Perfect weather for personal bests

Capital City Marathon results prove cool Northwest weather is a runner’s best friend

rboone@theolympian.comMay 20, 2013 

No rain and mild temperatures made for ideal running conditions and helped some runners set personal records during Sunday’s 32nd annual Capital City Marathon.

Runners were greeted by overcast skies during the early morning starts of the marathon, half-marathon and 5-mile run, and temperatures remained mild, somewhere between 50 and 55 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

“It doesn’t get much better,” said Brad Ellis, 46, of Olympia, about Sunday’s weather.

The “right on the money” weather as he called it, helped him set a personal record in the half-marathon, crossing the finish line in 1 hour, 24 minutes, Ellis said, beating his previous half-marathon record by two minutes.

Ellis also had the Boston Marathon tragedy on his mind. He ran in the Boston race in 2008 and is set to do it again next year. The fact that the bombers targeted race supporters in the Boston crowd was especially hard to take because race events and runners are nothing without those who support them, he said.

Race director Nona Snell said the weather was excellent after it rained hard the previous two years. A total of 2,253 runners participated in all three races – most signed up for the half-marathon – about the same number as last year, she said.

David Palmer, 56, of Olympia, also met a personal goal Sunday by finishing the half-marathon in under two hours. He, too, cited the comfortable running conditions.

Although he enjoyed his first Capital City half-marathon, he won’t be running next year because his daughter, Emily, is set to graduate from the University of Notre Dame.

Emily, too, ran in Sunday’s race, he said.

Aloma Alcala-Burrows, 42, of Olympia, a past participant in the half-marathon, completed the race in just over two hours. She said it wasn’t her best effort, but she still had fun. One of her favorite things about the Capital City Marathon is the number of supporters who line the race route, particularly those who gather at a house near Eskridge Way Southeast and Capitol Boulevard Southeast to cheer on the runners.

She also likes the final run down Capitol Way to the finish line at Sylvester Park.

Near the finish line Sunday, throngs of people cheered, clapped and even rang cowbells as runners found their way home. Various booths, too, were set up in Sylvester Park, including 27 massage tables, where runners could get a quick massage after the race.

Massage instructor Wayne Johnson of Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy and Massage was leading a group of students in massaging the various runners.

The focus, of course, was on the legs, helping to stretch out leg muscles so race participants won’t be stiff on Monday, he said.

Johnson said the milder weather, too, had helped reduce the number of runners with muscle cramps.

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