De Leo Wall Fundraising Run
My wife and I moved to Newcastle in January of 2017 and ran at Cougar Mountain nearly everyday. During my extensive exploration of the park, De Leo Wall emerged as my favorite section. I particularly enjoyed the narrow trail that passed along the cliff side with views of the valley below. In addition to the panoramic views, the trail is lined with many charismatic Pacific Madrones and sturdy second growth conifers. When I learned that this area had potential to be logged, I wanted to try to help with its conservation.
Essentially the community of Newcastle needs to raise $35,000 for a full appraisal of the property in order to make a fair market purchase. My goal with the De Leo Wall Run was to raise money for the appraisal and also raise awareness within the trail running community. The biggest challenge with the race was gathering all the permits needed to host the event on such short notice. Fortunately with only 10 days to advertise, twenty-four people signed up to race on Saturday January 18th.
I wanted the course to showcase the section of the trail that had potential to be logged. I arrived at a 4.7 mile loop with 820 vertical feet that started and ended at the Redtown trailhead. The runners first took to the wide China Creek trail before turning onto the Wildside trail. From the Wildside trail the route continued to gradually ascend to the Marshall Hill trail. After switch-backing up the hillside, the runners took the narrow viewpoint trail, which is the section of the course that could potentially be logged.
The route then took a sudden left turn into the coniferous forest and the terrain became quite steep. The runners ascended this narrow trail back onto the De Leo Wall trail. This wide trail features a long switch-backing descent back to the valley below. Once they reached the Coal Creek valley, runners followed the Indian trail back over to the Redtown trail enjoying a flat fast mile on a wide gravel path to the finish.
Twenty-one runners and hikers finished the run with Stephane Frion taking the overall win with a time of 41:54. Each finisher received a hand-sculpted Banana Slug made by Apryle and the top finishers earned a signed copy of 14 shorter hikes in and around Newcastle by Eva Lundahl.
Overall I was extremely happy with success of the De Leo Wall Run and we raised over $1000 to contribute to the appraisal of the land. I want to express my gratitude to my wife Apryle for all her support and making the awesome Banana Slug awards. Additionally, thank you to Apryle and Michael Weber, who not only ran the race, but also helped to sweep the course. Thank you to Eva, Robert, and Maria for setting up the tent, checking in runners, and providing information to runners.
Click here for event results.