Hometown star runs to, then away with, Rotary Run 5K

October 4, 2011

By Christina Lords

More than 2,300 runners participate in 35th annual Salmon Days event

The Rotary Run field of 10K runners sprints out on 12th Avenue Northwest Oct. 2 as the air horn sounds the start of the annual race. By Greg Farrar

Not only did Jon Harding run in — and win — the Issaquah Rotary Run at Salmon Days’ 5K run, but he ran to it.

The 2004 Issaquah High School graduate and University of Washington cross-country runner said he enjoys representing his hometown in the run and knew he’d create some tough competition for the hundreds of other people participating in the event.

“This is my town, my course,” he said. “I will not be beat.”

With a time of 16 minutes, 13 seconds, Harding beat out second-place finisher Andrew Schroeder (16:44) and third-place finisher Tony Scaringi (16:50).

Harding also won the Rotary Run 5K event in 2009.

More than 2,300 people registered for the 35th annual Rotary Run. The run includes a 10K, 5K and children’s 1K every year on the Sunday of Salmon Days.

Bellevue resident Laura Mickelson took first place in the women’s 5K with a time of 18:22, followed by Sarah Lesko and Nancy Ellis, with times of 18:24 and 18:28, respectively.

Patrick McAuliffe, of Seattle, picked up his second 10K win at the run, coming in with a first-place time of 32:40. He also won the event three years ago.

“It’s just a good, well-organized race to participate in,” he said. “It’s good to get outside and train in something like this.”

Keegan Symmes and Joe Sheeran took second and third place in the men’s 10K with times of 33:27 and 34:05, respectively.

Gwen Lapham, the winner of the women’s 10K event in 35:35, said she’s raced in the Rotary Run two other times and will definitely come back next year.

“It’s a really well-supported run at a great time of year,” she said. “I always feel like with the flat course, this is super fun to run … and you have all these people here cheering you on. In the Northwest, it’s one of the best, if not the best, runs out there.”

Sarah MacKay and Christina Egan clocked in with times of 36:25 and 36:45 to round out the top three finishers in the women’s 10 K.

Greg Tozer, a Rotary member, said the run is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year.

“You can run or walk, and with the kids’ run, it makes it a whole family event,” he said. “We really want this to be a part of the community. That’s why we have them run through the community, not around the community. It’s so people can see it.”

The money collected by the run benefits international projects the Rotary Club participates in around the world, and it provides scholarships for high school students going on to higher education and international exchange programs.

Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239 or newcastle@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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One Response to “Hometown star runs to, then away with, Rotary Run 5K”

  1. Secret Admirer on October 19th, 2011 7:27 pm

    Wow, this man is truly a legend.

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