December 19, 1999
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
It was a pleasure to run in the Christmas Marathon near Olympia, WA, on Sunday,
December 19, 1999. Bob Green, race director, made several improvements in the
event this year that were well-received. The race start and finish area was
relocated from Kennydell County Park to Millersylvania State Park near Maytown.
This more rural course area is safer due to less traffic. It has rolling hills
through some wooded areas and is a single out-and-back layout---replacing the
double out- and-back of previous years.
There were three races sharing the same course. The marathon had 83 finishers,
the half marathon had 67, and the 5K race had 16 runners. Unlike other years,
the weather was nearly ideal. The temperature was in the mid 40's, and there
was cloud cover with a light headwind in the early miles.
At the 11th mile, I saw the lead group of runners coming back. There were
two young men and one woman. The latter prevailed, and Laura Nelson, 34, of
Bend, Or, became the first woman to win the Christmas Marathon!! Cliff Gill,
35, of Aloha, OR, came in second with a 2:55:11. Close behind was Jim Bates,
43, of Hopewell, VA, with 2:55:35. During 20 years of active racing this was
the first race I had participated in that had a woman as the overall winner.
There was a lot of excitement at the finish line. CONGRATULATIONS TO LAURA
FOR A GREAT TIME OF 2:52:55!!
Because of the conservative number of participants in the Christmas races,
it's easy to meet and greet friends and enjoy the camaraderie before, during,
and after the events.
Our friend Jimmy Smith, 59, from Bremerton is nursing an injury, so he chose
to run the Half Marathon and finished in 2:13:30. While volunteering at the
Seattle Marathon registration, we met Tim and Kathy Swanson, ironman competitors,
new to this area from Florida. We were happy to see them and their 18 year
old daughter Kylie participate in the Half Marathon. Tim, 49, finished in
1:31:10; Kylie in 1:47:09; and Kathy, 43, in 1:47:20.
The following is a list of the times and finishing positions of our friends
and acquaintances who ran the marathon:
9. 3:13:25 Ed Hill, 36, Renton, WA.. .3rd
15. 3:20:33 David Jones, 53, Seattle, WA.. .2nd
19. 3:27:25 Kenneth Bonner, 57, Victoria, B.C. .2nd
22. 3:31:06 Mel Preedy, 66, Ravensdale, WA.. .1st
29. 3:38:44 Bryan Chapman, 48, Battle Ground,Wa.. .4th
30. 3:39:17 John Little, 58, Vancouver, B.C. .3rd
33. 3:41:55 Sarah Gallain, 47, Vancouver, B.C. .1st
34. 3:43:17 Steve Frederickson, 53, Kent, WA.. .4th
39. 3:49:09 Phil Weiser, 43, Federal Way, WA.. .6th
54. 4:01:44 Bob Livitz, 64, Houston, TX.. .2nd
61. 4:11:43 Cheri Gillis, 47, Woodinville, WA.. .3rd
62. 4:15:15 Diane Wilcox, 47, Yarrow Point, WA.. .4th
66. 4:18:50 Ray Scharrenbrock, 66, 5. Milwaukee, WI.. .2nd
82. 5:26:26 Donald Lang, 65, Glendale, CA.. .3rd
Davey Jones ran his 77th marathon. He called it his "lucky double 77th and it
turned out to be just that. As usual Mel Preedy was first in the 65-69M division.
He was a bit disappointed that he ran a 3:31 and didn't get under 3:30. He shouldn't
be. He beat the first 60-64M by 19 minutes!
We had seen John Little and his wife Sara Gallalin at the Birch Bay Marathon
on December 11 and were happy to have them join us from Vancouver, B.C., for
this race. Steve Frederickson's quest is almost finished. His goal of running
a marathon on all seven continents will be completed next July when he runs
his Asian marathon in Mongolia. He is one of only a few runners who have run
a marathon in Antarctica.
Phil Weiser had run the Honolulu Marathon the previous weekend. He passed
me at mile 15 and was out of sight in no time. Cheri Gillis has been running
24-hour trail runs and other ultras recently---including the Vermont 100 miler.
A 26.2 mile race must seem like a "run in the park" to her.
This was my 6th marathon since turning 70 on October 4th---and I have managed
a first place in all of them. Oh, the joy of being in a new age class!! I
finished 57th of 83 overall and was the only one in my age division---with
a 4:03:05 time.
On hand were runners from 19 states and British Columbia. The states were:
California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia,
Wisconsin, and Washington.
Many of these runners were fellow members of the 50 States and DC Club here
to add Washington to their "state list." Ray Scharenbrock ran his 371st marathon!
Donald Lang ran his 40th marathon of the year to bring his total to 217 marathons.
Robert McNaught, 51, from Bellingham ran his 98th marathon in 2:57:20. He
has chosen the 2000 Boston Marathon for his 100th marathon. He has completed
50 states and DC and is now working on the provinces and continents.
Two marathon runners wore signs saying, "Coast to Coast"---a runner from
Maine running with a local. A runner from Honolulu, Hawaii, came to run the
half marathon with her sister. Dottie Duncan, 45 came from Chicago to run
her "26th state" and received an award for being the last woman to cross the
finish line (5:04:40).
There was something for everyone at this well-organized event. Evan Galloway
and Andy Reese, both 16 and from Bambridge Island, completed their first marathons
in outstanding times of 3:04:59 and 3:13:50. Five runners were allowed "early
starts" so they could finish before dark, and other runners were excited about
"qualifying for Boston."
There were finisher medals for all marathoners, and trophies three and four
places deep. The T-shirts and sweatshirts with a great Christmas design were
sold out before the races began---but there was plenty of food for all. Available
were bananas, sandwich fixings, cookies, donuts, and pop, but best of all
there were fires in the stoves and hot chili, soup, and cider to warm us up.
Denny Brooks from www.ontherun.com checked in for a short time with his
camera and has a picture of the Half Marathon winners, Ernest Wong and Becky
Backstrom, with his posted results of the Christmas Marathon.
Kudos to Bob Green, the volunteers from his softball team and others---
and to my favorite volunteer, my wife Lenore.
Written by Bob Dolphin