Royal Victoria Marathon
October 10, 2004
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
If circumstances required that I could run only two marathons a year, the royal Victoria Marathon would be one of the two. It's that meaningful to me. This year the marathon was scheduled for Sunday, October 10, 2004, with a start time of 9:00 a.m. As in past years, a half marathon, 8K and sho
rt kids run were also available.
The weather was nearly ideal for running. The temperature was in the low to mid 60's with a thin cloud cover in the early hours of the race. The air was mostly calm, but there were some breezes.
I had heard that there were minor course changes, so I looked forward to seeing them. They were positive. Some new loops in Beacon Hill Park in the city replaced a long upgrade in an out-and-back section as the major course changes. The improved course still retained a tour of downtown Victori
a, the suburbs of south Vancouver Island and sea views from overlooks near bay shores. Because much of the course is out-and-back, the runners can watch the leaders run by and greet friends and acquaintances. The race started and finished near the Parliament Buildings, the Inner Harbour and the
renowned Empress Hotel.
It was the 25th anniversary of the marathon, and this occasion was noted in many ways. Five runners who have run all of the marathons were recognized at the Carbo Gala Dinner at the Empress Hotel on the eve of the races. I know two of them.........Ken Bonner, 60+, of Victoria, an avid
marathoner and endurance bike racer, and Clive Heatherington of Nanaimo, BC. I've know Clive since 1990 when I ran my first Victoria Marathon.
All marathon entrants were given a 25 year commemorative book describing the history of the marathon and listing past winners and age class division records. I was surprised to find my name twice in the latter group. My times of 3:22:31 and 3:48:07 are the records in the 65-69M and 70+M divisions.
Many past winners were at the dinner and received special recognition. These included Kelvin Broad of Canada who was a consecutive five-time winner beginning in 1995. Cindy Rhodes of Kelowna, BC, sat next to me at the dinner table. She has won the women's division a record SIX times. This yea
r she ran the half marathon in 1:25:26 for 50th overall, 9th female and first in the 45-49F division.
For almost two years we've teamed up with Ed and Lois Driver of Palm Desert, CA, at some marathons. In 2003 we joined the Drivers at the Marine Corps Marathon and the Honolulu Marathon. In April of this year they volunteered at the YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON (YRCM), and Ed and I ran the event
. Whenever we met, we would tell them how great the Victoria Marathon is, and we were pleased that they joined us to see for themselves.
It was a MARATHON WEEKEND, and we took advantage of what was offered. At the Conference Centre near the Empress Hotel, we picked up our race package and sweatshirts. We visited with Steve King, announcer for this marathon and the Vancouver Marathon, Rich Benyo, editor of Marathon and Beyond Mag
azine and director of the Napa Valley Marathon, Michelle Little and her husband Larry, race director of the North Olympic Discovery Marathon, Marty Wanless, sports marketer from Vancouver and YRCM sponsor, Geoffrey Buettner from the Vancouver Marathon, and Tom Silinski, Active.com/Do-It Sports representative.
A local bookstore had a booth exhibiting running books written by the many authors and speakers who were on the program during the weekend. There were a lot of interesting books on display.
On Saturday, there was a Celebrity Authors Breakfast at the Empress Hotel. Each author described the books that we had seen at the Expo the day before and shared many informative anecdotes, personal experiences and running advice to make it very interesting. On the program were Joe Henderson,
Richard Benyo, Roger Robinson and Steve King.
After we left the breakfast, we moved next door to the Expo Theatre in the Conference Centre to listen to a full day of speakers and panels. I enjoyed the humorous and informative presentation by Joe and Rich on the "Lessons the Marathon Taught Us....the Good, the Bad, and the Horrifically Ugly.
" These two well-known runners/authors/speakers are on the staff of Marathon and Beyond, a unique runners journal. Katherine Switzer and her husband Roger Robinson presented "Men, Women, and the Marathon." Katherine is the first registered woman runner to enter and finish the Boston Marathon.
The keynote speaker of the day was Dick Beardsley. His topic, "Staying the Course," was an interesting and stimulating presentation of various portions of his life.
At the Carbo Gala, Dick spoke again, and we learned more about his remarkable life and road racing career that continues. He has won the London Marathon, Grandma's Marathon and Napa Valley Marathon. His duel with Alberto Salazar in the 1982 Boston Marathon is a classic.
Katherine Switzer presented a motivational address. We learned more about the historical event when race organizer Jock Semple tried unsuccessfully to bodily remove her from the 1967 Boston Marathon. As it turned out, Katherine's future husband, who was accompanying her, pushed him off the course, and they ran on to finish the marathon. Her pioneering run at the Boston Marathon helped open the race to women.
At the starting line on Sunday morning and on the course I saw some Marathon Maniacs......Doug MacLean, Rueben Contreras, Jennifer Yogi and her father Guy Yogi, Earl Fenstermacher and Mark Looi. With a time of 3:16:35, Jennifer finished third in the tough 25-29F division.
The race was handily won by Bruce Deacon, 35-39, of Victoria in a time of 2:21:07. Following in second and third places were Lawrence Merrifield, Jr., 35-59, of Portland, Oregon (2:32:53), and Todd Howard 25-29 of Victoria (2:35:08).
The first three women were Hallie Jansen, 25-29, of Portland, Oregon, with a 2:49:36, past winner Joan McGrath, 40-44 of New Westminster, BC (2:55:09) and Nancy Baxendale, 40-44 , of Shawnigan Lake, BC (2:59:49).
Dick Beardsley is still a great runner. He finished 8th overall with a 2:44:31 and was first in the 45-49M division.
