Runners pound the trails at third annual Ultramarathon

Kirk Starr, left, placed 15th in the 10-mile run. Michael Spivey of Tacoma, who placed 12th, runs behind him.  - Glenn Tachiyama Photo
Kirk Starr, left, placed 15th in the 10-mile run. Michael Spivey of Tacoma, who placed 12th, runs behind him.
— image credit: Glenn Tachiyama Photo

Last Saturday more than 140 runners took to Vashon’s forested trails in the third annual Vashon Ultramarathon and Trail Run. Unlike last year, the rain mostly held off for the event, which included a 50k race completed by five Islanders alongside athletes from all over the state, and a 10-mile run completed by 86 people, including more than 40 Vashon runners.

Jan Sambataro, a 25-year-old man from Gig Harbor, won the Ultramarathon, completing it in 4:31. Sambataro’s parents used to live on Vashon, and the race was his first ultramarathon. Andrew Peet, 53, was the first Islander to finish the Ultra. With a time of 4:50, Peet finished eighth overall. Kevin Ross, a VHS track and field coach, placed 17th, and Kate Van Houdt, 44, was the only Vashon woman to complete the Ultra.

Islander Scott Healey, 38, won the Ultra’s 10-mile companion run with a time of 1:08:42. Healey finished second place in both 2010 and 2011. This year he sealed the win just seconds ahead Islander Graham Peet, 15, who finished second  with a time of 1:08:58. Kathleen Fellbaum was the first Vashon woman to finish the run; she placed 27th overall.

Claudine Kim-Murphy, one of the race organizers, said this year’s event, aided by about 30 volunteers, went more smoothly than ever. This time organizers were able to add special touches such as a Western-themed aid station and a homemade lunch at the finish line.

“We just had more personalized attention this year, and the runners loved the result,” said Bruce Cyra, another race organizer.

But as usual, Kim-Murphy said, the highlight for most runners was being in the beautiful trails in and around Island Center Forest, Fisher Pond and Paradise Ridge Park. Some lengths of trail, Kim-Murphy noted, are only opened to the public once a year for the event.

“We get a lot of people who are surprised by the beauty,” she said.

Proceeds from the event will go to several Vashon nonprofits.


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