OHA’s 5th Annual Get Lost Trail Race took place on July 9, 2023. A record number of participants, their trusty supporters, a slate of business sponsors, and a whole cohort of enthusiastic volunteers kept the event running smoothly and safely!
The Get Lost Race represents an opportunity for our community to gather in the beautiful Okanogan Highlands, exercise, recreate and meet up with new and old friends and every year gets better and better! Camping at the Group Camp of the USFS Lost Lake Campground allows us to make a whole weekend out of it! We have such fun, and can’t wait for next year!
The Get Lost! Trail Race and campout has become one of the most anticipated events of OHA’s year, and this year was no exception! On the weekend of July 9-10, 2022, friends and families gathered from far and wide to enjoy the peaceful setting at Lost Lake, compete on the Strawberry Mountain, Big Tree, and OHA’s wetland trails, share a meal, and build community.
This event could not happen without the many volunteers who share their time and resources to prepare a delicious post-race lunch and pinata, guide participants through the race course, take photos, supply the aid station, help with communications and first aid, time the racers, organize the kids activities. Thank you volunteers!
Sponsors contribute food, prizes, and help support race expenses! Thank you to our 2022 race sponsors: Spring Creek Ranch, Lee Frank Mercantile, Iron Grill Restaurant, Tonasket Natural Foods Co-op, REI Co-op, and Big 5 Sporting Goods!
We are so fortunate to be able to host the race at the beautiful US Forest Service Lost Lake Group Campground. Thank you to the USFS and camp hosts!
Click Here for full race results! (Including new course records in the 3 mile, 7 mile and 14 mile women’s races)
Save the date, and join us next year: July 9, 2023!
On Sunday, July 11th, 2021 fifty runners and walkers assembled at Lost Lake for the 3rd Get Lost! Trail Race, hosted by Okanogan Highlands Alliance (OHA). Supported by friends, family, and a host of volunteers stationed throughout the trails, participants navigated either a three-mile, a seven-mile, or a 14-mile race course, while the kids took on a fun run on OHA’s Lost Lake Preserve. There was something for everyone!
Bill Kresge, participating for his third time says, “it is a beautiful venue, the woods were shady and cool, the lake great for a dip after the run or walk. What could be better? You get to support a great organization, spend the day with wonderful people, all while challenging yourself on a 3, 7, or 14 mile run (or walk).”
The atmosphere on the race course was relaxed, supportive and friendly, with both experienced and first-time trail runners hitting the trail together. Runners broke course records, they set new personal records, and had fun doing it. Danika Smith of Tonasket reports, “It wasn’t even a question whether I was going to participate in the annual OHA event. As a family we look forward to it every year. Finishing the race feels like a victory, and it is really rewarding to support an organization that helps to preserve some of my most favorite places in our region.” Korbin Forsman (Republic) set a new men’s course record for the 5k (3 mile) race, with a time of 22:23, and Jody Evans (Oroville) set the women’s record at 28:09. The seven-mile women’s title was taken by Chelsea Shaefer (Oroville), who set a new course record of 1:07:13, while Rich Beukema (Wenatchee) held onto his title, winning the men’s division with a time of 58:02. Kirsten Casey (Poulsbo) blazed through the course, setting a new women’s in the 14-mile race with a time of 2:10:11, and Sibley Simon (Santa Cruz, CA) led the men’s division, finishing in 2:40:08. Special recognition goes out to the fleet of kids under 12 who challenged themselves on the 5k and in the kids race! Full race results can be found at: https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=83316.
Trail races have many moving pieces, and this event happens smoothly thanks to volunteers who donate their time, expertise and resources every step of the way. Volunteers took on: managing runner registration and designing unique race merchandise (Rick Massey), clearing and marking the trail in advance of the race (Rose and André Corso, Marija Welton, Owen, Andrew and Jordon Weddle and Indigo Tetrick), providing aid stations and runner support during the race (Rick Massey, Charles Walker, Sarah Kaiser, Marija Welton), preparing and serving a nutritious and delicious post-race meal (Hanna, Sarah and David Kliegman), and cleaning up after the event (too many people to count). The kids had an amazing day, thanks to Tyler Graves, Jordon Weddle, Alisa Weddle, John McReynolds, and Norm and Diana Weddle who guided kids through their race, made shaved ice, and helped with a piñata! Kate Miller and Kevin Lepley stepped into many roles throughout the day, from timing, to maintaining an aid station, to photographing the event.
Many thanks go out to the business sponsors who helped to support this year’s runners. Lee Frank’s Mercantile, the US Forest Service, and North40 Outfitters contributed to race prizes, and Big 5 Sporting Goods contributed to runner nutrition.
Jen Weddle, co-director of OHA says, “The Get Lost Race is a great representation of how we can be inspired by the natural world and by each other. The Okanogan Highlands are a beautiful place to meet up, spend time outside, and challenge one another to reach new heights. We want to thank everyone for their help and participation in supporting the event and OHA, and we hope to see you out on the course next year!”
