A Beastly and ‘Feastly’ Weekend in Hood Canal: Grab your Tennies and your Appetite

Find yourself in the right place at the right time in The Olympic Peninsula on Saturday, August 8, 2015, and you could have a front row seat to one of the grittiest, most challenging trail races in the Northwest. Find yourself in the right mindset, and you could be running it. Find your stomach in the right place, and you could be enjoying a weekend full of the best treats in Hood Canal.

The fifth annual Beast of Big Creek Trail Race is just around the corner, as is A Taste of Hood Canal. Mt. Ellinor, set aflame with summer wildflowers and privy to some of the most breathtaking views of Hood Canal will be marked and ready for racers come early August as will Belfair be a flurry of delicious smells and activities for all.

Each year the Beast of Big Creek race amasses numbers and there are expected to be about 100 burly participants this year. The truly beastly event, a 20k trail race, gains 5,000 feet of elevation, and is an ultimate test of badassery and lactic acid. John Johnson, the race director explains, “The summit course offers a real steep climb in a relatively short distance on brilliant single track trail.” Talk about making the most of a summer weekend.

Photo source here.

Photo source here.

For the slightly less intrepid, there will be a concurrent 10k, shaving off about 3,000 feet of elevation gain but hardly any of the breathtaking views (pun intended). For those with young ones, a free 2k kids fun run will be held on the lower trail system during the main event. Prizes for all three categories will be awarded along with swag giveaways from The North Face and South Sound Running in addition to some of those ever-recognizable custom orange #wildsideWA koozies.

While those who have little to no experience trail running should be discouraged from tackling this beastly event, there are opportunities to spectate and to volunteer. “If I were a spectator, I would hike to the subalpine zone on Mt. Ellinor and cheer for the runners who are really hurting up there,” explains John. “The view and flowers are usually spectacular.” Volunteer inquiries can be sent to sheltonharriers@hotmail.com

Liz Watrich and Sarah Yardley on the summit during last year's race. Photo source here.

Liz Watrich and Sarah Yardley on the summit during last year's race. Photo source here.

As a master racer himself, and the head honcho of the Beast of Big Creek Trail Race John explains, “I, along with my friends and family do the event every year because we love the Olympic Mountains and appreciate the opportunity to bring people together to celebrate recreating there.”

To round off a perfectly exciting day, head down the road to Downtown Belfair for the 13th annual  Taste of Hood Canal sponsored by the North Mason Rotary. From 10am to 6pm, the entire family is welcomed in, free of charge, to a smorgasbord of classic cars, all-day live music, local artisan crafts, a beer garden, and of course, delicious food.

Summer activities that satisfy both the thirst for adventure and the thirst for a good beer among Hood Canal’s finest make for an ideal weekend in our books. Keep up with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more on these events and happenings around the Olympic National Park, and don’t forget that we love keeping up with you! Keep in touch with #hoodcanal #explorehoodcanal, and #wildsideWA.