Decent First Race (about: 2002)|
Jeffrey Smith from Laguna Hills, CA (4/28/02)
This was the inaguaral race for the Wings of Gold Marathon. I ran the 1/2 that started in Oak Harbor. I could pick apart the race, since it was the first one, but I'll cut it some slack for just that reason. Instead, I'll focus on the course itself.
The course was beautiful, starting in Oak Harbor and then following the coast line down to Coupeville. There were numerous large hills, but none too difficult for the seasoned runner. The portion of the race along Scenic Heights is fantastic, with great views of the San Juan Islands, the Olympics and quite a few Whidbey Island farms. Running through Oak Harbor was sketchy, as we were stuck on the sidewalks, running through busy intersections while the locals in huge pickups angrily gunned their engines. The race finish was in picturesque Coupeville, with a .2 mile downhill finish. The race finish was set up in a way that as you round the final corner, you have a full head of steam and all the spectators get to see you come screaming into the finish chutes...I'm sure it made for many great finish line photos.
All in all, if the organization for the race improves and the sections of the course on Hwy 20 can be shut down for the runners, I'd run it again.