Spokane’s Mark Brady, two-time defending champion at the Coeur d’Alene Marathon, won’t be racing this morning.
He might be watching, though.
“I just needed some time to unwind,” said Brady, who has won the event four times.
And apparently a 26.2-mile run before brunch wouldn’t suffice. So Brady might view the race from the sidewalk. What he’ll likely see is his friendly rival from the past, Montanan Mark Tarr, leading the pack.
“I warmed up with Mark at Bloomsday,” Brady said. “I think he was a little disappointed I wasn’t going to be running.”
Tarr won a duel with Brady in 1994 before Brady returned the favor in 1995. Brady won last year in a Tarr-less field.
Last year’s women’s champ Gayle Jacklin isn’t entered. Neither is half-marathon winner Jennifer Clark-Bush. However, ex-Eastern Washington University star Kari McKay likely will erase Clark-Bush’s course record.
Defending men’s half-marathon champ Corey Brantley isn’t racing either.
Walkers begin at 5 a.m. and four wheelchair racers depart at 6:55 from the starting line at North Idaho College.
Everyone else - roughly 420 marathoners and 700 half-marathoners - start at 7. The scenic course has a minor change at mile 14 near the Hayden Dike Road because of flooding.
“It should be a great year for the wheelchair racers,” said registration director Steven Pierce, alluding to the elimination of a bumpy portion of the course.
The lack of familiar names makes predicting favorites chancy. There is additional mystery with three entries from Morocco entered in the half-marathon.
“We’re wondering how good they are,” said Kelly Knapp, race co-director.
Apparently the Morocco runners discovered the race on the Internet. The marathon has a Web site.
This is the 20th CdA Marathon - the 1980 event was canceled due to the eruption of Mount St. Helens.
Five competitors have raced every year. They are Pat and Sylvia Quinn of Spokane; Harold Copeland of Spokane; Malcolm Bohlman of Walla Walla; and Russ Akers of College Place, near Walla Walla.
When Joe Cleary, 57, of Georgetown, Ontario, crosses the finish line, he will have completed marathons in all 50 states.