December 22, 2002
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
Running the Christmas Marathon and its associated half marathon and 5K
races is becoming a growing holiday tradition in the Pacific Northwest.
This year on December 22, 2002, the number increased to 250 participants
with 102 finishers of 105 starters in the marathon. Bob Green, the race
director, does a good job of organizing the three events which start and
finish in Millersylvania State Park south of Olympia, WA.
Using the same out-and-back course for the three races and with aid
stations spaced every one and a half to two miles, there is maximum use of
the aid resources and available volunteers. My wife Lenore was a busy
volunteer helping with late registration and working at the finish line
for the three races.
As I neared the I-5 overpass in my 11th mile, I saw Dan Salazar going in
the opposite direction. He was leading a group of strong front-runners.
Unfortunately, Dan developed leg cramps and dropped back to finish in 4th
position. The eventual winner was Paul Skarsgard, 38, of Richmond, BC,
with a time of 2:52:12 coming in only two seconds ahead of Luigi Buffone,
41, of Crete, IL (2:52:14). In third and fourth were Jeff Riley, 33, of
Coburg, OR (2:56:49) and Dan Salazar, 37, of Tacoma (2:59:13).
The women's winner was Stephanie Beckett, 29, of Sammamish with a 3:32:50.
In second and third were Linda Williams, 44, of Abbotsford, BC (3:37:41)
and Summer Hamide, 21, of Camas, WA (3:38:23).
On the course I admired a runner's tyvek jacket that had "Runners of
Compassion" written on the back in bold letters. I asked Bryan Schurbach
of Victoria, BC, about the significance, and he told me that Rob Reid,
race director of the Royal Victoria Marathon gave that name to his running
charity organization. During the year the group hosts a number of races
in which the proceeds go to a dozen or more worthy charities. This
certainly is commendable. To learn more about the Runners of Compassion
As I was going to the starting area before the race I was a bit surprised
to see someone wearing Texas shorts....that is a lone white star on the
blue portion of the red, white and blue colors. He introduced himself as
John Ellis, 55, of Houston, TX, and said that he and his wife Esther had
run the YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON on April 6, 2002. They visit their
daughter periodically at Vancouver, WA, and run races in Oregon and
Washington while they are here.
The four Lust sisters from Yakima, WA, and New Hampshire ran the half
marathon. They are Nancy, Teresa, Mary and Eva. They talked to me
briefly in the second mile of the combined field before they ran on and
out of sight.
It is said that you are only as good as your last race. The previous week
with a time just under five hours at the Birch Bay Marathon, I had finished
in 19th (and last) position. I hoped to redeem myself at the Christmas Marathon.
I had my long training run (Birch Bay), and the weather was favorable with the
temperature in the 50's and breezes of about 5 mph. I felt fine....no injuries
or cramps....and my pace was fairly constant. When I reached the halfway mark
in 2:03:14, I doubled the figure and added ten minutes to project my finishing
time at 4:16:30. The last five miles on a rolling state highway was a bit of
a struggle, but that's the wall that always awaits. I crossed the finish line
at the picnic shelter in the park with a 4:15:17, in 43rd position of 102 finishers
and first in the 70+M division. I had a good race and felt redeemed by being
in mid-field again.
Herb Allen, a long time friend from Bainbridge Island, WA, ran the
marathon saying that he did so at my suggestion. Herb got his money's
worth. He missed a turn in the 17th mile and ran an extra mile or so,
thereby, running his first ultra-marathon! He still had a good time of
4:14:16 and was first in the 60-64M division. Way to go, Herb!
At times, Lenore and I witness emotional moments at the finish line. We
noticed that a middled-aged man started to cry after he crossed the finish
line. As she took his bib tag, Lenore asked him if it was his first
marathon. When he replied in the affirmative, she congratulated him and
gave him a hug before adivisng those in the immediate area of the good
news. We then gathered around him to shake his hand and to congratulate
him on this accomplishment. What a wonderful Christmas present he gave
himself....running his first marathon at the Christmas Marathon. I'm sure
he'll always have pleasant memories of this day.
We saw many friends before, during, and after the race. Their names are
included in the partial results that follow.
Written by Bob Dolphin
3:34:52 David Jones, 56, Seattle
3:40:55 Ron Fowler, 55, Seattle
3:41:52 Mel Preedy, 69, Ravensdale
3:51:36 Greg Judge, 54, Renton, WA
3:58:43 Jim Kunz, 54, Seattle
4:13:26 Raenne Rushing, 38, Seattle
4:14:16 Herb Allen, 60, Bainbridge Island
4:15:17 Bob Dolphin, 73, Renton, WA
4:45:15 Fenny Roberts, 50, Salem, Oregon
4:45:15 Jim Scheer, 60, Vancouver, WA
4:50:00 Diane Wilcox, 50, Yarrow Point
4:52:25 Richard Andrews, 59, Mukilteo
5:09:19 John Ellis, 56, Houston, TX
5:12:23 Esther Ellis, 57, Houston, TX
1:37:40 Scott Lucke, 35, Port Orchard
1:39:40 Teresa Lust, 38, Etna, NH
1:45:59 Mary Lust Riehl, 35, Yakima
1:47:37 Eva Lust Wright, 32, Yakima
2:04:07 Nancy Lust, 40, Yakima
21:31 Erick Lindbergh, 51, Tacoma
26:02 Sally Lindbergh, 56, Tacoma
26:46 Jim Clay, 66, Issaquah
31:20 Jimmy Smith, 62, Bremerton