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The Fantastic Four

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                   The Fantastic Four at the Final Battle




by Jerry Dietrich
with photos by Bruce Fisher


.7/15/17 – Kent

This was the “Final Battle”. The quality of this assembly of Washington runners over 50, was unequaled in the history of Washington road racing.

If you won your age division at this race, you were #1 in the state without question. Your finish position determined where you ranked among the  top 6 in the state. All of the top runners were there.

How did this field of elite come together at the same time at the same place?

It was actually an evolution of an idea set forth by Dennis Zaborac. Dennis envisioned a series of age group competitions. The top 6 runners in each age group as ranked by the Silver Strider magazine’s South Sound Running TOP IO, would be invited to compete for prize money. Money would be distributed to the top 5 finishers.

The competitions would be held as part of selected existing Grand Prix series races. The competitions were held over a two year period.

The original idea was to conclude the series with a “Battle of Champions”, in which the age division winners would compete for a grand prize.

As the competitions moved into the second year, Dennis decided he would like the final race to include everyone who had competed in the age group competitions. Furthermore, he wanted to include any runner ranked in the top 6 who had missed his or her age group competition because of injury.

Dennis decided to call it the “Final Battle”.

Unlike the age group competitions, no one was missing due to injury. All the top runners in every age division were present and ready to race. The quality of the field was unbelievable.

All the top men and women in 14 age divisions would compete with age grading determining the winners.

The winner would receive $500, 2nd place $300, and 3rd $200. Additionally, $100 would go to every 10th place and $50 to the next to last runner.

Shortly before the race, using age graded current times, I decided to try and predict the winners.

This is what I came up with:
1. Joe Sheeran 93.2%
2. Mark Billett 88.3%
3. Judy Fisher 88.2%
4. Pat Warner 88.1%
5. Jean Treleven 86.8%

Following the race when the winners were announced, I couldn’t believe I had predicted the top five. I had them in the wrong order but still, picking the top five was unexpected.

Joe had looked like a cinch to win. Mark looked likely for 2nd. I thought Judy and Pat were a toss-up for 3rd. Pat had a little faster time but Judy was 2 years older making them almost dead even. Jean Treleven had been under the weather and only recovered enough to commit 4 days before the race. I underestimated her tenacity completely.

The actual finish knocked my socks off. The top 4 age graded, finished within one percentage point.

Joe barely prevailed. The top three women had really stepped up!

Because the top 4 finished within one percentage point, I dubbed them “The Fantastic Four”.

                                      The Fantastic Four

Joe Sheeran 90.57%

Jane Treleven 89.89%

Pat Warner 89.83%

Judy Fisher 89.57%


As I checked the results later, I remembered the congested start. It occurred to me that if one of these top women had the audacity to start in the front row alongside Joe Sheeran, they might have won the race.



The Final Battle shared the spotlight with the Cornucopia age division winners.

It is interesting to compare the Battle of the Boomers age group competition champions with the winners of the “Final Battle”.  Only Mark Billett (M60-64), and Jane Treleven W65-69) were able to repeat victories by winning both times.

Here are the comparisons. The original Battle of the Boomers champions vs The winners of the Final Battle.

M50-54 John Ohearn Champion 18:18

M50-54 Igor Velichko 1st in Final Battle 18:55

W50-54 Kristen Mossman  Champion 21:00

W50-54 Lisa Knoblich 1st in Final Battle 20:07

M55-59 Brian Sepal Champion  19:16

M55-59 Joe Sheeran 1st in Final Battle 17:29

W55-59 Regina Joyce Champion 21:12

W55-59 Gail Hall 1st Final Battle   ….  20:45

M60-64 Mark Billett Champion 18:54

M60-64 Mark Billett 1st Final Battle 18:41

W60-64 Barb Buman Champion  24:00

W60-64 Carol Sexton 1st Final Battle 22:48

M65-69 David Crawford Champion  20:17

M65-69 David Longmuir 1st Final Battle 20:36

M70-74 Arne Hales Champion 23:09

M70-74 C.B. Crouse 1st Final Battle   …..  22:27

W70-74 Judy Fisher Champion  24:30

W70-74 Pat Warner 1st Final Battle 23:49

M75-79 Larry Glenn Champion  25:46

M75-79 Mark Stockslager 1st Final Battle 26:36

W75-79 Louise Mihay Champion  31:08

W75-79 Sue Stipe 1st Final Battle 32:16

M80-84 Richard Olafson Champion 27:48 (downhill)

M80-84 Wm. Jackson    1st Final Battle    …..  31:28

W80-84 Barbara Macklow 1st Final Battle 36:32

W85-89 Chloe Parr    1st Final Battle  53:24
















































Will there be a sequel to the “Final Battle”?
Stay tuned 











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