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Rhody Run 12k

the Silver Strider online presents

Race Reports 

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

 

                   The Rhody Run 12k

 

by Jerry Dietrich
with photos by Bruce Fisher

 

May 21, 2017 – Port Townsend

A beautiful morning greeted the runners and walkers as they arrived at Fort Worden in Port Townsend for the 39th edition of the Rhody Run. This is one of my favorite races because of the tremendous community support. In addition to the challenging course, the Rhody Run 12k offers superb organization by the Port Townsend Marathon Association. This year, the Rhody Run 12k served as the kickoff event for the Tab Wizard’s Grand Prix Series 2017-18.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Fisher took a pre-race photo of some Silver Striders in the commons building. It was a good time to present Mike Henderson with his Grand Prix Series trophy and gift certificates. Mike was unable to attend the Silver Strider awards party so we made a belated presentation to him  before the race began.

Two events were held this year. A 6k was added to the traditional 12k race. Over 1700 runners and walkers assembled at the start line. Excitement filled the air as they crowded into the starting area. Annual friendships were renewed between runners who traveled from many different destinations to enjoy this event.

Perpetual entrant Ellen Ruby, age 88,  from Santa Paula California, made her annual 1000 mile trip to be among those at the 12k start.

The Rhody Run attracts an unusually large number of runners and walkers over the age of 50. Many of these athletes, like Ruby, return every year.

This year, there were 1,257 finishers in the 12k. Of these, 461 (37%) were Silver Striders. That is an impressive percentage given the distance and difficulty of the course.

It was announced that the race start would be delayed because of day of race registration congestion. Runners jogged in place or in front of the start line in an effort to stay warmed up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a delay of 10 minutes or so, the National Anthem was sung and the race was underway. There was the normal congestion caused by slower runners and walkers who started near the front but the street was wide and the throng strung out nicely as they circled the park.

Initially there were a few course ups and downs until runners reached the big hill at about one and three quarter miles. The steepness of the hill varied at times but the climb was continual until 2.5 miles were reached.

Spectator support was the strongest during the climb of this longest hill. Water in the form of of a spray from a hose, or a drink from a cup was offered continually during the climb. Several musicians kept runners entertained along the way.

Upon reaching the top of the big hill, runners were treated to a relatively flat 400 meters.  This ended with a turn that revealed yet another climb. The course continued with climbs and some downhills as we continued to the highest point on the course. The number of spectators dwindled somewhat but there were always several at every intersection in the residential neighborhoods.

Finally about midway, we reached the highest point in the course. There were still plenty of hills yet to climb, but runners who had run the race before knew that the downhills would outnumber any remaining uphills.

The closer we came to the finish in the park, the more plentiful the crowd support became. There was one last hill about 600 meters from the 7 mile mark. The remaining half mile was to be savored, especially the finishing stretch. Each finisher’s name and home town was announced as they crossed the finish line.

Friends embraced in celebration in the large, grassy Fort Worden park area.

Diane Martin, Nanci Larsen, Molly Childs

Patty and Steve Husko

Judy Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attendance at the beer garden didn’t seem as crowded as it has been in the past, but those who were there seemed enthusiastic.

The first Silver Strider finisher was Michael Frantz 55,  in a time of 47:56 . The first female Silver Strider was Barbara Maxwell age 52. Her time was 57:48 .

Michael Franz

Barbara Maxwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    Top Men finishers – photos by Bruce Fisher

 

 

 

                    Top Women finishers – photos by Bruce Fisher

Jennifer Little

This year “The Race That Cares For Runners” made some changes.

The first change is a sad one. Longtime race director, Jennifer Little is stepping down. Jeni has done an outstanding job over the years and will be sorely missed.

Another change was the addition, as previously mentioned, of a 6k race.

In the past, participants had to finish the race to receive their T-Shirt. The color and design of the shirt was a closely guarded secret.

This year, T-shirts were dispersed prior to the race in the packet pick up and registration area. This change eliminated the need for so many volunteers at the finish line.

The park was open to friends and families there to support participants. Another nice change!

Bagels, bananas, oranges and rolls were provided in the finish area. Results were available on the spot. And, if you were lucky enough to be in the 12k top 3 of your age division, you were rewarded with a beautifully crafted custom medal.

 

Following the race, several of the Grand Prix Series players exited the park and drove to our favorite place to celebrate – the El Sarape Mexican restaurant for our annual Rhody Run get-together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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