Tag Archive for: Sports

Lacamas Athletic Club, Camas, WA — The Papermaker swim team hosted Battle Ground and Prairie High Schools at Wednesday’s dual meet, beating the competition but acknowledging they have more work to do, as a team, before next week’s Kelso meets.

They also made other news Wednesday: Camas has now qualified three relays for State, as well as Eric Wu in the 200m IM and 100m Back. Mark Kim also made a State cut in the 50m Free, and Jaden Kim in the 100 Fly.

“We’re adjusting after winter break,” said Camas co-captain, Finn McClone. “We didn’t look as good as we should. We’re in recovery from lack of winter training, although a few of us did double duty over the break.”

McClone, Eric Wu, and Dave Peddie put in extra swim training over the holidays to stay on track.

“As a team, we really need to fine tune our strokes,” said Wu. “And, Dave Peddie is an absolute workhorse. He’s very motivated, and he’s inspirational. We’ll be ready for the bigger meets.”

Plus, the boys tried something new Wednesday — Zach Macia sang the National Anthem as Jaden Kim and Dave Peddie held up the American flag.

“It was my own rendition,” said Macia. “I was inspired by Jake, Landon, and Luke to do it.”


Getting ready for the National Anthem. From left: Jaden Kim, Zach Macia, and Dave Peddie.

Swim Event Results

200m Medley Relay

  • 1st Place: Camas — Chris Xia, Jaden Kim, Eric Wu, Mark Kim (1:54.54)
  • 2nd Place: Battle Ground — Alex Curran, Marcelo Lombardi, Sam Anderson, Seth Colpitts (1:56.35)
  • 3rd Place: Camas — Josef Kiesenhofer, Dave Peddie, Jack Harris, Ben Taylor (2:06.17)

200m Free Relay

  • 1st Place: Finn McClone, Camas (2:02.28)
  • 2nd Place: Austin Fogel, Camas (2:09.05)
  • 3rd Place: Junha Lee (2:13.16)

200m IM

  • 1st Place: Eric Wu, Camas (2:15.12)
  • 2nd Place: Alex Curran, Battle Ground (2:25.30)
  • 3rd Place: Chris Xia, Camas (2:26.16)

50m Free

  • 1st Place: Mark Kim, Camas (25.05)
  • 2nd Place: Marcelo Lombardi, Battle Ground  (25.60)
  • 3rd Place: Ben Taylor, Camas (27.14)

50 Free Start.

100m Fly

  • 1st Place: Ben Jones, Prairie (54.94)
  • 2nd Place: Cameron Barnes, Battle Ground (56.14)
  • 3rd Place: Jaden Kim, Camas (59.06)

100m Free

  • 1st Place: Marcelo Lombardi, Battle Ground (56.94)
  • 2nd Place: Sam Anderson, Battle Ground (57.78)
  • 3rd Place: Junha Lee, Camas (58.80)

400m Free

  • 1st Place: Chris Xia, Camas (4:38.89)
  • 2nd Place: Colton Sadler, Prairie (5:01.08)
  • 3rd Place: Drew Forstrom, Battle Ground (5:25.41)

200m Free Relay

  • 1st Place: Battle Ground — Sam Anderson, Seth Colpitts, Alex Curran, Marcelo Lombardi (1:46.98)
  • 2nd Place: Camas — Austin Fogel, Ben Taylor, Luke Bales, Junha Lee (1:47.82)
  • 3rd Place: Prairie — Colton Sadler, Chase Clary, Nathan Tuck, Ben Jones (2:05.62)

Camas Co-Captain Finn McClone.

100m Back

  • 1st Place: Eric Wu, Camas (1:02.57)
  • 2nd Place: Alex Curran, Battle Ground (1:04.01)
  • 3rd Place: Isaiah Ross, Washougal (1:06.24)

100m Breast

  • 1st Place: Austin Fogel, Camas (1:12.81)
  • 2nd Place: Mark Kim, Camas (1:14.41)
  • 3rd Place: Sam Anderson, Battle Ground (1:22.80)

400m Free Relay

  • 1st Place: Camas — Mark Kim, Austin Fogel, Finn McClone, Luke Bales (4:02.28)
  • 2nd Place: Prairie — Ben Jones, Nathan Tuck, Chase Clary, Colton Sadler (4:06.20)
  • 3rd Place: Camas — Jack Harris, Junha Lee, Josef Kiesenhofer, Dave Peddie (4:23.84)


Swim Meet Gallery

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By Dan Trujillo

Lauren Rood says pressure is a privilege.

