Share story

The race hadn’t begun and already Shirley Shaw and Denise Boehle were crowned.

The two sisters wore tiaras and pink feather boas in the staging area as they prepared to start the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon Saturday in Tukwila.

They took off the boas before the race—after all, you don’t want a loose feather to get inhaled on the course—but the tiaras stayed on.

“They’re weightless,” said Boehle, who lives in Redding, Calif.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

The two sisters ran the first Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon together in San Diego in 1998. In fact, they were among the first 60 runners to register for that event.

They finished Saturday’s inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon together. It was Boehle’s 26th marathon, and Shaw’s 56th. That means her son, Chad Huber, better get ready to run a marathon of his own. He’s a student at Oregon State, and told his mom if she ran 60 marathons by age 60 that he’d run one with her. She’s 59 and a sure bet to reach that goal.

The sisters ran Saturday’s marathon together, their third in the past three months. They ran Boston in April and San Diego four weeks ago.

As for the racing outfits, did the two sisters dress alike growing up?

“No,” said Boehle. “She wouldn’t even let me wear her clothes.”

Seattle’s sights

The race course took runners across Lake Washington on the I-90 bridge, Mount Rainier looming prominently to the south. It also included a saltwater view of the Puget Sound.

“It highlighted the city,” said Steve Supkoff of North Bend, who finished the marathon in 3:34:27. “Anybody coming from out of Seattle would get a great taste of the city.”

Supkoff is a member of the Marathon Maniacs, a group for whom the description diehard is not quite sufficient. They’re an organization with more than 1,500 members that include levels of membership for people who’ve run marathons on consecutive weekends. That’s actually the lowest, one-star designation. A beginner, so to speak.

The Marathon Maniacs wear yellow singlets, and estimate was that as many as 150 members of the group participated in Saturday’s race.

Chris Warren, who is officially member No. 2, finished in 2:59:21, the first time in almost five years he’s finished faster than 3 hours.

May Cheng of Mercer Island is a member, No. 167 to be exact. She had one comment on the scenic course.

“Unfortunately, you can’t avoid the hills,” she said.

Nope. Not in Seattle you can’t.

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.