Opinion

Whidbey Island Marathon draws more than 3,000 runners | Slideshow

Evidently. the running gods are not superstitious.

The 13th running of the Whidbey Island Marathon on the 13th of April attracted more than 3,000 registrations, nearly double the number from 2013.

This year’s event featured a marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K and children’s 1K.

Mother Nature was also undaunted by the double dose of 13, providing a sparkling Northwest spring day, enhancing the beauty of the course, which has been named in several publications among the most scenic marathon routes in the world.

The beauty of the course literally halted some runners in their tracks.

“People stopped during the race to take pictures,” said Erica Wasinger, a half-marathon participant from Oak Harbor.

“They would stop and ask other runners to take their pictures. The course was beautiful; you could see the mountains.”

Marathoner Shannon McLeod also encountered camera bugs, seeing runners pose for photos at the most scenic spots along the way.

The beauty of the run, McLeod said, provided more than photo ops. Even though she is from Oak Harbor, she was startled by the pristine vistas that provided inspiration during the grueling run.

“It helped me keep going; I would come around a corner and the scene would be incredible.”

McLeod said she needed all the help she could get to finish the 26.2-mile race.

McLeod participated in several half marathons, sprint triathlons and the Ragnar Relay in the past but called the marathon “the hardest thing I have ever done.”

She said she was “curious” to find out what it was like to run a full marathon.

“It was brutal,” she said. “It was way harder than I expected. I feel almost traumatized.”

McLeod trained months for the race, working out with a group of nine other women, eight who ran the half marathon.

Training with others made it easier to get ready for the race and held everyone accountable, McLeod said.

“There are days when the weather is horrible and you don’t want to run, but you know the others are waiting for you,” McLeod said.

She added she trained on much of the course, but it was “all broken up” over the different practice runs. Running it all together was “a killer.”

Not everyone trained for his or her race.

Edmundo Corrales, a 2007 graduate of Oak Harbor High School, didn’t know he was going to run the 5K until two days before the race.

He came to Oak Harbor for the weekend to work in his parents’ yard and celebrate a sibling’s birthday. His sisters, Betina and Tia, had different plans.

“They made me run,” he said.

Wasinger, who ran the Whidbey half marathon last year as well, said she was motivated to finish in three hours to see her daughter Reese take part in the kids’ 1K.

As good luck would have it, she made it with 34 minutes to spare.

 

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