A first-time participant in the Sound to Narrows race, Sarah MacKay didn’t falter from lack of experience, finishing first in the 12-kilometer women’s competition.
MacKay, 28, finished more than two minutes ahead of Ashley Urick and Ruth Bernt with a time of 46:06.
“It was really great,” MacKay said. “It was really well run, really fun and the crowds were really fun. People were out there and I liked it.”
While it was her first Sound to Narrows, MacKay is not a newcomer to running, having most recently participated in the Seattle Rock n’ Roll and Eugene half-marathons.
Although not originally planning to run in the Tacoma race, MacKay, a Seattle resident byway of Massachusetts, said it was someone else’s ambition that inspired her.
“My fiancé had this as a goal,” MacKay said. “It was his first 12K and a couple of his buddies were doing it and I thought I would like to run it as well.
“My time wasn’t quite as fast as Ruth Perkins last year, but it’s a tough course.”
(Perkins, who won last year’s race in 44:23 didn’t run the 12K.)
While the mile uphill at the end is the hardest part for most, the main difficulty for MacKay was in the changes throughout the race.
“The downhill, uphill,” MacKay said of the hardest area of the run. “You never get in a rhythm.
“But I heard that’s fun because you can sort of mess with people.”
Finishing 2:14 behind MacKay, Urick (48:20) was experiencing the Sound to Narrows for the first time as well.
“It was my first time running the course, so it was really challenging to run smart,” the 27-year-old Urick said. “I would have liked to be more in control in the first half and picked it up in the second half, but it’s a great workout for us, that’s for sure.”
Although this was her first long-distance race, Urick, who is stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord and is from California, will be venturing into longer competitions in the future.
“Right now, I am training for the Army 10-miler, so it seemed like a good course to do to get a gauge of where I am at and get some good training and mileage in,” Urick said. “It was great. There is lot of great runners out here.
“It is a beautiful and tough course.”