Columbia Gorge Marathon has run in the sun

October 26, 2011

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Pam Iyer, a half-marathon runner, heads into the home stretch across the Hood River pedestrian bridge at the Columbia Gorge Marathon. Iyer finished 20th among women in the half marathon.

Someday the luck of the Columbia Gorge Marathon will run out and it will see runners gathered on a day with nothing but gray clouds and constant rain. Sunday was not that day.

Blessed with blue skies and unseasonably warm weather, around 1,100 runners total between the marathon, half-marathon and team half-marathon participated in the third annual event.

"It went exceptionally well," event director Chad Sperry said. "The weather could not have been better."

The only hiccup in the race was a delayed start in the half-marathon, after late-arriving runners created a backlog for shuttle buses to deal with. The start of the half wound up being pushed back by approximately a half hour, and Sperry said he hopes to be better at encouraging people to arrive early next year.

As for the race itself, MJ Engle cruised to victory in the men's race with a winning time of 2:35:13.4. William Strick took second with a time of 2:42:57.4 and Wes McCullough was third at 2:52:51.1.

Theresa Hailey won the women's marathon with a time of 3:14:07.8 in her first-ever marathon.

"My key was not starting out too fast," she said, "as well as stopping and drinking water at every aid station."

Heather Pola was second in 3:15.35 while Jill Hasselbach was third in 3:17:27.3.

Ryan Goldstein won the half-marathon with a time of 1:16.38.6, while Mike Olson was second in 1:21:05.3 and John Horvick as third in 1:22.34.3.

Sarah MacKay won the women's half-marathon with a time of 1:21:48.21, Hallie Janssen was second in 1:24:09.2 and Gwen Thomas was third in 1:25:29.1.

Sperry said the marathon is looking at a cap of around 1,500 for next year and will continue working with local groups to figure out traffic congestion at the intersection of Highway 35 and State Street caused by the larger volume of runners.

"It seems like there is a lot bigger buzz after this year," he said. "We should be able to hit the cap next year."

One runner who hopes to come back is Hailey, who now has a title to defend.

"It was really pretty," she said. "It didn't feel that bad even though it was really hilly. I hit the wall at about mile 18, but I really liked it."

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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