First marathon worth toasting for winner

More than 450 complete sixth Vancouver USA Marathon

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter


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Turns out Vancouver is a better place than Arkansas to run a fast marathon in June.

“It’s way too hot and humid to run one down there this time of year,” explained Little Rock, Ark., resident Brent Corbitt. “I found this one and it combined two things I love: running and the brewfest. It was a good race. I enjoyed it.”

His enjoyment included winning the sixth edition of the Vancouver USA Marathon on Sunday. The 35-year-old ran the 26.2 miles out front and won by more than 5 minutes with a time of 2 hours, 40 minutes and 12 seconds.

Oh, and this is the first time Corbitt has run a marathon.

He said the few rough patches included the uphill stretch at mile 20 and a moment of confusion about which way to turn at mile 25. Without that he would have finished under his target time of 2:40. He said he enjoyed the course, and running out front.

“It’s tough being by yourself, but at the same time it kept me from running too fast,” Corbitt said.

After five months of serious training, Corbitt said he plans to take a break from running.

For women’s champion Suzanne Giunta, Sunday’s marathon figures to be the last for a while. The recent medical school graduate from Warrenton, Va., moved to Seattle less than two weeks ago to begin her residency at Swedish Hospital.

Giunta, 28, missed her goal of finishing in under three hours. But she was plenty happy to break the tape as the winner 18 seconds past the three-hour mark. It was the fastest of her 10 marathons and the first time she has won one.

“First win. Woo-hoo!” she said with a big smile. “I’ve never gotten to break the tape before.”

Winning on Father’s Day was appropriate, Giunta said, because her father got her started as a runner.

“I’ve never gone out that fast before, so trying to hang on was tough,” she said. “But the 3-hour pace group was awesome. They were so good at supporting me. I just couldn’t hold on at the end.”

While the winners crossed the country to earn their medals, local runners also had a successful marathon. Eric Curtis, 35, of Vancouver finished fifth overall with a time of 2:57:57. Three of the top-10 women were from Clark County, led by Katarina Mueller of Vancouver who was the fifth female to finish.

Mueller, 24, finished in 3:13:20 and said Sunday’s marathon was just for fun. On May 29 she won the Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) Marathon in a personal-best time of 3:07.

Vancouver resident Dan Donovan, 51, was the 35th runner across the finish line — the first 50 or older. It was his fourth marathon, including Boston earlier this year, and his fastest at 3:17:49.

“It feels good to get a PR in a hometown race,” Donovan said.

Unofficially, 453 runners and walkers completed the full marathon.

Half Marathon

Brad Blouch of Wilsonville, Ore., won the half marathon with a time of 1 hour, 22 minutes and 11 seconds, 23 seconds in front of Vancouver’s Euginio Vidales. Marla Smith, 32, of Portland finished third overall and was the female champion with a time of 1:23:10.

Vidales, 56, was thrilled with his time — which was eight minutes faster than his 90-minute target.

“Awesome. I can’t believe it,” Vidales said.

Vidales and Blouch, 36, traded the lead several times before Blouch pulled in front over the last three miles.

“I was thinking I was going to win, but it was a good run — it was great,” Vidales said.

Unofficially, 1,014 runners and walkers completed the half marathon.

Wright on time

Minnesota resident Don Wright completed his 97th marathon since being diagnosed with multiple myeloma 13 years ago. He finished in 6 hours and 53 minutes and said he probably would have been about 20 minutes faster had it not gotten so warm.

Wright is hoping to complete his 100th marathon later this year. When diagnosed with cancer in 2003 he was told he probably had five years to live.


Here are the top finishers for each race:

Vancouver USA Marathon 2016

Top 10 Men

1, Brent Corbitt, 35, Little Rock, Ark., 2:40:12. 2, Nathan Sustersic, 34, Portland, 2:45:44. 3, Troy Hall, 36, Portland, 2:54:58. 4, Jordan Cullen, 27, San Francisco, 2:56:51. 5, Eric Curtis, 34, Vancouver, 2:57:57. 6, Thomas Sharp, 38, Sherwood, Ore., 2:58:23. 7, Ryan Guthrie, 34, Portland, 2:58:48. 8, John Maxwell, 27, Snohomish, 3:00:33. 9, Jared Cullen, 30, Springfield, Ill., 3:00:36. 10, Aaron Whiteford, 38, Portland, 3:02:23.

Top 10 Women

1. Suzanne Giunta, 28, Warrenton, Va., 3:00:18 (eighth overall). 2, Jennifer Yogi, 41, Seattle, 3:05:59. 3, Katherine Robinson, 29, Seattle, 3:11:13. 4, Lisa Pietz, 33, Renton, 3:12:41. 5, Katarina Mueller, 24, Vancouver, 3:13:20. 6, Sarah Abernathy, 64, Vancouver, 3:16:08. 7, Brittany Hodgson, 30, Tacoma, 3:21:35. 8, Devon Johnson, 36, Portland, 3:23:31. 9, Allison Wrightson, 25, Brush Prairie, 3:24:06, Jenna Sessions, 29, Portland, 3:28:23.

Vancouver USA Half Marathon 2016

Top 10 Men

1, Brad Blouch, 36, Wilsonville, Ore., 1:22:11. 2, Eugenio Vidales, 56, Vancouver, 1:22:34. 3, Trent Corey, 37, Vancouver, 1:23:40. 4, Luke Zentner, 35, Olympia, 1:24:54. 5, James Keane, 34, Portland, 1:24:58. 6, Brian Loy, 29, Portland, 1:25:58. 7, Shun Yamaguchi, 15, Vancouver, 1:27:35. 8, Roger Lemmons, 49, Edmond, Okla., 1:28:43. 9, Michael Bucci, 51, Phoenix, Ariz., 1:28:54. 10, Daniel Lyne, 50, Camas, 1:31:29.

Top 10 Women

1, Marla Smith, 32, Portland 1:23:10 (third overall). 2, Natalia Lyasherskiy, 35, Vancouver, 1:25:36 (seventh overall), 3, Susan Hay, 52, Portland, 1:28:45 (11th overall). 4, Mandy Davis, 16, Phoenix, Ariz., 1:31:27 (13th overall). 5, Madeline Bucci, 17, Phoenix, Ariz., 1:32:00. 6, Amber Carter, 35, Belpre, Ohio, 1:37:35. 7, Tresa Marsh, 35, Vancouver, 1:37:35. 8, Lisa Tylor, 53, Puyallup, 1:37:58. 9, Diana Douglas, 34, Vancouver, 1:39:56. 10, Stefanie James, 28, Portland, 1:40:41.