Over 4,500 turn out for 40th annual Rotary Run

Masazumi Fujioka, of Redmond, crosses the finish line in pain in the Half Marathon Run. - Matt Brashears/Special to the Reporter
Masazumi Fujioka, of Redmond, crosses the finish line in pain in the Half Marathon Run.
— image credit: Matt Brashears/Special to the Reporter

Just over 4,500 runners enjoyed a sunny Sunday morning during the 40th annual Rotary Run. The event, with the second largest crowd ever, drew many local residents to participate in one of the many events.

According to one of the race organizers, Dawn Naye, the race had 4,521 runners, the second largest ever.

"Two years ago we had 4,800 so it very close to the record," said Naye. There were approximately 500 registrations the weekend of the event, which Naye said is fairly typical, but that the good weather helped draw people.

"The half marathon definitely had a larger number of people," said Naye. About 2,200 people had signed up for the event, with 1,867 finishing the race around the Island.

Islander Eddie Switaj was the first Island finisher in the half marathon run, coming in 34th overall with a 1:24.04 time.

Switaj, a professional triathlete, uses the Rotary race as training for events later in the season.

The Bellevue native, who trains 15 hours a week, while working full time, races with the VO2 Multisport Elite team, and won five races last season.

"It was a good time," said Switaj. "I've done the 10k a couple of years ago, but this was my first time doing the half. It was actually my first half marathon, I usually do shorter racers, since 10k is the standard length for triathlons."

Switaj said running has been the weakest part of his triathlon races, so this was a chance to work on it, plus he couldn't beat the commute to the start.

"Five minutes to get to the start was pretty nice," he said. "I would definitely do it again. It was a lot of fun to see people from the Island all over."

Top Island finishers in the half marathon run included: Aaron Koopman in 55th place at 1:26.33, Sean Sigmon in 68th with a 1:27.52 time and Lauren Knebel, a Mercer Island High School student, was the first Island female to cross the finish line in 1:43.24. In the half marathon walk, Jeff Besecker was the first Island finisher in second place with a 1:59.06 time, followed by Rachel Knebel, who was third in 1:59.07. Nancy Lorusso was 13th overall in 2:35.34.

"Everything went great," said Naye. "It was probably the best run event we've done. Every year we try to make it better."

She said one thing the event organizers noticed this year was a greater number of people acknowledging the cause, racing in teams or for people.

"I think that was partly because the cause piece stood out more, and because we promoted it and the anniversary," said Naye.

In the half marathon run, there were 1,867 racers, with 906 females and 961 males with an average time of 2:01.09. Uli Steidl, of Seattle, won the race in 1:08.25.

In the half marathon walk there were 217 racers with 180 women and 37 men with an average time of 3:25.32. Mike Duguette of Seattle won the race with a 1:49.16 time, while Rachel Knebel, of Mercer Island, was the first female finisher in 1:59.07.

In the 10k race, there were 620 racers, 373 women and 247 men with an average time of 1:01.09.

Joseph Gray, of Newcastle, was the winner of the race in 32.46, while Amber Farthing, of La Conner, was the first female finisher in 40:27.

The 5k run and walk had 909 participants with 576 women and 333 men. The average time of 42:30.

The race was won by Mercer Island resident Terry Robinson in 18:19, while Jennifer Lawton, of Spokane, was the first female in 21:12.

The top 10 Island (top five male, top five female) finishers in each race included:

Half Marathon Run

• Eddie Switaj • 34th • 1:24.04

• Aaron Koopman • 55th • 1:26.33

• Sean Sigmon • 68th • 1:27.52

• Sam Bliss • 133rd • 1:33.08

• Marcus Vizzutti • 148th • 1:34.24

• Lauren Knebel • 357th • 1:43.24

• Kathleen Karch • 413th • 1:45.10

• Annie Vu • 441st • 1:46.04

• Katie Warner • 474th • 1:47.25

• Kelly Irving • 475th • 1:47.25

Half Marathon Walk

• Jeff Besecker • 2nd • 1:59.06

• Rachel Knebel • 3rd 1:59.07

• Nancy Lorusso • 13th • 2:35.34

• Sara Crawford • 28th • 2:51.29

• Greg Asimakoupoulos • 32nd • 2:56.38

• Cadolyn Pirak • 36th • 2:58.37

• Kathy Berhan • 37th • 2:58.38

• John Tomlinson • 45th • 3:05.17

• Cindy Baker • 50th 3:07.24

• Lynda Hamilton • 51st • 3:07.25


• Scott Sedlik • 15th • 41:59

• Tim Punke • 25th • 43:43

• Dave Baker • 28th • 44:22

• Jake Jenkins • 33rd • 44:56

• Chris Woerner • 52nd • 46:27

• Jennifer McPherson • 58th • 46:39

• Annie Ritcey • 75th • 48:03

• Elly McMillan • 95th • 48:48

• Corrie Yackulic • 103rd • 49:28

• Erica Becker • 108th • 49:46

5k Run and Walk

• Terry Robinson • 1st • 18:19

• Karsten Mullins • 30th • 22:42

• Joe Campagna • 37th • 23:21

• Joey Duffie • 43rd • 23:48

•Steve Galando • 51st • 24:31

• Mallory Phillips • 17th • 21:46

• Lisa Nordstrom • 26th • 22:25

• Natalie Marques • 27th • 22:27

• Adrienne Suhm • 32nd • 22:47

• Jessica Ryan • 41st • 23:43

Visit the online race results for a full list of all finishers. All photos by Matt Brashears.


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