Skagit Flats Marathon
September 11, 1999
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
After years of having a loop course for the Skagit Flats Marathon, the new out-and-back course could be heralded as an improvement to enhance runner safety. On Saturday, September 11, 1999, several hundred marathoners and half marathoners left the high school at Burlington, WA, crossed 1-5 on an overpass, and followed the old course for several miles in open, flat, agricultural land. The new route then stayed on rural, lightly-traveled roads---and the advantage was that we didn't have to cross busy Chuckanut Drive (SR11) twice in the later miles as we previously did.
I like running an out-and-back course and seeing the racers coming back as I run to the turn-around point. I get to see the front runners and have the opportunity to greet friends and acquaintances as they head back to the finish line. On the older loop course the field would spread out, and it was lonely running without these benefits.
My running buddies whom I saw on the course are listed below in the order of their finish:
3:08:46 Ed Hill, 37, Renton
3:10:38 Mike Wakabayashi, 51, Spokane
3:21:57 Greg Judge, 51, Kirkland
PR 3:26:54 Rick Jensen, 38, Washougal
3:31:47 Bruce Katter, 65, (1st), Edmonds
3:34:01 Wayne Frudd, 45, Naches 33
3:35:40 Richard Ketchum, 44, Kent
3:37:32 Mel Preedy, 66,(2nd), Ravensdale
3:39:05 Steve Pierce, 37, Coeur d' Alene, ID
3:41:21 Jim Kunz, 50, Seattle
3:42:21 Dave Dutton, 43, Mt. Vernon
3:51:56 Wiley Hurst, 62,(lst), Yakima
4:01:07 Ron Fowler, 52, Seattle
4:07:17 Mike Dutton, 29, (1st), Everett
4:27:17 Diane Wilcox, 47, Seattle
4:32:43 Jack Swanson, 65,(3rd), Spokane
4:39:06 Bob Dolphin, 69,(4th), Renton
4:47:15 Phil~Weiser, 43, Federal Way
4:48:48 Jim Davison, 66, (5th), Tacoma
4:54:29 Jon Nevitt, 60, Burlington
5:25:02 Seth Sundin, 56; (3rd), Portland, OR
6:10:06 Carol Dellinger, 37, Spokane
As a result of warmer, clearer conditions with temperatures in the low 70's, many repeat runners this year had slower times compared to 1998.
The overall winner of the marathon was Jack Miller, 54 (not a typo), of Cache Creek, B.C., who ran a 2:48:58. This was his debut at Skagit Flats, and as a grandmaster runner, he had a remarkable race!! The first woman to cross the finish line on the track at Burlington-Edison High School was Kirsti Park, 22, of Seattle who ran unchallenged for a 3:28:52 time.
It was good to see an old friend, Bruce Katter, 65, back on the marathon circuit---recovered from injury and illness. Five years ag6 Bruce had just turned 60 while I was about to turn 65 and leave the 60-64M division. He came to Skagit Flats and took first in the age class, delighted to beat me since we only overlap in age competition for 3½ weeks every five years. Come to think of it, he did it to me again this year!! Maybe there is a pattern here that I can look forward to every five years. Oh well, I'm about to graduate to the 70-74M class, and Bruce and Mel can duke it out for awhile.
At the Skagit Flats Marathon I wasn't competitive anyhow---I just wanted to finish. A few weeks earlier I had injured my left calf during my first run in the Hood to Coast Relay, and now I'm running slower than usual. Five days before the marathon this injury caused some problems in the last mile of the Super Jock 'n Jill Half Marathon. I started this race feeling great, but at the 8 mile marker I was slowed temporarily to a walk. Later I moved on to a shuffle step and was able to cross the finish line at 4:39:06.
There I found Lenore, our "adopted" grandson Mike Dutton, friends, refreshments, and a shady spot to sit in the bleachers to watch other runners finish the race. It had been a great race, and I look forward to running it in the years to come.
Written by Bob Dolphin