Marathon duo breaks down the wall

"Special to The ReviewMost Bainbridge High School students look forward to a little hard-earned rest and relaxation over their holiday break.Juniors Evan Galloway and Andy Reese anticipated just the opposite.On Dec. 19, the friends and teammates on the Spartan cross country and track teams completed Olympia’s Christmas Marathon – making them likely the youngest islanders to finish a 26-mile race."

  • Wednesday, January 5, 2000 8:00pm
  • Sports

“Special to The ReviewMost Bainbridge High School students look forward to a little hard-earned rest and relaxation over their holiday break.Juniors Evan Galloway and Andy Reese anticipated just the opposite.On Dec. 19, the friends and teammates on the Spartan cross country and track teams completed Olympia’s Christmas Marathon – making them likely the youngest islanders to finish a 26-mile race.“It was worthwhile and satisfying,” Galloway said.Galloway’s time of three hours, four minutes and 59 seconds placed him seventh overall, while Reese crossed the line four places back in 3:13:50. The duo actually spent most of the competition in second and third places before fading in the grueling event’s final miles.Either outcome would not have been easy to envision just a few years ago, when either Galloway or Reese would have seemed unlikely bets to complete a lap at Battle Point Park, let alone the sport’s toughest distance race.Galloway was a struggling freshman sprinter at Seattle’s Blanchet High School, while Reese was a self-described “lazy kid” who took up running primarily because it seemed to be the quickest way of getting back to the couch at home.Galloway found his niche in distance running, however, and after transferring to Bainbridge as a sophomore, qualified for last fall’s state 3A cross country championships. He finished in the middle of the pack at 17:24 for the five-kilometer course.Reese, meanwhile, joined father Jerry for regular runs on the roads and completed the Seattle Half Marathon two years before in one hour and forty minutes.It was a suggestion from the elder Reese a month before that prompted the pair’s marathon participation. Andy Reese immediately enlisted his friend.With the benefit of 50 training miles a week from the cross country season, which concluded at the end of October, Galloway and Reese condensed a normal marathon preparation schedule – six months – into just three weeks.The two were accustomed to running six to eight miles a day, and simply added longer runs. One weekend they ran for two hours, and the following Sunday they stayed out for two hours and 40 minutes.“After that, we knew that we could finish,” Reese said.The race itself, surprisingly, went by much too soon for the duo’s goal of a three-hour, thirty-minute finish. “We (were) going too fast,” Reese recalled. “We thought the mile markers must be wrong.”Then reality set in. Shortly after passing the halfway mark in just 85 minutes, they participated in a bit of running history.En route to a 2:52:40 finish – the first time ever a woman became the overall winner of a marathon – Laura Nelson of Bend, Ore. caught up with them. They tried to stay with her until Reese said: “Evan, we shouldn’t be doing this.”They backed off. Soon after, a different reality set in.“We were still doing good at 21 miles, then we hit the proverbial wall,” Reese said. “We would have done better with one more long run.”Galloway had additional complications.“Before the race, Andy asked me if I had good socks,” he said. “‘They’re good enough,’ I replied.’”As it turned out, they weren’t. Galloway developed blisters just six miles out and his “good enough” socks were soon stained red with his blood.They turned a few heads, however, based simply on their running skills.“It seemed like everyone else in the race had run 50 marathons,” Galloway said. “One guy caught us a little after 20 miles, and said that he was surprised it took so long to catch us.”They also learned a valuable lesson to carry over into the spring track season.“Now they know what it feels like to really hurt when they run, and how to dig deep,” Richard Christopher, Spartan cross country and track coach, said.The two also achieved another goal, concluding what Reese called “a personal vendetta against the mile.” Neither had run the distance in fewer than five minutes, but Galloway and Reese finally bagged it at 4:52 and 4:55, respectively.It will be a while before they work up past the mile again.“We’re still recovering,” Galloway said. “Sitting was painful for a few days after. The fatigue really stays with you.”“And I’m still waiting for the blisters to heal.””

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