Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Capitol Peak 50 mile and 55 Km a Huge Success and a Big 10 Years Celebration!

Photo by Glenn Tachiyama

Thank you everyone for participating and especially to all of our wonderful volunteers in the 10th Anniversary of the Capitol Peak 50 mile and 8th annual 55km on April 26, 2014 in Capitol State Forest near Olympia, WA. We couldn't do it without all of a volunteers, especially the Friends of Capitol Forest (FOCF) and the South Puget Sound Mobile Search and Rescue (SPSMSAR)!! We are once again proud to donate our proceeds to FOCF for all the generous support on the trails in Capitol Forest and for their continued support of the race at Falls "Tequila Bar" Creek.  And to SPSMSAR for their continued support in radio communication at the race and for acting as the leading SAR team throughout Capitol Forest. 

It is hard to believe that 10 years have gone by so fast! It feels like just yesterday when I was out with James Varner, running trails to figure out the first 50 mile course, back in June, 2005. Some who ran back then, remember this inaugural year as the "thorny carwash" where the devil’s club grew up faster than we realized on race day…down in Hells Creek...appropriately named.  DNR has since closed this trail!  And then came the 2006 year when we decided to move the race to the middle of April (out of the growing season), but the race was the first day of bear hunting season and about 3 inches of snow covered the upper sections of the course.  Also in 2006, the Friends of Capitol Forest were born and trail maintenance projects in Capitol Forest improved significantly. Then in 2007, we finally had decent weather and the course was free of that thorny devils club.  We also started up the 55k distance in 2007.   But snow was still a big factor in 2007 and 2008, when there were still 5 foot snow drifts along the Crestline trail and Capitol Peak.  Logging operations were a major factor in the substantial course changes in 2009 and 2010.  Through 2011-2013, the course remained the same and we managed to keep the "Grunt" over those years.

Photo by Glenn Tachiyama

Changes that occurred at the last minute this year were a common theme in the history of Capitol Peak, with the closure of the lower "Grunt" and restrictions to the towers on top of Capitol Peak.  Regardless of the changes, our love of the Forest does not change, nor does our desire to bring the trail/ultrarunning community together once again!  And we could still access the upper Grunt and the ATV Capitol Peak trail. This year’s trail also included gentler trails on a longer out and back on the Porter Trail (on the 50 miler). The 55k also got to go to Wedekind, and from what I’ve heard was a much more desirable course.  We hope to keep the new revised course again next year.  It was a fun year to celebrate the 50 miler 10th Anniversary, by providing the 10th Anniversary Bandanna and bring in the Pine Hearts for some great post-race bluegrass music. We would love to hear your experiences from this year’s race.

Here is a race recap.

The 50 mile course had very impressive finishes! 
·  74 finished the 50 mile
·  The 50 mile had 2 senior finishers including: John Zeier (61) and Rainer Schultz (71)
·  5 year finishers for the 50 mile include: Wendy Wheeler-Jacob, Andrew Barnes, Paul Heffernan, , Steve Loebner, Ryan McKnight, and Eric Purpose,
·  The women's 50 mile race was amazing! Britt Dick of Boulder Colorado won the women’s  with a time of 8:28:45.  Gwen Scott took second with a time of 9:17.   Allison Moore placed 3rd for women (9:41). 
·  The men's 50 mile race was also impressive. Seth Swanson of Missoula, MT set a new course record and won with a time of 6:31:49.  Jason Lemon placed 2nd (7:32) followed by Nicholas Kopp in 3rd (7:34).  
The 55k also had impressive finishes...
·  47 finished the 55Km.
·  The 55k had 3 senior finishers including: Beeone Baker, Greg Bargmann, and Wild Bill Voiland (our T-shirt guru!)
·  The 5 year finishers for the 55k include: Miles Yanick and Stuart Johnston   
·  Nicki Hugie-Terry won for the women with a time of (5:30:52);  2nd was Kristin Cooper (6:31); third Kristal Sager (7:07)
·  Max Ferguson won with a time of 4:40:03,  followed by Ryan Scott Blair for 2nd (4:42) and Corey Nunlist for 3rd (4:48)
We are indebted to many volunteers who also came forward to participate in this year’s 50 mile and 55km. 
Photo from Herb Reeves

Those that came to help in trail work efforts on April 5th include:
Melissa Klungle, Dave Molenaar, David Mora, John Pearch, Herb Reeves, Jason Weekes, Rainer Schultz, Wes Foote, Joe Schrumm and the Friends of Capitol Forest.  All made a huge effort in getting the trails cleared or maintained this year in Capitol Forest! 

