Victoria Kent supposes she and her boyfriend, Joseph Pendleton, were just tired of studying and needed to let out some energy.
Kent, a 23-year-old who lived in Olympia as a teenager, and Pendleton, a 24-year-old from Shorewood, Wisconsin, attend medical school together in his native state. They met in college, while training at a running club.
Sunday, both were first-time marathon winners at the 36th Capital City Marathon in Olympia.
Pendleton broke the course record in the men’s division, posting a time of 2 hours, 30 minutes, 44 seconds in just the fourth marathon he’s run.
“This was a really awesome course,” Pendleton said. “It’s definitely one of the better ones I’ve run. It’s really pretty. It’s a clear day, so you could see the Olympics as you ran along.”
He just edged the previous record, 2:31:09, set by Lacey’s John Riak in 2010. Pendleton also broke Jesse Stevick’s long winning streak.
Stevick, a 35-year-old Olympia native, won the past six races dating to 2011, and won 10 of the past 11 races prior to Sunday.
“I looked at the results from the last couple years, and he’s been so consistent,” Pendleton said. “That’s a hard course. … He’s very impressive.”
Stevick, who finished sixth in 2:49:40, kept pace with the top group through the first 9 miles, but said he lost energy, and at one point wasn’t sure if he would finish.
Stevick’s oldest son, Wesley, 8, ran the final mile with him.
“It was fun at the end, just to try to finish it — like most people are trying to do — and enjoying the support on the course,” Stevick said.
After Pendleton finished the race, he ran back to the course to cheer Kent on. She finished her third marathon in 3:20:39.
She is the first new runner to win the women’s race in three years. Lacey’s Linda Huyck was the two-time defending champion, but didn’t compete this year.
Kent said fellow runner Jerry Mark from Beaverton, Oregon, inspired her to keep a strong pace on the course.
“I ran with him for about 20 miles,” she said. “He was telling me poems the whole time, and he’s run 122 marathons. He was so inspiring to talk to.
“I don’t think I would have been able to run as fast as I did if he wasn’t right next to me.”
Pendleton said he also appreciated the support of fellow runners throughout the race.
“It was really great when we started running with the half-marathoners,” he said. “They were really great and cheering me on.”
‘BE ONE OF A KIND’
Many runners who competed Sunday wore white shirts that said, ‘Be One Of A Kind,’ with ‘AK’ enclosed in a green circle.
FitLife Studio rallied runners to participate in a fundraiser in honor of Austin Kelley, who died last year in a swimming accident in Idaho.
Kelley was a former Olympia High School soccer player and coach. He also played at Saint Martin’s University.
Tessa Effland, FitLife Studio’s owner, said 125 runners participated in the cause Sunday, and raised about $8,000 that will be given to Kelley’s family.
BY THE NUMBERS
A couple from Edmonton, Alberta, won both divisions of the half-marathon.
Michael Stewart, 25, won the men’s division in 1:15:28, and 25-year-old Lisa Flemming won the women’s division in 1:28:46.
Tumwater’s Dylan Miller, 16, won the men’s 5-mile race at 29:21. Sarah Johnson, a 24-year-old from Shelton, won the women’s race at 32:32.
The three races had a combined 1,807 finishers — 684 men and 1,123 women. The marathon had 300 finishers (158 men, 142 women), the half-marathon had 1,011 finishers (369 men, 642 women), and the 5-mile race had 496 finishers (157 men, 339 women).