Crater Lake Marathon
August 8, 1998
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
For a week or two before the Crater Lake Marathon of August 8, 1998,
I had misgivings about the air temperatures for the event. In the
week before the race 100+ temperatures were noted east of the Cascades
in south central Oregon. My concerns were unnecessary, as cooler
conditions prevailed by race day. The field of 498 runners for three
concurrent races (6.7, 13.0, and 26.2 miles) ran with a temperature
of 55' at the 7:30 a.m. start to the mid 70's at the marathon finish.
Under clear skies with an intermittent ten mile wind, the running was
almost pleasant as we looked down on Crater Lake below the cliffs and
promontories of the rim. The nearby mountains, forests, meadows, and
snow patches added to the beauty of the setting.
Although this marathon is often won by some young fellow who lives at
a high elevation, it isn't always the case. This year the winner was
Larry Abraham, 48, from Tacoma, WA. He finished his first Crater Lake
Marathon in a time of 3 hours, 12 minutes, and 5 seconds--over seven
minutes ahead of Spencer Schaffner who had a 3:19:44. In her Crater
Lake Marathon debut, Ruth Michler, a math professor at the University
of North Texas, won the women's race with a time of 3:37:14. She was
The 60-69 male division was won by Martin Balding, 61, of Susanville,
CA, with a time of 3:28:35. He was the sixth finisher overall and
really impresses me.
Our friends and acquaintances ran well. David Olsho, 47, of Seattle,
WA, was 31st overall with a 3:59:05. Dick Stones, 61, of Portland,
OR, was third in the 60-69M division with a 4:07:13. Lynne Werner,
David's wife, finished in 4:31:41. Ed Hansen, 51, an Oregon mega-
marathoner, had a 4:40:00. Jimmy Smith, 57, who lives in Bremerton,
WA, and runs one or two races every weekend, had a 5:53:34. Don
Benberg, 61, a dedicated marathoner from Seattle finished last in
6:55:26 to win a special "I Did It" plaque.
My run went better than usual, I adjusted my approach to the race
(hydration and pacing) and had my fastest time there in five years.
I finished with a 4:33:11, ten minutes better than last year, 67th of
106 finishers, and fourth of six in the 60-69M division. Usually
when I finish, I tell Lenore, "Never again!" But this time I felt
fine and am looking forward to the next Crater Lake Marathon.
As always, the race directors, Bob and Beverly Freirich, did a great
job and were assisted by many conscientious volunteers.
Written by Bob Dolphin