As Red Devil has grown, so has trail running
By Steve Maher
CASHMERE — At its birth in 2011, the Red Devil Challenge was made up of one trail run, attracted a core group of 50 runners, and was conducted in relative obscurity in the forests south of here.
This Sunday, the event will feature three trail runs, including one for kids, bus shuttles to get 150 participants to and from the start/finish, cool swag for participants, and a post-race party at Milepost 111 Brewing Co. that will include music and other festivities.
There are even rumors a “red devil” may make an appearance at some point.
“We’re all about fitness and having fun, and that the Red Devil will be,” said race director Joel Rhyner of RunWenatchee.
Red Devil, presented by the Volyn Law Firm, also is the second event in the three-event Wenatchee Valley Trail Run Series put on by RunWenatchee. The first race in the series was held May 10 at the Horse Lake Reserve in the Wenatchee Foothills and attracted about 200 runners. The series wraps up on June 22 with the Bavarian Battle Trail Runs at Leavenworth. Prize money is being offered to the top placers in the series.
The trail runs themselves, though, are for all ages and skill levels, and close to 130 people had registered for Red Devil as of Wednesday.
“We’ve created a nice niche with our trail races in the valley, including with Red Devil,” Rhyner said. “It’s a real cool name for the race, and that gets people’s attention. The 10-kilometer is doable for any runner who is fit. The event also is challenging, particularly the 25-kilometer course, and that has dedicated trail runners taking note.
“Trail running is exploding across the country, and we are the only trail run series along the east slopes of the Cascades in Washington state,” Rhyner said. “And because we host a smaller number of runners due to permit limitations, at least compared to events in Western Washington, we can really cater to the individual runner. It makes for a real fun environment for the athletes and for us.”
All three runs — the 25K, 10K and 1.7-mile Mini-Devil kids race — start and end at the Sandcreek Trailhead, located 10 miles south of Cashmere off Mission Creek Road. The 25K is set to start at 8:45 a.m. Sunday, the 10K at 9 a.m., and the kids race at 9:15 a.m. More than 30 volunteers, some staffing aid stations, will be spread out along the courses.
Online registration will remain open at http://www.runwenatchee.com/ until 8 a.m., Saturday. Late registration will be available during packet pickup from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Pybus Public Market in Wenatchee and from 8 to 8:40 a.m. Sunday at the trailhead.
Conditions should be good at race time. The National Weather Service is calling for sunny skies and highs in the mid-70s Sunday in that part of the Wenatchee National Forest.
“The trails are in the best shape we’ve seen since we started the race,” Rhyner said. “We thank the U.S. Forest Service for that.”
Proceeds from Red Devil will benefit Chelan County Mountain Rescue, which also will have members volunteering Sunday.
Check back to RunWenatchee.com for results and photos following the race.