Runners break course record at 10-mile leg of trail run series

July 10, 2012

By Christina Lords

Beating the course record by nearly two and a half minutes, Seattle resident Eddie Strickler crossed the finish line of the latest installment of the Cougar Mountain Trail Run series July 7 with a time of 1 hour, 14 minutes and 54 seconds.

Iliana Sach (right), the first woman to cross the finish line at the 10-mile Cougar Mountain Trail Run on July 7, narrowly beats her husband Eric Sach. By Christina Lords

The previous record for the 10-mile run was held by Matt Messner’s 2006 time of 1:17:28.

Strickler, a 28-year-old software engineer who ran track and field and cross country for Seattle Pacific University, said he participated in each of the Cougar Mountain Trail Runs last year and plans to run in each of the five events this year.

This was Strickler’s first first-place win in the Cougar Mountain series.

“I probably run five days a week,” he said. “For me, it’s a good switch from sitting at a desk all day.”

Keegan Symmes, the race’s second-place finisher, and Gareth Jones, the runner who took third place, also beat the course record with times of 1:16:20 and 1:17:23, respectively.

“I love the park,” Strickler said. “I’ve run out here since being in college. I just love the trails … on a day like this you just want to get out into the woods and enjoy the day.”

Iliana Sach, 34, of Bellevue, came in first for the women’s division with a time of 1:35:21, followed by Maurean Anderson with a time of 1:39:59 and Larissa Kolasinski with a time of 1:40:32.

“It was a surprise to me that I did so well,” Sach said. “I came in, I didn’t even have breakfast. It was a last-minute decision, but it was just one of those days when you just feel great.”

Sach said she’s been running for 16 years and first participated in the Cougar Mountain Trail Run in 2003. She does at least one run per year, and her husband, Eric Sach, came in just behind her at the finish line at the July 7 race.

On the Web

Learn more about the Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series at the Seattle Running Club’s website at www.seattlerunningclub.org/Events/Cougar/cougarmtn1.html.

Eric Sach is the owner of the Balanced Athlete (a major sponsor of the trail run series) at the Landing in Renton.

“For me, I love these types of grassroots races,” she said. “It’s very much a community-supported, community-oriented event. We give a lot of money back to the park. I love this park. My husband and I started dating in this park.”

The 13-mile installment of the Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series is set for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 11, and the final leg of the series, a 50K, will take place at 8 a.m. Oct. 28.

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