Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bob Dolphin Winthrop Marathon Race Report

September 25, 2011

Lenore and I had such a good time at the inaugural Winthrop Marathon at Winthrop, Washington, last year that we signed up again.  This year it was on Sunday, September 25, 2011, two weeks after the Skagit Flats Marathon and two weeks before the Victoria Marathon, so it fit nicely into our schedule.

Last year our friends, Hal and Patty Porter from Manson, WA, on Lake Chelan joined us at Winthrop for the marathon and were our hosts after the event.  This continued an enjoyable tradition during the nine years that I ran the Shore to Shore Lake Chelan Marathon (2001-2009).  We left Yakima on Friday, September 23, 2011, and drove to the Porter home.  The next day we saw many deer in the fields on our trip from Manson to Winthrop.  We checked in at the Winthrop Inn before going to a community center at nearby Mazama for packet pickup, a carbo-loading dinner and socializing with running friends.  It was good to see race director James Varner, Sharon and Larry Carroll, Bill Voilland and Jeff Pettett (from Phoenix, AZ).

I was given permission to take an early start, so early the next morning Hal drove me to the starting area of the marathon 26 miles away.  When I started my timing watch at 6:00 a.m., I was wearing a fanny pack, a water bottle holder, a Tyvek jacket and a reflective vest.  It was dark with overcast and calm skies and a temperature of 55 degrees.  Hal followed with headlights on for visibility for me and to scare off the wildlife (e.g., bears, coyotes, skunks, porcupines etc.)

After walking three miles, it was almost daylight when I reached paved State Highway 51, so Hal left me…..and I was on my own.  Traffic on the two-lane highway was light, and I used a flashlight to alert vehicles of my presence.  I walked on the flat-to-rolling road through the Okanogan National Forest and enjoyed views of Chewuch River cascades and forested mountain slopes on each side of the river valley.

Close at hand were Red Squirrels, Pine Chipmunks, Juncos and other birds.  Mile markers and aid stations were set up and manned, so this helped me for orientation and sustenance.  In the ninth mile the eventual winner ran by.  This was Erik Brooks, 39, of Winthrop who finished in 2:56:26.  Close behind him was John Lafayette, 42, of Seattle with a 2:57:59.  Dave LaTourette, 49, of North Bend was third with a 3:04:18.

The first woman, Selina Danka, 42, of Wenatchee, was in the lead pack and finished in fourth position with a 3:05:12.  In second and third place for the women were Ginger Gruber, 41, of Port Orchard (3:16:34) and Heidi Hubler, 26, of Auburn (3:26:57).

At the halfway area there was a lot of activity as the half marathon and relay runners were waiting to begin their races.  From there to the finish line there were many runners to talk with….from old friends to others I just met.  I held up well and maintained my pace until the last 10K.  Then the hills and rising temperature slowed me down.  The last mile is downhill and that was a treat!

I passed the 26 mile marker, went around a corner and saw the finish line ahead.  I was happy with my time of 7:49:13 (17:55 pace) and glad that another finish was under eight hours.  Lenore gave me a hug and put the finishers medal around my neck.  I went to a nearby table and soon was served a Mexican dinner, my reward and treat!  James Varner presented me with my 80+ age class winner’s award, a 6” metallic sheriff’s badge (the race logo) on a stand and inscribed with “Winthrop Marathon 2011.”

I’ve enjoyed this marathon for two years now and hope that I can be a participant in 2012.  Thanks go to James Varner, his staff and volunteers for putting on a fine marathon…..and to Hal and Patty Porter for being our hosts and helping us make marathon #492 a fun event.

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

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2:56:26  Erik Brooks, 39, Winthrop, OVERALL WINNER, First in Age Division

2:57:59  John Lafayette, 42, Seattle, SECOND OVERALL, 1st

3:04:18  Dave LaTourette, 49, North Bend, THIRD OVERALL, 2nd

3:05:12  Selina Danko, 42, Wenatchee, FIRST WOMAN OVERALL, 1st

3:16:34  Ginger Gruber, 41, Port Orchard, SECOND WOMAN OVERALL, 2nd

3:26:57  Heidi Hubler, 26, Auburn, THIRD WOMAN OVERALL, 1st    

3:27:54  Douglas Beyerlein, 61, Mill Creek, 1st

3:32:01  Brett Wittner, 41, Fircrest, Marathon Maniac (MM)

3:25:28  Tobin Marsh, 46, Seattle, 3rd

3:46:44  Michael Shiach, 61, Bainbridge Island, MM, 3rd

3:50:53  May Cheng, 46, Mercer Island, MM, 3rd

3:50:55  Matthew Runte, 34, Everett

4:17:31  James Kondek, 56, Bainbridge Island, MM

4:18:58  Lisa Wood, 38, Bellevue, MM

4:21:50  Bob Hoekman, 70, Mazama, 1st

4:27:39  Jeff Pettett, 51, Phoenix, AZ, MM

4:29:01  Piper Peterson, 64, Spokane, 1st

4:33:20  Wild Bill Voilland, 63, Richland

4:40:21  Audra Ramerman, 44, Burlington, MM

4:41:13  Linda Walter, 59, Puyallup, MM, 1st

4:43:30  Sharon Carroll, 68, Spokane

5:11:20  Paul Hoffmann, 49, Kirkland, MM

7:48:21  Dennis Groenig, 64, Hillsboro, OR

7:49:13  Bob Dolphin, 81, Renton/Yakima, MM, 1st

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