Co-Race Director Kevin Kim-Murphy gets the 10-mile racers on their way (Pete Welch Photo).

Co-Race Director Kevin Kim-Murphy gets the 10-mile racers on their way (Pete Welch Photo).

In its 10th year, Vashon Ultra draws runners from near and far

The 50k had an unheard-of finishing rate of 97%, with 61 runners completing the course.

  • Wednesday, June 5, 2019 1:43pm
  • Sports

The biggest fields in the 10th running of the Vashon Island Ultramarathon & Trail run enjoyed perfect weather and immaculately groomed trails this past Saturday, with conditions and competition leading to new course records in the 50k (31 miles) and 10-mile runs.

The 50k was won by Vashon-born-and-raised Christine Mosley, who now lives in Issaquah, and Seattle’s Ben Brown, in 4 hours 20 minutes and 3:23, respectively, both personal best times.

Mosley was followed in by Mary Robbins of Puyallup in 4:49.02 with Yvonne Naughton of La Conner rounding out the podium three seconds later. The first Vashon resident finisher was Zoe Marzluff in a personal best of 5:42.09.

Vashon’s Graham Peet ran much of the race battling Brown, finishing in 3:40.18 (a personal best), followed by Vashon’s Christopher Walker in 4:06.57.

The 50k had an unheard-of finishing rate of 97%, with 61 runners completing the course.

In the 10-mile race, both men’s and women’s course records fell. The men’s course record, set by Peet as an 18-year-old, was broken by the first two runners, Sam Peckham from Poulsbo and Keith Laverty of Bainbridge Island. As the two battled throughout the race, Peckham pulled ahead in the final miles to finish in 60.21, followed closely by Laverty in 62.05. Jacob Tomer, 19, of Bainbridge Island, rounded out the men’s podium in 69.00. The first Vashon finisher was Nate Robinson in 1:18.12.

The women’s winner had a bit more breathing room. Amy Schmitz of Bainbridge Island broke the year-old record by winning in 1:19.06, with Phaedra Branom and Danielle Harrington filling the women’s podium in 1:30.17 and 1:32.42. The first Vashon finisher was Erika Ellison in 1:44.41. The 10-mile run had also had a great 100% finishing rate.

The 50k’s “Red Lantern” award, given to the final racer, was once again claimed by 81-year-old Bob Norton, raised on Vashon and living in Huntington Beach, California, finishing the 50k in 9:33.

“Once again, I had more fun for longer than anyone else,” Norton said.

Norton was not the only out-of-state runner. The Humphreys from Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Ingalls from Wichita Falls, Texas, took advantage of the races to visit the Pacific Northwest. Llew Humphreys, 63, finished in eighth place in the 50k in 4:42, while he was cheered on by his wife, Sally, who had already finished her 10-mile in 2:12. Frank Ingalls, 74, finished in 7:56 and was greeted by his wife, Margaret, who finished the 10-mile in 2:41.

Other families returning to Vashon to run again were the Fontenot family from Folsom, California, and the Fournier family from Fernandina Beach, Florida, with three runners in each family participating.

Specially printed pint glasses were awarded to race veterans who had run the 50k and 10-mile runs for five or more years. The highest total went to Vashon’s Warren Maierhofer, who has run the 10-mile in each of the 10 years of the race’s existence. There was also nine-year veteran Matt Glew, who has run nine years in the 50k run, missing one year to attend a wedding overseas. There were many other finishers with eight-, seven-, six- and five-year totals, including seven-year veteran Dan Chasan, 75, of Vashon, running a near-personal best of 1:44.03 in the 10-mile for 30th place.

The runners were helped along the way by an amazing crew of volunteers, who had worked hard in the weeks prior by clearing and marking the trails and preparing the aid stations and finish line banquet, where runners and their supporters enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit, guacamole, quesadillas, Mulligatawny stew and cold beer and sodas.

— Bruce Cyra was the Vashon Ultra co-race director.

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