Nobody can run a half-marathon in 40 seconds.
That’s the first thing Seattle native and Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno had to learn when he started running. Since he was a teenager, Ohno had trained for short but “chaotic” bursts of athleticism as a speedskater. Now, his post-Olympic days are filled with much more endurance-focused events, like Saturday’s Rock ’n’ Roll Seattle Half-Marathon.
“It’s just a different kind of pain,” Ohno said. “It’s much more relaxed than my sport, which is pure mayhem.”
Ohno won eight medals as a speedskater, becoming the most-decorated American winter Olympian. Ohno ran in his first hometown race, finishing the half-marathon in 1:36:49, a personal best.
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Although the race served as training for Ohno’s anticipated Ironman competition in October, it also was a chance to tour his home city in a way he never had.
“It was perfect,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for a more picturesque, beautiful run. I loved it.”
12-year-old finishes half-marathon
Local middle-school student Caleb Silverman ran his first half-marathon and was the fastest 12-year-old to finish. Silverman goes to Asa Mercer Middle School and runs with the Rainier Beach Community Center.
His father, Max, and brother, Noah, 14, had planned on running the half-marathon together.
“So I decided, ‘Why not?’ ” Caleb said.
Noah was injured and couldn’t run, so Caleb and his father ran together instead. Caleb finished with a time of 1:47:04. His first half-marathon was rewarding, he said, but also tough.
“It hurt so bad,” he said. “There was one hill at the end that just killed everything.”
• There were new winners across the board. Yon Yilma, last year’s male winner of the marathon, came in second place. Nuta Olaru, the 2013 female marathon winner, switched races in 2014 and won the half. Neither of the 2013 half-marathon winners was even registered for this year’s race.
• Male marathon winner Drew Polley ran a 2:24:52 and has run a sub-2:18 before, but will try to improve on that by the fall. He wants to run a sub-2:15 marathon to attain the Olympic Trials’ “A Standard,” which would fund his travel and accommodations for the 2016 trials.
• University of Washington student Alexander Rockhill, 19, placed third in the men’s marathon at 2:35:17. The women’s third-place spot was also produced locally: Seattle resident Jen Edwards, 30, finished in 3:14:11.
• Male half-marathon winner Jonathan Lafler didn’t just get to participate in Rock ’n’ Roll Seattle with his former teammate, Polley. His fiancée, Kayla Evans, also ran the half-marathon, finishing in 1:32:07.
• Hometown acts Sir-Mix-A-Lot and The Presidents of the United States of America performed a free concert after the marathon awards ceremony concluded. They headlined the day’s overall musical theme, as the full- and half-marathon courses featured live music at every mile marker.