Adrian Shipley holds off a contender's late surge to win the 26.2-mile race in 2:44:39

Running a marathon is challenge enough for most participants, much less winning one.

But that is exactly what Forest Grove resident Adrian Shipley did last Thursday — holding on to his lead late in the race for victory in the Foot Traffic Flat Half & Full Marathon & 5K, staged on Sauvie Island.

“I knew, looking at past results, that if I ran to what I thought I was capable of, I thought that I would be up with the leaders,” Shipley said by phone on Monday night from California, where he is attending a USA Track & Field coaching education school in the Bay Area.

Shipley, 26, covered the 26.2-mile course — which took participants on a bucolic journey past farmland on island roads — in 2 hours, 44 minutes, 39 seconds. His time was a personal best by just over 10 minutes, and he needed pretty much all of that improvement to prevail. Runner-up Daniel Bartosz, of Portland, closed hard over the race’s later miles, eating up almost all of the lead Shipley had built up, and finished in 2:44:49.

“I was just kind of taking the day that came,” Shipley said. “It just happened that I ended up in the lead early and just tried to keep it.”

Shipley was not sure how large his advantage grew during the race, but it appeared to be a fairly considerable distance after he completed a short out-and-back section about 18 miles in. He said he was patient during the early stages of the marathon but clipped off a series of five miles during the middle that were all under 5:50 per mile — his average pace for the entire race was 6:17.

Competing in his first marathon in two years, Shipley did slow some in the later stages, but had enough left to hold off the fast-closing Bartosz and top a field of 440 finishers. Portland’s Scott Wall was third in 2:48:35.

“I kind of backed off a little bit just to try and save a little energy for the end, just in case someone else came up on me,” Shipley noted.

Shipley graduated from Forest Grove High School — where he is now an assistant track and cross-country coach — in 2005 and from Pacific University in 2009. He entered Thursday with expectations of finishing under 2:45, he said, and he though in optimal conditions a sub-2:40 time might be possible.

“I don’t want to say winning was bittersweet, because it was definitely a great achievement,” Shipley observed. “You don’t get an opportunity to win a marathon very often. It’s pretty awesome. I just maybe wish I could have run a little bit faster.”

Also in the marathon, Hillsboro’s Joe English took seventh overall in 2:49:51 and was the first male masters finisher. Emma Chaput, a 40-year-old from Bend, was the first female finisher in 3:02:58 as well as the first female masters runner.

In the half marathon distance, Vincent Hamilton, of Spokane, Wash., beat 1,974 other participants to the finish line. He was timed in 1:08:38. Portland’s Michelle Hurn was the first female finisher in 1:21:31. The top finisher from western Washington County was Cornelius resident Craig Chapman, who was 50th overall and completed the course in 1:30:30. Carolyn Andrus-Trejo, of Hillsboro, led all western Washington County women and took 29th among female participants in 1:37:30.

Johnnemann Nordhagen, of Portland, won the 10-kilometer race in 41:03. Amy Konkol, of Hubertus, Wis., was the top female finisher in 43:37. In the 5K, Evan Molineux, of Danville, Calif., won in 15:52, and Portland’s Maureen Kavanaugh was first among women in 20:08. Hillsboro’s Ole Bentz was sixth overall in 20:58 and the first male masters finisher.

As for Shipley, there is little rest for the weary. He drove to California for his coaching clinic, and he plans to run in a 50K race this weekend before making his way back home. Shipley is a veteran of a half-dozen marathons and another several ultramarathons, though this will be his first attempt at the 50K distance.

“I signed up for it before the marathon,” Shipley said. “Since the marathon, my legs have felt pretty good, so I think I’ll be OK.”

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