Organizers add shorter courses to Langley Half Marathon

Kurt Warwick reaches the finish of the 2011 Langley Half Marathon. The 22-year-old claimed second place in 1:22:3.6 on the 13.1-mile loop from Langley to Saratoga.  - Ben Watanabe / Record file
Kurt Warwick reaches the finish of the 2011 Langley Half Marathon. The 22-year-old claimed second place in 1:22:3.6 on the 13.1-mile loop from Langley to Saratoga.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / Record file

The Langley Half Marathon would have a long title if it included all its other races.

In addition to the 13.1-mile course, there are 4-mile, 7-mile and 10-kilometer courses. In other words, the Langley Half Marathon has options this year for competitive and leisure racers alike. About 200 people annually race the loop from downtown Langley to the Saratoga neighborhood.

“All events share the same start and finish lines and the same start time,” said race organizer Matt Simms. “So you can come as a family or a couple or a group, and even if everyone isn’t ready for a half marathon, others in the family or group or the spouse or significant other now have a couple of shorter events to sign up for.”

A mixed road and trail course takes racers along the Saratoga Passage, from Langley to forest paths to seaside bluffs and back. The half marathon course is known for its hills and incline, which eventually give way to a downhill finish on First Street and Anthes Avenue.

Half marathon registration costs $50, the 4-mile race is $30 and the 10K $20 for all events. Youths in high school or younger have a lowered fee of $20. Proceeds from the race benefit the South Whidbey Parks and Aquatics Foundation.

“That organization is doing great things with the money the race generated last year, organizing swim teams and lessons and other programs for people on the South End throughout the year,” Simms said.

There are perks beyond health to racing. All racers get SOS Coolmax socks. The top 10 men and women finishers win gift prizes, as well as the top five men and women in the Masters division. There are age group awards for the first three finishers, too.

Last year, Maxwell Ferguson of Ravensdale, the top male finisher, cruised to a time of 1:19:20.7. The best South Whidbey racer was Kurt Warwick, who finished in 1:22:3.6. The local race will be short compared to the Boston Marathon, where Warwick finished 69th overall. The first women’s finisher was Kayla Eland, a collegiate racer in California with family on the South End. She ended the race in 1:40:55.3. The fastest marks for men and women were set in 2010 at 1:15:39.3 by Ian Fraser of Port Townsend, and Susi Harvey of Sparks, Nevada ran the best women’s time of 1:27:41.4.

The race will be a busy morning that finishes in time for Choochokam festivities. An awards ceremony on the main stage is planned for 11:30 a.m., after the half marathon’s regular start of 8:30 (with an early start of 7:30 a.m. for slower runners). Racers, spectators and volunteers are asked to park at Langley Middle School or the district’s old bus lot on Camano and Cascade avenues. The race starts at Second Street and DeBruyn Avenue.

For more information and to register, visit



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