The Sequim High School teacher broke through in her fourth try as she won the womens North Olympic Discovery Marathon Sunday, as she and half-marathoner Stephanie Marcy helped Sequim sweep half of the overall awards.
With nearly 1,500 runners and walkers hitting the Olympic Discovery Trail, Gould and overall marathon winner Chuck Engle joined 13.1-mile champs Marcy and Kelly Fulton of Bozeman, Mont., in the winners circle.
Its something Gould was hoping for but not expecting.
I definitely started out slower this year, Gould said. I knew if I could get to the halfway point in good shape, it didnt really matter what place I was in; I could start picking off people.
Gould clocked in at 3:17:14, a time she thought wouldnt put her in first. After all, Sequim High grad Kjerstein (Bailey) Brashers already had a sub three-hour marathon under her belt. But Gould passed Brashers with about four miles to go and cruised to the victory.
Ginger Gruber of Port Orchard (3:22:21) was second; Brashers finished fifth.
I didnt really expect to win, Gould said. I was just able to kind of pick it up.
Gould credited her summer ultra marathon trail training for helping her get up rolling the NODM hills.
Marcy, a cross country and track & field state champ while in Sequim, defended her half marathon title in 2007, posting a time (1:22:31:8) that was more than six minutes faster than last years winning mark. She outlasted runner-up Caroline White of Port Angeles by about two minutes.
I thought it was really fun. I ran with (former classmate) Kenny Russell; it felt like old times running with my old running buddy, Marcy said.
Now a red-shirt freshman at Stanford, the defending NCAA cross country champion, Marcy said it was nice to not be running in ovals and out of the 80-degree heat she felt in Palo Alto, Calif.
Anytime I can get off the track Im just so motivated, Marcy said. I get here and its cold, but its perfect for running. This is what I like.
All Engle needed was a cheap plane ticket and a little motivation to win the North Olympic Discovery Marathon title.
The 37-year-old running column editor from Dublin, Ohio, out-legged more than 400 other marathoners in two hours, 48 minutes and 54 seconds.
Not bad for a guy who took second in a marathon the previous day.
Engle finished a runner-up in a small, no-fee marathon in Kent on Saturday, then turned around and drove to Port Angeles for Sundays festivities. He ran about three minutes faster on Sunday.
I just felt good today, Engle said. The course is gorgeous. The big fear is, everyone kept saying you can see the finish in the last four miles (but) it was perfect. Thats how every marathon should finish, right there against the coast.
After a first mile of about 7:20 and a 6:40 second mile, Engle said he felt good enough to push the pace. By mile nine he was in the clear, pushing his career win total to nearly 70 in 131 races since 2000. Sunday was his 128th sub three-hour marathon.
It nearly didnt happen. Engle was supposed to race in Casper, Wyo., this weekend but when he compared the plane tickets to Casper ($1,200) and Port Angeles ($207), the decision was made.
Jansen Falen of Kingston (2:53:19.9) was second.
I knew if I could get to the halfway point in good shape, it didnt really matter what place I was in; I could start picking off people.
North Olympic Discovery Marathon winners:
1. Chuck Engle, Dublin (Ohio)
2. Jansen Falen, Kingston
3. David Miller, Spokane
4. Bill Huggins, Seattle
5. Stephen Redding, Surrey (B.C.)
1. Laura Gould, Sequim
2. Ginger Gruber, Port Orchard
3. Shannon Porter, Puyallup
4. Jane Reaves, Colorado Springs
5. Kjerstein Brashers, Kirkland
1. Kelly Fulton, Bozeman (Mont.)
2. Troy Scott, Seattle
3. Frank Prince, Tacoma
4. Kenny Russell, Sequim
5. Joshua Klimek, Corvallis (Ore.)
1. Stephanie Marcy, Sequim
2. Caroline White, Port Angeles
3. Brittany Hodgson, Tacoma
4. Connie Austin, Bend (Ore.)
5. Rian Rosenthal, Seattle
NODM slideshow online
See a slideshow featuring pictures of the North Olympic Discovery Marathon race at sequimgazette.com.
North Olympic Discovery Marathon results: Sequim finishers