Editorial: Marathon grows on Whidbey

The Whidbey Island Marathon and Half Marathon has quickly become the premier sporting event on Whidbey Island.

Nobody who watched Sunday’s fifth annual rendition of the event could doubt that. More than 2,000 people participated, as roads from Deception Pass Bridge to Coupeville Town Park were packed with people running, jogging, walking and sometimes crawling the 26.2 miles to the finish line.

Whidbey Island’s iffy spring weather cooperated for the big event, though reluctantly. Saturday’s steady rainfall had visiting runners wondering if they had made the right decision to come here, but race day on Sunday became a gloriously sunny spring day. Cool yet bright and sunny with some of the greatest scenery in the world — what more could a long distance runner want?

Though sponsored by a sizable corporation, the marathon couldn’t happen without scores of local volunteers to help with organizing, controlling traffic, and keeping the runners hydrated and on course. It was an outstanding day for racers, volunteers and onlookers alike.

The marathon is now a welcome and hopefully entrenched annual event on Whidbey Island. It brings several hundreds of people to the island to boost the economy before the busy summer tourist season begins, and it inspires many islanders to participate in a challenging and healthy event. With this race it can truly be said that everybody wins.

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