Spectating Deception Pass Dash 2014

After days of rain that caused even us locals to complain, Whidbey Islanders woke to clear blue skies and calm seas, perfect weather for today’s Deception Pass Dash. Crossing the Deception Pass Bridge, the visibility was excellent. The Olympic Mountains were visible, so I stopped to get a shot.

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Although I knew that the parking lot would likely be packed (and it was), I proceeded to Bowman Bay and was sent to the nearby overflow parking. It was past 8:00 am, with the race start set for 8:40, so I wandered over to the beach to check out the kayaks and paddle boards.

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Paddlers were already out warming up.

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I found a perfect place along the Rosario Beach/Bowman Bay trail and waited while the race announcer prepared the racers for the start. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying proper attention to my camera’s settings, and ended up with my shutter speed set to 1/25 sec, which is why the first few are a bit blurry.

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As the sun rose over the skyline, they were off.

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I continued along the same trail towards Rosario Head so that I could watch the participants circle Deception Island. You can see West Beach at the top left of this next shot.

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As the racers rounded the island, I headed back towards the Lottie Point Loop trail, where I hoped to catch some boaters traveling through Canoe Pass. I was surprised to see…RUNNERS…at Rosario and learned that the Deception Pass 50 K was taking place on the same day. A race volunteer told me that he knew someone who’d run the Deception Pass 25 K the previous day and was participating in the Deception Pass Dash today! I reached Canoe Pass in time to watch some paddlers.

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It seemed that there were quite a few paddlers still out on the course, so I headed back to finish, adjacent the Bowman Bay dock, carefully staying out of the way of runners while cheering them on. I stayed long enough to watch about a dozen finishers, then headed towards home.

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The participants were enthusiastic as were the spectators and volunteers. This combined day of awesome activities, the 6 mile waterway race and the 50 K trail race, was inspiring. I’m thinking about signing up for the 50 K next year…easy to consider with 364 days until the race. .

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