Runners came from far and wide to enjoy Lost Lake, support outdoor recreation, and learn more about Okanogan Highlands Alliance. OHA is a non-profit organization that works to educate the public about watershed issues, including the environmental threats of large-scale mining. For more information go to okanoganhighlands.org
Truffles, also known as hypogeous fungi, live a mysterious existence, fruiting below ground in the mineral soil/organic layer interface. While their mushroom relatives fruit above ground and loudly display their wild array of colors, textures and shapes, truffles quietly play out their important roles out of human sight. Truffles provide food for various mammals (and in turn the predators), and their mycorrhizal fungi networks contribute to the health of certain trees, including Douglas-fir. Flying squirrels are adept at hunting for truffles, drawn by the aroma. The truffle spores and bacteria pass through the squirrels’ digestive tracts, ready to colonize the roots of nearby trees and understory plants with mycorrhizal fungi.
“Mycorrhizal fungi enhance the ability of trees to absorb water and nutrients from soil, and they move photosynthetic carbohydrates from trees into the soil,” explains Andy Carey, former research biologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Olympia, WA. “In turn, this carbon supports a vast array of microbes, insects, nematodes, bacteria, and other organisms in the soil.1” Fungal networks actually “take up minerals and water from soil and transport them into the fine feeder roots for use by the host plant.2”
Several species of truffles grow in Eastern WA, when fir, pine, hazelnut or other tree species establish mycorrhizal relationships with truffle-forming fungi species. Squirrels and other forest-dwelling mammals play an essential role in dispersing fungal spores, thus helping to complete the web of life in the forest. “Truffle species also perform many important ecosystem functions including organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling and retention, soil aggregation, and transferring energy through soil food webs. These functions contribute to the overall health, resiliency, and sustainability of forest ecosystems.2”
We have made the difficult decision to cancel the Get Lost! Trail Race for this year. As soon as we are able, we will schedule next year’s event and it will be better than ever!
In the meantime, we hope that you get outside, stay safe and recreate responsibly! We’ll see you next year in the beautiful Okanogan Highlands!
Choose from 4 different race options: 3 miles, 7 miles, 14 milers and a free 0.5 mile kids race, there is something for everyone! Come early and camp at the Lost Lake Group Camp on Saturday night before the race!
Fifty-six runners age 4 and up gathered at Lost Lake in the Okanogan Highlands on Sunday, June 30, to participate in OHA’s 2nd annual Get Lost! Trail Race event. This year, the fundraiser for OHA offered a 3-mile race in addition to the half-marathon, 7-miler, and free 1k kid’s race.
“A highlight of the day for me was the amazing people,” said AJ Baker, half-marathon winner for the men’s division, “especially considering I was an unfamiliar face to most, I felt so welcomed by everyone involved with the event.” He added, “the course and surrounding area were incredible. I’m glad there are opportunities like this to experience the beauty of the Okanogan!”
“It was a beautiful day,” said Erin VanderStoep, who ran the 7-mile distance. She added: “The sun was shining, the loons were laughing, and the wildflowers were in full bloom on top of Strawberry Mountain; it couldn’t have been a more beautiful course on a more beautiful day.”
A huge thank you to…
Our volunteers who helped facilitate the event
This year’s sponsors: Tonasket Natural Foods Co-Op, Lee Frank’s Mercantile, North 40 Outfitters, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and REI Co-Op
“The wetlands within the Lost Lake Preserve are of high conservation value due to the rare plants and plant communities which occur there and the fact that the site retains excellent ecological integrity despite numerous human stressors in the surrounding landscape. The site supports numerous wetland types such as a calcareous fen, shrub swamp, and forested seepage swamp. Of particular interest is the calcareous fen, which are rare in Washington and are primarily limited to the northeast corner of the State. Calcareous fens are also one of the rarest wetland types in the United States. Calcareous fens differ from other peatlands in that their pH is circumneutral to alkaline and they typically have a high amount of calcium and other base cations. Such conditions result in a unique set of plants which are able to grow in the fen. One of the more significant plant community types found at Lost Lake Preserve is the bog birch/slender sedge (Betula glandulosa/Carex lasiocarpa) plant association. This plant association is typically found in rich to extremely rich fens (e.g. calcareous fens) and is known to occur in northwestern Montana through northern Idaho and into northeastern Washington. Within Washington it is considered to be very rare. In summary, the Lost Lake Wetland Preserve harbors some significant pieces of Washington’s natural heritage. The long-term protection of this wetland complex would contribute to the conservation of these biodiversity treasures within Washington state.”
If you enjoy fishing, you can use fishing weights made from non-poisonous materials such as bismuth, steel, clay, rock, ceramic and tungsten-nickel alloy. Non-lead jigs and other tackle are also available. You can find these supplies locally in hardware and sporting goods stores. If you don’t see non-lead tackle, ask for it so the store managers know you care. Many people love to see loons and other lead-sensitive wildlife while they fish. Please pass this information along to others!