“You can’t be afraid to fail,” she said. “You have to be able to look at failure straight on and say, ‘Not today. I’ve worked too hard for this.’”

The goalkeeper from Camas took pressure head on every single day as a member of the NCAA championship clinching Stanford University women’s soccer team. And the Cardinal passed with flying colors.

Rood collected 13 saves in 10 games. She allowed just two goals all season, which converts to a 0.22 goals against average. Stanford went 9-0 in the games Rood defended the goal, and the sophomore helped preserve seven shutouts.

“She was a major contributor. Her work ethic and dedication to the team was tremendous,” said head coach Paul Ratcliffe. “She had some big performances throughout the season that helped propel us to the championship.”

Rood made first career start on Aug. 20 against Wisconsin. Stanford won 1-0, and Rood secured her first shutout.

“I was beyond excited,” Rood recalled. “I told myself, ‘Get through the first five minutes. Get that first touch on the ball.’ Once I get that first touch, I’m locked in and I know that everything is going to be fine.”

She earned two saves in wins against Santa Clara, Sept. 17, and Arizona, Sept. 28. And then three saves in victories over Washington, Oct. 13, and Oregon State, Oct. 22. Between Sept. 21 and Oct. 29, Stanford played 788 minutes, 28 seconds without allowing a goal.

According to her player profile, Rood made a “miraculous save” to preserve a 1-0 lead late in the game against Washington. Following that performance, the Pacific-12 Conference selected Rood as Goalkeeper of the Week.

“As a goalkeeper, you have to wait and wait and wait and stay locked in,” Rood said. “It could be the 85th minute, or the final seconds of the game, when they get a breakaway. You have to be ready to save the ball. That’s why you train and why you play.”

Stanford clinched its third straight Pac-12 championship, but the women wanted to achieve more. Unfortunately, Rood suffered a concussion in training and was unable to contribute on the field. She never missed a practice or a game, and finally made her first postseason appearance Nov. 24, against Penn State. Stanford won 4-0, and Rood shared the shutout with Alison Jahansouz.


Stanford, CA – October 13, 2017: Stanford defeated Washington 1-0 during a women’s soccer match at Cagan Stadium. Photo by StanfordPhoto.

“My coach didn’t want to rush me back, or change the lineup, and I respected that,” Rood said. “Once I was able to start training again, I felt like I was back with the team.

“We pushed each other every single day, and we made each other better,” she added. “It was such a great atmosphere to be in. Every single day, you have to prove yourself.”

It all came to a head Dec. 3, when Stanford defeated UCLA, 3-2, for the NCAA championship, in Orlando, Florida.

“Our ultimate dream was to win the national championship,” Rood said. “That one moment was worth all the hard work that we put into the season.”

On Oct. 10, the Stanford men’s soccer team outlasted Indiana, 1-0 in double overtime, to capture the NCAA championship, in Chester, Pennsylvania. Ratcliffe said this was the first time a Pac-12 college won two national soccer titles in the same season.

Before this blossomed into a championship season, Rood believes the seeds were planted after a 3-2 loss to the University of Florida, three games from the start.

“It was a big wake up call for our team,” she said. “We have great players, but every single day, you have to show up and give everything you have in your heart. We never wanted to feel like that again. That was motivation every day.”

The women rebounded, finished the season 24-1 and rose the national championship. It was a season Rood will never forget. One that sets a new standard at Stanford.

“Embrace the moments you have every step of the way, even the bad ones,” Rood said. “Pressure is a privilege. You have to be able to manage those failures and turn them into success later.”

LONGVIEW, WA — The Camas High Boys Swim team (the 2017 4A State swimming champions) handily defeated RA Long and Mark Morris in their first meet of the season. The fast-moving meet got off to a good start with a win by the Camas 200 Medley Relay team, which included Finn McClone, Jaden Kim, Austin Fogel, and Mark Kim.

