Kirkland’s Frandsen, Redmond’s Liu win Seattle Marathon
Despite the frigid air, a few icy patches on the course and the field of small ice chunks that greeted runners on the final runway to the finish line, the 44th Seattle Marathon attracted 8,484 participants and earned seemingly unanimous good reviews from racers.
Special to The Seattle Times
Was that the Seattle Marathon or a remake of “Frozen” in running shoes?
“That’s the first time I’ve run a race and had ice in my beard,” said men’s marathon winner Shaun Frandsen of Kirkland, who had a half-inch icicle dangling near his chin Sunday when he crossed the finish line inside Memorial Stadium a little after 10:30 a.m.
He finished in two hours, 34 minutes, 21 seconds
Bryndis Ingimarsdottir, the second-place finisher out of Issaquah, surely had an advantage because of her Icelandic roots.
“Well, it’s been 13 years since I lived in Iceland, and I’ve lost my resistance to the cold,” Ingimarsdottir, 25, said with a laugh. “It was cold out there.”
The race started on a frosty, cloudless morning just a little past sunrise with the temperature in the low 20s.
It certainly was cold and dry, but nearly every runner queried in a random exit poll emphatically confirmed that this weather was much preferable to soggy and wet.
“When it rains, your shoes and socks get wet and you can get blisters,” said women’s marathon winner Sophia Liu of Redmond. Liu wore shorts and calf-high socks the full 26.2 miles while recording the top women’s time of 2:57:30.
“I actually prayed for running in the cold instead of rain.”
Despite the frigid air, a few icy patches on the course and the field of small ice chunks that greeted runners on the final runway to the finish line, the 44th Seattle Marathon (plus half marathon and walks of the same distances) attracted 8,484 participants and earned seemingly unanimous good reviews from racers.
Frandsen, a 37-year-old stay-at-home dad, picked up a win in his fourth marathon. Other than an icy patch where he nearly slipped, Frandsen said the conditions were not a factor. “I grew up in Spokane, so the cold didn’t affect me at all,” he said.
He broke away from his closest competitors with a surge at Seward Park, 10-plus miles into the race. He said he thought he had a chance at winning “when I didn’t see Uli (Steidl) at the starting line,” he said. Steidl, a local distance-running legend, has won 10 Seattle Marathons, including the last two.
Peter Harrison of Seattle placed sixth in last year’s Seattle Marathon and moved up to second this year (2:37:08). He and Frandsen have shared club training runs in the past.
“Shaun pushed it when we got to Seward Park,” Harrison said.
“I thought maybe he was just going for a bathroom break and I could reel him in. But he never looked back.”
Harrison, 25, works in public affairs for The Seattle Times. “I wanted to get my photo in my home paper, show up for work on Monday and point to it,” he said with a smile. “But I don’t think that’s going to happen.” Brian Hanak, 29, Seattle took third (2:37:50) in his first marathon.
Liu, 31, who studies exercise physiology and just completed her doctorate at Ball State, called her win “my present to myself.” Ingimarsdottir finished almost 12 minutes back (3:09:13). Aliza Kreisman, 25, of Seattle, despite what she called “blood icicles” on her shoes due to cuts in her feet, was third (3:10:05).
• In the half-marathon, Yon Yilma of Edmonds (1:12:44) was the top men’s finisher and Lydia Carrick of Bellingham (1:23:49) was tops among women. In the marathon walk, Colm Scott of Seattle (3:42:43) was the top male, Amy Pearsall of Auburn (4:10:01) the top female. Caroline Quinn of Seattle posted the top overall time (1:40.38) in the half-marathon walk. Justin Heller of Sumner (1:52:28) was the top male.
• Warmest moment on a chilly morning: Half-marathoner Gregg Peat of Portland, 27, greeted his girlfriend Erin Farquhar, 25, at the finish line with a bouquet, a ring and a one-knee proposal. She said yes. Peat, who finished more than an hour ahead of Farquhar, planned his move almost a month ago.
Farquhar, a Longview native who ran in her first half with her mom was surprised with Peat’s timing.
“Really?” she said. “You’re such a good secret-keeper. I had no idea. I’m in shock.” Mom Dennise Farquhar: “Dad will walk her down the aisle, but I was able to run with her to her proposal.”