From left, Lea Falkagua, 33, Sean Parsons, 16, Derek Falkenhagen, 36, and Lee Parsons, 53, finish up at the Rhody Run on Sunday, the culmination of almost a week of Rhododendron Festival events in Port Townsend. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

From left, Lea Falkagua, 33, Sean Parsons, 16, Derek Falkenhagen, 36, and Lee Parsons, 53, finish up at the Rhody Run on Sunday, the culmination of almost a week of Rhododendron Festival events in Port Townsend. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Thousands take part in Rhody Run in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — The Rhododendron Festival closed out with the annual Jefferson Healthcare Rhody Run, which drew roughly 2,000 runners from across the state Sunday.

This year the Rhody Run added a new 6K run along with the annual 12K run, which has been going on for 39 years.

The race drew in everyone from children in strollers to seniors, runner and walkers and some doing a little of both.

Runners took off a little behind schedule, but under sunny skies at Fort Worden State Park. A few locals set up on the street to cheer the runners on, some played music and others rang cowbells and shouted encouragements.

This year 30-year-old Keith Laverty was the all-around winner, finishing the 12K race in just over 40 minutes, running an average of a 5:22 per mile for just over seven miles.

Laverty missed the men’s overall record time by about four minutes. The record is currently 36:08, which was set in 1986 by Mike Layman of Tacoma.

For the women, Jamie Cheever ran the 12K in almost exactly 44 minutes, with an average pace of 5:54 per mile. Last year Cheever was the fastest woman, finishing in just under 42 minutes.

She missed the women’s record by over three minutes. The women’s record was set in 1991 by Kim Jones of Spokane.

This year youngest racer was 2-year-old Juniper Paul who rolled in at 1 hours and 36 minutes. The oldest racer was a tie between Connie Voigt and Rose Horvath, both 79. Voigt was also one of the oldest racers last year at 78.

The last racers trickled in at the two hour mark and were met at the finish line with oranges, cut up bananas and a beer garden by Kona Brewing.

For full race results when they become available, visit http://rhodyrun.com.

The race was sponsored mainly Jefferson Healthcare, but local businesses such as the Port Townsend Co-Op, Peninsula Trails Coalition and Metro Bagels all contributed.

Metro Bagels also provided the bagels for runners to snack on after the race.

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

Thousands take part in Rhody Run in Port Townsend
Thousands take part in Rhody Run in Port Townsend

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