Meet Results:

  • Washougal’s Isaiah Ross won the 200 Free, and was followed by Papermaker Freshmen Jack Harris, and Dave Peddie.
  • State Champion and Camas co-captain, Mark Kim, won the 200 IM, and was followed by Papermaker’s Finn McClone and Junha Lee.
  • Jaden Kim won the 50 Free event, and Luke Bales placed second.
  • Jaden Kim also won the 100 Fly, and Fogel placed second.
  • Mark Kim won the 100 Free event, and Zachary Macia placed second.
  • Ross won the 500 Free event, while Peddie placed second.
  • Mark Morris won the 200 Free Relay.
  • McClone won the 100 Back event, and Macia placed second. Fogel won the 100 Breast, while Aaron Lee placed second.
  • And, in the 400 Free Relay, the team of Jaden Kim, Fogel, McClone, and Mark Kim won.

“This was a small dual meet so we just pushed through,” said Mark Kim. “We’re definitely working our hardest at every practice and improving our time, but we are focusing on the bigger meets.”

What’s next?

The boys head to Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA this Saturday for a tougher, more competitive meet.

“It’ll be a 15-hour day,” said McClone. “We leave Camas at 5:30 am this Saturday. It’ll be good to see the competition from that part of the state.”

To learn more, visit www.chs.camas.wednet.edu

Swim Image Gallery

Camas, WA — Fans cheered on the Camas Boys Varsity basketball team during their first game of the season Thursday night to a victory over Prairie, 69-61.

Papermaker Senior Isaiah Sampson had 16 points and 12 rebounds, overcoming the 28 points Prairie’s Kam Osborne scored at the intense game. Junior Carson Bonine scored three first half 3s to put the Papermakers up by eight points at halftime. Prairie did their best to cut the Camas lead, but the Papermakers opened the gap even further during the fourth quarter.

“We played very well as a team and I loved our energy both on and off the court,” said Tre Carlisle, the Camas team captain.

The boys play at Wilson, Oregon tonight at 7. Their next home game is December 6 vs. Black Hills at 7 pm.

Camas JV also won their game against Prairie, 57-42.

Basketball Game Stats

PRAIRIE:  Nate Milspaugh 3, Kaleb Locke 3, AJ Dixson 2, Logan Reed 3,Dante Heitschmidt 8, Kam Osborn 28, Braiden Broadbent 13, Zeke Dixson 1. Totals 15 (6) 10-13 61.

CAMAS:  Isaiah Sampson 16, Carson Bonine 10, Ben Cooke 3, Gabe Mukobi 9,  Connor Shira 3,  Kyle Allen 5, Shane Jamison 4,Fox Bessinger 3, Zachary Chillian 4, Trey Carlisle 12. Totals 16 (8) 13-18 69.

Prairie 13 16 19 16–61

Camas 17 20 10 29–69

To learn more, visit www.chs.camas.wednet.edu

Basketball Game Image Gallery

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Camas, WA — Tonight, K&M Burger, which is located on 3rd Avenue near Walgreens, will be hosting a fundraiser today to aid the Camas High School’s Sports Medicine team pay for their WCTSMA State competition in Kennewick.

The team has been working hard all year so they can apply their classroom knowledge into a statewide symposium with other SM students — from all over Washington state. The Sports Medicine team is on-hand at many school events, and are always ready to aid and support local athletes.

K&M Burger is located at 3414 NE 3rd Ave, Camas, WA.

Present this flyer November 1, 2017 between 3-8 pm and K&M will donate 15% of your purchase to assist the sports medicine team.


Present this flyer so that 15% of your purchase goes back to the CHS Sports Medicine team.

K&M features fresh and local ingredients, and they work with local vendors and suppliers for their business needs. Their restaurant frequently holds fundraisers for local causes.

To learn more, visit chs.camas.wednet.edu

We recently caught up with 2015 Camas High School graduate, Cole Zarcone, who is presently a Junior at Central Washington University (CWU), in Ellensburg, WA, majoring in Business Management. While at CHS, Zarcone played Varsity football and ran sprints for the Track and Field team.

Question: What do you like most about Central Washington?

I love the small town feel of Ellensburg because it makes me feel like I’m back home. We have about 12,000 kids and I think it is the perfect size for a college. The campus is beautiful and the people here are amazing, as well.

Question: What’s happening with rugby?

The rugby season is just getting under way. Our 7’s season is short in the fall with two tournaments. We had the first tournament, called West Coast 7’s in San Francisco on Treasure Island. The team did great in our first tournament together, lots of new faces with our freshman, but we performed really well. There were 16 colleges from across the West Coast. We played well both days and ended up playing the University of Arizona in the championship game and won 17-15. This win for Central Washington Rugby was the biggest tournament win in the school’s history, so I am very blessed to be a part of it. I was honored to be named the MVP of the tournament, scoring 10 tries in our 6 matches. All the success I had on the pitch would not have happened without the help of my teammates and I’m so thankful for all of them.