Several people made several "double dipping" efforts to help make Capitol Peak a great race!  Thanks go out to the all the volunteers for all their huge support (please forgive me if I don't have everyone):
·  Course Markers: Herb Reeves, Kris Ryding, David Mora, Dave Molenaar, Corey Nunlist, Christopher West, Jackie Frederick and Jen Edwards, Patrick Johnson, and other Olympia Trail Runners
·  Thursday Packet stuffing party: Heidi Perry, Herb Reeves, David Mora, Dave Molenaar, Kris Ryding, Rob Dengel, Ulrike Krotscheck, Jim Holbrooks, Jen Edwards, Mark Lahaei, Rick Bushnell, Harvey Hall and other Olympia Trail Runners
·  Packet Pickup at South Sound Running:  Heidi Perry, Kris Ryding, Jen Edwards
·  Thanks also to South Sound Running for letting us once again use their store as a packet pickup location!
·  David Snyder, Lee Peterson and FOCF for setting up their event tent on Friday
·  Race Day Registration: Rob Dengel, Kris Ryding and Heidi Perry 
·  Post race meal:  my parents wonderful parents Bill and Helene Pearch, Heidi Perry and Mike and Susan Pearch (my aunt and uncle visiting from Ohio)
·  Photographer: Glenn Tachiyama on Capitol Peak summit

·         Sweepers: Herb Reeves and Kris Ryding
·         Help at the start: Brent Warner and David Mora
·         Thanks to South Puget Sound Mobile Search and Rescue for being stationed at all the aid stations.
·         Post-race music: The Pinehearts

·         A1/A11  McKenny Ridge station: Patrick Johnson and SPSMSAR
·         A2/A10 Falls Creek: Mark Lahaie, Herb Reeves and Friends of Capitol Forest
·         A3/A4 Capitol Junction: Melissa and Matt Klungle (and Jasper!), Ulrike Krotscheck, Jim Holbrooks, Mark and Cappy Nunlist
·         A5/A9 Wedekind: Heidi Perry, Bill Herzog, Nona Snell and Bobbi Cussins
·         A7 Porter Turnaround: Harvey Hall and Gerry Hacker
·         Timers: David Mora and Yannick Mulholland
·  Thanks also to Route 16 for letting us borrow their clock and other gear for timing.
·  Thanks also to Ultra Signup and Mark Gilligan for providing their excellent timing system!
Thanks also to all of our sponsors who donated or provided merchandise and goods for either our awards or food/drinks:
·         MJR Development and Mark Lahaei (for donating $1000 towards FOCF)
·         Seven Hills Running Shop (donated $200 cash to winners of men and women 50 miler and many other gift cards)
·         Orange Mud (donated products)
·         Hammer Nutrition (donating HEED, Gel and discounts on other products),
·         Scott Sports (donated gift cards)
·         Patagonia (with a great deal on t-shirts)
·         South Sound Running (donated gift cards and allowed us to have Packet Pickup at their store)
·         Route 16 Running and Walking (let us borrow clock and finish line tower)
·         The Balanced Athlete
·         Ultra Signup
·         Ultrarunning Magazine
·         Trail Runner Magazine and the Trail Runner Trophy Series
·         San Francisco Street Bakery
·         Pat Ackley and Starbucks 
·         Olympia Food Coop
·         Wild Bill Graphics (for printing the t-shirts)
·         Mug Revolution (hand crafted age group mugs)
·         My Mom (Helene Pearch) for doing the beautiful artwork for the10th anniversary bandanna!
Thanks also to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources for continued support and permitting this event! 
And to USATF for sanctioning this event!

