Hundreds Hit East Lake Sammamish Trail for Half Marathon

About 450 runners from throughout the Seattle area and state participated in the event.

Sammamish resident Jonathan Patterson used some strategic thinking during Saturday's Lake Sammamish Half Marathon.

"Try and chase after someone so you don't get bored," the 17-year-old said.

Whether they chased or kept their own pace, more than 450 runners participated in the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon, a 13.1-mile trail run which began at Lake Sammamish State Park, snaked along the and finally ended in King County's . 

The Saturday morning chill didn't seem to bother the hundreds of runners, who started in Issaquah, made their way through Sammamish and ended at the Redmond park.

Many came wearing gloves and running pants. They all put their muscles and stamina to work, as they made their way along the course to cheers of "You can do it!" and "Keep up the good work!"

"We get a good mix of trail runners and road runners," said Roger Michel, race director with Evergreen Trail Runs.

This particular run, he said, came about after his wife suggested the path to him last year when the two were in the area to shop at the nearby Costco in Issaquah.

"I thought it wasn't going to be popular," he said. "Then people signed up like mad."

The first race, held in October 2010, attracted about 500 runners, surpassing his original estimate of 100 people. This year's run was moved up to March because King County is planning on paving portions of the trail in Redmond, he said.

Redmond resident Marc Debu, 32, finished in 13th place in the overall standings with a time, as measured by a chip, of 01:30:33.1

But he placed first among Redmond residents, according to a list of runners who included where they live. Run organizers also included standings by gender and age group.

For Redmond resident Kirk Glerum, the run was ideal given the territory and that he lives near the lake. "This is a good one," the 49-year-old said. "It's flat as a pancake."

Saturday's half marathon was Glerum's fourth. He became interested in running after his friend encouraged him to cross train. "For too many years, I just did the stair master," he said.

"I'd like to get up to the mental challenge to do a full marathon."

For Jonathan Patterson, the run also was memorable because his father, Dave, was with him.

"It's a great course," Dave Patterson, a 53-year-old who also lives in Sammamish, said. "The weather was better than forecasted. The setting is gorgeous."

Dave Patterson said he trained for this half marathon for the past 12 weeks. When he's on the trail, there's typically one thought on his mind: "I focus on my pace."

For his son, though, listening to fast-paced music on his Droid smartphone helped him make it to the end. "My run was pretty good considering I didn't train," Jonathan Patterson said.

"And I beat my dad by about five or six minutes."

Jonathan Patterson also placed second in the category of males who are 19 years old or younger. 

Before he went to get some food, Dave Patterson noted: "I'm just an old guy running."

But Saturday's run was Dave Patterson's fifth half marathon. As runners finished at Marymoor Park, their arms went up in victory. A few looked at their watches to check their time. For some, there were hugs and smiles. 


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