What we have next is the Silicon Valley 7’s tournament, which is held at Avaya stadium in San Jose. This is an international 7’s tournament, with teams such as USA, Canada, South Africa and many others playing against each other. Eight college teams, us being one of them get to play in the stadium when the international players have a break from their tournament play, which is an experience of a lifetime and I’m very blessed. Very excited for this tournament which is this Friday, November 3-5.

Our 15’s season start in January with another trip down to California. We have a great schedule this year against top teams across the country. The team is hopeful to make a run in the playoffs this year, with the main goal of winning a national championship.


Celebrating a major victory.

Question: Why the switch from football to rugby?

Why I switched from football to rugby was because I just didn’t love the game as much as I did when I was in high school. I will forever love football and I’m so thankful for all that the sport brought into my life. My older brother, Austin Colvill, played football for Camas as well but ended up playing rugby for Western Washington University, and he was a big reason I found my love for rugby. It was one of the scariest things I have ever done because I left a sport I had played my whole life to go play a sport I had never played before. I was worried and doubted myself at times, but God showed me that this was what he wanted me to do, as he continued to open so many doors for me in rugby and I’m so blessed to be where I am today. Luckily, I ended up being at a school with a rugby team that is nationally ranked year after year. It was time for something new and I am so happy I choose to play rugby because it has brought new life to me in sports and the experiences I have got from it will last a life time.

Question: What do you enjoy most about rugby?

The thing I enjoy most about rugby is how loving and caring our teammates are for each other. I’ve been on amazing teams, but ever since I have played rugby I have learned what true brotherhood looks like. It’s special and leads into lifelong friends.

Question: What did you enjoy most about your time at CHS?

What I enjoyed most about CHS was living in a one high school town. I loved everything about camas. We are very blessed to have the facilities, teachers and coaches we do at Camas.

To learn more about the CWU rugby program, click here: http://www.wildcatsports.com/index.aspx?path=mrugby

Zarcone Images

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Camas, WA — It’s been a busy week for the Papermaker Varsity Volleyball team with three games during Homecoming week, but Coach Michelle Allen says the girls just stay focused.

The girls are now league champs, and undefeated in league play this season.

“They’ve put in a great effort,” said Allen. “Stand outs this year are Aubrey Stanton, Keelie LeBlanc, and Whitney Quist, but really I have five seniors that are key players.”

This week they’ve played Olympia, Battle Ground, and face Heritage on Thursday night.

Results from Battle Ground Volleyball Match:

Camas 3, Battle Ground, 0

25-18, 25-14, 25-20


Aubrey Stanton – 1 ace, 4 kills, 25 assists; 9 digs

Emma Villaluz –  3 aces, 11 digs

Genevieve Crowston –  2 kills, 5 digs

Madison Gilcrist – 1 ace, 16 assists; 6 digs

Keelie LeBlanc –  16 kills, 2 digs, 3 aces

Marianna Payne –  1 ace, 3 kills, block, 2 digs

Madison Pfaff – 1 ace, 2 assists, 30 digs

Whitney Quist – 10 kills, 5 digs

Results from Olympia Volleyball Match

Camas 3, Olympia 0

25-17, 25-12, 25-21


Aubrey Stanton: 5 Aces, 6 kills, 19 assists, 9 digs

Emma Villaluz – 2 Aces, 6 kills, 5 digs

Genevieve Crowston – 2 kills, 2 digs

Madison Gilchrist – 16 assists, 6 digs

Keelie Leblanc – 1 ace, 11 kills, 9 digs

Kylie Loewen- 2 digs

Mary Pipkin – 1 ace, 2 kills, 3 blocks, 1 dig

Marianne Payne – 1 ace, 6 kills, 1 block, 2 digs

Madison Pfaff – 1 assist, 25 digs

Whitney Quist – 4 kills, 2 blocks, 1 dig

J.V. Won.

C1 beat Olympia in 3 games last night. Cassidy S had 3 aces and 4 kills

To learn more, visit www.papermakervolleyball.com

Volleyball Image Gallery — Photos by Jon Pugmire

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To learn more, visit www.papermakervolleyball.com

Vancouver, WA — The undefeated Camas High School Slow Pitch Softball team (22-0) handily beat Heritage Monday night, 6-1, claiming the 4A District title.

