September 26, 2010


All marathons that I run are an adventure.  My sense of expectations is really enhanced if I’m able to run an inaugural marathon, especially if I haven’t driven the course ahead of time.  There are always some unanticipated surprises along the way.


The inaugural Winthrop Marathon on September 26, 2010, in the Cascade Mountains of north-central Washington fit my interest of running a marathon that was new to all of the entrants.  This one also appealed to me because it was point-to-point along the pristine Chewuch River north of Winthrop, mostly in the Okanogan National Forest, and finally in rolling agricultural land downhill to the finish in downtown Winthrop.


Winthrop is an old western town that has retained its charm to become a tourist attraction, so Lenore and I spent three days there to appreciate the opportunity to become better acquainted with the vicinity.


The afternoon before the race we drove nine miles to the Grange Building in Twisp for packet pickup and a complimentary pasta meal.  We checked in, picked up my bib number and met James Varner, the race director and president of the Methow Valley Race Club.  As a seasoned untramarathon director, he brought considerable experience to this new role.  He directs the 25K/50K races on nearby Sun Mountain, the Cle Elum 25K/50K and the 50Miler/50K/25K on Orcas Island, one of the San Juan Islands of Washington north of Puget Sound.


While we were at the grange hall, we had a chance to visit with Evil Triplet Bill Voiland of Richland, Marathon Maniac (MM) Lesa Overfield of Puyallup, Sharon Carroll & Larry Carroll of Spokane, MM Michael Shiach from Bainbridge Island, and Julsimo Frankenbruger and her husband Frank Dane from Tacoma.  In addition, we enjoyed meeting and visiting with others at the complementary pasta feed.


On race morning I walked half a mile in the dark and light rain from the Hotel Rio Vista where we stayed to The Barn, Winthrop’s community center, where all of the runners met to be transported to the starting line.  It was there that I had a chance to visit with 81 year old Keith Wood of Sultan.  He holds the course record for our Yakima River Canyon Marathon for 80+ Males with a time of 4:18:36!!!


The 101 participants boarded three school buses at 6:30 a.m., and I had a chance to visit with MM Kurt Lauer as we sat together.  After we arrived at our destination, I visited with MM Gary Otheim of East Wenatchee, Laura Zeffer of Bellevue, MM Guy Yogi of Seattle, MM Mike Kuhlmann, his son and daughter Daniel & Ashley of Lakewood, and MM Steve Yee, a Marathon Maniac founder AND winner of this marathon’s grand drawing prize of a basket full of goodies.


The race started at 8:00 a.m., and 99 runners and two walkers took off on West Chewuch Road.  I watched my footing on the graveled/sandy road and when I had a chance to look up, the last runner in front of me was soon out of sight.  From the second mile on I didn’t see another runner, but I enjoyed the scenery, the solitude and the company of the volunteers at the aid stations.  After three miles, the road surface changed to a pleasant asphalt surface.  Within a mile we crossed a bridge over a turbulent creek that flowed into the main river.


We started at an elevation of 3,300 feet and had a net loss of 1,550 feet from the start to the finish in Winthrop.  Much of the course was rolling and included many hills.


The forest by the river was primarily made up of Ponderosa Pine, but there was some Douglas Fir, Douglas Maple, Black Poplar, Quaking Aspen and Blue Elder as well.  Shrubs included Snowberry, Red Osier, Wild Rose, Oregon Grape and False Box.  Native flowers were Fall Asters and a dozen Old World invasive plant species.  Yellow to red fall colors in the foliage of many deciduous trees and shrubs were attractive as autumn had come to the mountains.  Chipmunks and Red Squirrels frequented the roadside while crows, ravens, robins and song sparrows flew overhead.  The smaller birds scattered into the brush as I ran along.  As a nature lover, this course was ideal for me!


Before the halfway mark, the light rain stopped, the cloud cover evaporated and the air temperature rose from 55 degrees at the start to 80 degrees before I finished.  Eventually, in the second half, my run/walk became a continuous walk.  At Mile 20 the course went over the Johnson Bridge permitting a good view of the river.  We then followed East Chewuch Road to Winthrop.


