Virginia Mason Team Medicine Marathon: Seafair
July 10, 2005
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
On July 10, 2005, I ran the inaugural Virginia Mason Team Medicine Marathon: Seafair in Bellevue, Washington, and enjoyed the experience. Like a lot of local marathoners, I was pleased that this marathon was added to the existing half marathon and 5K events. Even though our state is second only to California in the number of marathons available in the course of a year, July is a sparse month for long distance events. The novelty of a new marathon was intriguing.
The name Virginia Mason Team Medicine Marathon: Seafair requires an explanation for non-Washington readers. Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle is a major health facility that has clinics in several towns nearby. It fosters health and fitness through the three events offered, and a portion of the income supports cancer research at the hospital.
The event is presented by the Seattle Seafair organization as part of the month-long Seafair Festival. Unofficially, the marathon has been called the Seafair Marathon and the Bellevue Marathon.
Lenore and I went to the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the official race hotel, in Bellevue for pre-race registration/packet pickup and a Health and Fitness Expo presented by Pacific Care, a sponsor. We were impressed by the booths of Talking Rain, Amino Vital and Cliff Bar. These sponsors provided water, sports drink, and gels respectively to the aid stations. Marathon runner Doug MacLean, owner of Talking Rain at Preston, WA, is also a valued sponsor for the Yakima River Canyon Marathon.
On the eve of the marathon, we joined a group of Marathon Maniacs at the Buca di Beppo Restaurant in Seattle to carbo-load and to have some pre-race fellowship. A good time was had by all!
Then it was a short night for us. We set the alarm for 4:30 a.m. so that we could arrive at the start/finish outdoor expo area in Bellevue's Downtown Park where Lenore began her volunteer duties at 6:00 a.m.
The race started at 7:00 a.m. under calm, clear skies with a temperature of 60 degrees. As nearly 700 marathoners left downtown Bellevue, I saw some running friends as they passed me in the early miles. The Half Marathon started at 7:15 a.m., so by the third mile the leaders of that race ran by. Within a few miles the two fields divided at a junction, and we continued on a different route.
After the first 10K, I thought that it might get too warm. However, a solid cloud cover moved in from the west and held the air temperatures under 70 degrees. A cooling breeze was also present at times.
The course is scenic with many forested areas along the way. Miles of running by Lake Sammamish provided pleasant views in mid-race. The course is a hill-runner's delight! Because the lake is several hundred feet lower than an adjacent ridge, a hill climb is unavoidable as the course nears the end of the lake. A gradual hill on a pedestrian trail with switchbacks made the upward climb do-able.
The last mile to the finish line is slightly uphill, but I was able to run it. After I crossed the line, I received a hug from Lenore and one from Seafair Princess Maria who also gave me my finisher's medal. Lenore had enjoyed meeting and working as a volunteer with all of the Seafair princesses.
My chip time of 5:23:11 was my best time for 2005. I was in 589th position overall of 666 finishers, 381st male of 420, and 2nd in the 75-79M age division. Jack Swanson, 71, of Spokane was the first 70-74M with a 4:48:40, and Don Lang, 70, of Glendale, CA, was second with a time of 6:21:23. Al Becken, 76, from San Antonio, TX, the oldest finisher, ran a 4:50:48 for first place in the 75-79M group.
Upon reflection, I would grade the marathon high in all categories. It was well organized, scenic, and challenging. Traffic control was excellent as the runners were given miles of one to two coned-off lanes. Approximately 120 Bellevue policemen ensured the right of way for runners at the many intersections. Motor traffic was never a problem. Volunteers at driveway entrances to businesses and residences provided additional traffic control, and they cheered the runners on their way.
There were 18 well-stocked aid stations to keep the runners well hydrated. The many volunteers were friendly and encouraging, and some were even entertaining. In the final miles I passed a few aid trucks whose members seemed to be disappointed when I wouldn't stop for aid. I thanked them and told them that I felt great.
The winner of the marathon was Chris Charles, 28, of Seattle with an amazing time on this hilly course of 2:26:24!! He was the winner of the Seafair Half Marathon in 2004. In second and third place were Dan Feldman, 25, from Pasadena, CA (2:33:42) and Glen Weissman, 36, of Bellevue (2:41:27).
Two of our running friends finished with sub-three hour races. Dan Salazar, 39, of Tacoma was in 8th place with a 2:52:27, and Pete Hansen, 49, of Ferndale had a 2:56:27.
In the women's race Susan Emprey, 36 of nearby Mercer Island won with a time of 2:59:33. Ann Armstrong, 43, of Poulsbo, the first Masters Woman, placed second with a 3:11:12 finish. In third position was Mary Hanna, 43, of Maple Valley with a 3:12:37. Mary was the women's winner with a 3:05:50 at the Yakima River Canyon Marathon (YRCM) on April 2, 2005.