The team heads to State competition in Richland this Saturday to compete against seven other teams.

Pitcher Emery Miller did well, and was backed up by a solid defense, allowing only one run early in the game.

“We were the number one seed in league, 19-0, then we played Columbia River for tournament play, we beat them, then we played Hudson’s Bay, which qualified us for State in Richland,” said coach Dale Lundy. “Four teams come from our area, and we’ll play the best four teams from Spokane.”

Taija Souki scored early in the game, and was followed by Sophie Franklin, who brought in the second run. Addison Cagle scored the third run, and Maddie Ellis scored the fourth. Sophie Franklin scored again (fifth run) by sliding into home; and Megan Bauer scored the final run of the game.

Game Stats

  • Sophie Franklin was 3-for-3 with 2 runs.
  • Payton Bates was 3-for-3 with two RBI.
  • Cameron Schroeder was 2-for-2.
  • Megan Bauer was 1-for-3.
  • Maddie Ellis was 2-for-3.
  • Ava Lathim was 1-for-3 with 2 RBI.

“We all worked hard to support each other,” said Emery Miller, who pitched the entire game.  “We put in the time, and the work.”

To learn more, visit www.chs.camas.wednet.edu

Slow Pitch Image Gallery

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The Camas Girls Swim and Dive Team had a successful weekend in the pool — at two locations. The swimmers competed at the Southwest Washington Invitational at Mark Morris Pool (in Longview, WA), and the team’s divers attended an 11-dive meet in Bainbridge, WA.

Diver Jax Purwins won the diving contest with a final score of 406 points.  Lynne McGee earned 292 points, and Shaye McGee earned 268 points. Thirty-eight divers from the Seattle area participated in the meet. The diver compete again this Friday in Moses Lake. This is the first time in more than 15 years that Camas has featured diving events as part of their program.

“It’s something new this year,” said team coach, Mike Bemis. “It’s logistically challenging because SW Washington had abandoned diving many years ago.

The swim team finished second at the SW Invitational. Camas won the 200 Free and 400 Free relays. Paeton Lesser won the 200 Free, and was second in the 50 Free. Bailey Segall placed third in the 200 Individual Medley (IM) and 100 Fly. The next meet for the girls is Sub Districts, which is this Wednesday at Mark Morris Pool, in Longview, WA.

The girls have been trying to get as many State time cuts as possible to exceed last year.

Here’s a Spotlight Video on the team:

To learn more, visit www.chs.camas.wednet.edu


Camas resident Liana Gulzow says her legs are shredded following her first 50K (31 miles) run this past week in the Tillamook State Forest.

“What an incredible experience!” Gulzow said. “It was so many things wrapped into one: really tough, lots of climbing, so many encouraging people, absolutely gorgeous trails, exhilarating and so exhausting! Definitely my distance and I’ll do another again! Nature has such healing for us.”

She explains she’s always had a solid base of miles in here, “but like any endurance event, the long training day is most important.”

“For this race in particular, I didn’t start training long miles until after we took (daughter) Cambryn to college because I didn’t want to give up a lot of time training while she was still at home,” she said. “So, I really trained for this race in under two months. I just kept up my normal amount of miles, then as soon as she was gone I ramped up my mileage and actually increased my mileage each week.”

She said the Gorge fires caused her to come up with new training on different trails. She ended up training on Wilson River, Sioxon, Round Lake and Mt. Rainer trails. She incorporated trails with elevation gain and loss since the 50K race was 31 miles and 6,200 feet of gain and loss.

“I also learned that my body needs about 225 calories an hour with that kind of training and racing,” she said.


Gulzow completed her first 50K in October 2017.

Why Gulzow Loves Running

The following are Gulzow’s own words from an article she wrote for Race Center:

My fifth grade teacher introduced me to running. Mr. Moody was the track coach, and he loved to see his athletes realize their potential. He had a bad knee and couldn’t run, but I knew he lived through us. I remember standing in a circle on the school playground blacktop, waiting for my name to be called. “Davis, over here.” I had just been called to run my very first mile.

