Sunflower Trail Run
By Joy Love
The Sunflower Trail Marathon, Half Marathon and 5-leg Relay took place on Saturday May 5th 2018, on the other side of the mountains in the magical Methow Valley. It just happened to take place the same day as the Haggen to Haggen 5k this year however it is a totally different kind of adventure than our lovable local Bellingham race.
I had briefly heard about the Sunflower before but hadn’t considered attending until it was brought to my attention by (your previous gbrc President) a super cool human, Alex. Being the amazing woman she is, she organized and brought together a whole group of awesome women for a weekend of camping and running amongst the wildflowers. She knew we were all going to love this and started a group email early in the year to make sure we all got in before the race sold out.
We each committed early on knowing the possibilities for travel time could be longer if Highway 20 was still closed. Unfortunately the highway wasn’t open yet so we all had to take the long way around but the weather was perfect on race day and the Sunflowers were in full bloom so it was totally worth the extra drive time. Besides it can be fun to take the scenic route and explore along the way, (l recommend Wallace falls for a side trip off Highway 2). What made it even more worth it was getting to meet so many new and rad women during the trip.
Some of these “rad runner women” ran the relay as a “Sparkle Donkeys” team and all of us became honorary sparkle donkeys for the weekend too (with sweet matching tanks to boot thanks to Kelly). One of the ladies in our rad runner happy camper group, Katelyn, won the half marathon! My goal was not to be competitive but to enjoy the experience. I finished 85th out of 254 half marathon runners which was much faster than I expected. It was just so fun flying along the trail surrounded by millions of bright yellow blossoms!
I could go on and on about this event but it won’t do it justice. All I can tell you is that it is amazing and you should totally check it out sometime. I’m super grateful to Alex for encouraging us to sign up early and participate and for introducing us all to each other. The course is stunning and the after party is in a big open horse field at the finish line with plentiful refreshments and great food! I was very impressed with how well organized and classy the Sunflower run is and I will definitely have it on my list of races to do again.