In April, 2023, Sarah was interviewed for an episode of Attention Please! a radio program out of KPTZ Port Townsend. This 28 minute interview provides interesting insights to the 30 year history of OHA and the hows and whys of the work that we do in our community and beyond. Please listen, enjoy, and share!
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