I am the second oldest of five closely spaced children. So when I asked my parents if I could join the track team, my Mom’s first words were: “You need to find your own way home.” Most days after practice, I found my own two feet making the two-mile walk home. Some days if still had the energy, I would run. My love for running has become something that I live for. I don’t feel complete without it. When I run, I am humbled; I feel powerful and alive. I feel like no matter what life throws my way, I can handle it.

I always knew I would run a marathon. I just didn’t know when. But somewhere near the end of March 2009, I convinced myself to register for the Portland Marathon. I was planning to run two half marathons and Hood to Coast anyway, so why not? As soon as I hit “submit” to complete my online registration, I began visualizing myself crossing the finish line — my friends and family on the sideline yelling my name. Two years prior, my husband Brent ran the Portland Marathon. As he finished, I had tears of joy streaming down my face. What an accomplishment! And then, there I was — registered to run my first full marathon. The commitment alone seemed to change my outlook. I finally felt like I was in the game; a marathon is the real deal.

Around mid-June, I decided to start doing my long runs with a group. Running those long miles alone was getting more challenging, and I knew I would love the group camaraderie. Plus, I figured I could learn a thing or two. I didn’t know exactly what to expect from a group run, but I made friends immediately. And from that day forward, I was a consistent member of Jim Mattern’s 4:20 pace group. I looked forward to the group runs all week, and I learned something new and valuable each time. As each long run came to a close, I was amazed at the strength of each runner, and of myself. After my first 20-miler, I felt more energized than ever. I started to envision the details of race day, the crowd excitement, the way my legs would feel after mile 22, my family and friends cheering me on, and the excitement and exhilaration I would feel when I met the finish line.

I love the anticipation of what life brings: a vacation, movie night with the family, even the feeling of sleeping in on a Sunday morning. So I was looking forward race day. I couldn’t wait. As I continued to train throughout the summer, I felt strong and motivated. I felt healthy and vibrant — as though I could do anything I set my mind and body to. An August climb up Mt. St. Helens was relatively easy due to all the training I was doing, and I was surprised that some of my best training runs were the longer 20-milers. I was physically and mentally ready for the challenge I had set before myself.

Summer wrapped up quickly, Hood to Coast came and went, and I could smell fall in the air. The marathon was just weeks away, and I could feel the excitement and anxiousness of the training group as we began to taper our long runs. One beautiful autumn day, I was finishing a 7-miler on my favorite trail. The trees were starting to change colors, and the daylight was lingering just long enough for an evening run. I smiled at the sun still in the early evening sky, beaming the perfect amount of warmth onto my face. I had celebrated my 37th birthday the day before, and I was content with my life and all that went with it. As I walked back toward my car, I was thinking of the next two Saturdays (when we would run our last training runs). And then it would be the big day. The song on the radio was loud and thumping, and I felt motivated and excited about the future. Looking back over the previous six months, I knew I had earned a lot of confidence in myself. I felt more than ready, and eagerly awaited each day since it was that much closer to race day. Then my cell phone rang. And everything as I knew it changed.


Running along a beautiful trail.

I heard my sister-in-law on the other end of the line, speaking slowly and asking strange questions: “Where are you? Are you headed home? I need to talk to you. Can you call me when you get home?” I felt panicked and pale. “No, tell me what’s wrong,” I demanded. My ears were ringing, my heart pounding. All I heard her say was that my brother Jared had committed suicide. And then I only heard my own wailing cries. One phone call can change everything. Bewildered and confused, I stumbled through my front door. My husband and children knew something was terribly wrong. At that point, I was the only member of our family who knew what had happened. I was faced with delivering news that would change the lives of my family forever. I wanted to run away and take my secret with me. But I knew I had to tell my brothers, my sister, and even my mother that someone we love so much had done the unimaginable. My mind was flushed with questions: What? How? How could he do this? Why didn’t he call me? What about his daughters and his pregnant wife? What about us? We need to fly to Alaska immediately. What about my marathon?

The next few days were a blur. My brother was gone. I felt sorrow, guilt, anger, worry, and other emotions I can’t put into words. I have never before wished so much that I could turn back time. Rewind the clock in hopes of a different outcome. All my goals and hopes for the near future were buried in grief and sorrow.

Somehow, I found myself in Wasilla, Alaska with my family. And somehow I had the forethought to bring my running shoes. In the midst of all I was facing, I had to keep running. Although I would be back in time for the marathon, I was doubting my ability to run it. I had more important things on my mind.