The last mile went well as I walked downhill to the finish line on a town street.  The crowd was small, but Lenore, the race director, our friends Hal & Patty Porter from Manson, Terry & Delores Sentinella from Anacortes, Laura Zeffer, Julsimo & Frank…..and others…..were there as I finished in 6:39:28 and received my “sheriff’s star badge” finishers medal.  I was 96th of 98 finishers and third in the 70+ Male age division.


Mexican food is one of my favorites, so it was a treat to have a Mexican Restaurant at the finish line…..and to be treated to a great meal there afterwards.  Other sponsors provided free beer and delicious homemade icecream cones!!


The winner of the inaugural Winthrop Marathon was James DeSalvo, 34, of Winthrop with a commanding lead to finish in 2:39:11.  Jerry Mark, 51, of Beaverton, Oregon, came in second with a 3:02:17 and Josh Owen, 32, also of Beaverton, OR, was third with a 3:09:17.


MM Jennifer Yogi, 35, of Seattle was fourth overall AND the winner for the women.  MM Genia Kacey, 34, from Sultan finished second with a 3:24:21 and in third place was Mary Orcutt, 54, of Winthrop with a time of 3:34:38.


Thanks go to James Varner and his volunteers for putting on a great race.  I recommend it without reservation as a marathon that is well-organized and very scenic.


………………………………..Written by Bob Dolphin

                                                   Edited, Typed and Distributed by Lenore Dolphin







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2:39:11  James DeSalvo, 34, Winthrop - OVERALL WINNER, 1st in Age Division

3:02:17  Jerry Mark, 51, Beaverton, Oregon – SECOND OVERALL, 1st

3:09:17  Josh Owen, 32, Beaverton, Oregon – THIRD OVERALL,  MM, 2nd

3:10:34  Jennifer Yogi, 35, Seattle, FIRST WOMAN OVERALL, MM, 1st

3:24:21  Genia Kacey, 40, Sultan, SECOND WOMAN OVERALL, MM, 1st

3:34:38  Mary Orcutt, 54, Winthrop, THIRD WOMAN OVERALL, 1st

3:38:45  Guy Yogi, 56, Seattle, MM, 3rd

3:39:00  Glen Mangiantini, 53, Bellevue, MM

3:42:15  Michael Shiach, 60, Bainbridge Island, MM, 1st

3:43:08  Bradley Nelson, 42, Renton, MM

3:48:49  Kurt Lauer, 48, Seattle, MM

3:53:19  Larry Carroll, 70, Spokane, 1st

3:54:24  Lesa Overfield, 51, Puyallup, MM, 2nd

3:58:04  Ashley Kuhlmann, 24, Lakewood, MM, 2nd

4:01:37  Lorinda Hagstrom, 39, Seattle

4:03:10  Julsimo Frankenberger, 38, Tacoma

4:08:01  Sharon Hendricks, 47, Kent

4:12:10  Jenny Appel, 36, Puyallup, MM

4:15:57  Steve Yee, 51, Renton, MM

4:29:59  Keith Wood, 81, Sultan, 2nd

4:31:06  Sharon Carroll, 67, Spokane, 1st

4:33:34  Wild Bill Voiland, 62, Richland, 3rd

4:36:49  Patti Krebsbach, 47, Kent

4:38:07  Mike Kuhlmann, 60, Lakewood, MM

4:52:19  Gary Otheim, 68, East Wenatchee, MM

4:59:21  Daniel Kuhlmann, 27, Tacoma, 2nd

5:03:10  Liz Ellis, 40, Pasco

5:03:11  Michael Moore, 47, University Place, MM

5:19:15  Laura Zeffer, 47, Bellevue

6:09:36  Kaci Sun, 32, Bremerton, MM

6:39:28  Bob Dolphin, 80, Renton/Yakima, MM, 3rd

8:15:00  Paul Kennelly, 65, Newman Lake

8:15:00 Elaine Koga Kennelly, 68, Newman Lake, 2nd