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Mossman and Clayton Shine at Labor Day Half

the Silver Strider onlinpresents

Race Reports 

brought to you by

Super Jock N Jill logo

    7210 Greenlake Dr N, Seattle, WA
   16095 Cleveland St., Redmond, WA


   Overlake Labor Day Half Marathon     




by Jerry Bronson
with photos by Bruce Fisher


9/4/17 – Marymoor Park

Kristen Mossman – 1st Female Silver Strider -Northwest USATF Half Marathon Champion W50-54

Scott Clayton – 1st Silver Strider – Northwest USATF Half Marathon Champion M55-59


 Finishers Medals



The half marathon on Labor Day has been a traditional race in Western WA for many years, first started by the Jock and Jill running store with the start and finish at Marymoor Park and with most of the course on the Sammamish River Trail. For the last two years of the race, the Redmond Town Center has been the start and finish site, with the Overlake Medical Center the main sponsor.

The course is advertised as one of the flattest in Western WA, with just 130 ft of elevation change, making PRs a real possibility. The race also serves as the Northwest USA Track and Field Half Marathon Championship, attracting elite runners from WA and surrounding states, and which obviously implies a USATF certified course. This year, however, that turned out not to be the case as will be described later on.

The Redmond Town Center makes for a good site for the pre- and post- race activities, with lots of room for the 1000 or so runners, including those doing the 4 mile run, very convenient parking and room for many food booths and a beer garden.

Silver Striders were very much a presence, with many more “regulars” than last year, and they were recognized by the race announcer as he called for all runners over 50 for the pre- race picture taking.

Eight beautiful athletes


The race began promptly at 8 am, with runners organized in waves, from fast to slower that did help to reduce the congestion for the first mile or so along the streets surrounding the center of Redmond.

The course was very well marked and patrolled though rather narrow and still rather congested as runners jockeyed for position through the first couple of miles. Many orange cones and the car traffic effectively kept runners from straying outside the marked boundaries.

The course then headed out toward Willows Rd and along the Willows Run golf course, before finally meeting up with the Sammamish River Trail at around mile 5.5.

No longer any motorized vehicles to be aware of, now just many garishly colored bike riders seemingly in a race among themselves to somewhere in both directions, zipping in and around the runners and other walkers with nary any sound or warning. Fortunately by now the runners were well spread out and there was adequate room on the trail for all users, and to my knowledge, no conflicts did occur.

The course went north on the trail to a turnaround point and headed back south. At the 7 mile marker, I looked at my watch and it was reading something like 6.5 miles. I wondered what went wrong. My first thought was that I had lost the GPS signal somewhere along the way. I wondered what had happened all the way to another turnaround on the trail and then back into the center of town and the finish line, my watch reading 12.65 miles.

Seeing a group of Silver Striders, we started comparing notes and found that all had the same result: the course was actually only 12.6 miles long instead of 13.1. It later was determined that the first turnaround point on the river trail was incorrectly located, ¼ of a mile closer than it should have been, an egregious error for a race of this caliber, if ever there was one.

The race director George Searing posted a note on the race website apologizing for the error and offering anyone with concerns to contact him directly to see what could be done. I’m not sure what that could be. It is possible to get a fairly accurate time by taking one’s pace for the last .6 miles and extending it by a half mile, but clearly the course could no longer be considered certified.

Race Director George Searing (center) with crew members Louis Edwards and Marcus Shaw


Oh well, as they say “Stuff Happens”. If mistakes were never made, it would be a pretty boring life we would all lead!

Notable Silver Strider happenings: Karen Lichtenstein ran her first half marathon in over 25 years and finished very well, Dale Hall’s granddaughter Hayley ran with Susan Hall and finished well under 2 hours even after adjusting her time and Ray Arrington ran with his Son Chris.

Afterward, 10 Silver Striders gathered at the BJ Brew House to sample the extensive drink and food menu; and to socialize, something Silver Striders do as well as they run!

Dennis Zaborac had prints of the trip to Vietnam for the others that accompanied him; Sandy Madden, Audrey Kirkwood, Audrey’s daughter and Susan Hall. He is putting together a slide show that may be shown at the Tortoise and Hare fun run and potluck later this fall.

Editors note:
Your author Jerry Bronson is now a Series finisher. The Half Marathon was his 8th Series race. Also, completing her 8th Grand Prix Series race for this year was Karen Lichtenstein. Jerry and Karen bring the total finishers for 2017-18 to eight while only 11 races in the Series have taken place. There are still 17 races left in the Series, plenty of time to finish the 8 races required to receive a trophy, gift certificate, free race entries, and many other prizes.

Jerry Bronson – Grand Prix Series finisher

Karen Lichtenstein – Grand Prix Series finisher



                    Results in photos by Bruce Fisher

The first place finishers in each age group are Northwest USATF Half Marathon Champions.
















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