PORT ANGELES — The course record fell in the women’s race and a Boston Marathon survivor won the men’s event at the 2013 North Olympic Discovery Marathon.
Sarah Getty of Des Moines blew away the women’s field, shattering the course record by almost 2 minutes, while Brian Maher of Issaquah won his first marathon after surviving the Boston Marathon tragedy on April 15.
The 26.2-mile Sequim-to-Port Angeles marathon as well as the 13.1-mile half-marathon and the Olympic Medical Center 10-kilometer and 5K races all were held under sunny and warm conditions Sunday.
It sure beats the cloudy, cold and windy conditions of the 2012 marathon — just ask Maher, who ran in the Port Angeles event for the first time last year.
“It was much better this year,” he said with a smile.
“It was chilly last year with a cold, strong wind in your face. This year the wind was mostly to your back.”
And a lot of sun to the runners’ backs and blue skies above.
Maher, 33, finished 23rd at 3 hours, 25 minutes last year but captured the overall crown Sunday in 2 hours, 53 minutes and 19 seconds, beating his old time by more than 30 minutes.
“I have been running a lot,” he said about his improvement from one year to the next.
He said his goal is to run 3,000 miles this year, which works out to about 58 miles a week.
That 2013 mileage includes the Boston Marathon, when Maher finished in a time of 2:52, crossing the finish line before the two terrorist bombs went off, killing three runners and spectators, maiming dozens more and injuring at least 100 people.
Waiting at finish line
Maher’s wife went with him to Boston and was waiting at the finish line, where the bombs went off, but the couple had left the area before the explosions.
“That was something,” Maher said about his experience of being in Boston.
The 2013 North Olympic Discovery Marathon participant and volunteer T-shirts had “Boston Strong” printed on the front to show support for the victims of the tragedy.
Maher’s fast time of 2:52 in Boston helped keep him and his wife out of harm’s way.
The Boston course is fast, mostly downhill, while the Sequim-to-Port Angeles marathon is slower and tougher to run, Maher said.
“There are more hills here,” Maher said about the Port Angeles course.
The Issaquah runner’s best finish before Sunday was second place at the United We Stand marathon last year in Green River.
Maher gave this reason for his big improvement at races: “Glory to my Creator, who sustains me and keeps me strong.”
Overall runner-up was James Fishburn of Seattle, who finished in 2:58.17, while claiming third place was Canuche Terranella of Seattle, who had a time of 2:59.04.
Getty captured fourth overall in a women’s record time of 3:03.26.
Tanaya Gallagher of Sedona, Ariz., had the previous record mark of 3:05.17 that she earned in 2011.
This is the sixth time in the 11 years of the marathon that the women’s record has been broken.
The men’s mark has been a little bit more stable.
Port Townsend’s Ian Fraser opened new course and event in 2003 with a sizzling time of 2:35.56 that stood up for three years before Preston Brashers of Renton broke it with a time of 2:35.47 in 2006.
That mark has held for the past seven marathons.
Getty, meanwhile, shows she can run with the boys, and was a little upset that she didn’t break the 3-hour mark.
“I was going for a personal record,” the 30-year-old runner said about her fast time.
She has broken the magical 3-hour mark in at least two races.
Getty ran 2:56 in Eugene, Ore., a month ago — which would have gave her second overall Sunday — and her personal record is 2:52, set in Bismarck, N.D., last October.
This is Getty’s second time running in Port Angeles and her second title.
Last year she won the half-marathon in 1:32.
Getty said she plans to be back and defend her title at the North Olympic Discovery Marathon.
“I like the course,” she said. “The straight finish is my favorite.
“And I like the constant changing of the scenery. There are no loops where you keep seeing the same things.”
This was the seventh marathon the Minnesota native has run, the second this year.
The physical therapist moved to Washington four years ago to pursue her occupation.
The second woman across the finish line was Angie Lamance of Barrington, Ill., who ran in a time of 3:13.48.
Claiming third place was Tracy Murillo of Renton with a time of 3:20.46.
Joshua Klimek won Sunday’s half-marathon in 1:11.45 while Port Angeles High School senior Kyle Tupper took second in 1:18.06 and Kurt Warwick took third in 1:18.25.
Chris Callendar won the 5-kilometer race in 17.25 while Tim VanRiper was first in the 10K in 43.26.
There were about 2,000 participants in all races and more than 600 volunteers helping out with the events Sunday.