My family and I spent the next difficult week preparing for my brother’s service. It was a time full of emotional family moments and shared sadness. And while we had lost close members of our family before, suicide is a loss like no other. In late September in Alaska, the fall foliage burns with the same colors as fire. The birch leaves turn from green to rich shades of yellow and green. In the distance, the freshly snow-dusted mountains announced the arrival of winter’s presence. I knew it would be a long winter.

My brother’s funeral was one week before the marathon. Since I missed the last group run, I felt determined to log that last 8-miler. Wasilla has a beautiful paved trail that runs along the highway, and I was going to run an out and back. I needed some clarity to get my mind focused on the short-term goal ahead of me. I headed out before anyone else in the house was awake. It was cold, but I came prepared for the weather. I started my Garmin and headed out on the trail with the gorgeous Alaskan scenery greeting me. I noticed right away that my body was tired, my legs felt like lead — like I hadn’t run in months. My heart was heavy. I felt so strong just two short weeks ago, and it suddenly felt like all the long miles I logged had disappeared. I told myself I must press on. The marathon was only seven days away. My mind went to my brother and what he must have gone through. I suddenly found myself on the cold ground, sobbing. My Garmin told me I ran only .29 miles, and I felt angry. I had trained so hard for the marathon. But at that moment, I felt it would be impossible to run. If I couldn’t even run half a mile, how could I run 26.2? Hurt and angry, my wobbly legs took me back to the house.

I flew home on Monday, and I knew I would have to make a choice. I would either need to suck it up and go for it, or simply try again another time. My husband told me that I needed to run this marathon. He said that I needed to focus on the goal I had set for myself, and that the grief would still be there waiting for me after the marathon was over. I decided that I would run. Until race day, I would do my best to fight tears when they came and focus hard on my goal. At that point, my biggest concern was the lack of running over the previous two weeks. Had I lost my training? I knew I had to be strong. I had to tough it out, take a deep breath, and do what I needed to do.

Sunday morning came early, and I was at the start line before I knew it. The darkness of the early morning matched the darkness I was feeling inside. But this was the day I’d been waiting for. I found my group at the start line, and felt confident that I was doing the right thing. The gun went off, and thousands of runners pushed forward. I was surprised to feel my body responding the way I hoped it would. I found my groove and a nice, steady 10-minute pace. I wondered how many other people were running despite hardship, grief and pain. My appearance didn’t give my story away; I looked happy and strong just like every other runner. I was on the verge of tears, but I put one foot in front of the other because I had to. I had to keep telling myself that I was doing the right thing — I was doing what I needed to do. I reminded myself that we all have choices. My brother had a choice. I have a choice. We all do.

When I passed the 26-mile marker, I felt the wave of emotion I had been holding back for days come flooding to the surface. I could hardly breathe as I ran that last quarter mile. I was finally there — finally to the finish line. It was a long race and a long road. And I know that I will grieve for my brother for a long time.

Crossing the finish line felt much different than I had imagined. But in a strange way, it means so much more to me now. Life is wonderful, but it’s also painful at times. You have to lift up your head, take a deep breath, and keep moving forward. I did a lot of thinking during those 26 miles. Someone once told me that you learn a lot about yourself when you finish a marathon. And I always wondered what that would mean for me. I sure wish my brother had found the strength he needed in life. I’ll miss him for the rest of mine. And each time I run, I will think of him and remember the fight I have within myself. Because we all have it — we just need to find it. For me, I will continue to be strong. And I will run.

About a year after my brother’s death, my running partner and close friend Alisa told me that someday I would find a silver lining in his loss.  At the time I wanted to punch her in the face, but as the years have somehow disappeared, life has gone on and in looking back I can see the truth in what my friend wisely told me.  There have indeed been some silver linings.  His daughters came to live with my family and I for a year while their Mom was able to get her life back on track. I now have a deep love for them and a bond that I never would have had if Jared were still here. I have gone on to run 4 more marathons, including 2 Boston’s, and 2 more redeeming Portland Marathon races. I also ran Alaska’s oldest and most prestigious mountain races – Seward’s Mt Marathon.  Running this race in Alaska was very special for me, as I felt my brother and my father beside me every step.  I have run more races than I can count, ran more trails than I can remember and I have been able to heal in ways that I never could have if not for my running shoes.  But most of all, I have been able to quietly and tenderly help those who have also lost a loved one to suicide.  There is healing in connection.  There is comfort in forgiveness.  There is internal peace when I run.

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