The Tacoma City Marathon men’s title returned home early Sunday thanks to one of the South Sound’s most accomplished runners.
Running in a red and white Tacoma Rainiers cap, Ben Mangrum, 38, flirted with the race record on his way to victory.
Mangrum’s time of 2 hours, 34 minutes, 29.52 seconds made him the first local men’s winner of the 11-year-old race since 2012, when his Tacoma City Running Club teammate, Michael Lynes, won the last of his six consecutive titles.
“This race was one of those carpe diem sort of decisions,” said Mangrum, who ran a 50-kilometer trail race March 18. He typically wouldn’t compete in two races of this length so close together, but he said he recovered well from the 31-mile race and, “I’ve never been able to run this race, and I’ve been in Tacoma for the last 20 years.
“Mike Lynes has told me before that when people ask him, ‘Why do you run every day?’ He says, ‘Because I can.’ It’s the same concept. I could run today, and I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to seize the moment.”
Mangrum, a former University of Puget Sound runner and a current Curtis High School coach, finished almost 2 minutes ahead of Seattle’s Mark Hamilton, 29. Three-time champion Bill Condon, 36, of Seattle, finished third in 2:49:54.92.
Race record-holder Shaun Frandsen (2:33:14 in 2015) of Kirkland registered for Sunday’s race, but did not run.
Tacoma’s Kathryn Flyte, 25, won the women’s race in 3:13:27.94. A former UPS track star, Flyte finished almost 9 minutes ahead of 36-year-old Angela Treleven Persich of Tacoma. Gig Harbor’s Merita Trohimovich, 50, was third.
It was Flyte’s first marathon, and she said her inexperience resulted in a performance with tactical shortcomings.
“I took it out hard but comfortable, and then Five Mile Drive is where it really challenged me,” Flyte said of the hilly road at Point Defiance Park. “So, I had to come back from that.”
Laura Shore, 32, of Puyallup, won the women’s half marathon in 1:24:16.89. Julia Heacox, 38, of Gig Harbor was second.
“I passed the girl ahead of me at mile 10, and I felt like I had a lot of energy left,” Shore said.
David Lyons, 33, of Seattle, won the men’s half marathon. His time of 1:14:48.35, was almost 9 minutes faster than Tacoma’s Tyler Nugent.
Lyons, who ran in college in Illinois, recently moved to Seattle. He said he picked the Tacoma race because of positive reviews and course descriptions he saw online. He wasn’t disappointed.
“The cool thing about this (race) and Tacoma is that they really embrace it,” Lyons said. “You have all these homes (along the course) and everyone out in the early hours cheering you on. It keeps the energy going from start to finish.”
More than 1,100 runners participated Sunday. Last year, there were more than 2,000 runners. Race co-director Tony Phillippi said he is not certain why numbers are down, but said it might have to do with the new race date (the race was a week earlier than recent years). Also, he said, an abundance of races seems to be resulting in decreased turnout at most races.
“But, we’re happy with the turnout,” Phillippi said. “We’ll be back next year.”
Tacoma City Marathon
Ben Mangrum, Tacoma, 38, 2:34:29.52
Mark Hamilton, Seattle, 29, 2:36:25.4
Bill Condon, Seattle, 36, 2:49:54.92
Kathryn Flyte, Tacoma, 25, 3:13:27.94
Angela Treleven, Tacoma, 36, 3:22:15.56
Merita Trohimovich, Gig Harbor, 50, 3:30:30.57
David Lyons, Seattle, 33, 1:14:48.35
Tyler Nugent, Tacoma, 34, 1:23:08.77
Cale Mitchell, Aspen, Colorado, 30, 1:26:21.86
Laura Shore, Puyallup, 32, 1:34:16.89
Julia Heacox, Gig Harbor, 38, 1:35:33.92
Jenny Horstmann, Seattle, 38, 1:37:56.82
Complete results: tacomacitymarathon.com