Courtney Olsen surpassed the Bellingham Bay Marathon women’s record by five minutes, but the Bellingham resident said she wasn’t the least bit disappointed by barely missing out on the time needed to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials.
“I’m not disappointed,” the 30-year-old athlete from Squalicum High School and Western Washington University said. “My best marathon time (in a different race) was 2:45.20 in 2015. I have three years to qualify for the (2020) Olympic trials.”
Ferndale High and Western graduate Jonathan Quimby won the men’s race at 2:44.02.
“This was my first marathon,” said Quimby, 30, of Mount Vernon. “I’m really excited. I was going for about a 2:50 today. I was third in the Skagit Half-Marathon two weeks ago.”
Both winners had local families on hand at the finish – many previous winners hailed from elsewhere in the Northwest.
Quimby, whose half-marathon split was 1:20, ran in ideal weather on the course – which started at Lummi Nation School on Gooseberry Point.
This was Olsen’s first time in the Bellingham Bay Marathon, which primarily benefits the Whatcom FC Rangers and Bellingham Bay Swim Club.
“I’ve run about six marathons,” said Olsen, whom Squalicum fans will remember as a 300-meter hurdler in varsity track and field and a frontline performer for the girls basketball team, as well as runner on a cross country squad. She went on to become a steeplechase Division II All-America at Western.
“No woman has run so fast on this course,” Olsen said, explaining her thrill of breaking two-time champion Kate Bradshaw’s record of 2:51.45. “That’s why I’m satisfied. A course record and first in my hometown.”
The men’s and women’s runners-up were husband and wife in the 50-54 division, Tatsuya Hatachi (2:45.00) and Rika Hitachi (3:07.03).
Race officials also listed the following local marathon finishes: Men, David Larpenteur, Bellingham, 5th in 2:47.10, and Maximilian Antush, Bellingham, 6th in 2:47.28; Women, Nicole Pacer Vander Wiele, Lynden, 6th in 3:22.37.
Race officials listed the following winners in other races: Half-Marathon, Men, Matt Critchlow, Edmonds, 1:10.08; Women, Alma McMurtry, Lynden, 1:24.03; 10k, Men, Peter Ellis, Bellingham, 34:40.19; Women, Jennifer Bergman, Portland, 36:06.37; 5k, Men, Casey Barten, Bellingham, 16:56.69; Women, Laurel Nickerson, Blaine, 22:25.72.
A new mixed gender marathon relay became the fifth event on the program, which attracted more than 2,500 runners, including more than 330 men and women combined for the marathon. Twenty seven teams competed in the relay combined in Open and Business divisions, led by three teams from Kulshan CrossFit with a top time of 3:05.29.