Marathon gets good reviews from runners
Clallam County, WA - North Olympic Discovery Marathon runners and their families brought more than their running shoes to Port Angeles and Sequim -- they brought economic impact.
``I feel that after this weekend, this event brought in probably more than $1 million to the community,'' said a happy Larry Little on Sunday as the last marathoners trickled in to a festive finish line on the Waterfront Trail in front of the Red Lion Hotel.
The half- and full-marathon races brought 1,040 runners and walkers to the area, nearly doubling those of the first race last year.
Little, Port Angeles Marathon Association president, built a volunteer force of about 600 to staff the event that started at 9 a.m. at Carrie Blake Park in Sequim and Robin Hill Farm County Park in Agnew.
Runners came from throughout the nation -- and, in some cases, world -- to enjoy the 26.2-mile marathon and half-marathon on the section of Clallam County-built Olympic Discovery Trail that was just completed this month, connecting the Sequim area with Port Angeles' Waterfront Trail.
Little said over the weekend that motel and hotel rooms in Port Angeles and many in Sequim were filled, and the streets were busy with marathon visitors.
Kudo to the course
``The race course was much improved over last year with more trail and less street,'' said Schaumburg, Ill., resident Denny Bellow, who flew into Port Angeles on Saturday with his wife.
``I was amazed at the difference of the course. It was just beautiful.''
Bellow said he owns property in Sequim, and eventually plans to retire here.
Bellow, who has run in 25 marathons as far away as France and Hawaii, praised Little for taking the Olympic marathon to its current level in just two years.
Little's goal is to build the race into one of the top 15 in the United States and ultimately draw 6,000 participants.
``It's a large undertaking,'' he said Sunday while runners were announced as they crossed the finish line.
The runners were each greeted and congratulated by volunteers who placed marathon medallions around the neck.
Diane Britzins, who said she came to the marathon with eight other Seattle-area women for the weekend, called the trail ``just incredibly beautiful.''
``I wouldn't have even known about it if I hadn't been in this race,'' Britzins said.
She compared it to the Avenue of the Giants Marathon in the 300-foot coastal redwoods south of Eureka, Calif.
Jason Gordon of Puyallup said he came over for the day to run in the marathon, his second year at the event.
``If I rated this event on a scale of one to 10, it's an eight or a nine,'' he said.
Marathon organizers see amazing growth in second year of event
Organizers of the Olympic Discovery Marathon have dreams of the race someday drawing as many as 6000 runners, with the contest being one of the top marathons in the country. And judging from this weekend’s sophomore event, that dream is well on its way to reality.
More than 1000 runners took part in the ODT Marathon in Sunday, running in either the full 26 mile race or the half-marathon that was just over 13 miles in length. Runners for the full marathon started at Carrie Blake Park on a revised course that took more advantage of the newly completed sections of the trail. The half-marathon competitors started at Robin Hill Park with everyone finishing at Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles.
That turnout was nearly twice of what the first marathon attracted
last year, and once again, the vast majority of the runners were from
off the Peninsula, representing 40 different states and several foreign
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