Chris Callendar says he’s used to running much shorter races than this and says he may not run another marathon for four or five years.
For North Olympic Discovery Marathon title challengers, that’s a good sign.
In just his second marathon ever, the 30-year-old Victoria native showed he can win beyond 5k and 10k distances, taking the lead with about three miles to go and outracing Adam Read to the finish by about five minutes for the 2011 North Olympic Discovery Marathon crown Sunday afternoon in Port Angeles.
“I admit it was a bit of a surprise,” Callendar said soon after accepting his award, calling the race “wonderful.” He finished in 2:59:45.
“It was a bit hot (but) I knew where the hills were.”
Basking (and sweating) in 70 degree-plus weather, more than 1,800 runners and walkers competed in full marathon, half marathon, 10 kilometer and five kilometer races in Sequim and Port Angeles.
Taking top female honors in the full marathon — and third overall — was Tanaya Gallagher of Peoria, Ariz., in three hours five minutes, 16 seconds.
A North Olympic Discovery Marathon rookie, Gallagher said she picked this peninsula race because it’s one that fit into her schedule and she was looking for a race that is “scenic.”
“It’s hard — all marathons are hard — but it was beautiful and well-organized,” Gallagher said.
A winner of one previous marathon, the Whiskey Row Marathon in Preston, Ariz., Gallagher said she tried not to think too much about where she was in the race in terms of placing.
“All you can hope is to do your best,” she said.
Callendar said he was in fourth for most of the race and started to make his move between miles 17 and 20.
“I could see I was closing the gap,” he said. “(At) every aid station I was gaining.”
With just one marathon under his proverbial belt, a top-60 finish at the Royal Victoria Marathon in 2007, Callendar said this race presented more of a challenge with more elevation changes and warmer weather.
“All my training (was) done in the winter,” he said. “This (weather) is certainly nice.”
The Canadian praised the crowd support, the way the race was organized — “at last half the course was not near any cars,” he noted — and the overall atmosphere.
But will he be back to defend his title in 2012? Likely not, he said.
“I’ll come back at some point but it was huge, five months of training,” he said. “I’ll do another (marathon) … in four or five years.”
Chris Fendrich of Seattle won the North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon title in 1:16:10, while Shannon Manning of Tacoma won the women’s title in 1:32:07.
Bryan Hakanson of Bend, Ore., took the 10k title in 39:40 while Sequim’s Sue Weidemier took top female honors in 44:45. Daniel Baouya (19:27) and Krista Chatters (26:06) won the 5k race.