For the Love of Pizza, Beer, and Bluegrass: Dani Reese Takes On Orcas Island 25K

This past weekend Dani Reese ventured up to the San Juan Islands in Washington to run the Orcas Island 25K for the second year in a row. She said she felt better and stronger than last year, took eight minutes off her previous time, and placed 5th overall woman. Here’s her recap of the experience:

This was my second year running the Orcas Island 25k. It is a unique race put on by the great people of Rainshadow Running. You have to take a ferry from the sleepy town of Anacortes to arrive at your final destination, Orcas Island. Orcas Island is one of the many that make up the greater San Juan Islands.

Runners have the option of staying in a bunkhouse together so it is basically like runner sleep away camp! Bring your sleeping bag and a few beers then wake up the next morning, stumble out of your cabin and walk the 10 feet to the starting line. Pretty great!

The race has over 4,400ft of gain which takes you up and over Mount Constitution, the highest point in the San Juan Islands and the second highest mountain on an ocean island in the contiguous 48 states. On a clear day you can see the entire Olympic Range from the top. This year however, we were treated to a few inches of snow/slush at the top and zero visibility. It made the race sloppy, fun and a total blast!!

Post race activities includes kegs of beer (and kombucha!), hot homemade pizza from the oven and a bluegrass band. If you are really looking to challenge yourself Rainshadow Running also offers an Orcas Island 50k and a 100 mile race on separate weekends.

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