By LEE HORTON
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Gilbert Ondusko felt like there was someone right behind him the entire time.
Sarah Getty led from the start and never looked back to repeat as the women's winner of the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on Sunday.
“Kinda cool, kinda cool. It hasn't really set in, but it's kind of cool,” Getty said of winning the marathon for the second consecutive year.
Ondusko, a physician from Poulsbo, was the overall winner in his first time running the North Olympic Discover Marathon.
He said he separated from a group around the seventh mile and led the rest of the way.
But he never felt alone out in front.
“Well, I thought there was someone right on my heels the whole time, so you keep going,” Ondusko said.
“You never know until you cross that finish line.”
In reality, his nearest competitor was minutes behind, as Ondusko crossed the finish line 7 minutes ahead of anyone else.
Ondusko finished the marathon in 2 hours, 45 minutes and 39 seconds.
Dallas DeBeck of Elma took second with a time of 2:52.37, and Kevin Douglas of Sedro-Woolley was third at 2:54:50.
Simon Shindler of Port Angeles was the highest finisher from the North Olympic Peninsula, taking 12th overall with a time of 3:14:04.
Ondusko, 45, has won marathons before — “A few. Back in the day,” he said — but didn't know what to expect Sunday.
“I had no expectations, which was nice. There was no pressure,” Ondusko said.
“I just came out, the legs felt great, the support on the course was fantastic, and it was just a perfect day. I just let the legs do the work.”
Ondusko said he has participated in more than 50 marathons and that he runs as many as his wife, Kelli, allows.
It was actually Kelli who urged him to run the marathon while she ran the half-marathon.
“It's just a great day. Beautiful course, just absolutely stunning,” Gilbert Ondusko said.
“I've done a lot of these and I think this probably one of the prettiest courses. If anybody likes running should come out and do this race.”
Getty said she didn't see another women's marathon runner after the beginning of the 26.2-mile course.
Last year, Getty, of Des Moines, set a new women's record by finishing in 3:03.26, beating the previous mark by nearly 2 minutes.
The 31-year-old physical therapist's time Sunday was 3:06.01, but the course is different this year.
Instead of beginning at Carrie Blake Park in Sequim as it has in the past, this year's starting line was at the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Center in Blyn.
Getty said she liked the new course.
“It was nice. The beginning was a little bit more hilly, so I think that's, you know, a little bit slower of a time compared to last year's course,” she said.
“But otherwise, I liked it. It's kind of nice to throw in a couple hills that change it up, otherwise your muscles get used to doing one thing.”
To account for the added hills, Getty entered Sunday with a goal of 3 minutes and 10 seconds, but she was making good enough time that she adjusted her goal near the end of the marathon.
“I wanted 3:05 once I figured out the last 4 or 5 miles, 'Hey, I'm going to be real close, I'm going to be under 3:10,' but it didn't just work out,” she said.
Overall, Getty was the seventh finisher of the marathon.
Stephanie Savino of Dupont was the second female finisher with a time of 3:17:00, while Tracy Murillo of Seattle was third, finishing in 3:24:29.
Sequim's Sarah Oase was the highest women's finisher from the area, taking seventh with a time of 3:34:06.
Josh Klimek of Lacey won the half-marathon with a time of 01:16:07.
Silverdale's Camille Shiflett was the first women's finisher of the half, finishing in 1:22:36.
Port Angeles' Brian Holland took first in the 10K (36:54), while Barkley Hedinger was the top women's finisher (39:30).
Scott Warwick of Clinton was the 5K winner (19:02). Port Angeles' Kynzie DeLeon was the highest female finisher at 21:23, just ahead of Emilia Long, also of Port Angeles (21:43).
Pamela Lovell-Kwa of Tacoma won the marathon walk, finishing in 5:43:38, and Port Angeles' Heather Buckmaster took second (5:51:45).