Runners honor heroes in their lives at Everett half-marathon

EVERETT — Heroes come in many forms.

For a group of Lake Stevens High School grads, their hero on Sunday — as they ran in Everett’s Heroes Half-Marathon and 10K — was their former teacher.

Jim Talley, an esteemed, longtime history instructor at Lake Stevens High, died a year ago last month after suffering a brain aneurysm.

“Mr. Talley was both an incredible man and teacher,” said Karen Gray Young, a member of Lake Stevens’ class of 2002 who ran with three friends to honor Talley’s memory on Sunday.

“He taught with his heart and soul and, in the process, changed many, many Lake Stevens High School students’ lives.”

Others in Sunday’s event ran in teams or individually to honor military members or firefighters, medics and police officers.

About 1,100 people braved a steady rain early Sunday morning to participate, organizer Jon Hoskins said. The races started and finished near The Inn at Port Gardner on W. Marine View Drive. Half-marathoners went to Marysville and back, while those running the 10K turned around at the Snohomish River Bridge.

The event came less than two weeks after the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15.

Expressions of support for Boston were present though understated. A giant card was available at the check-in post for runners and others to sign.

Underneath where one runner had written “United We Stand,” another wrote, “Together We Run.”

Some runners wore small blue-and-yellow ribbons.

Trevor Larned of Enumclaw and his sister, Elizabeth Larned of Seattle, signed up for the Everett event before the Boston bombings took place.

Afterward, though, Elizabeth had T-shirts made that read “Boston Strong” in gold-on-blue, above a gold shamrock.

Their mom, Vaune Larned of Enumclaw, is originally from Boston. She wore one of the shirts and came to cheer on her kids, she said.

This was the race’s third year in Everett after starting in Seattle. Security was tighter than usual, Hoskins said.

Several State Patrol officers walked with bomb-sniffing dogs around the busy start-and-finish area.

Hoskins praised the overall support of local cities, Snohomish County and the Port of Everett in helping the race to come together.

“We’ve worked with a lot of cities and Everett’s been the best,” he said.

The top half-marathon finisher was Travis Boyd, 28, of Edmonds, who did it while pushing his 1-year-old daughter, Julia, in a stroller.

To break the Guinness Book of World Records mark for finishing a half-marathon while pushing a baby stroller was his goal, and unofficially, he succeeded.

The previous record of 1 hour, 15 minutes and 8 seconds was set by Neil Davison in the United Kingdom in 2005, according to the Guinness book website. On Sunday, Boyd finished in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds.

“I love my daughter and I thought it would be fun to set a world record with her,” he said.

Karen Young, along with fellow alumni Amy Sept of Everett, Kira Schreiber of Seattle and friend Katie Jones all finished the 10K in 1 hour, 8 minutes. “We all finished together, we wanted to,” said Young, who now goes to law school at Seattle University.

They were cheered on by Alex Powell, 18, of the class of 2013, who also was a student of Talley’s.

One of Talley’s accomplishments was to set up a scholarship fund in honor of one of his students, Jo Desrosier, 17, who was murdered in 2001. Talley did most of the work associated with the scholarship and even supported it financially, his former students said.

Before the race, the group took pledges for the scholarship and wound up raising just under $1,000.

“With his passing we had the responsibility to stand up and be stewards of the scholarship,” Young said.

Other winners in the half-marathon were Ben Lane, 40, of Woodinville in the male masters division (40 and over) and Mel Laird, 63, of Snohomish in the male grand masters division (60 and over).

Among women, the top finisher was Paige Longdon, 37, of Bothell with a time of 1 hour, 25 minutes and 54 seconds. Sharon Bertolli, 44, of Snohomish won the female masters division and Carol Finn, 61, of Seattle was the top finisher in the female grand masters division (55 and over).

Teams winning prizes were the Blue Line Runners and USCG Team MUNRO.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

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