Legs and wings carry marathon runner

Ron Young has seen lot of the world in a short period of time.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Lt. Young is an electronic counter measures officer assigned to VAQ-142.

He returned to his home in Oak Harbor Feb. 1 after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Since that time, he has spent countless hours running on the pavement rather than flying high above it.

Young is a marathon runner — and a good one.

Married to his wife, Marian, an accomplished pianist who worked at Christopher’s in Coupevlle while he was overseas, Young said he calls Utah home.

“I’m from an Air Force family and was born in Grand Forks, N.D. I grew up in Utah and spent about 10 years of my life there,” he said.

Sitting in the his parlor along with their Lab-mix dog, Bubba, who makes a good running partner, Young said he started racing again in June and first won the North Olympic Discovery half marathon in Port Angeles.

After that, he ran another half marathon in Vancouver and then placed third at the Virginia Mason Sea Fair event in Bellevue.

Young’s most recent victory came at Anacortes where he ran in the Arts Festival half marathon.

He said he has been competing in races for over seven years.

“I started running marathons while I was still at the Naval Academy,” Young said. “I wanted to run so I joined the marathon club at the academy. The club’s president asked if I’d be interested in running with them in an ultra-marathon, that’s 50 miles in length, and I said I would.”

This event was in October 2000 in Pennsylvania.

“Six or seven months later I ran in another 50-mile event and three or four months after that, I started doing the 26-mile marathons,” Young said.

He has competed in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., the Myrtle Beach Marathon in South Carolina and also the Boston Marathon.

“I won the marathon in Baton Rouge, and I also ran one in Seattle,” Young said.

Next on the young officer’s busy schedule is a six-month deployment in Iraq in the fall, but that won’t bring a halt to his running.

“They have scheduled a satellite version of the Marine Corps Marathon for October and I’m planning on trying that,” Young said. “They usually hold it in Washington, D.C., but this one will be in El Assad, Iraq.”

Marian supports her husband’s running, but said he goes through about six pairs of special running shoes a year.

One of the problems he has encountered is finding a place to store all the medal and ribbons he has accumulated over the years.

Fortunately, the first-place trophy he won at the North Olympic Discovery half marathon is rather unique.

The trophy is black ceramic and painted with gold oriental designs.

“The trophy is open at the top and hollow, so my wife and I decided it would be a good place to store all my medals,” Young said.

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