Stevick sticks to it for 4th win

OLYMPIA – At least he recognized his dad.

A rubbery-legged Jesse Stevick lay on his back moments after crossing the finish line of the 29th annual Capital City Marathon on Sunday, recovering from his winning pace.

The 27-year-old Stevick, a science teacher at Olympia High School, broke from the pack early, running a pace of 5 minutes, 50 seconds per mile for the first few miles. But by Mile 17, Stevick was spent.

“I went out too fast for the shape I’m in,” Stevick said. “I was in survival mode at Mile 17.”

But Stevick took satisfaction in knowing he wasn’t as bad off as his dad, Drew Stevic, was after finishing a marathon 20 years ago.

“He didn’t even recognize me,” Jesse said with chuckle, then added, “I’ve got to say that it’s good to be done.”

Stevick ran by himself for most of Sunday’s race and finished in 2 hours, 40 minutes and 9 seconds — more than eight minutes slower than his course-record time. He finished with a 6:06 pace and won his fourth Cap City Marathon in a row.

He admitted that running the 55K Capitol Peak Ultra Marathon three weeks ago probably wasn’t a good idea. At about Mile 20 on Sunday, he considered dropping out.

“People cheering along the road kept me going,” Stevick said. “That and a prayer.”

Douglas Babbit of Tacoma finished second in 2:50:24, more than 10 minutes behind Stevick. Bob Brennand, whose son runs on the Olympia track team that Stevick coaches, finished third in 2:51:43.

It was Brennand’s third marathon and his first in 10 years.

“I wanted to run one while I’m in my 40s,” said Brennand, 47. “I pulled my calf muscle two weeks ago. So, that made it a little more difficult.”

Annie Thiessen of Tacoma was the women’s winner for the second successive year, finishing in 2:58:21. That’s just off her personal best.

Thiessen, who has won the Tacoma and Seattle marathons, has run more than 100 marathons.

It was Thiessen’s first since February in Birmingham, Ala. Thiessen will run another marathon two weeks from now in Newport, Ore.

“I love running, but I don’t take it too seriously,” said Thiessen, a veterinarian. “This is my hobby, not my job.”

Three weeks ago, Thiessen ran a 50-mile ultra marathon at Mount Si. Thieseen gets up at 4:30 a.m. and runs up to 10 miles before heading to work.

“I’m competitive, but I love the people in running,” Thiessen said. “That’s why I run. It’s the people you meet.”

In the half-marathon, Michael Bailey of Seattle got a little revenge by winning in 1:13:17, a 5:35-per-mile pace.

He held off a fast-closing Matt Ruhle of Olympia, who finished second in 1:14:10.

“I’ve never won anything before,” said Bailey, who turns 40 in two weeks.

For much of the race, Bailey ran with his friend, Aaron Ladd of Seattle. Bailey paid Ladd’s entry fee in their last race.

“Then he went ahead and beat me,” Bailey said. “Today I think he was just being polite.”

Mariel Ettinger of Bend, Ore., came out of retirement to win the women’s half-marathon by almost 12 minutes. Ettinger, 28, who competed in track and cross country at Stanford University, stopped running after she graduated seven years ago. She resumed running two years ago.

“I got a job,” Ettinger said, explaining why her running stopped. “I got back into running mostly because of my family. Squeezing in a run is hard with an 8-to-6 job.”

Ettinger, running only her second half-marathon, finished in 1:18:55, fifth overall.

John Riak was a last-minute entry in the 5-mile race. Riak, an All-America runner at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, broke away from the pack a mile into the race, pulling away to win in 27 minutes, 30 seconds.

After running the first mile in a little less than six minutes, Riak finished the race with a 5:17 pace.

“The first mile was too slow, so I just went,” Riak said.

Riak ran by himself after that, winning by more than a minute. Ben Crabtree of Olympia was second in 28:49, keeping a 5:32 pace.

Claudia Copeland of Olympia won the women’s 5-miler in 30:43, a 5:54 pace.

Gail Wood: 360-754-5443



Men: Jesse Stevick, Olympia, 2:40:09

Women: Annie Thiessen, Tacoma, 2:58:21


Men: Michael Bailey, Seattle, 1:13:17

Women: Mariel Ettinger, Bend, Ore., 1:18:55


Men: John Riak, Olympia, 27:30

Women: Claudia Copeland, Olympia, 30:43