by Janis & Jack Carlton
It was a beautiful drive from Yakima to Grand Coulee Dam, WA. If you’ve
never experienced this trip I highly recommend it. We arrived at Electric
City around 7 PM and the drive from there to Grand Coulee was almost eerie
with the rock formations and colors...surreal would best describe it, with
Pink Floyd on the radio...perhaps a "flashback" best says it
Our running homies were already there at our "perfect" motel,
which just happened to be across the street from the Lazar Show and less
than a block from the adorable park that the race started from.
Bill and Virginia Nicholson(hold the K please),and Pat and Karen Miller
had already dined at a less than 4 star diner, and were ready for the light
show. Pat was very quiet, and I found this quite odd,.but Jack assured
me he was just getting his "game face" on. As dusk settled to
dark we cracked a few cold H2O’s and headed for the lazar show. It
was very fun, and once again a remnant of days gone by ( I speak strictly
for Jack and myself..hehe) but at 10 PM it was back to the room and lights
Race time was 10 AM and it was already warming up to 60 + degrees. Jack
was pumped for a great 5K(poor thing has been running with me and couldn’t
remember the last time he broke a sweat). Bill is always ready to race
and Karen was totally UP for her first 10 K. We were all so excited for
her. Pat and Crystal Towne(her first ½ Marathon and Pat’s
Umpteenth)were fired up to put down some miles. It was cute to see Crystal
all young and cute with her little family cheering her on for Mother’s
day. Then there was Virginia and me, just hoping to finish the race before
sundown. I swore(under my breath) that I would beat Virginia (who is 10
years older than me) by hook or crook. If I had to trip my dear friend,
I would do what a girls gotta do.
The gun went off and around 340 runners ,walkers, and misfits headed down
a short hill to face what could only be a hill reminiscent of San Francisco.
We all huffed and puffed to the top...a solid mile of incline, then the
beauty of one mile across Grand Coulee Dam. Open only to us few, us brave,
us willing to dare to cross to the other side without wanting to spit over
the side...an old dam thing. It was spectacular crossing were no man has
since 9-11(well ok the run last year) and gaze at the pretty little town
below. Across the dam, a healthy downhill last mile and we were home. Not
so for the 10 K and halfer’s. They went beyond and along a gravel
road that paralleled the mighty Columbia, then had another righteous hill
just before the finish.
The finish line was bedecked with royalty, handing out something chocolatey
(nutrition first I always say) nothing quite like it at 70 + degrees. Their
refreshments rocked...½ P and J sandwiches on whole wheat bread,
orange slices, ½ a banana, and lots of cold water. We all scarfed...ok
Jack and I scarfed, but only because we had been fasting for a few days.
In a few final words may I quote Mr. Pat Miller,"We came, We ran,
We brought home the hardware."
Drum roll Please BBBBBRRRRRR
Jack : First of 11 in 50-54 age group. 7th overall and Master’s winner
Janis: First of 13 in the 55-59 age group.
Virginia: First in the 65-69 age group.
Bill: First in the 70-74 age group.
Karen: Second in the 55-59 age group
Pat: Second in the 50-54 age group.
Crystal : First 30-34 age group. Third overall female
We all agreed it was "the best run by a dam site"
Respectfully submitted by Janis, who starts slow and keeps it there.