Crater Lake Marathon
August 28, 2003
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
The Crater Lake Marathon is the major marathon on my summer schedule, and I
look forward to it every year. However, it is ranked as one of the ten
hardest U.S. marathons, which gives me some pause.
The scenery is breathtaking as one looks at the inaccessible lake a
thousand feet below the bluffs' edges. This circular body of water is six
miles across and at 2,000 feet in depth, it is one of the deepest lakes in
the country. The crater is the remnant of Mt. Mazama that lost a mile of
elevation from a major eruption and explosion 7,700 years ago.
Subsequently, water from rain and snow filled the caldera or crater to
form the lake.
As one runs the marathon on the two-lane Rim Drive, the lake and its
cliffs may be seen frequently from different viewpoints for most of the
race. The run is at 5,980-7,850 feet above sea level in elevation, and
there are nearby mountain peaks, alpine forests, wildflowers, and wildlife
On August 9, 2003, as the 28th Annual Crater Lake Rim Runs and Marathon
were jointly run, the weather was milder than in some years. The
temperature was in the 50's at the start and rose to the uppers 60's by
the race conclusion. The skies were clear, and there were moderate
headwinds at times. Over 370 participants signed up for the race and ran
together to the 6.7 finish area where close to half of the field concluded
the shortest race.
In the next six miles there were 4.2 miles of uphill that slowed the
runners. After the half-marathoners finished at Mile 13.0, there were
only 81 runners left to go the marathon distance. In the 16th mile on a
nice 3+ mile downgrade, I ran alone with no one in sight. I wondered why
there weren't more regional marathoners in the field. They didn't know
what they were missing!
The air is thin, but walking the hills is helpful. Another downgrade of
three miles from Mile 19 to Mile 22 brought me to Lost Creek Campground
where my race began in earnest. On an unpaved switchback name Grayback
Road one has to climb 470 feet in 1.7 miles to a turn-around. It is
relatively easy as a walk, but I always get leg cramps which take the fun
out of the experience. On the descent, I kept the cramps under control by
a walk/run alternation while trying to finish under five hours. I just
made it with a 4:57:51, 61st of 81, and first 70+ male. It was my slowest
of twelve races at Crater Lake.
The race was won by Randy Bailey of Klamath Falls in 2:56:58. He left his
competitors behind in the 16th mile. Toby Pearce-Smith of Corvallis came
in second (3:08:32). David Moreno of Chiloquin had been an early leader,
but his time of 3:11:20 gave him third place. A long-time friend, Gene
Trahern of Sisters, ran a 3:21:15 for fourth place.
Margie Retterath of Klamath Falls was the first woman with a time of
3:48:46....15th overall. Sara Norman of Corvallis was the second woman
with a time of 4:09:46.
Congratulations to John Francis, 41, of Bend, Oregon, who ran his first
marathon in 5:20. Congratulations, also, to Patty Conacher, 20+, and
Jennifer Teehan, 20+, of Portland who ran their first marathon together in
4:54:34.......and thanks for the calf massage they gave me at the
turn-around at 24.5 miles. This helped to get me running again!
On the post-race bus from the finish area back to the village, Lenore and
I visited with three runners who came to Crater Lake for the first time.
Dana Mosell from Newport Beach, CA, has a rigorous schedule to complete
all 50 states and DC within the next few years. His friends, Paul Nguyen
of Newport Beach and John Sasali of Windsor Locks, CT, ran their second
marathon that day as part of their training for the Florida Ironman
Triathlon. They told us the YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON will be on their
schedule some time in the future!
Lenore enjoyed the day as a volunteer loading and coordinating the buses,
helping out with drop bag distribution, and cutting watermelon at the
finish area! All of her volunteer efforts help to make her a better
co-director of the YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON.
Thanks go to race directors Bob and Bev Freirich and their team for
putting on the 28th Annual Crater Lake Marathon and Rim Runs. As long as
they have a marathon at Crater Lake, I will continue to run it. It's a
good one that is worthy of support by serious marathoners.
Written by Bob Dolphin
Crater Lake Marathon Partial Results
2:56:58 Randy Bailey, Klamath Falls
3:21:15 Eugene Trahern, Sisters
3:38:07 Michael Wakabayashi, Spokane, WA
3:48:46 Margie Retterath, Klamath Falls
4:17:03 Michael Dutton, Everett, WA
4:21:08 John Sasali, Windsor Locks, CT
4:51:28 Paul Fouch, Klamath Falls
4:54:34 Patty Conacher, Portland
4:54:34 Jennifer Teehan, Portland
4:57:06 Paul Nguyen, Newport Beach, CA
4:57:51 Bob Dolphin, Renton, WA
5:10:16 Steve Shapiro, Portland
5:24:04 Ed Hansen, Slaton
5:32:26 Dana Mosell, Newport Beach, CA
5:34:08 John Robinson, Colton
5:35:44 Larry Brown, Salem
6:05:20 Fenny Roberts, Salem
6:05:21 Jim Scheer, Vancouver,WA
Ages are not provided by the Klamath Falls Herald and News.