Just ask any distance runner and they’ll tell you there is no such thing as a bad day to get out and pound the pavement — some are just a little better than others.
That was true for the more than 300 runners gathered in the parking lot at Windjammer Park early Saturday morning for the Eagle Run sponsored by the Oak Harbor Christian School. They were greeted by clear skies and just a hint of a breeze blowing off the bay.
Truthfully it couldn’t have been a nicer morning for the event, now in its fourth year as part of the annual Holland Happening celebration.
“A great day for a race, isn’t it,” remarked race organizer Jim Nelson prior to the start of the 10K event. “I think we have approximately 75 runners entered in the 10K race, more than 180 in the 5K and the rest in the mile.”
The start of the 10K race was delayed a few minutes to give late arrivals the opportunity to register, but no matter, this only gave competitors additional time to stretch and prepare at the start/finish line while mingling with fellow runners.
Led by Nelson riding a bicycle, the final seconds were counted down and the most competitive of the three races, the 10 kilometer run, was underway just 15 minutes late.
Runners in the event headed west along the path through the park and looped around the Oak Harbor marina before heading back to the park where the route went east through the area around Freund’s Marsh before returning to the finish line.
The 5K race had the largest number and greatest diversity of entries, ranging from parents pushing strollers, dogs big and small, members of the U.S. Navy and determined youngsters testing their mettle in a race.
Last but not least was the mile run/walk with the majority of the runners being elementary and middle school students. Still this event was no less competitive among the youngsters and anyone blocking the way at the start of the race stood a good chance of being mowed down and trampled into the asphalt path by a bunch of kids jockeying for first place.
Everyone competing in the mile run/walk received medals to commemorate the occasion.
Soon enough, the first of the 10K runners crossed the finish line and the winner of the men’s half of the race was Don Young.
“I guess you’d say Utah is my home, but right now I’m living just outside Oak Harbor,” said the executive officer attached to VAQ-142. “It was quite a race, the first one I’ve been in.”
Not much later, the first female
10K runner crossed the line.
“I finished,” panted Julie Bolles who lives in Coupeville. “I had fun and I beat my twin sister, Amy. She finished third.”
Both Julie and Amy Bolles are nurses at Whidbey General Hospital.
“We’ve been nurses at Whidbey General for three years, but we have been running together since we were 16,” Amy said. “We live together, work together and run together. I guess you could say we do just about everything together.”
Having fun at the Eagle Run was as important as the competition and Tom Lovett along with his wife, Pam, and daughters Allison and Jordan Lovett, and her
daughter, Shelby Trinkle, made
sure the family had their numbers pinned on prior to the start of the race.
Even the stroller carrying a blanket-wrapped Allison had a number pinned on it.
“We have run in all of these races,” Pam remarked.
Traveling down Highway 20 from Anacortes for the race the Chinn family was well represented in two of the events.
Mother, Eiko, and three-year-old son, Kelley, successfully completed the mile run/walk while husband, Colin, finished fifth in the 10K event.
“My husband is in the Navy and this is our first time running this race,” Eiko said. “We had a great time.