It was Sequim’s day to shine in the sun.
Quite literally, the sun was shining down on the racers of the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on Sunday, creating near-perfect conditions for the runners.
Mikey Cobb, a 2015 graduate of Sequim High School, won the NODM marathon in record time — 2 hours, 33 minutes, 36 seconds. He broke last year’s record time by more than a minute.
Heidi Hietpas of Sequim won the women’s marathon in 3:36.16. She finished fifth in the race last year.
More than 2,200 runners and walkers from 34 states and four countries took part in the NODM marathon, half-marathon, 10K and 5K races that stretched from Blyn to Port Angeles.
When asked how many marathons he has ever run, Cobb held up one finger. Amazingly, the NODM was his first-ever marathon.
He not only won it, he won in record time.
“The prodigal son returns,” Cobb said.
Cobb ran cross-country for Sequim and one of his years running for the Wolves, his team came in second in the state. He left Sequim to attend university in Illinois at North Central College. Now, he is a graduate student at Columbia University and he runs with the Central Park Track Club.
Cobb said he took some time off from school to train for his first marathon, but that didn’t really come into the race with a goal to win.
“The last five miles, my calves were shredded,” he said.
Cobb won by a margin of just under four minutes over second-place finisher Derek Lactaoen of Seattle, who finished with a time of 2:37.17. These two dominated the marathon as the third-place runner was 16 full minutes behind Lactaoen.
Cobb prefers to run in colder temperatures than Sunday’s 50s and 60s along the course, but called it a beautiful day for the race, a sentiment echoed by most of the runners. The temperatures were cool and there was a light breeze along much of the course.
There was a heavy layer of marine fog off the shore, but it stayed over the water as the runners were instead soaked in sunshine. It was a big contrast to last year’s drizzly marathon.
Cobb also thanked his Sequim cross-country coach, Harold Huff, who once told him he shouldn’t try to break 2:40 in the marathon.
“I didn’t listen,” Cobb said.
Cobb won the race a week after Sequim High School won the 2A boys track and field championship.
“It’s incredible. I’m really proud of them. Those kids are a lot faster than I am,” Cobb said.
Hietpas finished running a 50-mile race three weeks ago at Sun Mountain outside of Winthrop. She finished that in 10 hours, 41 minutes.
“This was awesome, it feels great. It was beautiful, lots of smiling faces. This was the best of Sequim,” she said.
Winning the women’s half-marathon was Nicole Lerner of Keyport in a time off 1:30.55.
“It was a beautiful day. Just a great day for a marathon. A little bit of cloud and a little bit of sun,” she said.
The men’s winner of the half-marathon was Brody Ruffner of Newton, N.C., with a time of 1:18.53.
Keith Laverty of Bainbridge Island won last year’s NODM marathon in what had been record-setting time. This year, he ran the 10K, winning that race with a time of 33:07. Finishing second was Port Townsend High School runner Nathan Cantrell (who finished second last week in the 1A 3,200-meter race at the state track and field championships), who came in with a time of 35:06. Cantrell’s Port Townsend teammate Seamus Fraser came in third with a time of 36:58.
Winning the women’s 10K was Port Angeles High School runner Lauren Larson with a time of 37:33. Larson came in fourth among all runners and won the women’s race by a whopping five full minutes. Larson last week finished second in the state in the 800 meters and the 1,600 meters and third in the state in the 3,200 meters.
Winning the men’s 5K was Chris Callendar of Victoria, B.C., with a time of 18:13. The women’s 5K winner was Robin Jones of Bremerton with a time of 22:37.
Winning the marathon relay was the Kent team of “Mrs. Brown & Her Lovely Daughters,” which finished with a time of 3:34:11.
Winning the marathon walk was Jennifer Mone of Scarsdale, N.Y., with a time of 5:02:40.
See ful results at www.nodm.com.