Results, Photos and stories about the race can be found here:
Also, see the Capitol Peak 5 year Finisher Hall of Fame:

Please send your any stories about your experience at Capitol Peak!
If you would like to purchase a high resolution photograph, please see Glenn Tachiyamas photos:

Thanks for your support in making Capitol Peak another successful race! See you all next year!!

John Pearch
RD- Capitol Peak Ultras

Friday, April 18, 2014

Update for Capitol Peak (4/18/14)


1) We are very excited to celebrate the 10th Anniversary for the Capitol Peak 50 mile on April 26, 2014. As a part of this year’s celebration, all runners and volunteers will receive a special anniversary bandanna (see attached image).  Thanks to my Mom for the wonderful artwork! And thanks to my Mom and Dad (Bill and Helene Pearch) for all the support in preparing and serving awesome soup over the years!  And thanks to Wild Bill Graphics for all the printing of the bandannas and t-shirts. And even if you run the 55Km, you will also receive a bandanna.  The 55 km started up in 2007, replacing the relay option in 2006 and 25k option in 2005. 

2) As the10th Anniversary for the 50 mile, we look back at many years of success and also remember that the course changed almost every year up to 2011, which somehow we managed to keep a solid course for 3 years since then.   The Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) which we receive a permit from every year, have recently notified us that the “Grunt” trail has been officially closed because of the erosion hazard.  In order to avoid the Grunt, we had to change the course on how we will access the summit of Capitol Peak.  We will access the official motorbike Capitol Peak trail off the C4000 road, making it a 2.7 mile loop to the Peak, instead of a 5.2 mile grunt loop. And Glenn Tachiyama will still be on the Peak to take your photograph as you summit! Thanks Glenn!

 In addition, we have also been working with DNR regarding a timber sale (logging operation) in the Lost Valley area.  The logging operation will not affect the course distance too much in this area, as we will be running just on the road and will be completely away from any of the logging operation.  We will clearly mark the road with our usual orange spray paint and orange/yellow flagging to make sure it is clear where to go on this section and the rest of the course. 

As a result of the course changes with the Grunt trail closure and logging operation reroute, we had changed the course that will allow the 55k to follow the 50 mile runners all the way to Wedekind, who will then turn to Falls Creek and the finish.  Where the 50 mile runners will have a longer out and back section along the Porter trail about 8.3 miles one-way.  We anticipate faster times without the Grunt trail on this new course and hope you will still enjoy yourself even with these unexpected last minute changes. 

Please check out the course page for the map of the new course and some additional details: 
We've updated the course information regarding cutoff times on our course site.
See aid station planning spreadsheets for respective distance you are running:

3) Regular start is at 6:30am.  However, we are also allowing both 50M and 55k runners to take the early start at 5:30 am.  Please email me if you are planning on taking the early start.  As in previous years, our cutoffs are stringent for the 55k even at Falls Creek the first passing, since in the past we have had to have 2 sets of sweepers. By allowing the 55k runners to start the early start, it will allow more time to get to the aid station and both races to be more in sync.  Please respect the cutoffs to keep our volunteers happy!  So if you think it will take you longer to get to the aid stations, please consider the early start.  And please no fast runners in the early start!  I included the "Station Opens" column on this same site so you can judge if will be too fast (for the 1st or 2nd aid stations) to do the early start.

Also, you can also see that if you start as the 50mile and decide it’s not your day or whatever other reason you can still finish on the 55k course after Wedekind (A5) and still get a finishing time for the 55k. However, if you decide to only finish the 55k as a 50 miler starter, you will forfeit any prizes at the finish.

But there are a couple reasons to go for the 50 mile finish:
50 mile is only a part of the Washington Ultra Series! The 55k is not.
And the 50 mile you can only earn the First to the Peak award (1st men and women each who reach the summit of Capitol Peak and then still finishes all 50 miles!)