Ed Driver and I lined up together at the start and crossed the timing mat together 25 seconds later. I ran with a crowd for three miles in the city and suburbs before reaching Beacon Hill Park roads. I ran with long time friend Bill Schnitzler, 57, of Calgary, AB, for three miles in the park an
d along the shoreline. When I walked a hill, he ran on ahead.
I hadn't seen Ed for awhile, and I didn't know where he was. At the 15 mile turn-around, I found out. He was a quarter of a mile ahead of me! We high-fived, and then I tried to catch him.....to no avail. I ran for miles with long lines of runners ahead.....but no sign of Ed. With a half mile
to go to the finish, I spotted him moving well, but I was gaining. With the finish area in view 200 meters down the road, I passed Ed and sprinted to the finish line. There I was greeted by Steve King, the announcer, race director Rob Reid, Lenore and Lois. Ed came in 18 seconds behind me! I
finished in 4:34:38, 1,605 of 2,200 overall, third of 10 in the 70+M division. If there had been a 75-79M division, Ed and I would have been first and second.......since I am now 75 years old, and Ed turned 79 on October 13.
Congratulations to Ed for running his fastest race since he turned 70.....a 4:34:56. He had been training to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and it paid off. At Victoria he reached his goal by running a qualifier race under 4:45:00 on a certified marathon course. He's an inspiration!! Ed, Lo
is, Lenore and I are planning to meet at Boston in mid April 2005 so that Ed and I can run in the Boston Marathon and take a crack at the 75-79M Division.
Congratulations to Charlie and Gretchen Bodeen (20+) of Yakima, WA, as this father/daughter team ran together to finish in 3:43:22.
Congratulations, also, to Paul Dangel, 30+, who came from Atlanta, GA, to run his first marathon in 3:56:25. His father, Harry Dangel, 60-64, wasn't far behind as he finished with a 4:22:10.
Thanks and congratulations to race director Rob Reid, technical director Sylvan Smyth, announcer Steve King, emcee Rod McKimmon, events coordinator Susan Denny, many other committee members and volunteers for putting on a successful 25th Royal Victoria Marathon. In 2005 I plan to run my two favorite marathons again......the Royal Victoria Marathon and the YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON!!
Written by Bob Dolphin
Royal Victoria Marathon..Partial Results
(1) 2:21:07 Bruce Deacon, 35-39, Victoria, First in Division
(2) 2:32:53 Lawrence Merrifield, Jr, 35-39, Portland, OR, 2nd
(3) 2:35:09 Todd Howard, 25-29, Victoria, 1st
(1F) 2:49:36 Hallie Jansen, 25-29, Portland, OR, 1st
(2F) 2:55:09 Joan McGrath, 40-44, New Westminster, 1st
(3F) 2:59:49 Nancy Baxendale, 40-44, Shawnigan Lake, 2nd
2:44:31 Dick Beardsley, 45-49, Detroit Lakes, MN, 1st
2:47:02 Herb Phillips, 60-64, Burnaby, 1st
2:51:14 Keith Wakelin, 45-49, Coutenay, 2nd
3:07:58 Doug MacLean, 50-54, Mercer Island, WA, 2nd, Marathon Maniac (MM)
3:11:08 Rueben Contreras, 50-54, Stanwood, WA, 3rd, MM
3:16:35 Jennifer Yogi, 25-29, Seattle, WA, 3rd, MM
3:16:50 Leland Wakelin, 45-49, White Rock
3:23:53 Mark Looi, 40-44, Issaquah, WA, MM
3:33:14 Eb Engelmann, 60-64, Salem, OR, 2nd
3:39:03 Guy Yogi, 50-54, Seattle, WA, MM
3:39:51 Janet Green, 50-54, Courtenay, 3rd
3:43:22 Gretchen Bodeen, 20-24, Yakima, WA
3:43:22 Charlie Bodeen, 50-54, Yakima, WA
3:47:49 Earl Fenstermacher, 55-59, Seattle, WA, MM
3:48:12 Jon Eaton, 40-44, Everett, WA
3:56:25 Paul Dangel, 30-34, Atlanta, GA
3:57:01 Ken Bonner, 60-64, Victoria
3:58:06 Bill Schnitzler, 57, Calgary, AB
4:01:30 Beverly Stuart, 35-39, Kenmore, WA
4:04:45 Michael Dutton, 30-34, Everett, WA
4:06:29 Raymond Colliver, 70+, Calgary, AB, 1st
4:15:12 Emma Norman, 30-34, Bellingham, WA
4:22:10 Harry Dangel, 60-64, Atlanta, GA
4:25:27 Hanan Berman, 55-59, Kirkland, WA
4:28:12 Lynne Hurrell, 70+, Grass Valley, CA 1st
4:28:53 Evan Fagan, 65-69, Victoria
4:30:50 Lionel Wilridge, 65-69, Kent, WA
4:33:05 Nester Slywka, 70+, Burnaby, 2nd
4:34:38 Bob Dolphin, 75, Renton, WA, 3rd
4:34:56 Ed Driver, 78, Palm Desert, CA, 4th
4:40:35 Ron Levangie, 55-59, Calgary, AB
4:45:17 Phyllis Sund, 45-49, Tumwater, WA
5:03:29 Neil Barber, 70+, Quesnel, 5th
5:31:48 Clive Heatherington, 70+, Nanaimo
5:43:48 Virginia Farneman, 65-69, Powell, OH, 4th
6:53:52 Jill Macinnes, 55-59, Surrey
1:25:26 Cindy Rhodes, 45-59, Kelowna
1:40:05 Michelle Little, 35-39, Port Angeles, WA