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the Silver Strider online presents


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Route 16 Running and Walking
6745 Kimball Drive, Gig Harbor



The Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon




By Jerry Dietrich
10/9/16 – Victoria


Silver Striders made their annual trip to run the Goodlife Fitness Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8k held on October 9th this year. The weather prediction for race day was ominous. Heavy rain with wind and temperatures in the low 50’s was predicted.

Nevertheless, at the Expo, the day before the race, runner’s spirits were high. Enthusiasm filled the air.

The exhibitors at the Expo were fewer than in past years, but the runner attendance was good. By increasing the width of fewer aisles, congestion was greatly reduced and visitors were able to move freely throughout the exhibits.

After picking up our race numbers and making purchases, the Silver Striders met for our group photo in the lobby of the convention center.
















Then we trekked across the street to the Old Spaghetti Factory for our annual pre-race get together and dinner. This has been a Silver Strider tradition for the past 8 years.



Standing in the rain after a delicious pre-race meal














On race morning the runners were delighted to find the weather predictions were wrong. The temperature was around 50, with no rain or wind and gray skies. A storm might come in later, but the starting weather was ideal. The three races started at different times and the courses snaked around Victoria in such a way that they didn’t interfere with each other.

Near the start, 5 or 6 large canopies were set up along the street serving as a clothing check station. The volunteers were well organized giving the runners a chance to shed their sweats just before the race start.

At 6:30 a.m. the early start marathoners began their journey. This start was for those who needed 5:30 or longer to finish. Finishing earlier would result in disqualification, as it would disrupt timing if marathon finishers came across with the 8k runners.

At 7:15 a.m. the 8k runners and walkers started on Belleville Street.

At 7:30 a.m. the Half Marathoners started right around the corner on Menzies Street

At 8:45 a.m. the Marathon started on Belleville Street.

The runners were in a festive mood and everything went off smoothly.

Running the half marathon, I saw my fellow half marathoners going in the other direction as we wound around and through Beacon Hill Park. I saw friends again on the out and back coastal sections.

As always this race is unrivaled when it comes to community support and volunteers. People cheering and shouting encouragement along the way made you feel exhilarated. The aid stations were overmanned with volunteers elbowing each other for the honor of giving out a cup of water.

I was about 8 miles or so into my race when the marathon leader flew past me. Several minutes later, another marathoner sped by. Then my course turned and I parted ways with the marathon course.

Later on, I saw marathoners again going in the opposite direction. I called out to Dave Sherman who was running strong and would eventually finish 3rd in his age group. Several minutes later I saw Audrey Kirkwood. We were both running near the center line of the road and ran toward each other to give a double high five as we passed.

Just past 11 miles, I saw the Terry Fox Memorial Statue. It was an inspiration to see this memorial as I neared the finish of the race.


Click on the photo and when it reappears alone, click on it again. Use back arrow to return.


Click on the photo and when it reappears alone, click on it again. Use back arrow to return.










At the finish line, I was given a high five by race director, Rob Reid. He greets every runner in person as they cross the finish line.

Volunteers, with smiling faces, draped each runner with a commemorative finisher’s medal. Large tents, filled with an abundance of food, awaited the runners in the finish area.

Back at the convention center, the large room where the Expo had been held was cleared and there was now a stage with chairs set up for more than 200 people.

Three separate award ceremonies were held. One for each race. The 8k awards were held at 10:00 a.m. The Half Marathon awards were held at noon, and the marathon awards at 2:00 p.m. There were lots of nice prizes given out in drawings at each ceremony although not comparable to years past.

In years past, the awards always went 5 deep in each age group for each race. This year the awards were reduced to 3 deep.

Prior to last year, resin trophies were given to the top three in each age group with medals for 4th and 5th.

Last year the trophies were discontinued. Tea diffuser bottles replaced trophies and medals.


left: resin trophy – right: tea diffuser


left: 8k Gold Medal – right: tea diffuser












Silver Striders at the Half Marathon awards


Despite the reduction in the size of the Expo and the cut backs in awards that have taken place in the past 2 years, the Victoria Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8k lures runners to return.

The races are well organized. The support from residents is terrific. The volunteers and race officials are friendly and efficient. The course is one of the most scenic of all big city marathons.

Our friends from across the border know how to put on a race and welcome Silver Striders each year to their beautiful city.





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