4) If you plan spending the night in a hotel in Olympia, you might want to book now. Olympia's Arts festival and Procession of the Species is happening on Friday and Saturday.  Check out some hotels on the event website:  We also recommend a hotel either in Tumwater or West Olympia!  Or camping is free at Margaret McKenny campground (first come first serve basis- NO reservations but a Discover Pass is required to park for camping and all day at the race on April 26: .  Or you can purchase at the Fred Meyers.  Please make sure you purchase a Discover Pass online or elsewhere. They DO NOT have a place to purchase a Discover Pass at the campground!  If you camp overnight, make sure you have an annual pass or a pass for April 25 and 26. 

5) You should consider coming to Olympia earlier, pickup your packet at South Sound Running between 3-6pm .   South Sound Running is located at 3409 Capitol Blvd in Olympia.  Then go check out the Arts Walk in downtown Olympia! Here is information about the Arts

Anyone can still sign up online until Wednesday 4/23 at 11:59pm:
Or register at the packet pickup or race day registration.  Everyone needs to check in on race day even if you picked up your bib number at the packet pickup.

6) If you have a friends or family that might be interested in helping at an aid station, we would greatly appreciate their help.  Please email me if you have anyone interested in helping!  All volunteers will earn a Capitol Peak 50 mile anniversary bandanna!

7) Hammer is proudly sponsoring Capitol Peak Ultras again this year.  Aid stations will be stocked with Gels, HEED, and E-Caps, and Fizz electrolyte supplements. We are very thankful to Hammer for all their generous support! 

8) We also have our special Capitol Peak hand crafted mugs for our age group winners...thanks to Mug Revolution!

9) Thanks to all of our sponsors which include the following:
Hammer Nutrition for Heed, Gels and discount on other products,
Other sponsors have chipped in additional prizes and contributed to the post-race meal:  Seven Hills Running Shop:  $100 cash for men and women 50 mile winners (with other prizes in raffle), Orange Mud, Scott, South Sound Running, Route 16 Running and Walking, Patagonia, San Francisco Street Bakery, Starbucks and the Olympia Coop.  Thanks also to MJR Development for their donation to FOCF!
See our sponsors with their associated website:

Please stay after the finish and enjoy from Pearch’s finest homemade soup and cheer on everyone. The Pine Hearts bluegrass band will also be playing at the finish:

Thanks to all our sponsors, volunteers and Friends of Capitol Forest who helped make this event a success over the years. Friends of Capitol Forest will again be there to help provide the large event tent and also will be working the Falls Creek Aid Station. Once again we will be donating our proceeds to support the Friends of Capitol Forest and the South Puget Sound Mobile Search and Rescue.

Thanks for your interest in Capitol Peak!

 John Pearch
RD-Capitol Peak Ultras

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Capitol Peak trail work opportunities and update 3/26/14


For those interested and in the Olympia area, we will have a trail work party in conjunction with the Friends of Capitol Forest (FOCF) on Saturday April 5th to work on the Capitol Peak course. We will meet at 8:30am at the Haggens/Starbucks in west Olympia (at jct of Cooper Pt and Black Lake Blvd). Bring work clothes/boots/raingear and some food to snack on. There will be food before and after the trail work.  This trail work is a perfect opportunity for those in Cascade Crest or other 100 milers needing their volunteer hours!  As always, Capitol Peak Ultras are donating proceeds to FOCF!  

For those that haven't signed up for Capitol Peak 50 mile/55km, the fee goes up after April 1st (midnight - March 31 eve).  If you want a Patagonia race tshirt, you also need to register by April 1st.

We also want to acknowledge that MJR Development  is providing a considerable donation towards the Friends of Capitol Forest.
MJR Development is a Kirkland based company with a local partner, Mark Lahaie, who is a long time Thurston County resident. Mark was introduced to the trail running community in early 2013 and now enjoys running and racing in Capitol Forest.  MJR Development recently acquired a number of vacant properties in Lacey's Woodland District and is working closely with Lacey to improve the District.  The goal is to create a pedestrian-friendly urban environment in which employment, education, shopping, restaurants, and housing are all within a walkable distance.

In addition, this year we will celebrate the 10th anniversary for the 50 miler and are working on a special commemorative bandanna for all who participate or volunteer.  Stay tuned for more race day detail and other updates.

