Skagit Flats Marathon
September 12, 2004
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
After a two year absence, it was great to be back for participation in the Skagit Flats Marathon on Sunday, September 12, 2004. Last year and the year before there was a schedule conflict with the Shore to Shore Marathon at Chelan in north central Washington. This was a fairly new marathon, and
my wife Lenore was assisting the race management. In 2001, the inaugural year for that marathon and this year these two marathons were offered a week apart, so some of us were able to run them both.
Skagit Flats has always been a fast marathon, especially when the weather cooperates. The first time I ran it was on September 8, 1990, when it was a loop course. I was 60 years old, and on a cool, overcast day I ran a 3:05:16, my best time of that year. In the dozen Skagit Flats races since t
hen my finishing time has slipped by two hours.
In 2000 the original course was changed from a loop to an out-and-back design that followed much of the original course. The change eliminated the running on two busy highways and made it a safer race. I like the out-and-back configuraion because it's possible to observe and greet the whole fie
ld and get a feel for the race order that is developing.
At the 8:00 a.m. start the air was calm, the temperature was 60 degrees, and the sky was overcast. I was amazed at the number of yellow Marathon Maniac singlets that were in view. The Marathon Maniacs (MM) group is a new club for marathoners that keeps growing and growing. Tony Phillippi, one
of the three co-founders, provided me with a list of the members who ran this marathon, and the designation "MM" appears by the names on the partial results list.
When I was about nine miles into the run, I was surprised to see the leader of the marathon returning! He had a commanding lead over the rest of the field. After the race I learned that he had massive leg cramps that caused him to drop out at Mile 22.
Gregg Walchli, 42, a 100 Marathon Club North America member and an MM from Seattle, was the winner in a time of 3:00:21. He was followed by Leland Wakelin, 45, of White Rock, BC, who ran a 3:08:59 for second place. Levi Webb, 22, was close behind with a 3:09:19 for third place.
Monica Ochs, 37, was the first woman with a time of 3:26:51. In second and third positions were MM's Bobbie Howard, 37 (3:38:03) and Gunhild Swanson, 60, of Spokane (3:39:37).
The Skagit Flats Marathon is run in an agricultural area that is varied and interesting. The area is bordered by Puget Sound. Hills and mountains may be seen on a clear day. Farmsteads, rural housing and villages are scattered throughout the region. There are horses, beef cattle and milk cows
in pastures and crops of silage corn, alfalfa and hay fields.
Blueberry plantings were seen in the open, and berry crops were grown under screening on frames. I ran past a field of ripe cabbage that was being harvested by hand. These things may have been on the famous Sakuma Farms.
If one were to return in the spring, there would be fields of tulips and narcissus to admire. The bulbs are grown, harvested and exported, mainly, to the Netherlands.
There were a lot of Eurasian plants in flower along the roadsides. The "garden-escape" that I found of interest was butter & eggs, a plant that resembles a miniature snapdragon.
Aran Galway, an old friend who has relocated from Alaska to Anacortes to set up a medical clinic, came to the race to see me off at the start. He then brought his wife Marie to the race to watch the runners finish. Aran ran some marathons in eastern Washington in the mid-1980's and is training
for the next YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON which will be run on Saturday, April 2, 2005. I look forward to seeing him there, and I appreciate his taking the time to join Lenore and me at the race start and finish areas.
Lenore was a volunteer at the race who helped prepare the finish area food and then pulled bib tags at the finish line for both races.
As I have often done for the past decade or longer, I ran for awhile with Jon Gissberg, a friend from Seattle. He ran barefooted in the early miles, but then put on flats when embedded gravel in the road pavement became too rough. I only know a few marathoners who like to race with bare feet.
Jon's most admirable exploit of the year is a successful completion of the Coeur d' Alene Ironman Triathlon in Idaho last June.
Thanks go to race director Wendy Scott, her committee and the volunteers for putting on a successful marathon. I don't plan to miss this race again, and I look forward to another Skagit Flats Marathon in September of 2005.
Written by Bob Dolphin
Skagit Flats Marathon Partial Results
MM = Marathon Maniac
100 MC = 100 Marathon Club North America Member
(1) 3:00:21 Gregg Walchli, 42, MM, 100 MC
(2) 3:08:59 Leland Wakelin, 45
(3) 3:09:19 Levi Webb, 22
(1F) 3:26:51 Monica Ochs, 35
(2F) 3:38:03 Bobbie Howard, 37, MM
(3F) 3:39:37 Gunhild Swanson, 60, MM, 100 MC
3:11:31 Ruben Contreras, 50, MM
3:12:53 Doug MacLean, 52, MM
3:13:20 Pete Hansen, 48
3:15:03 Mark Looi, 44, MM
3:18:16 Eric Gierke, 41, MM
3:19:30 Tony Phillippi, 43, MM
3:20:51 Chris Warren, 37, MM
3:24:34 Tony Covarrubias, 43, MM
3:24:34 Kendall Kreft, 45 MM
3:26:24 Dale Shoop, 57, MM
3:38:45 Kurt Lauer, 42, MM
3:38:58 Marc Frommer, 52, MM
3:39:16 Greg Judge, 56, 100 MC
3:41:07 Mike Wakabayashi, 56, MM, 100 MC
3:43:11 Rick Jensen, 43
3:43:38 Glen Mangiantini, 46
3:44:15 David Jones, 58, MM, 100 MC
3:47:31 Van Phan, 33, MM
3:50:31 Jon Eaton, 44
3:51:47 Ron Fowler, 57, 100 MC
3:52:09 Diana Robinson, 37, MM
3:55:13 Tim Lofton, 37, MM
4:01:20 Andrew Dunn, 45
4:06:10 Steve Frederickson, 57, 100 MC
4:06:33 Earl Fenstermacher, 55, MM
4:07:10 Jim Boyd, 62, 100 MC
4:11:23 Jim Kunz, 55. 100 MC
4:11:42 Dennis Spurlock, 42, MM
4:15:38 Michael Dutton, 34
4:21:44 Stan Nakashima, 52, 100 MC
4:25:07 Jack Swanson, 70, MM, 100 MC
4:32:15 Cheri Gillis, 52, MM
4:46:07 Ester Selander, 43
4:53:43 Sue Fauerbach, 57, MM
4:55:58 Gloria Edmonds, 60
4:58:01 Deborah McNeil, 43
5:01:09 Yau-Ming Chien, 61
5:07:24 Jon Gissberg, 61
5:08:54 Balic Boris, 68
5:15:08 Bob Dolphin, 74, MM, 100 MC
5:35:24 Marty Bots
6:37:00 Carol Dellinger, 42, MM. 100 MC