Islanders make it in the long run

Trif LeBaron, left, of Langley goes out with the head of the pack in Saturday
Trif LeBaron, left, of Langley goes out with the head of the pack in Saturday's Wings of Gold Half Marathon in Oak Harbor.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

Running his first 13.1-mile race ever, Langley athlete Trif LeBaron led all islanders Saturday morning as he took a top-10 placing in the Whidbey Island Wings of Gold Half Marathon.

LeBaron was one of 263 finishers in the event. He crossed the finish line in downtown Coupeville after the long run from Oak Harbor's Olympic View High School in a time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 40 seconds to take seventh place in the men's division.

In all, 403 runners got a start in Oak Harbor that morning as both the half marathon and the Wings of Gold Marathon cruised through Whidbey's two northernmost communities.

Winning the 26.2-mile marathon was Chuck Engle of Clinton, Miss. The 32-year-old's finish time of 2:52:57 was 13 minutes faster than that clocked by race runner up Rick Boettcher, 52 of Clackamas, Ore. The top male finisher in the race from Whidbey was Eric Jensen, 42 of Oak Harbor, whose 3:22:47 earned him eighth place. Dale Folstad, 50, of Coupeville was the top Central Whidbey finisher in 22nd place, almost 13 minutes behind Jensen.

In the women's marathon, 24-year-old Johanna Wans of San Jose, Calif. was the winner, clocking a 3:05:21 on the hilly, winding course. She beat out second-place finisher Rebecca Marshall, 30, of Vancouver, B.C. by 12 minutes.

The top Whidbey runner in the race was Rachelle Jensen, 44, who was 13th in the 49-woman field. Her finish time was 4:09:20.

In the half marathon, Daniel Moroney, 24, of Oak Harbor finished less than a minute behind the 23-year-old LeBaron. The only other South Whidbey man in the race was Charles Bieber of Clinton. Bieber, 62, ran well against the 164-man field, taking 122nd place in 2:06:42.

On the women's side of the race, Mandy Gibline of Portland, Ore. was the winner in 1:25:51. Not far behind the 28 year old was 46-year-old Cindy Norman of Oak Harbor. Norman had the best placing by an islander in either Wings of Gold race, taking sixth in 1:35:48.

Behind her were plenty of other South Whidbey runners. Heidi Bohn of Clinton was 53rd in 1:58:23; Ryan Rowley of Freeland 64th in 2:00:20; Marijes Jones of Greenbank 108th in 2:09:17; Susan Howell of Langley 119th in 2:11:14; and Andria Lenoir of Freeland 120th in 2:11:17. Laura Anthony of Coupeville was 123rd in 2:12:29.

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