Dear Traverse Friends,
Thank YOU. The launch of the First Annual Sun Mountain Lodge Winthrop Traverse was a huge success. This was a great way to kick off our complete Northwest Traverse Series for the year ahead. We all made new friends, brought family together and created lasting connections. People came from Winthrop, Bellingham, Spokane, Wenatchee, Pemberton, BC, “Seattle” and the surrounding area. The vibe of the event reflected both the local community of the Methow Valley and the Traverse style of racing. Awesome People on all sides of the fence. Challenging Courses with unique terrain that showcase unique areas. Fun Times had by all.
The success of the event is attributed to the great support we, Recreation Northwest, had in partnering in an East-West collaborative effort. We would like to give Shout OUTS to the following people/organizations:
Thank you to Kirby Court and his parents Ash and Linda Court of Bear Creek Golf Course for the open invitation to bring the Traverse to the Methow Valley. When I was first presented with the idea, I laughed, because it was so right. Finally. Here we go.
We’ll start with Mike “Baldy” Wilson. He is the foundation for the salmon story, the interwoven metaphor that we have had in our event from the beginning. If you want to know the Paul Harvey angle and the “Rest of the Story”, read Bellingham Traverse ROOTS. The complementary invaluable Methow conduit was Julie Muyllaert and Joe Brown of Methow Cycle & Sport. When asked who was the right team for the job, we put the proposed people into place.
They introduced us to our Race Directors, Sam & Alison Naney. True Endurance Athletes. They had shared values and goals. A mere 17 days before the race, they had a baby girl, Fiona (with an exhausting labor)! Tomorrow, they are moving to Seattle for Sam to start a new career. With those as bookends, they demonstrated their expertise in rallying community and hosting a great race/party! Special thanks to his folks, Bob and Ann for being there- both volunteering and racing! And being shining examples of awesome parents.
Then there’s the man with the plan, Mike Pruett, who had everything and everyone in place out at Pearrygin Lake State Park. Working with the community and the support of the Methow Trails MVSTA (equipment and contacts) created a fun atmosphere for the start and main transitions of the race. The support of the community of volunteers was invaluable and we thank you all!
The staff at the lake- led by Park Ranger, Rick Lewis, was incredibly helpful and demonstrative of the welcoming nature of people in the Methow Valley. The volunteers with Aero Methow were also onsite to provide safety and support where needed.
Thank you, to the Spawners for coming out. We wouldn’t have had a race without you- check out your 2014 Finish Times. Here’s the starting lineup at Pearrygin Lake State Park. Your relaxed, yet competitive attitudes set the tone for the day and we appreciate your professionalism, preparedness and positive attitudes.
The hospitality of the valley was experienced by our Staff and Board Members (thanked later) at the Sun Mountain Lodge all weekend. Our gracious hosts, led by Mary Campbell, offered 5 star service from Friday night race packet pickup to the Sunday Father’s Day brunch they hosted for our group. They are the shining star on the hill and with the support of the local and regional companies including Confluence Health, Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Methow Cycle & Sport, Winthrop Mountain Sports, Orchard Bar, Pine Near RV Park, Methow Valley News, The Wenatchee World, North Cascades Mountain Hostel, WenatcheeOutdoors.org and RunWentachee.org.
Paul Smotherman and the North Cascades Mountain Hostel Volunteer CREW offered support at the road bike finish transition at the Forest Service Welcome Center. Props to our volunteer Board Members- Al Ragan andKurt “VEEP” Baumgarten for the solid ground sweep team, including Cindy, and Dean Fearing surveying the waters, to bring everybody safely home. Hats off to Secretary, David Laws, for standing sentry in the sun with a Stop/Slow sign- directing us up the (last) hill to the Team TREK start and so much more! Thank you to Scott Lee– our North Bend Iron Horse Traverse Race Director for stepping in where we needed it.
We salute our Board President, Adam Lent, who, along with fellow board member Mike “The Commish” McAuley, both participated as Chinook (solo). Read McAuley’s Traverse Training Post #1 (it’s informative and entertaining). Yeehaw for our new Board Member, Lindsey McGuirk, for joining my team Pushing Boundaries- so I didn’t have to run!
When I refer to the proverbial WE, as a baseline it means our staff- myself and April Claxton, Executive Manager. It’s no secret, April is the glue to the organization and the key to the success of our events. She is invaluable and we are continuously impressed with her dedication to quality and thoroughness. We are proud she’s on our team.
Hip, Hip, Hooray for Cynthia (and Troy) Bach for stepping in with the expertise and excitement to create a fun environment at the finish. New on the scene, Carl Bach, stepped in and made sure everybody got their cups- welcome to The Winthrop Traverse CREW, Carl. Thanks for the photo below, Chris Wright, and congrats to Brian Smart on your first Chinook Finish and looking good doing it, might I add.
Shout outs to locals Stephanie and Mary at the BARN welcoming all the incoming Spawners- getting the Winthrop Traverse T-shirts and Pint Cups out to all!
Bringing it all together for us to hear was the “dual-citizen” of the Methow & Bellingham, Paul Clement as our Master of Ceremonies. Paul has been with the Traverse for many years and we knew he was the right man for the job (since he’s recovering from surgery). We’ll see him back on the course soon.
This is such a unique environment, we had to have it captured! Thank you to Lars Kongshaug @ VidSmith, for coming over to capture video out on the course. Tyler Mitchell Photography for capturing some of the highlights of the day in pictures, see his Facebook Gallery.
ps- I’d also like to thank my family, Ken and Fran Elsworth for encouraging me to try the tough stuff and support me unconditionally. My sister and bro-in-law, Jenny and Bob Bird, for putting up with me. To end, I’d like to thank my sweet daughter Violet for being my driving energy and renewed passion for life and living.
Todd Elsworth, Executive Director
As Executive Director of Recreation Northwest, Todd Elsworth promotes outdoor recreation and brings community together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play. His decades of extensive event production, marketing and writing experience propel this passion. You might bump into him and his daughter Violet while they’re biking, hiking, paddling or skiing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.