Skagit Flats Marathon
September 8, 2001
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
It's always a pleasure to start off the fall marathoning season with the
Skagit Flats Marathon in northwestern Washington. This is an out-and-back,
flat course that starts in the town of Burlington and zigzags on country roads
in flat, agricultural land. A number or small homes and farms are interspersed
with cattle in pastures, blueberry plantings, and hay and vegetable crops
along the way. Hills and mountains are a backdrop view.
Many runners are preparing for the big city events such as the Portland,
Victoria and Seattle marathons by running this small city marathon for
training. The Skagit Flats Marathon with a running field of less than 100 fits
the bill of a training marathon. It certainly beats a solo 20 mile training
run where you don't get a T-shirt or a finisher's medal.
While the Skagit Flats Marathon on September 8, 2001, led off the fall
marathoning season, summer temperatures still lingered. It was 60 degrees at
the start and up to 75 degrees by the time the last runners finished on the
Burlington-Edison High School track. In 1990 when I ran a 3:05:16 here on a
cool day, I thought of the Skagit Flats Marathon as "flat and fast."
Now that I run the course in 4+ hours, I just think of it as "flat!"
I think that his year's winner, 49 year old Doug McLean who won in 2:58:51,
would disagree with me.
The nice thing about an out-and-back course is seeing the front runners
such as Doug and everyone else in the field run by in the opposite direction.
Michael Wakabayashi, 53, of Spokane was one of the front runners. His 3:09:52
was only a few minutes slower than the 3:04 that he ran in 1990. Laura Baird,
31, of Seattle was the first woman to finish with a time of 3:14:13 and placed
7th overall. She ran with her friend Glenn Tachiyama, 44, a Marathon Achiever
from Seattle, and they crossed the finish line together.
Yunae Wilson, 30, of Tacoma, women's winner of the 2001 Crater Lake
Marathon, ran much of the race with her dad, Greg Judge, 53, of Tacoma. She
finished in 3:29:20, and Greg's time was 3:51:25. Steve Barrick, 39, of Kent,
race director of the Green River Marathon (first weekend in June), had a good
day and ran a 3:30:12. Jim Boyd, 59, Fifty States and DC finisher from
Seattle, is back from a temporary business assignment in Chile. He had a good
run with a 3:31:42. Roseann Bacon, 41, of Yakima, ran a 3:33:36 and was first
in her age division.
Our friend Herb Allen, 59, of Bainbridge Island was elated with his 3:33:29
Boston qualifying time. Lenore and I will get together with him and his wife
Ardie at the 2002 Boston Marathon to see the city sights. Mel Preedy, 68, of
Ravensdale continued his winning ways with a 3:34:02, first for the 65-69M
division. Gunhild Swanson, 56, of Spokane is well on the way to recovering
from injuries. Her 3:34:25 earned her another first place award in the 55-59F
group. Her husband Jack Swanson, 67, finished second in his age division with
Five more Marathon Achievers had the following times: Dave Dutton, 45, Mt.
Vernon, 4:07:29; Mark Konodi, 45, Seattle, 4:18:55; Stan Nakashima, 49, Mt.
Vernon, 4:43:22; Cheri Gillis, 49, Woodinville, 4:46:56; and Carol Dellinger,
39, Spokane, 6:37:48.
I had a good day, but my pace slowed as the air temperatures increased. My
initial 8:30 minutes per mile pace slowed to 10:30 in the final miles. At the
turn-around area I saw 72 year old Keith Wood about a quarter of a mile ahead
of me. I caught up with him in the 24th mile, and we ran together for the rest
of the race. Finishing together, we tied for first place in the 70+ division.
We were in position 47 of 89 finishers.....not too shabby for the two oldest
runners in the race! Keith is from Australia, but lives in Seattle now. He has
run only a few marathons, and our 4:07:26 was a PR for him. Recently he
completed the Pikes Peak Marathon on mountain trails in Colorado. Its
turn-around is at the 14,000+ foot summit. I ran this marathon in 1984, and it
is one of the toughest marathons in the country.
Thanks to Kelly Jones, race director of this year's marathon, and to the
volunteers who supported the marathon and half marathon. We hope that the
Skagit Flats Running Club will keep these events on their racing calendar.
Written by Bob Dolphin