Duck, duck, ……dolphins? The Salmon Creek race report, by Heidi Cusworth

Duck, duck, ……dolphins?

This year’s Salmon Creek Beach run was full of fun surprises! Along with a great bunch of Empire Runners, we were delighted by a pod of playful dolphins, a ton of surfers, some boogie boarders, and a few stand-up paddlers. To round out all of these sightings, there was a drone flying around capturing all this ocean activity. The drone prompted some interesting discussions about its use in public areas, and how it can effect one’s time in nature.

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This year 61 runners came out to run in the 2 or the 5 mile beach course. The 2 mile is denoted by “the stick” in the sand at the one mile mark, monitored this year by Bill Cusworth. The 5 mile runners have to tag the rocks at the end of the beach before heading back. Running in the sand is quite different than running up in Annadel or in town. Some prefer to run barefoot, while others stick with shoes. This isn’t a race so much for speed, as it is for the unique experience. Upon finishing, each runner is awarded a rubber ducky, each one lovingly picked out and presented to the tired runners as they crossed the finishing line, to hopefully make them smile.

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This year the 2 mile run was dominated by the Skandera family, with Nehemiah and Abraham finishing 1st and 2nd overall. Dave Sell came in strong to round out the top 3. The first female, Sarah Skandera, was quickly followed by her sister Rebeka for 5th and 6th overall. The 5 mile race was won by Nicholas Rauch, with Andrew Gaidus close on his heals for second, and Gerald McCormick coming in third. The first female was Kate Papadopoulos, who came in 9th overall, Celeste Berg was second and Tori Meredith was third.

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At the end of the race, everyone gathered around the potluck tables to swap stories. The awards were announced with prizes including beach towels, kites, saltwater taffy, beach balls, pinwheels, and bubbles. Perfect for hanging out at the beach!   Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped make this race happen: Eric, Karen & Ernie Bohn, Bill & Heidi Cusworth, Jerry Lyman, Don & Roisin Lindsay, Mike McGuire, and Larry & Tori Meredith. Hope to see many of you out at Salmon Creek Next Year!

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