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Pt Ruston Independence Day 5k

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Race Reports 

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                     Point Ruston Independence Day 5k




by Jerry Dietrich
with photos by Bruce Fisher

7/4/18 – Tacoma

Dubbed the “Fastest Course in the West”, the Independence Day 5k had a larger turnout than expected. Fast runners from near and far converged on Vassault Park in anticipation of a fast 3.1 mile downhill run to Pt. Ruston. There was a change in the course from previous years. Would it be faster or slower? The finishing half mile would definitely be faster.

What hopes lurked in the minds of runners as they toed the start line? A TOP IO time? Ten Grand Prix Series points? A step toward “Super Athlete” status?

The time for pondering the future ended as the gun sounded and over 600 runners surged out onto the first 200 meters downhill. Then a relatively flat stretch lasted about 400 meters before giving way to the main downhill section.

There was a gradual uphill mid-race, followed by a longer gradual downhill. A short uphill at about 2 and a half miles was followed by the exhilerating finishing section.

I liked the course much better than the old one but my time was much slower. Most of those I spoke with after the race said their times were about 12 to 15 seconds slower than last year. That is what you should expect to lose per year attributable to aging.

After crossing the finish line, I received a finisher’s medal which was a leftover from the 5k that accompanied the TCMA marathon last May. It was explained to me that, since the turnout was much larger than expected, TCMA ran out of medals. This was a substitute medal which they said would be exchanged for the correct one at a later date.

Racewire was having problems and results were not forthcoming. Runners were milling around the timing canopy, hoping for some idea of their time and finish position.

I was concerned because I needed the order of finish to determine Grand Prix points. It took several days and much research by myself and Flash Fisher to determine Grand Prix points. As far as finishing times were concerned, it was very hit and miss. Many runners faced disappointment as their times were reported incorrectly. In many cases, runners were omitted from the results entirely.

There was no doubt about the first Silver Strider to cross the finish line. Scott Clayton, age 57, smoked the course in 17:58. Gretchen Tapp, 57 years old, led the women runners with a finishing time of 22:31.

Those who elected to park at the start line to avoid the new Pt. Ruston parking fees, faced a long wait for the return trip on the one and only shuttle bus.

Despite these race day obstacles, most of the runners and walkers enjoyed the course and the perfect weather conditions.

The Pt. Ruston Independence Day 5k was the 4th race in the Grand Prix Series. The Kent Cornucopia race next Saturday should see some exciting changes in the age group standings as it is also the venue for the Final Battle of the Boomers.

These Silver Striders ran the race in colorful 4th of July attire:


               Men – Steve Husko and Larry Chandler.

Steve Husko

Larry Chandler






               Women – Gretchen Tapp and Mary Davis.

Gretchen Tapp

Mary Davis



Four runners have completed all four Grand Prix Series races thus far: Judy Fisher, Nancy Larsen, Betty Dietrich, and Jerry Dietrich.



      Here are the race results in photos by Bruce “Flash” Fisher

               Silver Striders enjoy lunch at Knapp’s Restaurant

Photo by Steve Husko












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