SPORTS: Port Townsend’s popular Rhody Run filling up quickly

PORT TOWNSEND — Registration for one of the North Olympic Peninsula’s premier annual running events, Port Townsend’s 7.4-mile Rhody Run, has topped 1,750, and the event is still two weeks away.

Port Townsend Marathon Association’s Rhody Run XXXIII — the oldest road race on the North Olympic Peninsula — is scheduled for May 22.

The event attracts more than 2,000 participants to Fort Worden State Park for its 11 a.m. launch.

And this year the association is adding a special Kids Sprint for Health prior to the main event. That race starts at 9 a.m.

On-line registration continues through May 20 at rhodyrun.com and the website hosts additional information about the upcoming race.

After May 20, registration remains open on day of the race until 10:30 a.m.

“The Run That Cares For The Runner” still does, according to race director Jeni Little.

Entertainment, awards

Post-event musical entertainment, a new awards ceremony format, traditional refreshments including Mac and Jack ale for those age-qualified, plus restorative soft drinks, fresh fruit and lots of water produce a “family picnic” atmosphere for participants, she said.

A special pre-race warm-up for youngsters ages 9 and younger begins at 9 a.m. on the Fort Worden Parade Ground.

Three age-level heats are planned, with the new event hosted by Rhody Run prime sponsor Jefferson HealthCare.

The public hospital district also assists with providing qualified medical personnel at aid stations and at the start-finish compound during the Rhody Run.

The “Kids Sprint For Health” is open to all, and is free.

Participants earn a distinctive shirt and ribbon, Little announced.

While Rhody Run is in its 33rd year, the course record has remained elusive for more recent participants.

Mike Layman of Tacoma posted the standard 25 years ago, in 1986, touring the 12 kilometers in 36 minutes, 8 seconds.

Kim Jones of Spokane, a Port Townsend High School graduate, holds the women’s record of 41 minutes, 10 seconds.

She set that mark 20 years ago, in 1991.

However, The oldest age-group record has remained untouched since 1982 when Rhody Run was a mere infant of four.

Marianne Powers, a Port Townsend High School track standout at the time, set a mark of 47:18 in the 16-18 age grouping.

And the elite runners have challenged those marks since but none have matched them; none have topped them.

Medals are awarded to the top three finishers in each age and gender division.

Cash awards go to the top three overall men and women finishers. And each run participant earns the unique custom finishers’ shirt.

Call 360-379-3595 or 877-463-9786 for more information.

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