RunOff races celebrate 30 years

The course has changed, but the longest-running road race in Clallam County remains intact.

The 30th Sequim RunOff, a 10k and two-mile pair of races, is slated for May 3 at the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse, 2781 Towne Road.

While the majority of the course remains the same, race organizer Carol Clayton and staffers decided to shift the start line forward so that 10k runners wouldn't have to zigzag through nearby neighborhoods and, at one point, leap across a ditch.

The new starting line puts runners and walkers near Nash's Farm Store on Sequim-Dungeness Way, across from the schoolhouse. From there, both 10k and two-mile runners take a right on Twin View Drive, a left on Marine Drive, left again on East Anderson Road and a right on Lotzgesell Road. Two-milers do a short out-and-back on Lotzgesell while 10k runners continue on to Ward and Woodcock roads before the last stretch, a northbound path on Towne Road to the Old Schoolhouse.

Clayton said the course changes were made not only to make the 10k runners feel safer but also to keep local law enforcement from having to shut down neighborhood streets for very long. In addition, the start and finish line are closer this year.

Clayton said she hopes to have lead cyclists for both races and several course monitors at key intersections.

The RunOff is a particularly good draw for the series and for Sequim, as more than 200 toed the start line last year. Sequim native John Duquette, now a Seattle resident, often comes home to race the 10k - and usually wins, including a stretch of six wins in eight years - while Sequim women have won the 10k race each of the last four years: Christina Bruce, Margie Leary and Laura Gould twice.

"It's fun to see people (who made the race) part of their running history," Clayton said.

This year's race T-shirt is a black, short-sleeved shirt with a small, silver logo.

The RunOff is the final race of the 2008 Athlete's Choice Running Series. Come next year, Athlete's Choice is no longer sponsoring the Lincoln Park and Robin Hill races but will continue to sponsor the Sequim RunOff, Clayton said.
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