Hundreds run today for North Olympic Discovery Marathon glory

Runners from as far away as France and the Netherlands are set to participate in today’s second annual North Olympic Discovery Marathon and Half-Marathon.

A steady stream of runners and their families from all over the country, Canada and some from Europe, kept race volunteers busy Saturday afternoon and evening as they signed up and picked up their race packets at the Red Lion Hotel in Port Angeles.

“We were scheduled to open (the registration tables) at noon but there were so many people milling around that we opened 20 minutes before noon,” said marathon race director Larry Little.

Between 1,000 to 1,050 runners are expected to race in the 26.2-mile marathon from Sequim’s Carrie Blake Park to the Port Angeles City Pier or the 13.1-mile half-marathon from Robin Hill Park to the city pier. Both events start at 9 a.m.

The marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier.

Each race is expected to have about 500 competitors.

Little said this race has even attracted the race director of the Mercedes Birmingham, Ala., marathon, which was the official race for the U.S. Olympic Trials in February. Valerie McLean will be running in today’s marathon.

As of 4 p.m. on Saturday, runners from 21 states had registered at the Red Lion, according to Clallam County Commissioner Steve Tharinger, who was volunteering at the registration tables. He was expecting between 25 to 30 states to be represented in today’s two races.

Many runners from British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta also have signed up for the race.

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