your time and/or money in support of the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition and its mission of assisting Pierce County communities in the creation, maintenance and usage of a connected system of non-motorized trails, including finishing this beautiful trail from Mt. Rainier National Park to Puget Sound. Your donation of $20 or more will earn you a one-year membership in the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition and a subscription to our quarterly newsletter, the Trail Line News, which will keep you up to date on the progress in developing all of Pierce County trails.
ON TO THE MOUNTAIN!
Sasquatch and I hope to see everyone again on National Trails Day, June 1, 2019!
John Selby, R2R Founder