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The Daring Downhill Dash

the Silver Strider online presents

Race Reports 

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


    The Pt. Ruston Independence Day 5k


by Jerry Dietrich
with photos by Bruce Fisher


.7/4/17 – Tacoma

The parking lot near the start of the Independence Day 5k was busy at 7:00 am as runners arrived early in eager anticipation of this unique event. Runners greeted each other and chatted nervously. This was no ordinary 5k race.

The first two and a half miles of the course were downhill.  The course was certified, promising fulfillment of different dreams for the runners.

For the elite runner, it was the dream of a world class time.

For the middle of the pack runner, the course held the elusive promise of a TOP IO ranking.

For some, their hope was for a PR.

Whatever their dream, the four hundred runners crowding the start area were determined to make it a reality. One hundred and sixty-six of those present were Silver Striders.

When the gun sounded, the runners moved out swiftly spreading out on the wide Vassault Avenue course. The beginning downhill section was gradual, allowing the runners to start off at a smooth, swift pace for the first several minutes. Then the downhill grew steeper, and smoother controlled strides were required.

As the runners sped past the entrance to Point Defiance, police were on hand to hold all traffic on Pearl street, giving the runners the right of way.

After another brief downhill section, the runners turned right to encounter a short, flat section followed by a short uphill. Then a left turn and a steep downhill led to Ruston Way. The downhill on Ruston Way was very slight and included two roundabout intersections along the way.

The course then made a  final turn near the Pt Ruston landmark boat. Runners left the road to proceed to the finish along a scenic, waterside path.

Once again, the first Silver Strider to finish was Igor Velichko in a time of 17:57.

Igor Velichko

The first female Silver Strider was Donna Jackson, age 65. Her time of 22:13 barely missed world class by two seconds.

Donna Jackson

















As anticipated, the final chip times were fast. Among the Silver Striders, there was one World Class time (93%), two barely missed World Class times, and another 11 National Class times (80%). 

When age graded, the top times were: Judy Fisher 93%, Donna Jackson 89.9%, and Carol Grisso 89.1%


Judy Fisher

Donna Jackson

Carol Grisso










Other National Class times were: David Crawford 87.5%, Tim Oguri 86.3%, Mickey Allen 84.5%, Ed Heckard 84.3%, Karen Lichtenstein 84.1%, Igor Velichko 83.9%, Ron Chew 83.7%, Keith Lerew 83.4%, Arne Hales 81.8%, Sandra Madden 81%. Congratulations!

Hats off to Women in the 70-74 age group. The top 3, Judy Fisher, Carol Grisso, and Karen Lichtenstein, posted 93%, 89.%, and 84.1%, making their age group the most competitive.

The age grading aspect is important at this time because it is the criteria to be used at the Final Battle Boomer race. Age grading is done according to each runners actual age, not age group. This makes the results very accurate.

The Point Ruston Independence Day 5k was the 4th race in the current Tab Wizard’s Grand Prix Series.

There are 28 races in the Series. Several runners ran the first four events, getting off to a good start.

Afterward, many runners remained to relive their experience and talk about dreams that were reached or went unfulfilled.

Fred Beavon missed the awards party and belatedly accepts his finisher’s trophy and gift certificate.











Enjoying the sunshine are left to right: Jerry Bronson, Huong Delabar, Nancy Larsen, Sandra Madden, Dave Anderson, Audrey Kirkwood, and Dora Choi.

Fred Beavon – First to order the new Silver Strider hat.











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