PORT ANGELES — There wasn’t a huge throng of people waiting at the finish line like in a normal year, but there were still people having fun and accomplishing their goals on a sunny Sunday morning.
Because of the COVID-19 virus and restrictions against large gatherings, the 2020 North Olympic Discovery Marathon, which normally brings hundreds of people into the North Olympic Peninsula, was turned into a virtual race, with people running various distances at their leisure along the marathon route or routes of their own making.
Though there wasn’t the usual huge crowd down at the Port Angeles Harbor, a number of people decided to run races Sunday morning along what was going to be the marathon route. And runners said they were getting a lot of support along the way.
Shannon Burrow of Sedro-Woolley ran the 10K race.
“I had good company and we made it a girls’ day. It was a nice day, and it was helpful to have a lot of people cheering you on,” Burrow said.
Burrow and Megan Borman of Sequim crossed the finish line down at the Port Angeles Harbor together. Borman ran a half-marathon.
“It was just cool to get out here and see the scenery,” Borman said. She also was impressed with the level of support along the race route.
Kathryn Jones, 14 and Audrey Rudd, 10, both ran the 10K and finished together. Despite running more than 6 miles, Rudd was barely breathing hard and looked like she could run another 10 K.
“It felt really good. They had the course all marked out,” Jones said.
Race organizer Victoria Jones ran her own marathon Friday night. Despite the near-ideal conditions Sunday, she ran through wind, rain and all sorts of terrible conditions. She finished her marathon in 5 hours and 15 minutes.
Jones said there won’t be any official winners because the timing is being done on the honor system.
She said registration for the virtual races ran about 60 percent of the registration for the normal races. She said people registered to run from 38 different states. Some people ran their races in their home states because they couldn’t make the trip to the Olympic Peninsula.
“They can run it at any time, any place, any date. People have until the end of the year to finish,” Jones said.
Plans are for the marathon to return to normal in 2021.