Still same race – just with a lot more feet
Nearly 40 years ago, Sam Ring won the first Sound to Narrows race.
Ring, 64, remembers 305 runners competing in 1973 in what has become an annual event in the South Sound.
“It’s pretty much the same,” Ring said after finishing the race Saturday. “The fast people are in the front and the community – Sound to Narrows is a really a community event – are behind them. Only thing that’s different is you can multiply the number of runners by 10 or 20.”
On Saturday, an estimated 7,000 runners competed in the various Sound to Narrows races – from the diaper dash to the 5- and 12-kilometer races. Of those many thousands, 11 runners, including Ring, were running the race for the 40th time.
As they do before every Sound to Narrows, members of the Every Timers Club met Thursday night to reconnect. Years ago, Ring quizzed the other members on their finishing times from the first race. He wasn’t surprised by the answers.
“All of them said they were faster than they really were,” Ring said with a laugh. “The times get faster as we get older.”
The group also found out it will lose a member before the 41st Sound to Narrows. James White, an 81-year-old Tacoma resident, is moving with his wife, Margaret, to a retirement community in California.
White, the oldest Every Timer, ran with family at his side, covering the course for the final time in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 46 seconds.
The youngest member of the club is 52-year-old Mike Thomsen of Moscow, Idaho. He was the only Every Timer to break an hour, finishing in 59:23.
Ring, cross-country and track coach at Wilson High, followed Thomsen with a time of 1:02.02.
DISCO BALL SURPRISE
For the 40th running of the Sound to Narrows, promoters wanted participants to capture the past by dressing up in ’70s attire.
Very few got the memo, but a group of young adults won the best-dressed contest with a human version of the Pac-Man game. However, it wasn’t on purpose.
“You know what, I didn’t even know it was a ’70s theme,” one of the costumed runners said. “I just came up with the idea just to do it because I thought it would be funny … . It worked out well, I got a disco ball and a Slinky.”
Contributing writer Chris Wells contributed to this report.