Sports

Skuce, Joyce go the distance

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Canadian Anthony Skuce didn’t have any competition to push him while Lynwood’s Regina Joyce didn’t come to win.

Yet both took home North Olympic Discovery marathon titles Sunday morning under sprinkling skies in Sequim and Port Angeles.

Skuce finished the 26.2-mile course in two hours and 37 minutes, more than 19 minutes ahead of runner-up Jeason Murphy.

After about a mile into the race that started near Carrie Blake Park in Sequim, Skuce grabbed the lead and widened it by several hundred yards by the five-mile marker and wasn’t seriously challenged after that.

“That (start) was a bit slow,” he said, “so I decided to pick it up a bit.”

Skuce called the cool, slightly damp weather perfect for a race day — but the course surprised him a bit with the rolling hills in miles 15-20.

“It’s a good course,” he said. “If you’re not ready, it’s an eye-opener. It gets really challenging in the middle.”

Regina Joyce won her second-ever full marathon — and her first since a December 1982 marathon in Scottsdale when she was 26.

“I didn’t think I would win it today,” she said. “I just came to finish.”

Joyce said she has a goal to earn membership in the Marathon Maniacs club, a club of runners whose membership requires extraordinary feats of endurance, such as finishing marathons on back-to-back days or completing ultra marathons.

Joyce was hoping to add another race to two she had scheduled in the near future, giving her three marathons in 90 days. She saw that registration for the North Olympic marathon was closed but had a friend get her registered.

Joyce stayed with the lead pack until about five miles to go, when she broke free and took the lead for good.

“Passing a lot of the walkers (near the finish), they were yelling, ‘First woman!’ That motivated me,” Joyce said said.

“I think it’s beautiful,” she said of the course. “I love running on trails. It was a challenge with the steep downhills and steep uphills.”

Joyce’s training partner, 24-year-old Tina Gall of Seattle, took home first place in the women’s half-marathon, finishing in one hour, 34 minutes. Flo Booth of Bothell was second.

Craig Isenberg of Port Townsend took the overall half-marathon title in one hour, 21 minutes, with Josh Klimek of Tumwater in second place.

Race director Larry Little was pleased with how the weekend went.

“Everything was unbelievably good — the weather, the volunteers,” he said. “We’re still looking at how to make it better.”

One of those changes, he said, might be shifting the full marathon’s starting line to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Center in Blyn, giving the race a full run on the Olympic Discovery Trail rather than looping around Carrie Blake Park.

That change would put the race’s center closer to Sequim and might mean more hotel users staying in the Sequim downtown core, Little said.

Sequim was well represented in the marathon, half marathon and a pair of shorter races Sunday put on by Olympic Medical Center. Adrian Clifford, a freshman at Sequim High School, easily won the OMC 10,000-meter race with a 37:55 finish, nearly five minutes ahead of Port Angeles’ Colby Wait. Clifford won the 5k race last year.

Paula Steinhauser of Seattle won the women’s 10k title, placing third overall in 45:44. Sequim High grad Leanne Schaafsma was second among 10k women.

Dylan Chatters, an eighth-grader at Sequim Middle School, sprinted to a win in the 5,000-meter OMC race, finishing in 20:40. Marybeth Bray, a 12-year-old from Port Orchard, won the women’s 5k title in 24:13.

Overall, the marathon saw 396 finishers while 908 runners and walkers completed the half-marathon.

Combined with the OMC 10k and 5k races, the North Olympic Discovery Marathon events drew more than 1,600 runners and walkers, not including the kids’ marathon and relay team participants.

Results online
Check out full results from the 2010 North Olympic Discovery Marathon, half marathon and Olympic Medical Center 5K and 10K races at www.nodm.com

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

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