Thanks for all your interest and support of Capitol Peak Ultras!

John Pearch
RD-Capitol Peak Ultras

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Mega Fat Ass


The Mega Fat Ass is all ready to go this Saturday January 18, 2014 at
8:00am.  We were successful in marking the course this past weekend
and working to get the course cleared after the wind storm this past
weekend. Unlike last year, both the 17 mile and 34 mile course are
completely snow free, but as usual plan on mud and wet conditions, as
the weather forecast calls for rain this Saturday.
Here are a few things to prepare for this weekends race:

If you haven't already done so...take the time to go online and
purchase a discover pass. This may be for the person's car (with
individual license plate) you may be carpooling with..HINT HINT!!  The
Discover Pass is NOT covered in the entry for the Mega Fat Ass or the
Capitol Peak 50 mile/55k in April, so if you are planning to run
either of these races or any other races that are on Washington state
land (including WA state parks), you might as well purchase an Annual

See the Discover Pass website FAQ site that will help answer any
questions you may have.

Everyone also needs to make sure they have a waiver signed before starting: (for adults)
(for minors under 18:
Printing these forms and bringing them already signed at registration
will help speed up registration! ThIs DNR waiver are NOT part of the
online registration!

Also, we have decided to preserve the same course as in previous years
for this years Mega Fat Ass 34 mile and 17 mile. However, there are
new trail names that DNR have been out updating in the forest to
reflect the new map.  Some of the trail names on this map have been
changed throughout Capitol State Forest, to reflect the new DNR
Capitol Forest Map. When in doubt, follow the red/yellow flagging or
orange spray paint arrows to follow the Fat Ass course.

Please thank the South Puget Sound Mobile Search and Rescue (SPSMSAR)
for their continued support for Capitol Peak Ultras events! SSMSAR
will be stationed at all the 3 checkpoints with water, but with no
food...remember this is a fat ass so bring your own food.  If you have
a drop bag, we will have your drop bags taken to the Falls Creek
station but not the other plan accordingly!  Please
clearly mark your name on your bag, otherwise you may not see it

For those running the 34 mile only, you can start at early (preferably
7am "on the nose" prior to the regular start) but please let us know
you are starting early and remember there is no guarantee you will see
your drop bag when you get to Falls Creek the first time. Please take
the 7am start if you think  you will take longer than 8 hours for the
34 miles.

Post-race potluck: please bring a can of chicken noodle soup or
butternut squash soup (if vegetarian).  We will cook it all together
and be hot and ready at the finish.  If you forget soup, we will also
have Ramon noodles, hot coco and coffee also.  Everyone is welcome to
hang out at the finish with FOCF,  food, burn barrols and good times!

This year there is a camp host living under the camp host shelter.
Please respect the camp host if you plan to camp at the start.  We
will open the gate at 2pm on Friday, but if no one is there, the gate
might be closed but will be unlocked  and latched. Please make sure
you close the gate behind after you pull through...this is just to
keep others that might not be affiliated with the event from camping.
DNR have graciously let us use the Margaret McKenny campground so
please respect the camp host and anyone else after dark hours.

Camping will also be available for anyone wanting to stay Friday night
January 17. Please make sure you have a Discover Pass.  Please park in
designed parking or campground but not immediately next to the finish
line event tents. There will not be camping available Saturday night,
since this event is specially permitted for Friday night and Saturday

Also, we will also be giving out bib numbers before the start.  Even
if you already registered, please come early  (prior to 7:30am) and
you will receive a bib number upon a receiving your signed DNR waiver.
 If you haven't signed up yet, online registration will be available
until Thursday 1/16/14 at 11:59pm at the following link:

Or if anyone misses the online registration, there will be day of race
registration available!!

Additional donations to Friends of Capitol Forest will also be much
appreciate...FOCF are the ones who help built the new shelter at
Margaret McKenny campground and have worked hard on many thousands of
hours each year on trail projects in Capitol Forest!  They will also
be out at Falls Creek to cheer you all on!

See you all soon this Saturday!

Thanks for all your continued support!

John Pearch