Oak Harbor runner shines in Golden State

Running is something 46-year-old Cindy Norman of Oak Harbor enjoys but doesn’t take too seriously.

“I run for the fun of it,” Norman said. “It’s a really good time to focus on thoughts.”

So when she placed fifth in her age division at the inaugural U.S. Half Marathon in San Francisco earlier this month, nobody was more surprised than herself.

“It nearly brought me to my knees, I was that excited,” Norman said. “I felt like I was floating on air when I finished.”

More hours spent training and a higher level of focus helped Norman run her best race ever.

“I figured I’m going to pay to go to San Francisco, so I’m going to train,” Norman said.

She finished the race almost 20 minutes faster than her previous personal best for a half marathon (13.1 miles), with a time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 48 seconds.

“I knew during the run I was doing good,” Norman said. “I was very fatigued about mile ten, but I knew I had to keep pushing.”

Along with taking fifth in the women’s 40-49 age bracket, she finished 31 out of 1,053 women and 205 out of the 1,988 total competitors.

Norman, who doesn’t normally compete outside of Washington State, was drawn to the race by the beauty of the San Francisco course after reading about it in a magazine.

“I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to run over the Golden Gate Bridge,” Norman said.

She usually finds herself focused when running, but she couldn’t pass up sneaking a glimpse of the view while crossing the national landmark.

“The most memorable moment during the run was going over the Golden Gate Bridge,” Norman said. “I normally have tunnel vision when I’m running but I had to take a look.”

What’s next for Norman?

With her new found success in out-of-state competition Norman is considering returning to northern California in April to compete in a slightly more challenging race, the Golden Gate Half Marathon.

“There are a lot of hills,” Norman said. “It’s going to be pretty challenging.”

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