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My First Marathon

the Silver Strider onlinpresents

Race Reports 

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   16095 Cleveland St., Redmond, WA


           The Tacoma City Marathon – My First 



by Nancy Larsen
With photos by Bruce Fisher


4/29/18 – Point Ruston

Point Ruston became race central the weekend of April 28 & 29. TCMA offerred runners their choice of courses from 5K to Ultra Marathon distances. The runners on Saturday experienced spring weather conditions of showers and rain. On the other hand, the runners on Sunday were treated with partly cloudy skies at the start line opening up to a beautiful Northwest kind of sunny day along the course and to the finish.

Sunday’s Marathon course was a new course this year beginning and ending at Point Ruston as opposed to the previous course that began at the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor with a finish line in downtown Tacoma. The Ultra Marathoners course still had a leg that ran over the Narrows Bridge and back.

The Marathon course on Sunday was the final race in the 2017-2018 Silver Strider series. Sunday’s race was my inaugural marathon as well as taking on the new course. One thing people of the Northwest know that if you’re going to run a race in Tacoma the likelihood of hills is a given and this course lived up to challenge the runner.

I opted to take advantage of the early start to utilize the extra time for completing the course. Tony Phillippi from TCMA was at the start line on his bike to guide us up into Point Defiance Park and head us on our way. The early start had a slight change in the course at the park and Tony wanted to make sure we headed in the right direction.

Point Defiance Park is one of my favorite places to run; we could have just stayed in the park making laps, but onward we went. The scenery throughout the park is breathtaking with views of Puget Sound and the Narrows Bridge.

Leaving the park we began our hill trek, but not before the sight of four deer running in the streets left a smile on our faces. Much to my relief, the course took us up Bristol Street instead of Vassault Street. For those unfamiliar with Vassault; it has quite an uphill climb.

The course was well marked and Tacoma police kept a watchful eye on the busy intersections ensuring safe crossings. Volunteers enthusiastically greeted runners at all the water stops.

We ran through parts of Tacoma that I had only driven. At times the realization as to where we were and where we had to go was mind challenging.

People were out in the neighborhoods greeting runners and cheering us along the way. At one point we passed two ladies at a bus stop and I inquired as to when the bus was coming, but decided to keep on my quest. Timing mats at different intervals were recording runners progress.

We were running close behind a woman who was doing the Ultra Marathon and when we got to the turnoff point, I thought no way was I wanting to take on the Narrows Bridge route.

Runners were able to enjoy scenic parts of Tacoma along the Commecement Bay waterway and down Ruston Way; we certainly don’t lack for nature at its best in this part of the state especially when the sun is shining.

People out enjoying their Sunday along Ruston Way continued cheering us on towards the finish line. They talk about ‘hitting the wall’ in marathons and I think maybe at mile 24 my legs were trying to tell me one thing and my spirit was trying to tell me another. I did do more walking the last two miles than I wanted, but was able to run through the finish chute greeted by many of our Silver Strider family.

What a finish – yes! I was so glad to cross the finish line that I forgot to stop my chronograph watch; luckily the timers caught my finish time.

I was treated to a post-race massage from Heidi at BeHive massage, which really helped loosen my tight calves, thighs and quads. Some of the Silver Striders stayed after the race and weenjoyed a fun lunch at Stacks complete with a trip to Ice Cream Social.

A warm bath in epsom salts and a good nights sleep completed my day. I think I am still in awe that this actually happened.

I had alot of support from my Silver Strider family, but was more than touched that Tiare Bailey offered to help me train and run the marathon with me. I could not have done what I did, in the time I did without her constant encouragement. She said ‘let’s treat this like an all day shopping spree’, so I guess that worked!

My husband, Larry met us along the course with more nourishment items if needed and the ability to drop off no longer needed clothing; no sense carrying anymore weight than necessary.

There is a phrase that Tacoma area residents see alot that is one of my favorite, so here goes,
“Live like the Mountain is Out!”
26.2 Miles . . . 385 yards . . . not again . . . (well maybe; we’ll see!)

             The race results in Photos by Bruce Fisher


Nancy Larsen – Marathoner











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