September 9, 2002
By Bronwyn Wilson
Senior Staff Writer
It wasn't the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, but hundreds of people were high-tailing it through the streets of Woodinville and Bothell just the same. They weren't running from wild-eyed bulls, however, but the runners had the energy as if they were. They ran straight out of Woodinville and through Bothell. They put a new twist to the phrase 'get out of town.'
They ran and ran, 1,100 of them. They made tracks from Redhook Brewery in Woodinville to the University of Washington Bothell (UWB) campus, through the middle of town on Main Street and back to Woodinville along the Sammamish River Trail. That's 2,200 feet in Nikes, Asics or Brooks slapping against asphalt in a thunderous stampede, not counting the infants who got a free ride in racing strollers.
But it wasn't the fear of a bull goring them that kept them going. Instead, it was the thrill of accomplishing the annual Super Jock 'N Jill Half Marathon held on Sept. 2.
For the seventh year, Redhook Brewery in Woodinville made its premises available for the start and finish of the race. Other sponsors included Willows Lodge and Brooks Sports. The 13.1-mile half marathon run and 4-mile fun run art walk began at 9 am. The half marathon walk started at 8. Whatever times the run or walk began, everyone started on an equal plane. Says Jim Neff, organization volunteer, "Everyone starts out at the same time. Then it strings out pretty fast." The majority of runners complete the half marathon run in an hour and forty minutes. The winners, however, beat the average. Eric Tollefson, 29, from Tacoma won the men's category with a time of 1 hr, 5 min., 19 sec. Susannah Beck, 34, from Eugene, Oregon reigned as the women's champion with a time of 1 hr., 15 min., 18 sec. The top five winners were awarded prize money and random prizes were handed out to first time half marathon runners.
Ages of event participants ranged from 7 months to 78 years with the majority falling in the 20 to 45 group. A number of moms and dads maintained their running pace while pushing infants in Baby Joggers. International wheelchair athlete Jacob Heilveil from Bothell also took part in the event. In all, there were 200 walkers and 1,100 runners in the half marathon and 600 walkers in the 4-mile fun run art walk. The Rain City Flyers, a youth track and field group, and the Roosevelt High School track and field team helped with the seven water table operations strategically placed throughout the route. Volunteers handed out cups of water to runners and walkers, offering cool refreshment along their way.
Funds raised from this year's race go to the Puget Sound Blood Center. Tom Anderson, the store's promotions manager says this year's event brought in about $6000 with around $3,000 of that being donated to the Blood Center, the presenting beneficiary. Another $3,000 will go to other organizations. In the past, money raised was donated to high school cross-country teams, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation and the Northshore Senior Center. Anderson adds, "We're continuing our donations to Woodinville Parks and the Artwalk Project."
This year's event treated runners to a new feature. In past years they traveled from the brewery to Blythe Park, then back to Woodinville via the Sammamish River Trail. This year, the run was rerouted and Anderson explains the reason, "We're trying to lessen our impact on the trail." The new route took runners to downtown Bothell and in and out of the UWB campus. Throngs of runners with racing numbers emblazoned on their shirts hustled down one Bothell street, over to another, then onto the campus, up one side and down another. One onlooker remarked that the runners moving in different directions on the campus resembled an industrious anthill.
Susan Neff, who works in the Ombudsman office at UWB, and her husband Jim provided water to runners as they passed through the campus. She recalls many runners saying, 'Thank you for volunteering,' as they came through her station. "We had several water tables and I thought things were very smooth," she says. "It's great that the UW Bothell and Cascadia campus opened their doors to the running community."
For those who may want to participate in the half marathon next year, Jim Neff reflects on the experience. "There's a real challenge to completing the race," he says. "Certainly, there's a sense of invigoration. It's hard work, there's no doubt about it. But for anybody who does it, running 13 miles is a real accomplishment and there's a sense of pride in that."
For other race results or for information, go to SuperJocknJill.com.