Seattle University coach cruises to top spot at trail run

August 16, 2011

By Christina Lords

Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series concludes Oct. 30

Uli Steidl takes the last few strides with a smile Aug. 13 as he wins the Cougar Mountain Trail Series’ 13-mile race at the Sky Country Trailhead. By Greg Farrar

Even after his hip flexor started bothering him one-third into the Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series’ 13-mile race Aug. 13, Uli Steidl was able to pull away from his competition for the win.

The Seattle University assistant track and cross country coach said his familiarity with the trails on Cougar Mountain helped him maintain a steady pace throughout the run. His final time was 1:38.27 for the event.

“I was by myself for most of the race,” he said. “I pulled away in the first mile … but I was always expecting someone to come from behind to catch up with me.”

Steidl lives in Seattle with his wife, Trisha Steidl, who also participated in the race.

Marlene Farrell, competing in the event for the first time, took top honors in the women’s category with a final time of 1:54.21.

Although the Leavenworth resident said she hasn’t been doing much competitive running this season, she was pleased with the outcome of the race.

“I do a lot of road running, but I find trail running … is nice because I don’t have to think about the miles,” she said. “I can just get out and enjoy the scenery, and I really enjoy uphills and downhills.”

Steidl and Farrell agreed that while the competition during the race is fierce at times, the level of camaraderie with the participants in the run series is also apparent.

“We can still be competitive but everyone is super friendly,” she said. “I like that we can still be supportive of each other.”

The trail series is sponsored by the Seattle Running Club and Northwest Trail Runs, and the registration fees from the series go to support the King County Parks system.

About 190 runners pre-registered for the Aug. 13 event, and organizers said about 20 more athletes registered the day of the race.

The 13-mile race is a USA Track and Field regional championship event, and the top finishers in the men’s and women’s open categories were awarded money and other prizes.

Other races in the series have included a 5-mile race held May 14, a 7-mile race June 11 and a 10-mile race July 9.

This year’s trail series concludes Oct. 30 with a 50-kilometer race. Register for the 50K at or sign up at the Sky Country trailhead the day of the event.

Registration fees for the final race are $63 until Oct. 27 and $70 the day of the race.

Learn more about the trail run series at and click the Cougar Mountain Trail Series under the site’s events tab.

Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239, or Comment at

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