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10 Series Finishers At The Rhody Run

Race Reports 

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                            The Rhody Run 12k and 6k

 

 

by Jerry Dietrich
with photos by Bruce Fisher

5/19/19 – Port Townsend

Once again the Rhody Run 12k proved to be a test of strength, speed, and endurance. It seems easy to forget in a year that this is a tough course. Last year’s struggle is forgotten as you dream of conquering the hills of Port Townsend. By the time you are halfway up the first long hill at 2 miles, reality begins to set in. Each time you put a challenging hill behind, another appears to test your courage.

Many Silver Striders were on hand to accept the 12k challenge. Some decided to do the Half Rhody, a distance of 6k. By offering two distances, the Port Townsend Marathon Association gave runners a chance to participate in the event whether they had time for a rigorous training schedule or a modest one.

Excitement filled the air as runners arrived. The race had an 11:00 am starting time to accommodate runners who traveled long distances to reach this annual treat. The set up area, including the start and finish were all located at Fort Worden overlooking the Straights of Juan de Fuca and the Puget Sound.

Many buildings are located on the fort property which includes rental homes available to runners traveling from far away places.

The Packet Pick-up and Registration area was located in the Commons building, a spacious accommodation with a fireplace,  sofa, and chairs. Nervous runners rushed about renewing annual friendships and enjoying the atmosphere of camaraderie. Restrooms were clean and conveniently located indoors.

 

The shirts this year were quite nice. Bright green in color, they were tech, pullover long sleeved shirts. The 12k awards were large, custom struck Olympic style medals in gold, silver, and bronze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race Director Sarah Davis, and Race Official Jeni Little, were on hand to keep things running smoothly.

Sarah Davis and Jeni Little

 

The start area was a block away from the commons bordering a large park. Some canopies were already set up in the park and the street was lined with a fence to keep spectators from the starting race assembly area and the finish. Dozens of Port-a-potties were lined up inside the park.

Signs were posted along the block long start with pace times indicating where a runner should be positioned.

The 12k started at 11:00 am and the 6k started at 11:10. Both races started on the same course, with the 6k turning off before the big hill onto a trail. Right from the start Bill Haldeman age 61, lead the way for Silver Striders.

 

The weather for the race was typical. Slightly chilly at the start, turning quite warm after the first big hill. There were cheering spectators along the course and aid stations as well. The miles were well marked. Lots of runners wore the official race shirts although it was a little too warm for a long sleeve shirt. Singlets and lightweight t shirts were better choices.

The scenery was spectacular in spots with the Rhododendrons and other flowers in bloom.

With about a half mile to go, you could see the finish line on the other side of the park. It was encouraging or discouraging depending on how you felt.

The first Silver Strider to finish was Bill Haldeman. Bill tamed the 12k course at an amazing 6:25 pace, leveling the hills and winning his age group by over three minutes with 47:44.  Congratulations to Bill Haldeman. Bill is a  speedster with strength and endurance. The second Silver Strider, Kent Sizer, age 64, ran a strong 51:02.

 

The performance of the first female Silver Strider was noteworthy because she was the only female over 50 able to break one hour on the challenging course. Thury Gudmundsduttir, age 55, ran the course in 53:31.  Thury’s time shattered the course record for W55-59 by 4 minutes and 18 seconds.

Judy Fisher blasted the course record for W75-79 by eight and a half minutes! Judy now dominates the Rhody course, being the only person to currently hold 3 course records; Women 65-69, Women 70-74, and Women 75-79.

Leah Brown also set a new course record for Women 85-89, finishing in 1:59:18. She broke Ellen Ruby’s record by over 2 minutes.

Thury Gudmundsdottir – New Course Record!

Judy Fisher – Now holds 3 Course Records!

Leah Brown – New Course Record!

 

After finishing the race, runners helped themselves to fruit and bagels. Then on to the timing canopy to check results. A beer garden was open to all runners 21 and over.

Results revealed that there were 1,545 finishers. A noteworthy 41% (630) were Silver Striders. The average race attendance for runners over 50 is 17%.

The Grand Prix Series got off to an amazing start this year. After the first 8 races, there were 10 Series finishers! The first 2019 finisher was Steve Ramsdell, followed by Gretchen Ramsdell, Steve Husko, Patty Husko, Judy Fisher, Larry Larsen, Betty Dietrich, Karen Lichtenstein, Nancy Larsen, and Jerry Dietrich. Congratulations!

Steve Ramsdell

Gretchen Ramsdell

Steve Husko

Patty Husko

Judy Fisher

Larry Larsen

Betty Dietrich

Karen Lichtenstein

Nancy Larsen

Jerry Dietrich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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                             The Half Rhody 6k

The Half Rhody 6k was introduced last year.

This year it gained in popularity, not only because it is shorter, but because it doesn’t have all the long hills that define the full Rhody.

The first Silver Strider to finish the Half Rhody was Jay Strickland.

The first Female Silver Strider to finish the Half Rhody was Stacy Olson.

 

Rhody Run legend, Richard Williams 90, did the Half Rhody this year. Richard, who formerly held two course records for the 12k, finished the 6k in 66:19.

 

 

There are five 12K medalists in this post race photo: Three gold, one silver, and one bronze.

Patty Husko (535) and husband Steve (424) celebrate.

 

The post race lunch was held at the Alchemy Bistro in downtown Port Townsend. A large turnout of Silver Striders gathered to enjoy the private dining room and delicious food.

Presentation of finisher trophies for the recently completed 2018-19 GP series were presented to two Silver Striders who missed the annual awards party.

Kent Sizer was presented with a finishers trophy and a pair of running shoes for winning the Men’s 60-64 age division.

Molly Childs was presented with her finishers trophy and a $50 gift certificate to a running store. Molly finished 2nd in the W80-84 division.

Kent Sizer on the right receives his Series award for the 2018-19 Series.

Molly Childs on the left receives her award for the 2018-19 Series.

 

 

Next Jerry introduced the 10 2019 Series finishers.  Drawings were held for free entries into three upcoming races.

 

Bronze medalist Arne Hales, wins a free entry to the strawberry Short K

Silver medalist Isabelle Noiret, wins a free entry to the Lake Union 10k

David Longmuir celebrates his gold medal in the Men’s 70-74 age group.

Marsha Murray and Dave Anderson enjoy the celebration

Larry and Nancy celebrate Nancy”s Silver medal

 

After lunch, those with a sweet tooth went to our favorite ice cream parlor – the Nifty Fifties.  With such beautiful weather, we decided to enjoy our ice cream outdoors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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