BELLINGHAM - Bellingham's Dusty Caseria must like the Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon, given that he's won it two years in a row.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, at Lake Padden, nearly 300 runners gathered to run in the event.
All the entry fees from the runners went to Rebound of Whatcom County, a non-profit organization helping under-privileged children and families.
Caseria all but ran away with the race, setting a new course record with a time of 1:21.54.
"I definitely wasn't expecting to win," Caseria said. "I knew if I took advantage of the trails, I could give myself a good shot."
Caseria bested second-place finisher Leonard Randall by 4 minutes, 11 seconds.
The top overall female finisher was Bellingham's Jodee Adams-Moore. Adams-Moore finished eighth overall with a time of 1:30.45, besting Bellingham Bay Half Marathon winner and Olympic trialist Kristen Carter by 6 minutes, 39 seconds.
"I went out hard and was feeling really good for about ten miles," Adams-Moore said. "[My legs] felt like concrete at the end, but I kept going and plugging away."
The course, designed by Dean Taylor, is a mixture of trails and road running. Taylor said he made the course, difficult and he "tried to find every rock, every hill (possible)."
Caseria said the course fits his style of running because he's familiar with the trails and he has confidence running up and down hills.
Adams-Moore, on the other hand, just loves running anywhere in Whatcom County.
"I love these trails so much," she said. "It's a special place and it's nice to get the opportunity to race in town in beautiful older forests."
But the real winner was Rebound of Whatcom County.
Sharon Aller, Executive Director of Rebound of Whatcom County, believed the race raised nearly $12,000 for struggling children and families in Whatcom County.
"It feels like [the runners] are carrying us on their shoulders," Aller said of all the people donating their time and money to help children in Whatcom County. "It's the sense of community support that gives these children hope."
The money will go to a scholarship fund so more children can get the help they need, Aller said.
Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon
Top ten male finishers
1: Dusty Caseria 1:21:54
2. Leonard Randall 1:25:25
3. Charlie Sunderlage 1:27:11
4. Jeremy Anderson 1:28:02
5. Josh Vander Wiele 1:28:09
6. Alex Kurtis 1:29:04
7. Jon Ralston 1:29:08
9. Kyle Hedges 1:31:25
10. Jason Gulley 1:32:07
11. Colin Miller 1:32:54
Top Ten female finishers
8. Jodee Adams-Moore 1:30:45
18. Kristen Carter 1:36:44
29. Alma McMurtry 1:45:30
32. Julie Benner 1:47:41
40. Jeannine Chaney 1:49:47
41. Suzanne Lundberg 1:50:01
42. Kelly Bird 1:50:06
44. Carol Frazey 1:50:52
46. Sara Von De Poel 1:51:16
55. Laura McDonough 1:53:49