Pacific Crest Marathon
June 29, 2002
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
The setting for this inaugural marathon and half marathon on Saturday, June 29, 2002, was in south central Oregon at the vacation resort at Sunriver. It's located east of the Cascade Mountains twenty miles south of the city of Bend.
While the marathon and half marathon were new, they were additions to the 6th Annual Half-Ironman Triathlon and Endurance Duathlon. There was considerable experience for the race directors, John Atherton and his wife Carol Anderson, to draw upon for the inaugural marathon and half marathon. Due to the efforts of AA Sports and its Champion Chip Timing System, these four events proceeded smoothly.....from registration to the posting of race results on http://www.racecenter.com. A common finish line in the race headquarters plaza had a timing mat that was used by the four Saturday races and a Kids Splash-Pedal-n-Dash (12 years and under) on the day before.
All of the Saturday running events were on asphalt paved trails that were on a 13.1 mile counter-clockwise loop on the periphery of the Sunriver Resort. All athletes ran it once, but the marathoners ran a double loop. The course was quite pleasant to run. The terrain was flat with a few minor
hills to add variety. Much of the time we ran in an open lodgepole pine forest with colorful wildflowers everywhere. The resort buildings were scattered, low and unobstrusive. Most of the time we ran in shade with light winds that helped when the air temperature rose to the mid 70's. However,
there were a few miles that were in fields and by the Deschutes River and a golf course. That was a nice contrast to the forest, but it was warmer and windier.
The trails were also used by the resort vactioners, so it was often necessary to dodge young children on wobbly bicycles. The course was marked by lines of chalk that at times weren't definitive, and some runners went off course because of it. Aid stations offering water and sports drink were located at one mile intervals. I appreciated this, and I'm sure it prevented the leg cramps that I often experience in summer marathons.
My run went well although the 4,200 foot elevation cost me some time. I like the forest, field, lake and river backdrop. There were unexpected treats such as passing within ten feet of a mule deer and flushing a western gray squirrel (bigger and grayer than the common eastern gray squirrel of the Puget Sound area). Trying to identify widlflowers while running by them is a welcome diversion. When the fun ended, I crossed the finish line with a 4:19:14 time. I was first in the 70-74M division and 41st of 77 finishers (out of 91 entrants).
The marathon was won by Andy Martin, 27, of Bend with a time of 2:37:46, slightly faster than an average 6 minutes per mile pace. The women's winner was Lynn Jacobs, 34, also of Bend who ran a 3:33:55.
At the starting area, Lenore and I visited with our adopted grandson, Mike Dutton, 32, of Bellingham, WA, who was accompanied by his son Miles and friend Gentry. It was good to see them again. We also talked with Chuck Cammack, Marathon Achiever, and his wife Sue of Albany, OR, at the starting
area. We last visited with them at the Tucson Marathon on December 9, 2001. As usual, 56 year old Chuck ran well. He finished with a time of 3:18:46, first in the 50-54M division. Unfortunately, Chuck lost time and added distance when he went off course and ran several extra miles. This hurt
him in the Masters competition as well as his overall placement and finishing time. As I mentioned earlier, course markings need attention for future races.
At the start, I also visited with Ultra Al Miller who runs the Leadville 100 Mile Endurance Run in Colorado every year. He said that he had four finishes of eight attempts at this most difficult ultramarathon. In the last 10K, I ran for several miles with Steve Pierce, Marathon Achiever and race director of the Coeur d' Alene (Idaho) Marathon. We had an enjoyable talk about challenges facing race directors.
Congratulations to Pamela Pedersen, 35, of West Linn, OR, for running her first marathon. She had a time of 4:15:44.
On Friday at an orientation meeting we talked with long-time friend Courtney Jones, 66, of Ellensburg, WA. He is a triathlete of long standing and a successful age class competitor. He was at Sunriver for a combined family reunion and participation in the Eundurance Duathlon. This event is a 56 mile bike race followed by a half marathon run. Courtney finished with a 6:41:39 and was first in the 65-69M division.
At the awards ceremony there were young children accompanying their parents. I couldn't believe it when two of these youngsters were called to the stage to receive awards for the half marathon. Justin Larsen, 10, of Tacoma, WA, ran a 3:04:22 to come in second in the 15 years and under male category. Then his sister Makenna, 7, was called up for her second place award for running a 3:26:25. These running proteges were chaperoned by their parents. Justin ran with his mother Janice, while Makenna was accompanied by her father Dave.
The Pacific Crest Marathon is a good training race at a time of the year when
there aren't many marathons available in the Pacific Northwest. However, I'm
used to the marathon being the main event when there are several races. I certainly
didn't feel this was the case at Sunriver. The marathon was a newcomer and had
the fewest entries. Perhaps all events were meant to be co-equals such as occurs
at the Crater Lake Rim Runs (6.7, half and full marathons).
The following is a partial list of marathon finishers: 3:18:46, Chuck Cammack, 56, Albany, OR, 1st 55-59M; 3:37:00, Mike Dutton, 32, Bellingham, WA, 2nd 30-34M; 4:19:14, Bob Dolphin, 72, Renton/Yakima, WA, 1st 70-74M; 4:24:10, Steve Pierce, 40, Coeur d' Alene, ID; 4:36:29, Rick Jensen, 41, Washougal, WA; 5:17:39, Ultra Al Miller, 48, Deer Island, OR.
Written by Bob Dolphin