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Trail Running around Cle Elum, Washington

Locals Tara and Jarad collaborate with Northwest Trail Runs to discover Cle Elum through trail running

May 26th, 2016

-Blog by Hayley Harrell, Photos by Pronounce Photography


The end of May signals to the masses that summer has officially arrived. Vacations are planned, trails are scouted and families dust off camping and running gear for the season. Cle Elum and the surrounding Cascade Mountains play host to hundreds of visitors this time of year, many of whom are running enthusiasts.

Northwest Trail Runs is bringing runners together for the Teanaway Trail Run on June 5th, so we caught up with local NW trail runners (and race photographers) Tara and Jarad Long to learn the ins and outs of trail racing in the Cle Elum area.

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Trail Runs and Hikes, the Long Way

Jarad and Tara have shuffled between marathons, hiking, rock climbing and trail running for most of their lives. After finding themselves in Washington State, they fell in love with both the scenery and the soil.

With so many trailheads to choose from, runners with all levels of experience flock west of the Cascades to test their limits and break personal records. "The mountains of the PNW are great for trail running since there are so many thousands of miles of ups and downs and flowy tracks," stated Jarad.

The area also provides many family friendly hikes and running trails, perfect for weekend getaways with kiddos. "There are so many trails that we can take the kids on that are easy enough for them to enjoy," Tara said. "One of our favorites is the Coal Mines Trail that connects Cle Elum and Roslyn, and is about six miles roundtrip." Because this historic trail bridges two towns, local eateries are a stone's throw away. "I find that when my children know there's a delicious treat waiting at the midpoint of our hike it motivates them to keep moving with a positive attitude!"

Collaborating with Northwest Trail Runs

The Long family takes their love for running and combines it with professional photography, allowing them to join forces with organizations like Northwest Trail Runs.

Over Mother's Day weekend Northwest Trail Runs hosted the "Coal Mines Trail Run", allowing Tara and Jarad to don their Pronounce Photography hats to capture it all. "Jarad and I wanted to take our love of the outdoors and his love of photography to the people! We photographed the Coal Mines Trail Run, and what a GREAT event. That run offered both a 5k and a 10k option and the course was flat and fast, making it a perfect option for families."

Because of their experience with trail running in Central Washington, we wanted to know what they were most looking forward to at the Teanaway run. "Well, other than being outside all day in one of our favorite areas," said Jarad, "we are most looking forward to seeing the faces of all the participants that get to enjoy this area for the first time. Northwest Trail Runs offers distances from 5k all the way up to a full marathon...There will definitely be quite the range of expressions between those running their first trail 5k and the more experienced marathoners."

Joining the Fun for the Teanaway Trail Run

Northwest Trail Runs is hosting their second Cle Elum race in less than a month, which is a testament to the quality and beauty of Kittitas County trails.

The best part is that it's not too late to join the fun! While online pre-registration closes late June 3rd, runners may register the day of the event. Visit www.nwtrailruns.com to get detailed trail information, event details and browse through Tara and Jarad's event photos before the big race.

The passion and appreciation for the outdoors is transparent in the Long family, and their knowledge of the area is humbled by the fact that there is always more to explore: "We'll never get tired of running these trails, and will almost definitely never discover all of them."


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