Runners from Arizona, Guatemala Seattle conquer marathon courses
While many were still fast asleep on Saturday morning, thousands of runners from around the world were racing their way down Mount Hood.
What organizers hope is the first of many, the REVEL Mt. Hood Marathon and Half Marathon got underway at 5 a.m. July 28.
Out of the 1,600 runners who participated, 36 came from Sandy, Boring, Rhododendron, Gresham, Corbett, Troutdale or Estacada. Several local runners placed well while enjoying the downhill route and scenery.
The 26.2 mile marathon route ran from Timberline Lodge down to the Sandy Trout Farm on Sylvan Drive outside Sandy. The half marathon route ran from Lolo Pass Road to the Trout Farm. The event was also a qualifier race for the Boston Marathon.
Here are the marathon's winners in their respective gender groups and events:
n Gary Krugger, 33, of Flagstaff, Ariz., took first in the marathon, men's division
n Sylvanna Toledo, 36, of Guatemala City, Guatemala, took first place in the marathon, women's division
n Conner Peloquin, 26, of Seattle, first place in half marathon, men's division
n Corrine Murray, 23, of Portland, first place in half marathon, women's division
"We had an overwhelming response from the community and participants that the event went well," said Cydney Westgate, vice president of business development for the REVEL Race Series. "We are excited about the potential for us to come back in 2019."
More than 400 people from the mountain communities and Sandy and Boring turned out as volunteers to man hydration stations and hand out cold cloths and medals and also to run.
"We were very fortunate to have so many great volunteers," Mt. Hood Chamber of Commerce Vice President Coni Scott noted. "The runners were very appreciative and they thanked all of the volunteers."
None were so appreciative as one woman who suffered a heart attack while running near the Barlow Trail hydration station. But Rhody CPO volunteer Lyn Miskowicz stepped up and performed CPR for nearly 20 minutes and helped the woman regain consciousness before Lifeflight arrived and delivered her to a local hospital.
"I was just watching and she kind of stumbled and fell and wasn't getting up," Miskowicz said. "I called 911 and immediately began CPR. I just did what I was trained to do. I've been in health care for 30 years (and) I've had my CPR card since 1983."
Miskowicz said the men running up behind the woman expressed feeling "helpless" and a desire to know basic life training skills as she did.
"If what I did can (encourage) people to go out and get basic life training, then everything's good," she added.
Cari Nguyen, a Sandy resident and a pharmacist for Kaiser, has run in quite a few marathons before, but was drawn to the REVEL event because "it's local."
"It's so cool to have a half marathon so close to home," she noted. Nguyen, who completed the 13.1-mile half marathon course in 1:43:00, said "I would for sure do this again."
Sandy City Councilor Jeremy Pietzold ran the marathon in 3:21:19, qualifying for the Boston Marathon in the process. This was his sixth marathon and first qualifier.
"The Revel Marathon was amazing," Pietzold said. "All my marathon races have been special but this one was in my backyard and so close to home. The race was very organized and well done with a lot of support along the whole course. What made this race so fun and one of my favorites was that there was so many friends and family cheering me along on the way. There is nothing more energizing when you are running a long race like that and then to come around the corner and see your friends and family cheering you on. It definitely makes you run faster."
Several runners from the local East Wind Running and Endurance Club took on the challenge of the 13.1-mile half marathon together.
This was Boring resident Steve Richards' second half marathon, and given how warm the temperatures got later that day, he was appreciative that the REVEL race started "in the early morning."
"I'd absolutely do it again," he noted. "It's a very well put together event."
Amanda Sieversten of Sandy called the race "one of the best half marathons I've done," and out-of-towners Dana, Kirk and Caleb Schroeder agreed.
The REVEL half marathon was a check on a list for the Schroeders, who traveled from Arizona for the race. Caleb, 11, has cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus, and has made a goal for himself to walk 1,000 miles a year. This event raised the bar for Caleb to 602 miles completed for 2018.
"It was good," Caleb told The Post. "Around mile 9 or 10, my legs started hurting, (but) it felt good (to finish)."
"I love this marathon," Caleb's mother Dana shared. "It's beautiful (and) we had great support."
Besides being a positive opportunity for runners, Scott said the event also benefitted the local economy.
"You could not find a place to stay," Scott noted. "(Mount Hood accommodations) were packed."
Scott said she also heard from several of the thousands who traveled from out-of-state to participate in the marathon that now that they've seen how beautiful the area is, they'll be back.