In 2004, the Olytrailrunners was started by a few trail running enthusiasts who wanted to invite others interested in running on the trails in Olympia area parks. The founders were James Varner (Rainshadow Running) and John Pearch who wanted others to enjoy the trails together during the week. John and James were training for ultramarathons and always welcomed all levels of running. The group started to meet at Priest Point Park and LBA Park and several other Olympia area parks and usually gathered following the run at a local brewpub. The group continues these traditions today with runs on Tuesday, Thursday runs at Priest Point Park, and weekend runs up in Capitol Forest. Check the Facebook page for the location of Tuesday and weekend runs.
In 2015, Olytrailrunners became an official non-profit organization and took over Capitol Peak Ultra’s events. “Our running club is still very informal collecting no dues from members, but using proceeds from our running events to not only fund our organization but to also donate to other non-profits like Friends of Capitol Forest Mountain Bike Club for trail maintenance in Capitol Forest, South Sound Search and Rescue who assists with our events, Washington Trails Association and the Recreational Division of the State Department of Natural Resouces, who manage Capitol Forest,” according to president Herb Reeves.
“We currently direct the MegaFatAss 50/25K, Run Forest Run 50/25K, Capitol Peak 50miler/25K, South Sound Brew Pub Championship 5K, and the ScayAss 25K. We also do the Meadow Mountain aid station for the Cascade Crest 100.”
Oly Trail Runners can be found at most Northwest ultra events, 200-mile events, on trails in the Olympics and Cascades, and other interesting destinations such as the Grand Canyon. Members are always coming up with new ideas and adventures, including a surprise wedding 4 miles up a trail in Capitol Forest!
Besides Reeves serving as President, Dan Saul as the Vice President with help from other board members including Krysten Ryding, Andrea Thorpe, and Nick Birklid. “We are excited for next year, got a couple of adventure runs we’re working on and we are partnering with Friends of Capitol Forest to construct a new shelter up in Capitol Forest,” says Reeves.