In celebration of finding friendship through the trail running community, we are creating a ladies weekend in Walla Walla. April 4th, 2020 will be a 6 Hour woman’s race followed by a celebration toast and gathering at Bergevin Lane Vineyards. Part of the proceeds of this event will go towards Trail Sisters. In 2014 I met Claire Walla in LA while coordinating the Trail Running Film Fest tour. I was so surprised to see another Walla on the list that I had to investigate. No, we are not related but we discovered we are the true definition of Trail Sisters. We have logged lots of miles, shared countless stories, and laugh often. We have always joked we need to visit Walla Walla, Washington one day….well, it’s happening and we are going big!

GWalla (right) pacing CWalla at Tahoe 100 in 2018

Registration

Registration will open Wednesday December, 11 2019 on Ultrasignup. $75 dollars through the holidays, $85 dollars starting January 3rd, 2020. Space is limited to 120 runners.

Results

Results will be posted on Ultrasignup. Participants who run/hike all 6 hours will receive a Trail Sisters trucker hat. The woman who completes the most amount of loops in 6 hours will receive a Walla Walla weekend gift basket – more to come but think wines, free stay lodging, etc. If there is a tie for most amount of loops, the woman who crosses the finish-line first will receive the gift basket.

Course //Aid Station

Fall scouting, 2019

The course will follow the Whitetail Trail which is a 5 mile outer loop around Bennington Lake. It’s mostly double track trail with a few single track sections. The elevation gain is around 370ft per loop. Here is a map of the Bennington Lake trail system.

Claire Walla on Walla Walla scouting trip, November 2019

Aid Station – WALLA WALLA STOP
Claire and I live for aid stations during our ultra marathon races. There will be a well stocked aid station at the start/finish of each loop with standard aid station food items like potato chips, bananas, watermelon, gels, pretzels, etc. But we love avocados, Trail Butter, tater tots, breakfast food, coffee, etc. so expect some variety. There will not be another aid station on course so bring a pack if you think you need fuel/hydration while you run. We will have a drop bag area to stash your own items and/or you can access your car after each loop.

Your Entry Helps Support Trail Sisters

Trail Sisters is an important platform for women in trail running and building community. Not only have we met other women to run with through Trail Sisters, but there are numerous articles pertaining to women on the trails. From women’s safety to periods to equal rights in trail racing, there is no topic off limits. We want to support founder Gina Lucrezi who has made women supporting women through trail running her full time gig. Case in point – Claire and I met some Trail Sisters while running in Walla Walla in November – Walla Walla local Gina Ohnstad recognized our TS hats and is now helping us on the ground with this event!

GWalla & CWalla sporting some TS hats and shades in November 2019

Bergevin Lane Vineyards – post race celebration!

We were fortunate enough to be introduced to Annette Bergevin, the General Manager and Founding Partner of Bergevin Lane Vineyards. Not only is Bergevin Lane Vineyards going to provide a sweet space for a post-race celebration, they are going to offer discounts on glasses of wine to participants (wine pours are normally $7-12 depending on the wine; all wine pours will be $5), and a 20% discount will apply to purchases for that day on our Bergevin Lane Brand. Make sure to bring your bib to receive the discounts!

GWalla & CWalla enjoying some of Bergevin Lane’s wines, November 2019

Partners

There are several businesses, local and nationwide, that are supporting Walla Walla 6 Hour!

  • Lily Trotters – We love these compression socks for running and travel so we are thrilled Lily Trotters is donating 15 pairs to raffle! There will also be a pair reserved for the winner of the Walla Walla 6 Hour.
  • Graze – The place to go for sandwiches in Walla Walla is bringing sandwiches to us! Graze will provide sandwiches for the aid station and is also donating a gift card and some swag to the winner’s basket.
  • Colville Street Patisserie – If you have a sweet tooth, you are in luck. Colville Street Patisserie is donating a sweet surprise on race day! Need quality coffee and a pastry before you hit the road Sunday? This is your stop.

Zen Soul Yoga & Wellness Center – Anastasia Christman is running the Walla Walla 6 Hour and is also a certified yoga instructor. She has offered to do a post-race yoga class Sunday morning to stretch those sore muscles! The class will be donation-based for the Blue Mountain Land Trust -> talk about a win-win! The class will take place at ZenSoul Yoga & Wellness Center, a new studio in Walla Walla. Class will be held at 9:30am Sunday April 5th.

Photography

We are excited to have Taryn Graham capture the weekend for us! Taryn is a well rounded photographer who has completed many ultra marathons herself. It’s always a joy having her shooting races and we love her work! Check out her website: https://taryngrahamphoto.com/

One of Taryn’s captures at NWTR’s Teanaway Trail Run, 2019

Schedule

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

  • 7:00am – check-in
  • 7:45am – pre-run briefing
  • 8:00am – get loopy
  • 2:00pm – course closes
  • 2:15pm – award for top female runner along with handing out TS hats
  • 4:30pm – gathering at Bergevin Lane Vineyards

Directions

From the WTA website regarding Bennington Lake: From Walla Walla, drive Highway 12 east for 4.6 miles to the Airport Way Exit. Turn right to travel across Isaac Avenue onto Tausick Way passing Walla Walla Community College on the left. Make a left onto Reservoir Road, and drive 1.6 miles to the parking area for Bennington Lake. You will pass two other parking areas on the drive that access trails along Mill Creek. Restrooms are available, and parking for horse trailers as well as cars and trucks.

Spring time at Bennington Lake. Photo by Gina Ohnstad

Lodging

There are several lodging options in town but The FINCH is offering a 10% discount for ladies running in the Walla Walla 6 Hour! Use this link for the promo code. There are also excellent Airbnb options currently available, too. Heads up: it is Cayuse Weekend which means rooms may fill up soon. If you want to go the Airbnb route, book soon!

FAQs

  • Are men allowed to register and run the 6 hour? In the spirit of celebrating our vision of making this a ladies weekend, the inaugural year will feature a women’s only race. However, we welcome anyone to come cheer runners on and anyone 21 and over is welcome to the post-race toast at Bergevin Lane Vineyards.
  • Are dogs welcome? No dogs are allowed on course at the Walla Walla 6 Hour (they can hang out with family and cheer you on). Ladies, this is a run for you to embrace each other!
  • Can I camp at Bennington Lake Friday or Saturday night? No because access to the lake closes at 10:00pm.
  • Are there refunds? A 50% refund will be offered through February 4, 2020.
  • Can I rollover my entry to the next year? Email wallagretchen@gmail.com to discuss rolling over your entry for 2021.