M.J. Engle of Coos Bay, Ore., says he likes running marathons because they test his limits, and he's not just spouting hyperbole. After all, the 40-year-old won marathons in Southeast Alaska on consecutive days over the weekend.
After winning the Frank Maier Marathon in Juneau on Saturday in 2 hours, 49 minutes, 48 seconds, Engle on Sunday won the Bearfest Marathon in Wrangell in 2:58:10.
Those victories came in Engle's 250th and 251st marathons.
"I like marathons for the pain and the challenge, and every day that I finish one I know I can finish anything else I want to do,'' Engle told the Juneau Empire.
Jane Lanford, 56, of Fairbanks, took second overall, and won the women's division in the Bearfest in 3:34:47.
Twelve runners finished the Bearfest Marathon, and four others, all older than 60, duplicated Engle's feat of finishing the marathons in Juneau and Wrangell on consecutive days. The other double-dippers were Rich Holmes, 61, of Durham, N.C.; Henry Rueden, 61, of Du Pere, Wis.; Laurence Macon, 66, of San Antonio, Texas; and Jim Simpson, 69, of Huntington Beach, Calif.
Resurrection field marked a record
Along with Laura McDonough eclipsing her own women's 100-mile race record and Dave Johnston winning the overall title -- both athletes successfully defended their titles in the Resurrection Pass 100-Miler over the weekend -- the event, which also included a 50-miler, featured record finishing fields.
The eight finishers in the 100 were one more than the previous record of seven, set in the inaugural race in 2003 and matched in 2007. And the 29 finishers in the 50 broke the 2005 record of 24 finishers.
The combined 37 finishers in both ultramarathons also marked another race record. In seven previous races that featured both the 100 and the 50, the most combined finishers was 28 in 2005, when four runners finished the 100 and 24 finished the 50.
2011 Resurrection Pass Results
1) David Johnston 19 hours, 22 minutes; 2) Jeff Arndt 20:37; 3) Eliseo Marquez 21:21; 4) Laura McDonough 21:51 (women's record; previous record, McDonough, 21:57, 2007); 5) Kevin Vig 25:22; 6) Peter Mitchell 26:45; 7) tie, Greta Melvin and Graham Melvin 27:51.
1) Greg Veltkamp 8:21; 2) Crystal Hudak 8:35 (women's winner); 3) Danelle Winn 8:43; 4) Chris Zerger 8:50; 5) Marty Evarts 8:53; 6) Ginny Kinnebrew 8:56; 7) Louis Maurer 9:14; 8) Kari Lovett 9:15; 9) Diana Burbank 9:23; 10) Sarah Duffy 9:48; 11) tie, Anne Southam and James Southam 10:36; 13) Christine Bennett and Aaron Brillhart 10:43; 15) Sarah Thomas 10:54; 16) Jay Liggett 10:57; 17) Davie Olewiler 10:58; 18) Angie Meeham 11:05; 19) Anne Williams 11:16; 20) tie, Andrea Hambach and Yvonne Leutwyler 11:31; 22) Mike Morganson 11:50; 23) Scott Moon 12:14; 24) Janet Tune 12:15; 25) Beryl Anderson 12:33; 26) Heather Dean 12:36; 27, tie, Jacqueline Carney and Joel Cusick 13:29; 29) Dot Helm 17:15.