The 41st annual Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon was held on Sunday, March 24, under cold but sunny skies. Approximately 3,265 racers participated in the event, featuring the annual half marathon, 10k and 5k along with the Kids’ Dash.
One of the biggest events each year on the Island went off without a hitch, drawing a record crowd to the 5k run/walk.
Dawn Naye, the event’s chair, said this year just over 4,000 registered for the event.
“It was a great year,” said Naye. “A little cold, but there was a great vibe.”
She added that more people picked up race packets on Saturday, likely because of the new partnership with Sound Transit, allowing for free rides if racers showed their bibs.
The half marathon race continued to be the main event with 1,560 runners showing up, while the half marathon walk had 218 participants. In the 10k event, 563 racers came out, while a record 924 raced in the 5k.
In the half marathon run, Uli Steidl won the event, finishing in 1:08.24 with a 5:13 mile pace time. Keegan Symmes finished in second in 1:10.29 with a 5:23 pace time. Joshua Richari was third in 1:12.46, Gabriel Kliot was fourth in 1:16.18 and Cameron Butler was fifth in 1:17.15.
The top women's finisher in the half marathon was Kimberly Pancoast in 1:20.48, followed by Trisha Steidl in 1:26.10. Bess McKinney was third in 1:26.40, Karra Whitmire was fourth in 1:26.52 and Somer Kreisman was fifth in 1:27.44.
In the half marathon walk, Diana Robinson took the top spot, finishing in 2:14.54, followed by Merisa Heu-Weller in 2:16.08. Celeste Bailey was the third place woman to finish in 2:20.54, with Megan Hall in fourth place in 2:22.55 and Alexis Pontikis in 2:29.48 in fifth place.
Robert Chiles was the men's top place finisher in the half marathon walk, earning a 2:19.23 time, while John Kjargaard was second in 2:23.34. Harel Kodesh was the third place male finisher in 2:37.04, while Sittipan Sittikariya was fourth in 2:39.13 and Rod Hall finished in fifth in 2:42.19.
In the 10k race, Michael Cooke was the overall top finisher with a 35:17 time, followed by Scott Tucker at 36:28. Brian Wardell finished in 36.56 for third place, while Andrew Williams was fourth in 38:19 minutes. Robinson Howell was fifth after finishing in 38:22.
The top women's finishers in the 10k included: Dena Evans in 39:24, Jill Frank for second in 42:06, Celina Santi in third in 43:10, Jennifer Kelly in fourth in 44:30 and Flo Booth finished fifth in 44:46.
In the 5k run and walk, Conrad Saam finished as the top racer with a 19:52 time, while Rick Spoonemore finished in second in 20:07. Joe Campagna was third in 20:20, Spencer Slaven-Lazzar was fourth in 20:34 and Kevin Alexander was fifth in 20:48.
In the women's results for the 5k, Morgan Ekemo was first in 20:46, followed by Joan Eilertson in second in 21:32. Barbie Young finished in third place in 22:12, Kirsten Nesholm was fourth in 22:27 and Emily Perchlick was fifth in 22:42.
See this week's Reporter for top finishers from Mercer Island and more photos.
To see full results, visit the Mercer Island Half Marathon website.
All photos by Matt Brashears.