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 June 4, 2022, OHA teamed up with the Highlands Nordic Ski Club to clear the Antoine Loop – making it accessible and enjoyable for summertime use by bicycles and hikers. Ten volunteers cleared about a half a mile of mulch and branches from the trail! It was a beautiful, misty day and we got a lot done! The trail is ready for you to enjoy! Here is more information about how to find it:
This map will take you to the main Highlands Sno Park Parking area (vault toilet and information kiosk can be found here).
For a complete (printable) map of the Highlands Sno Park Trails, click here to visit the Highlands Nordic Ski Club website. Please note that some of the trails are not available in the summer months, as they travel over private property. The Antoine Loop, on the east side of the park, is fully on National Forest land and is accessible year-round.
Get Lost in the beautiful Okanogan Highlands! On Sunday, July 10, 2022, runners and walkers will take to the trails around Lost Lake in the Okanogan Highlands. Four courses are available: 14 mile, 7 mile, 3 mile, plus a 1k kids run ensures there is something for everyone! OHA has reserved the USFS Lost Lake Group Camp on Saturday night, so camping is available before the race.
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
Over this past year OHA has connected with a group of organizations and agencies who are all invested in caring for trails in northeast Washington. Kristin Ackerman (Pacific Northwest Trails Association) has been instrumental in making sure that Okanogan County is included in the trails coalition (thank you Kristin and the PNTA!) One outcome of this effort is a website, created by The Tri-County Economic Development District where you can look and find LOTS of opportunities to volunteer for trail work (including OHA’s trail work parties), both near and further afield in NE Washington.
Click here for the online calendar created and maintained by of trail work parties (including OHA’s trail days).
The snow has melted in the highlands, flowers abound, and we are excited to get out and help care for the lovely highlands trails again! In the next couple of months OHA will be out hiking, scouting trail needs, helping to clear the trails, getting some exercise, and enjoying nature and each others’ company. We will keep our groups small and respect physical distancing. We can’t wait! Below are some details about our upcoming trail stewardship events. We hope you will join us!
Trail Day Goals:
Clear the trails of grass and branches
Improve the trail surface (tread) as needed
Make notes of other trail maintenance needs
Have fun, get some exercise and enjoy the day
Trail Day Calendar:
Note: We may add some days depending on trail needs, but we wanted to give you something to put on your calendars. And now…let us present… OHA’s Tuesdays on the Trails!
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