Evidently the running gods are not superstitious.
The 13th running of the Whidbey Island Marathon on the 13th of April attracted over 3,000 registrations, nearly double the number from 2013. This year’s event featured a marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K and children’s 1K.
Mother Nature was also undaunted by the double dose of 13, providing a sparkling Northwest spring day, enhancing the beauty of the course, which has been named in several publications as among the most scenic marathon routes in the world.
The beauty of the course halted some runners in their tracks.
“People stopped during the race to take pictures,” said Erica Wasinger, a half-marathon participant from Oak Harbor.
The beauty of the run, Shannon McLeod said, provided more than photos. Although she is from Oak Harbor, she was startled by the pristine vistas that provided inspiration during the grueling run. McLeod said she needed all the help she could get to finish the 26.2-mile race. She participated in several half marathons, sprint triathlons and the Ragnar Relay, and still called the marathon “the hardest thing I have ever done.”
“It was brutal,” she said. “It was way harder than I expected. I feel almost traumatized.”
For months she trained, working out with a group of nine other women, eight who ran the half marathon. Training with others, sometimes on sections of the Whidbey course, made it easier to get ready for the race and held everyone accountable, McLeod said.
“There are days when the weather is horrible and you don’t want to run, but you know the others are waiting for you,” McLeod said.
Not everyone trained for the race. Edmundo Corrales, a 2007 graduate of Oak Harbor High School, didn’t know he was going to run the 5K until two days before the race.
He came to Oak Harbor for the weekend to work in his parents’ yard and celebrate a sibling’s birthday. His sisters, Betina and Tia, had different plans.
“They made me run,” he said.
Wasinger, who ran the Whidbey half marathon last year as well, said she was motivated to finish in three hours to see her daughter Reese take part in the youth 1K. As good luck would have it, she made it with 34 minutes to spare.