Almost everyone had a story to tell that is worth repeating. The big one is that Gunhild Swanson, 61, Marathon Maniac from Spokane, set a new age class record on June 25-26 at the Western States 100 Mile Run across the California Sierra Mountains. Her finishing time of 25 hours, 40 minutes and 28 seconds was more than an hour faster than the previous record set by a 60 year old woman! In Bellevue she was first in her age group with a 3:50:23.
Andy Kotulski, 65, came from Montclair, New Jersey, to run his Marathon #551!! He has run marathons all over the world.
John Bozung of Orem, Utah, is celebrating his 52nd birthday by running 52 marathons in 2005, and he's over half way to this goal. He'll run his 200th career marathon at the Deseret Marathon on July 24, 2005, at Salt Lake City, UT.
Don Lang of Glendale, California, the leading megamarathoner on the West Coast ran his 399th marathon at Bellevue. He'll celebrate his 71st birthday on July 31, 2005, by running his 400th marathon that day in San Francisco. That was where he ran his first marathon 13 years ago. He averages 30 marathons per year!
Congratulations to Cliff Richards, 44, physical therapist from Maple Valley, for finishing 5th overall in 2:50:52, the first Men's Masters marathoner. He placed second overall at this year's YRCM with a time of 2:45:21.
Congratulations, also, to the first Marathon Maniac (MM). Gregg Walchli, 43, of Seattle had a time of 3:05:29. He was followed by MM Doug MacLean, 53, of Mercer Island with a 3:14:12 and MM Ruben Contreras, 50, of Stanwood with a 3:16:56. There were at least 37 Marathon Maniacs who ran the marathon, and two who participated in the half marathon.
I enjoyed running with Larry Macon, 60, an MM from San Antonio, TX. His marathoning is legendary. In 2004 he ran 58 marathons, and four of them were run in nine days! That's running two marathon doubles on two successive weekends!!
The 100 Marathon Club North America (100MC) was well represented. Participants in this inaugural race were: Jim Boyd (Seattle), John Bozung (Orem, UT), Eugene De Fronzo (Waterbury, CT), Carol Dellinger (Spokane), Bob Dolphin (Renton/Yakima), Steve Frederickson (Kent), Cheri Gillis (Woodinville), Deborah Gobins (Phoenix, AZ), Greg Judge (Renton), Sharon Kerson (Culver City, CO), Andy Kotulski (Montclair, NJ), Jim Kunz (Seattle), Don Lang (Glendale, CA), Larry Macon (San Antonio, TX), Ultra Al Miller (Deer Island, OR), Gunhild Swanson (Spokane), Jack Swanson (Spokane), Michael Wakabayashi (Spokane), Gregg Walchli (Seattle), Steve Yee (Renton), and in the ½ marathon was Todd Byers (Long Beach, CA).
Many thanks to race director Mike Ogliore, the race committee, volunteers and sponsors for hosting a great inaugural marathon. I'll recommend this race to my many marathoner friends and will add it to my annual marathon calendar.
Written by Bob Dolphin
Partial Results: Virginia Mason Team Medicine Marathon: Seafair
2:26:24 Chris Charles, 28, Seattle 1st in division
2:33:42 Dan Feldman, 25 Pasadena, CA, 2nd
2:41:27 Glen Weissman, 36, Bellevue, 1st
2:50:25 John Oleary, 30, Edmonds, 1st
2:50:52 Cliff Richards, 44, Maple Valley, 1st
2:52:27 Dan Salazar, 39, Tacoma, 2nd
2:56:27 Pete Hansen, 49, Ferndale, 2nd
2:59:33 Susan Empey, 36, Mercer Island, 1st
3:05:29 Gregg Walchli, 43, MM, 100 MC, Seattle, 4th
3:11:12 Ann Armstrong, 43, Poulsbo, 1st
