Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bob Dolphin Skagit Flats Marathon Race Report

September 11, 2011

The 34th Skagit Flats Marathon was held on Sunday, September 11, 2011, at Burlington, Washington.  I first ran this marathon in 1990 with a time of 3:05:16, and I’ve run it 19 times to date.  To his credit, Stan Nakashima has run them all!

In the early years the marathon followed a loop course, but in recent times it was changed to an out-and-back.  Both routes are primarily in the flat, agricultural land west of Burlington that is know as Skagit Flats (in Skagit County and near the Skagit River).

On the day before the marathon and concurrent half marathon Lenore and I went to the race headquarters at the Hampton Inn in Burlington to get my bib, packet and T-shirt.  Because the races were held on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the “911” terrorist attacks on our country, the shirt reflected this day of remembrance.  The red and white design was printed on a blue technical shirt.  Stars, stripes, a Bald Eagle and two white running figures constituted a patriotic design.

Race director Terry Sentinella had given me permission to take an “early, early start”, so the next morning I was at the starting line on Victoria Street adjacent to Burlington-Edison High School at 5:00 a.m. to start my timing watch.

It was dark, but the first mile and a half had streetlights at the sidewalks.  As I was leaving the suburban housing area on Peterson Road, Terry and volunteer Bill Barmore stopped their vehicle as they were checking the course.  We exchanged pleasantries, and I walked on. 

After the last streetlight I came to Pulver Road and turned right onto it.  It was really dark, but moonlight from the full moon helped!  To be seen by traffic, I wore a reflective vest and waved a bright flashlight as the few cars slowed and avoided me.  As the moon set in the west, it became orange in color in the early daylight.  The sun, also, was orange-colored as it rose in the east.  Mile markers and unmanned aid stations were in place, so this helped with my orientation.

A flock of Canada Geese flew overhead, and smaller birds were common in the fields and along the roadsides.  In the 10th mile I came across a manned aid station and appreciated the help from the friendly volunteers.  In my 11th mile friends who took the “early start” began to pass by.  The first one was Stan Nakashima, followed by Yau-Ming Chien, Jon Nevitt, Diana Robinson and Monte Pascual.

This was marathon #200 for Monte, and Lenore was at the finish line to give him a hug and to present him with a 100 Marathon Club North America T-shirt and “200” pin.  We later learned that this was marathon #100 for Jon!

In the 12th mile the regular starters began to pass.  The first one was the winner, Jesse Stevick, 29, of Olympia.  His finishing time was 2:34:27.  In second place was Miguel Galeana, 37, of Gig Harbor who ran a 2:45:14.  David Gibbon, 49, of Vancouver, BC, ran a 2:46:48 for third place.

The winner of the women’s race was Rochelle Long, 40, of Everett with a time of 3:14:32.  Second place went to Tina-Louise Harris, 43, of Coquitlam, BC, with a 3:23:47.  In third place was Jenny Stevick, (wife of the overall winner), 28, of Olympia with a 3:28:43.

In the second half of the marathon I was able to greet runners going in the opposite direction.  This always is a pleasurable experience as I see many friends and acquaintances every year at this marathon.  By this time the temperature had risen from 53 degrees at my start to about 84 degrees.  I drank more water and poured some on my head……and concentrated on maintaining my pace.  I had been on a sub 8-hour pace as my goal, but again it would be close. 

When I reached the school grounds in the last quarter mile, I walked to the track and crossed the finish line in 7:55:50, last of 300 marathoners.  As usual these days, at age 81 I was the oldest one in the race. Twenty-one years ago at age 60 I ran this marathon in 3:05:16, less than half the time it took me to walk it this year.  Goals change over the years, and I’m grateful that I could walk this marathon at an average 18.09/mile pace to finish Marathon #491.

Written by Bob Dolphin
Edited, Typed and Distributed by Lenore Dolphin

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2:34:27  Jesse Stevick, 29, Olympia, OVERALL WINNER, First In Age Group
2:45:14  Miguel Galeana, 37, Gig Harbor, SECOND OVERALL, 1st
2:46:48  David Gibbon, 44, Vancouver, BC, THIRD OVERALL, 1st
2:58:54  Cliff Richards, 50, Maple Valley, Marathon Maniac (MM), 1st
3:14:32  Rochelle Long, 40, Everett, FIRST WOMAN OVERALL, 1st
3:23:47  Tina-Louise Harris, 43, Coquitlam, BC, SECOND WOMAN OVERALL, 2nd
3:28:43  Jenny Stevick, 28, Olympia,THIRD WOMAN OVERALL, 1s
3:30:33  Robert Lopez, 45, Seattle, MM
3:32:19  Chris Warren, 44, Renton, MM
3:42:10  Bill Iffrig, 77, Lake Stevens, 1st
3:42:38  Brian Pendleton, 45, Auburn, MM
3:51:51  Lorelei Sadowski, 48, Port Coquitlam, BC, MM
3:55:14  Michael Wakabayashi, 63, Spokane
4:01:37  Sherry Mahoney, 47, Palm Desert, CA, MM   
4:01:38  Jon Mahoney, 59, Palm Desert, CA, MM       
4:02:10  Michael Shiach, 60, Bainbridge Island, MM   
4:04:26  Bob O’Brien, 69, Mt. Vernon           
4:16:05  Craig Romano, 50, Mt. Vernon           
4:28:16  Robert Stretz, 43, Issaquah, MM           
4:42:45  Max Welker, 69, Tacoma               
4:43:13  Unha Lee, 61, Olympia                       
4:43:29  Janice Moyer, 55, Wellpinit               
4:45:41  Cheri Pompeo, 59, Woodinville,MM
5:23:00  Stan Nakashima, 59, Mt. Vernon
5:44:57  Cyndie Merten, 55, Corvallis, OR, MM
5:55:10  Herb Allen, 69, Bainbridge Island
6:13:30  Monte Pascual, 51, Federal Way, MM
6:13:30  Diana Robinson, 44, Bellingham, MM
6:18:00  Yau-Ming Chien, 68, Bellevue
6:25:31  Jon Nevitt, 72, Burlington
7:55:50  Bob Dolphin, 81, Renton/Yakima, MM

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