For those of you who have grown accustomed to seeing us at Rainshadow races, and communicating with us as we've worked both at the forefront and behind the scenes to create and coordinate Rainshadow events for the past two-and-a-half years, and knowing how quickly stories can travel in a community as tightly knit as the trail running community of the Pacific Northwest (and how some aspects of said stories can get lost in translation along the way), we wanted you to hear directly from us about why you won't be seeing us in connection with Rainshadow Running and James Varner any longer.
Unfortunately, after nearly a full month without any communication from James, and with us working steadily toward future races, we were told out of blue last week (out of the blue for us, at least) that we're being let go, and it's become clear we were never a part of the preferred Sun Mountain plan, and so we're left dealing with how best to navigate this new reality, and how to exit with as much grace, but also with as much self-respect, as possible. So, though we'd planned to be, we wanted to let you know we won't be at Sun Mountain this weekend, or Beacon Rock in June, and after Monday, May 23rd, we'll no longer be working for Rainshadow in any capacity.
Even though James has admitted there have been no issues with the quality of our work and our ability to effectively do our work, and there were no issues whatsoever brought to our attention since the last time we saw James at a very successful Gorge 100k, we were told this decision had long been in the works, but that it just hadn't been communicated to us until last week - and until we sought out a phone conversation with James after hearing nothing for so long.
There have long been some serious character, business management, and communication issues with James, and we have long tried to reconcile these issues to the best of our ability and to work as diligently and tirelessly as possible to make Rainshadow the positive, community-centric, and sustainable business we always knew it could and should be. We have tried to keep our (and James') personal and professional spheres separate, even as they are so often and unfortunately blurred in non-traditional job situations like these, and to do what we needed to do to make working for Rainshadow a long-term, sustainable prospect for us.
We've suggested coming to the table to talk and resolve anything that needs resolving numerous times, but the decision has long been made. We were just the last to know. And so now we have to shift gears from putting Rainshadow first, which is what we did for so long, and to think about what's best for the two of us. We're pretty excited about that, even as we're not entirely sure where to begin.
What that means first is that going forward we won't be a part of the Rainshadow realm, and while we're still navigating what that exactly looks like for us, we want you to know you can reach us at AllTheTrails@Gmail.com (which is copied on this email), and via our cell phones.
We're bummed to be writing these words and to be navigating this road under these conditions, but at the same time we're hopeful and happy to think about a future that features significantly more Endless Trails time and corresponding opportunities to give back to beloved outdoor spaces.
We're very proud of the work we've done for Rainshadow these past two-and-a-half years, thankful for the opportunity to both coordinate and help create such large and multi-faceted events for as long as we did, and we're looking forward to being able to pour our time, experience, and energy into Endless Trails, and other positive community and trail-loving conduits in the future.
Please know we're not writing this message in an attempt to alter your perception of James and Rainshadow Running (we're of course big fans and advocates of running trails) - and if you're running, racing, or otherwise participating in a Rainshadow event in the future, we sincerely wish you all the best (and hope it's a blast!!), and we'll be very sorry to miss seeing you and hugging you at the start and finish-line - but we felt strongly that we wanted you to hear this news directly from us, and to know why you won't be seeing us (this weekend, yes, and) as part of the Rainshadow team going forward.
THANK YOU to the runners, volunteers, vendors, and community partners who were perpetual bright spots in our lives, at the races, and in our inboxes, and AN ESPECIALLY BIG THANK YOU to all of our fantastic volunteers and trail work buddies for giving your time and energy for and alongside us these past years.
Hope to see you sooner than later - and hopefully on the trails. If you find yourself in Central Idaho for any reason, get in touch! We have an awesome guest room and two kayaks, and we'd love to take you on some merry adventuring.
Until then, happy! (endless) trails,
Matt & Kerri