3:12:37 Mary Hanna, 43, Maple Valley, 2nd
3:14:12 Doug MacLean, 53, MM, Mercer Island, 2nd
3:16:56 Ruben Contreras, 50, MM, Stanwood, 3rd
3:20:18 Steve Supkoff, 39, MM, North Bend
3:20:32 Jennifer Yogi, 30, MM, Seattle, 1st
3:20:42 Eric Barnes, 48, MM, Puyallup
3:23:09 Philip DeYoung, 36, MM, Sachse, TX
3:23:57 Terry Sentinella, 41, MM, Anacortes
3:26:34 Mark Looi, 44, MM, Issaquah
3:28:36 Dale Shoup, 57, MM, Edmonds, 3rd
3:28:49 Michael Wakabayashi, 57, MM, 100 MC, Spokane, 4th
3:29:33 Keith Fuller, 48, Richland
3:20:32 Doug Arcus, 58, Fort St. John, BC, 4th
3:34:33 Larry Carrol, 65, Liberty Lake
3:34:36 Dale Fuller, 51, Pasco
3:37:15 Steve Yee, 45, MM, 100 MC, Renton
3:37:36 Chris Marr, 50, MM, Spokane
3:44:24 Keith Panzer, 46, MM, Aurora, CO
3:47:40 Annie Thiessen, 34, MM, Tacoma
3:47:41 Tony Phillippi, 43, MM, Tacoma
3:49:11 Paul Emmett, 59, Redmond
3:50:23 Gunhild Swanson, 61, MM, 100 MC, Spokane, 1st
3:50:26 Lesa Overfield, 46, MM, Tacoma, 2nd
3:51:36 Van Phan, 34, MM, Maple Valley
3:51:47 Steve Frederickson, 58, MM, 100 MC, Kent
3:51:54 Alicia Britt, 42, MM, Seattle
3:53:17 Dave Bridgeman, 56, Cle Elum
3:53:34 Guy Yogi, 51, MM, Seattle
3:54:28 Gene Morris, 59, Seattle
3:54:57 Wendy Scott, 33, MM, Mt. Vernon
3:57:08 Barb Bumann, 51, MM, Spokane, 2nd
3:59:40 Judy Fisher, 61, MM, auburn, 2nd
4:03:54 Scott Krell, 44, Snohomish
4:06:26 Michael Shiach, 54, MM, Bainbridge Island
4:09:06 David Olsho, 54, Seattle
4:14:34 Jim Kunz, 56, 100 MC, Seattle
4:16:09 Claudia Cooper, 45, MM, Seattle
4:16:32 Dennis Spurlock, 43, MM, Spokane
4:19:18 Jim Boyd, 63, MM, 100 MC, Seattle
4:22:14 Diana Slug Robinson, 33, MM, Bellingham
4:26:29 Cheri Gillis, 53, MM, 100 MC, Woodinville
4:31:27 Hanan Berman, 58, Seattle
4:33:31 Bill Torsen, 55, Bellevue
4:34:59 Todd King, 43, MM, West Hills, CA
4:40:27 Janice Moyer, 48, Wellpinit
4:44:35 Andy Kotulski, 65, 100 MC, Montclair, NJ
4:48:12 Janet Burgess, 44, MM, Renton
4:48:40 Jack Swanson, 71, MM, 100 MC, Spokane, 1st
4:50:48 Al Becken, 76, San Antonio, TX, 1st
4:51:52 John Bozung, 52, 100 MC, Orem, UT
5:03:39 Larry Macon, 60, MM, 100 MC, San Antonio, TX
5:06:47 Sue Fauerbach, 58, MM, Renton
5:07:14 Jon Nevitt, 65, Burlington
5:17:12 Deborah Gobins, 47, 100 MC, Phoenix, AZ
5:19:03 Bernadette Langdon, 51, Portland, OR
5:19:56 Martha Hall, 34, Mableton, GA
5:23:11 Bob Dolphin, 75, MM, 100 MC, Renton/Yakima
5:24:12 Celeste Yen, 48, Portland, OR
5:28:01 Patricia Cole, 50, Plattsmouth, NE
5:32:50 Ultra Al Miller, 51, 100 MC, Deer Island, OR
5:41:39 Eugene DeFronzo, 69, 100 MC, Cheshire, CT
5:53:27 Greg Judge, 56, 100 MC, Renton
6:20:05 Sharon Kerson, 63, 100 MC, Culver City, CA, 4th
6:21:28 Don Lang, 70, 100 MC, Glendale, CA, 2nd
Carol Dellinger, 43, 100 MC, Spokane
Partial Results: Half Marathon
First Male 1:06:50 Nick Rogers, 30, Eugene, OR
Second 1:08:29 Alexander Jeffers, 16, Bellevue
Third 1:09:27 Ben Brown, 23, Lakewood
First Female 1:23:21 Jessica Manzer, 22, New York, NY
Second 1:25:54 Claire Duncan, 21, Philadelphia, PA
Third 1:26:04 Wendy Hagle, 36, Sumner
1:21:23 Robert Hester, 31, MM, Bonney Lake, 3rd
1:39:16 Brian Fitzpatrick, 63, Federal Way, 1st
1:41:34 Earl Fenstermacher, 56, MM, Seattle, 4th
1:42:02 Todd Byers, 42, 100 MC, Long Beach, CA He ran barefooted!
1:47:35 Steve Moe, 60, Kirkland
2:01:21 Lynne Werner, 54, Seattle
2:10:07 Richard Andrews, 62, Mukilteo