PORT ANGELES — The rain held off for the top finishers, the headwinds didn’t stop a 12-year-old marathon record from being broken, and the air was clear and fresh for a Hawaii winner who was forced to train with volcanic ash clogging the skies.
More than 2,200 racers ran, walked, jogged, strolled and pushed themselves past their limits in a record-breaking 16th annual North Olympic Discovery Marathon Sunday.
The new marathon record was set by Keith Laverty of Bainbridge Island, who finished in a time of 2 hours, 34 minutes, 44 seconds, breaking the old record of 2:35.47 by Preston Brashers of Renton.
Laverty kissed his 17-month-old baby, Luke, and got a hug from his wife Elisa at the finish line. He said it hadn’t really sunk in yet that he had shattered by a full minute the marathon’s 12-year-old previous record. His time was so good, he beat the second-place runner by a whopping 24 full minutes.
“It was perfect conditions, not too hot,” said Laverty, who won the Great Olympic Adventure Trail marathon last year. He said the headwinds didn’t bother him too much.
Laverty said he usually runs trail marathons. Amazingly, his record-breaking performance was his first win in a road marathon.
“Road marathons are more about the pace,” he said. He said joining the half-marathoners down the second half of the race helped him.
“I was feeding off the energy of the half-marathoners,” he said.
The women’s winner was Amy Young, who lives in Keaau on the big island of Hawaii. However, this race was a big homecoming for her as she grew up in Port Angeles and went to high school here.
Young was met at the finish line by her parents who provided her with a blanket. “I’m freezing,” she said.
Like Laverty, Young dominated the race. She finished in a time of 3:18.20, eight minutes ahead of second place and five minutes faster than last year’s best women’s time.
“I went to high school overweight and uncoordinated so to come back home and win” is special, said Young.
Young called it “a beautiful course.”
“The scenery is amazing, the people are so kind,” she said. “And the air is so fresh.”
Keaau is on the eastern part of Hawaii, not far from where the volcanoes have been erupting. She said the air has been so bad with the eruptions “that it’s been hard to train.”
“I’ve had to drive around” looking for places to train, she said.
Conditions weren’t bad, but a cold, wet cell moved through the area mid-morning Sunday. Race organizers were handing out mylar blankets to runners chilled by the rain showers and 10- to 15-mph winds.
In addition to Young, there were also local runners who did well. Port Townsend’s Seamus Fraser, a distance runner for the Redhawks track team, won the 10K for the second year in a row, in an outstanding time of 36:17, almost four minutes better than his first-place time from last year.
Port Angeles’ Troy Treaccar came in third in the half-marathon, while Lauren Larson, Kynzie DeLeon and Maddie Dougherty, all members of Port Angeles’ league-champion girls’ track team finished second, third and fourth in the women’s half-marathon.
In the women’s 5K race, Nicki Boehm of Sequim finished second while Erin Hodge of Port Angeles finished third.
More then 2,200 runners participated in the race from 36 states and five nations.
Look for complete results Monday online and in Tuesday’s Peninsula Daily News sports section.
North Olympic Discovery Marathon
Sunday, June 3
Sequim to Port Angeles
Men — Keith Laverty, Bainbridge Island, first, 2:34:44; Mark Albanese, Tacoma, second, 2:58:45; Ben Puszka, Victoria, B.C., third, 3:02:45.
Women — Amy Young, Keaau, Hawaii, first, 3:18:20; Sabrina Seher, Tacoma, second, 3:26:29; Sandra Riggs, third, 3:36:08.85.
Men — Paul Smith, Olympia, first, 1:14:52; Chris Callendar, Victoria, B.C., second, 1:22:14; Troy Treaccar, Port Angeles, third, 1:25:53.
Women — Nicole Lerner, Keyport, first, 1:28:38; Lauren Larson, Port Angeles, second, 1:37:18; Kynzie DeLeon, Port Angeles, third, 1:37:18; Maddie Dougherty, Port Angeles, fourth, 1:37:18.
Men — Seamus Fraser, Port Townsend, first, 36:17; Alex Mu, Irvine, Calif., second, 37:36; Alexander Alamangos, Sammamish, third, 37:40.
Women — Siri Kushner, Bainbridge Island, first, 45:30; Emma Shorr, Seattle, second, 48:21; Lydia Carle, Hillsboro, Ore., third, 48:34.
Men — Payten Marshall, Kingston, first, 17:21; D. Flores, San Dimas, Calif., second, 18:41; Anthony Eames, Portland, Ore., third, 18:45.